Ourika Valley, what must have been a lovely place a few years ago has turned into a tourist hot spot and spoilt by too many resteraunts and poor guided tours!
The region is generally quite picturesque on the way until you get close to a waterfall where all the tourist buses head to. The waterfall is quite nice but small, however the area is filled to bursting point with restaurants and little shops. The lovely stream has been taken over by the restaurant sofa's. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them there.
On top of this, 'tourist bearau's' will club together to set up 'day tours' to the valley, which are highly overpriced and very poor value for money. The tours will usually consist of the following: -
a stop of around 45mins to an hour at a Berber house. Interesting for 10mins, but you will be stuck there a while.
a stop of around 45mins to an hour on the side of the main road to look at some camels pitched on the side of the road. The tour guide will encourage you to rent the camel for a short ride which will lead nowhere special, whilst everyone else on the tour will be left waiting with nothing to do or see for an hour.
a stop at a herbal co-op for around 1-2 hours. They will take 5-10 minutes to show you around a small garden and then you are left waiting whilst maybe one or two of your group will have a massage. Fine so long as you don't mind waiting with nothing to see or do for an hour or so.
Before seeing the highlihgt of the tour, (the waterfall), you are likely to be herded into the tour guides prefered restaurant (where he will get the biggest commision). Don't be builied, there are hundreds of resteraunts around. Look for one you want to go to and with prices that are fair and not twice the price.
Finally, the walk to the top of the waterfall. It's not far away but make sure you wear the right footwear. You need to be prepared for your shoes to get a little dirty and to scramble up a few rough rocks. Some of the route is not nice easy pathways so really not suitable for the less agile. The waterfall itself is relatively small with a small cafe at the pool. Really nothing too special though.
In summary, you will likely be better off with a different tour, or paying a local cab driver to take you there in half the time, probably also without the pushy sales stops on the way.
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