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“Well worth a visit, full day tour!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ourika Valley

Ourika Valley
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Full-Day Private Tour to Ourika Valley including Guided Trek and Lunch from...
Ranked #71 of 594 things to do in Morocco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Ourika valley situated at a short distance from Marrakesh 60 km. While traveling along the Ourika valley you will enjoy beautiful landscapes, from walnuts, wiping willow and poplar trees, to its mountains and rocks varying in color from red to green.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit, full day tour!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

I had booked this tour 3 weeks prior to my trip to Marrakech through a tour company called Sabor Services via Getyourguide.com. I initially thought that I was in for the worst day of my life as for:

1, the tour company was late by 40 minutes
2, he did not apologise
3, he sped off walking down the street (as we were in the heart of the medina, no car can get down) and we nearly lost him.
4, after picking up the final people, while stationary he tapped me on the leg and told me to get out the bus like I had done something wrong, and told me that I had not paid when I had. After a slightly heated plea of proving that I had, he told me to get back in.

For that, I won't be using this company again due to its unprofessionalism and the fact that I got a bit intimidated by it. Apart from that the rest of the tour was amazing, and I assume that the tour is not just exclusive to this one company, so I recommend that you use someone else.

Given like any other tour you have to accept that there will be a little time for dropping you off at their friend's shops to buy stuff - however, the first stop was very interesting. We were dropped at a place that grew and sold various herbs and spices including Argan oil. The guide showed us the processes of making the oil, and also went through other products and their health benefits. We were even offered a neck massage with the oil given by a student masseuse for 30dh, it was well worth it for around £3 (Only 3 of us in the group did it, their loss!). Naturally, we had time to buy overpriced things which you can easily buy for a lot cheaper in the souks in Marrakech, but obviously you're in the moment so you have to...

Next stop was visiting a traditional Berber house further along the road. This was pretty interesting to see how it looked and how people lived, I can however only assume that it was staged and a model, or the family who lived in the house were tied into a deal. I personally wouldn't want hundreds of tourists traipsing through my home, I also wouldn't have a shop attached to my home either. Interesting nevertheless!

Finally we stopped for lunch, which was at another tourist trap because all the buses were being dropped here. The food was very good and by the river, but there was limited choice on the menu with a fixed 3 course 120 dh. After lunch we had a 1-1.30 hour trek up the mountain to see a beautiful waterfall with fantastic views of the valley. The trek was not that difficult but it is very steep with some light climbing on slippery rocks - I personally ripped my jeans from the crotch when proving how flexible I was (the joke was on me). I think the trek by itself was worth the money paid!

On the way back, you stop by a layby and have the option to ride a camel. The price is vague so haggling is probably worth doing before you get on it. My girlfriend went on and paid after so I think she had no option but to pay 100dh. There was only 2 people that rode the camels, so it is entirely up to you. They are lovely creatures, but I'm not so sure that they get treated the way they should - there was one in particular which looked very stressed and had its foot tied to the floor so couldn't move very far.

Tour in itself was great!

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Daniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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593 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Avoid the tourist hotspot and poor quality guided tours/sales tour.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

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.

Visited January 2014
4 Thank Rich R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

By far the best place to see in Marrakech. , whilst in Marrakech we wanted to see the atlas mountains called Ourika as its one of the natural beautiful places of the world. . We decided to do this trip from Marrakech and considering the distance is very much worth it and decided to do the trip by a coach which was arranged by our hotel as it was only a half way of the trip and so left us the rest for our own adventure, Our coach driver and another two couples from UK were in the bus were a lot of fun. At the end of the Coach trip we were met by our guide and he was a great help throughout the trip.
The wonders of this magical place are amazing. You could just stare at it all day and watch the sun and clouds play with the light on the beautiful formations in the mountain. The top of the mountains snow Covered, middle some waterfalls like silver lines and bottom of the mountains crystal clear rivers.
You have to wear protective slips on your shoes so as not to slip on the rocks and you will find some ladders ,and water alleys too. When you walk out onto the peak it’s not scary but when you look down it is pretty freaky! On your way up the mountain there are some souvenir shops and cafes with natural fridges (they cool bottles and drinks with the water fall) if you have a good camera you can catch very rare pictures which are for your life time. You will get chances to pose in pretty cool positions though to make the most of the view which is fun. . The view is pretty incredible. It's just like being in another world standing there with the peace and quiet and taking in the view. A must do!
It's overwhelming to think of all the time that past to create this wonder. It's a definite MUST SEE!

Visited January 2014
2 Thank galy37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of our trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

We hired a car with driver to take us to the valley from Marrakech. Cost 1000 dirhams but very nice comfy SUV and a driver who let us set the pace of what to do. Lovely drive up. Stopped at a Berber village on route which is a big rip off and hugely gimmicky. Once we got to setti fatma, ignored all the guides and wandered around the village ourselves and then by default found ourselves going towards the waterfall, though that wasn't the plan. Not an easy climb up, but very doable. Must have right shoes as it can every slippery. Constant stream of people going up and coming down, so doable without a guide ! We went up to the first waterfall and then came down ravenous as it as way past lunchtime. In the village had lunch at cafe azro ourika almost at the start of the village. Fixed lunch comprising of starter, main course n dessert for 60d !! Lovely table right on the river, great views and ambience ! Huge salad portions in the starter. The couscous was good and the yoghurt at the end was a perfect finish to a lovely day topped by a delightful lunch in an incredibly scenic setting !!! One of the nicest days we had in Morocco and delightful to be away from the madness of the Marrakech medina !!

Visited December 2013
4 Thank shikhaDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Ourika Valley – Great escape from the bustle and hassle of Marrakesh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

40 minutes drive away from the Marrakesh centre ,and you will find yourself in very scenic route up some breath taking landscapes. You are on the edge of the Atlas Mountain. There are many stops you may wish to do. But ultimately the final stop is at the end of the village of Setti Fatma. Been told no cars go beyond!!!! This is the start of climbing up Ourika Valley and ultimately to the its famous water fall.

On route up the summit there are berber villages, riverside restaurants, and the inevitable souvenir shops. Just like in Marrakesh, every shop owner in Ourika Valley uses the same old lines to rip you off. But the saving grace is the beauty scenery in and around the Valley. Simply breath taking.

The hike up to the water fall is not ideal for people with prams or with mobility problems.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank cas11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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