A peek into Ourika Valley, Morocco

Situated at the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and 60km away from Marrakesh, it was the perfect day trip from the hustle and bustle of busy, busy Marrakesh. Our route was a simple one, visit Argan oil cooperatives, take a casual stroll along Ourika River and pop in some Berber villages along the way. 

 Off we go!

Off we go!

 Stopped by a super cute café to use the toilet LOL

Stopped by a super cute café to use the toilet LOL

 Something you can only see in Morocco

Something you can only see in Morocco

 Argan kernels from which the oil is made. The Argan tree is endemic to Morocco and provides income for many of the women living in Ourika valley and the high Atlas Mountains. 

Argan kernels from which the oil is made. The Argan tree is endemic to Morocco and provides income for many of the women living in Ourika valley and the high Atlas Mountains. 

The oil resides in the nut and needs to be extracted by hand. The women first dry the fruits then crack open the kernels. Sounds like a lot of hard work for a few millilitres of oil. See, that’s why your argan oil is so expensive.

We then took a stroll along Ourika river, taking in the multi-coloured restaurants sitting at the river banks. How quaint.

 Would you have lunch here and dip your feet in?

Would you have lunch here and dip your feet in?

 Walking the planks

Walking the planks

Hurhur funny story, our guide told us that this was a Berber fridge. Basically, the cold water that runs from the high atlas mountain flows through this rock which in turn cools the fruits and drinks. Pretty neat huh.

 
 

We also climbed up to see a waterfall which really wasn’t very impressive at all. Honestly we felt kinda scammed because we needed to pay about 20usd for a guide to bring us up. Well, you don’t ACTUALLY need to have a guide to climb up, just go up by yourself and follow the trail of tourists, you’ll get there. 

 
 

Well, here goes my obsession with photographing animals AGAIN.

On the way up, you’ll pass by some Berber shops as well. Although all they might want is their money, some of the shopkeepers are relatively friendly and really don’t mind if you go ham taking photos of their shop. Hi friendly shopkeepers!

Last but not least, we visited a traditional Berber home. That’s right, with no running electricity or water. It was quite an eye opening experience for us. The Berber have incorporated nature into their everyday lives. Here, they have diverted a section of the river flow into their home. The guide jokingly described it to us as a Berber washing machine. 

 Here’s a photo of their kitchen. With running gas or water! 

Here’s a photo of their kitchen. With running gas or water! 

 The diversion from the river! 

The diversion from the river! 

So that’s all folks! The last of my installation in my Marrakesh travels! Hopefully you’ll visit there soon, I’ll be so jealous!

Tips: To be honest, I would have rather spent another day exploring around in Marrakech because the scenery is quite similar to the one you will see en route to the Sahara. If you’re heading to the Sahara and you’re short on time, skip this and spend more time in the medina instead!