The Ourika Valley is one of the most spectacular valleys that travels down from Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, and it is an especially popular place to escape to during the hot summer months. Many visitors to this glorious valley make it their destination of choice for a day trip from Marrakech, which is only about 45 minutes away to the north. Some time in the Ourika Valley and some time in Marrakech can make for a most pleasant couple of days, and the overall experience is bound to prove unforgettable. While summer is the peak time for Ourika Valley tours, this valley can be enjoyed throughout the year, and skiers and snowboarders might add it to their list when trying to find that next great vacation destination.
The landscape in the Ourika Valley is about as amazing as it gets, and the lush, green fields on the valley's floor add to the picturesque appeal. Towering above the fields below are the sides of the valley, which feature many a dramatic dropoff. During the warmer months of the year, the Ourika Valley tours center on hiking. When the weather cools and the winter snow starts to fall in the mountains, however, the Ourika Valley becomes a popular skiing destination. When planning a Morocco vacation, some travelers might not be aware of the fact that snow skiing can be part of the picture. Morocco is a country full of delights, and the great outdoors are primed for recreational activities of all kinds.
There are two main towns in the Ourika Valley, and they include Oukaimeden and Setti Fatma. The former is the valley's ski resort, and it is the only one in the country. There are only seven ski runs in Oukaimeden, though they offer a relatively complete array of experiences. In addition to beginner's slopes, there are also some black runs for the advanced skiers. Snow isn't guaranteed on the slopes at any given time, though it's worth keeping an eye on the weather patterns if you want to enjoy a unique skiing experience. As for the village of Setti Fatma, it is the center of tourism in the valley. It is also the site for an annual August event that draws in a considerable amount of visitors. The four-day moussem, or festival, features a fair and a market. While it is possible to get tourism information in Setti Fatma, many travelers that are planning an excursion to the Ourika Valley consult one of the travel agencies back in Marrakech.
While a day trip from Marrakech to the Ourika Valley is rewarding enough, some travelers choose to spend more time in the valley, which is recommended when possible. Adventure travelers will especially find that one day might not be enough to enjoy everything that the valley has to offer. The extended Ourika Valley tours can revolve around any number of things, including birdwatching, rock climbing, and mountain biking. November through April is the best time to go skiing in the Ourika Valley, and the rest of the year is better suited for other pursuits.
Ourika Valley tours offer something for everyone, and just taking in the landscape is more than enough to satisfy some. Unless you rent a car or book an organized trip through a travel company, getting to the Ourika Valley by way of bus or grand taxi is popular. Both of these means of transportation are affordable, though paying extra for a smaller and more private taxi is also worth considering. Whether travelers choose to visit the valley on a day trip from Marrakech or they opt for a visit of more than one day, the Ourika Valley won't fail to impress.