Atlas Mountains Day Trip: Ourika Valley & Berber Villages
On our last full day in Marrakech, we took the Atlas Mountain Day trip with Youssef. It was one of the best days we had in our trip there! Youssef and his driver Hassan came to our riad to pick us up and we headed out. On our drive to the mountains, we rode camels (not included in the fee and our choice to do). Along the way, we had an opportunity to see a local potter at work creating a tagine (amazing talent), an argon oil facility (got to taste "Moroccan nutella"), and then took a hike to a breathtaking waterfall. There were a few steep areas and Youssef and Hassan helped me along the way. We hung out at the waterfalls for a while, soaking our feet in the cool water and enjoying watching others playing in the water. Then we headed down to a local restaurant, where we had lunch along the river with our feet cooling just like a local in the river as we ate. On the way back in, we took a looped road high up into the mountains and saw many scenic vistas and had tea and sweets at a local home. We arrived back at our riad at the end of the day having had a once-in-a lifetime experience.
In addition to the amazing experiences of the physical landscape, our trip was great because of Youssef. He is so friendly and engaging! He was able to straddle the line of talking and sharing info with us and also allowing us to look out the window and stare at the breathtaking vistas in silence. That is a tricky line to walk, and he did it effortlessly. He took lots of pictures and videos for us, knew just when to get us out for a walk or a scenic view, and shared about his life. Hasson, our driver, was super-friendly and assisted in our trip. I would highly, highly recommend anyone to make this experience a part of your visit to Marrakech! You will not be disappointed!