The Ouzoud waterfalls, which are the highest and most beautiful in the Moroccan territory are approximately 150 km from Marrakech. They are located in the little village of Tanaghmeilt in the Atlas Mountains and are surrounded by olive trees. Here’s how we spent our day when we went from Marrakech to Ouzoud.
There are 4 ways to get to Ouzoud Waterfalls from Marrakech: hiring a rental car or using your own car, by bus, by grand taxi and by joining a group tour.
We chose a group tour which offered a round trip on the same day. We were picked up early in the morning and returned at 6pm to Marrakech. So we still had time to visit more places in the city before we left.
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Excursion to the Ouzoud waterfalls
The tourist agency’s van picked us up near the hostel once again and after a stop in the central square to pick up the others we headed northwest for about three hours.
Once we arrived at Tanaghmeilt village, we started hiking through the olive trees that bordered the river. From time to time, we would look out over the viewpoints that appeared on the path. We would also find a few souvenir shops or coffee shops. When the heat was already getting to us, we saw some seats protected from the sun among the rocks.
On our way we came across the ruins of old Berber houses, which were made of adobe. This material helps to keep the interiors cold in the hard seasons of heat. In addition, we were shown a cave where the Berbers used to live. This cave can be seen from a distance, leaving it now only as a memory of what it once was.
The guide pointed out a hotel that is being built right now in the area. Unfortunately, many of the inhabitants had to be evicted in order to expand the site. This construction is being carried out by the king’s brother and aims to accommodate tenants with great purchasing power.
As we continued our way, we could see some parts of the waterfall from the viewpoints. However, we did not see it in its immensity until we were facing it. 110 meters is soon said, but when you have them in front of your eyes they make a big impression.
When we reached the bottom of the waterfall, the guide led us to the boats that take you to the waterfall. Obviously, this boat ride has its cost and is not included in the excursion. You can choose not to take the boat and continue to tour the site on your own. After all, when you get to the waterfall you are given a few hours of free will.
We went into every nook and cranny, sat down to cool off and took a few pictures. If you wish you can also wear a swimsuit and go into the water. Although we didn’t see any tourists doing it, there were many locals swimming and jumping off the rocks.
To finish the tour, we visited the local wildlife that mainly attracts tourists: the monkeys. You will find them on a terrace near the waterfalls along with some Moroccans who offer you nuts to attract the attention of the animals. As far as I’m concerned, I could have stayed there forever. In fact, I had a good time taking pictures of them, until it was time to go eat.
Please note that food is not included in the tours. However, the tour guides will take you to a certain restaurant to eat there. You can expect this restaurant to be as touristy as possible, with higher prices and little Moroccan essence. We decided to look for another alternative on our own and we didn’t have to go far to find it. Right in front of the most touristy restaurant, there was one frequented by locals with good local food.
On the menu you can choose several dishes served in tajine. This is a clay pot where the different stews are slowly cooked. You will have plenty of opportunities to try it, as you will find it all over Morocco.
After having eaten, it was time to return to Marrakech. We left behind the tranquility of the countryside, to return to the chaos of the city.
I liked having the opportunity to visit the Ouzoud waterfalls, as it is a lush and fertile landscape, in contrast to the desert panorama. Indeed, in Morocco you can enjoy different landscapes throughout the country, in addition to its architecture and culture. I am still looking forward to seeing the Akchour falls.
The good news is that this means more reasons to come back. If you have more time, get to know the surrounding area: Essaouira, the Ourika valley, Ouarzazate, …