Marrakech - Ourika valley - Oukaimeden - Sidi Faris (piste road) - Tahanout - Asni - Imlil
[08.00 - 12.30].
Departure from Marrakech around 8am for an exciting drive south through to one of Morocco's longest and most beautiful valleys - the Ourika Valley - teeming with lush vegetation, palmeraies, steep-sided gorges, ancient terraced irrigated fields and Berber hamlets. Some 33km from Marrakech, this valley really starts at a small Berber village of Dar Caid Ouriki, with its ruined, caidal kasbah and mosque.
Onward drive up through hills of ever-changing colours, in the midst of olive groves, seeing the ochre-red villages set amongst terraced fields seeming to hang from the slopes. The majority of the villages you will see are pise, dug from the earth of the surrounding slopes. Taking a turn at Aghbalou the road takes you through the Jbel Oukaimeden range, where snow falls every winter, and venture on to Morocco's number one ski resort of Oukaimeden with its ski lift 3273 metres above sea level taking in the breathtaking fairytale valley below.
Travelling northward, with the magnificent peaks of the Western High Atlas always staring down, circle down to the Berber hamlet of Tahanaoute. Making a turn south, up and over the hairpin bends of the Moulay Brahim Gorges and Upper valleys, passing through the village of Asni which holds a popular Saturday souk, the ideal place try out your haggling skills.
Upon arrival at the Berber trailhead town of Imlil (1740m), set way up in the foothills of the Western High Atlas Mountains, leave the vehicle for a delicious lunch of tagine and couscous on the terrace of a gite d'etape looking over the banks of the Assif Ait Mizane.