When I went to Marrakech with my mum before Christmas, we did a day trip to the Atlas Mountains (in addition to a day trip to Essaouira, which you can read about here). The Atlas Mountains is the longest mountain range in Africa, stretching through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Because we only went for a day, we did not get to see much; we only saw Ourika Valley, but it was still a great experience.
We booked a tour through a tourist agency for the price of 150 DH (15 EUR). We went in a maxi taxi with only four other tourists, and our driver was also an excellent guide. He stopped whenever we wanted to take pictures, which was awesome. A big part of the trip was just watching the scenery we drove through.
We stopped at a place where a women’s cooperative were producing the famous argan oil. I guess it was only for the show, because today they probably mass-produce it. It was interesting to see how it was made the traditional way anyways. Of course, they also wanted us to buy some of the products, which were extremely overpriced. I bought Argan oil at a pharmacy in Marrakech and paid 1/5 of what they charged here… What a tourist trap!
After a few hours we reached Fatma Village, where we had lunch. After the lunch we walked up to a waterfall which was supposed to be amazing, but honestly, it was nothing special. The view from the walk was nice though, so I am happy we went there. Fatma Village itself was not a pretty sight and the nature surrounding it was destroyed. It was interesting to see how the village had developed around tourism. On every corner, even along the path leading to the waterfall, there were small shops. “We share everything in this village, we are very poor, please support us”, they all said. They also claimed that everything were handmade by people in the village. Sure, something was probably hand made, but most of the items they sold were the same as at the markets in Marrakech; mass-produced goods imported from China.
This is my last post from my trip to Morocco. Morocco surprised me in a positive way, and I recommend everyone to go there. Yes, you might experience the culture as kind of exhausting, but as long as you are prepared for it, it is not that bad. Be polite (but determined), and you will be fine. Do not buy anything you do not want, no matter how much pressure you feel – and if you want something, bargain hard. Morocco is so close to Europe, but still very different and exotic – go there for a different experience! If you are planning on booking a trip there, make sure you have protected yourself against preventable diseases so you can enjoy your adventures uninterrupted by illness – pharmavaccs morocco vaccines are a great option.
I am currently in the Middle East, so remember to check my blog for updates! You can also follow me on Instagram @mariameland.