Marrakech – Ourika Valley, Seven waterfalls of Setti Fatma and a long climb

Starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma’s Seven Waterfalls, starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma and the seven waterfalls, Ourika Valley, rickety bridges and a rocky climb


Our next stop was a visit to Setti-Fatma and its seven waterfalls. A word of warning here, this trip is not for the feint hearted. The first obstacle was a rickety bridge across the river. I nearly gave up there and then. The bridge was nothing more than a few ropes and pieces of wood, which swayed alarmingly as we crossed.

Commando, quite confident on the bridge

Commando, quite confident on the bridge, Ourika Valley, Atlas Mountains

Now for the long hard climb

Now for the long hard climb – Ourika Valley, Atlas Mountains

Next it was a long hard climb over rocks made slippery in places from the little springs and streams. My little legs found some of the stones quite hard to negotiate and, although I consider myself quite fit (I go to the gym most days) I was hot and out of breath in quite a short time. Perhaps it was the higher altitude or maybe I’m not as fit as I thought I was. The climb seemed to take forever and I was embarrassed, while puffing and panting, to be overtaken by a series of Berber women with large bundles on their heads striding along as if it was just a gentle slope.

The first waterfall, as far as we went

The first waterfall, as far as we went – Ourika Valley, Atlas Mountains

To my shame, we only made it as far as the first waterfall. Apparently it takes two hours or more to climb up to all seven and, for the really daring with a whole day and night to spare, it is possible to climb even further to the peak of Mount Toubkal where there are some prehistoric rock carvings. Apparently you can even ski up on the high slopes. Skiing in Morocco, now there’s a thought.

There is a little café at the waterfall where we stopped to take in the view, catch our breath and have a cooling drink of Coca cola served in real glass bottles with the Coke logo in English and Arabic. The climb down over the slippery rocks was more difficult that the climb up and I had a few hairy moments where I slipped and thought I would end up in a broken heap at the bottom. Thankfully we all made it back in one piece but I really wouldn’t recommend this hike for the feint hearted or anyone not fit and wearing good shoes. A walking stick would probably help too.