Travel to Ouirgane – Heart of Berber Country
Nestled in the tranquil foothills of the High Atlas Mountains in the heart of the Toubkal National Park lies the pretty Berber village of Ouirgane. With a couple of decent accommodation choices this village provides an alternative and lesser-visited village base for walking, horse riding and mountain biking trips in the Atlas.
Wonderful views of the Toubkal range, a wide variety of birdlife and a fresh and invigorating altitude of 1,000 metres await the traveller who makes it here. Ouirgane is only a one hour drive from Marrakech and is located on the valley floor of the Oued Nfis. Spring is a fantastic time to visit when the almond blossoms are absolutely breathtaking.
Discover the Muslim sanctuary of Moulay Brahim near Asni (15 km) or the Jewish sanctuary of Rabi Haim ben Diwan near Anraz (2.5 km). Imlil village makes for an interesting trip and a clear sight of Mount Toubkal. Three Berber markets are within easy reach – Asni (Saturdays, 15 km), Talat n’ Yacoub (Wednesdays, 35 km) and Ouirgane itself (Thursdays). Tin Mal mosque is a major place of interest and makes a pleasant morning trip with spectacular views en route.
The High Atlas Mountains offer endless possibilities for those seeking activity on foot or by horseback. Local guides can be pre-booked and can lead hikers to nearby villages and up Jebel Toubkal if necessary. Bird spotting is also good here – look out for resident Nightingales, Bulbuls, Blackbirds, Cuckoos and Woodpeckers, and also migratory birds such as Storks and Bee-eaters.
Spend a couple of nights in Ouirgane and you’ll soon unwind in the cool mountain air amid beautiful Atlas scenery.
Walking is the obvious way to get around Ouirgane once here. If you don’t have the comfort or luxury of private transport then take a taxi or local bus from Marrakech.
- Visit the impressive ruins of nearby Tin Mal Mosque, only 40 km away en route to the Tizi ‘n’ Test pass.
- Get active and enjoy long walks through the Ouirgane Valley to Azzaden, with the option of making a summit ascent of Jebel Toubkal.
- Experience a choice of weekly Berber markets at nearby Asni, Talat n’Yacoub or in Ouirgane itself.