The pretty little village of Ouirgane (pronounced ‘Weer-gan’) is a Berber settlement situated in the foothills of the High Atlas, on the edge of the Toubkal National Park, some 90 minutes from Marrakech.
The Magic of Ouirgane
Surrounded by pine forests, red-earth hills and splendid greenery, Ouirgane is a great place for mountain biking or hiking trips; horse riding, bird watching and trekking in the national park are also popular. Offering magnificent views over the Toubkal massif, the village is located in a valley on the Oued (river) Nfis and is particularly delightful in spring when the almond trees are in blossom adding breathtaking beauty to the rural scene.
In addition to the attractions of the national park itself, Ouirgane lies just a few miles from the sanctuaries of Rabi Haim ben Diwan and Moulay Brahim Muslim, close to the villages of Anraz and Asni, 3 km and 15 km, respectively, from Ouirgane itself.
Another well-known village is Imlil, at the foot of Mount Toubkal, the starting point for treks up to the mountain summits with spectacular views en-route.
On Thursdays, Ouirgane hosts a traditional Berber market, the largest in the area and not to be missed. The usually tranquil village becomes thronged with locals buying and selling livestock, fruit and vegetables, household items and much more. Tourists are also attracted to the fascinating spectacle of this hive of activity, much of which has changed little in centuries. Similar markets can be found at Asni and Talat n’ Yacoub (on Saturdays and Wednesdays, respectively).
Situated at 1000 m altitude, Ouirgane tends to be appreciably cooler than Marrakech during the summer months making excursions here, and further up the valley, a welcome break from the heat of the city.