After a full on day exploring Marrakech, we wanted to see a little bit more of Morocco. We woke early and jumped in the car, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind.
We were heading for Cascades of Ouzoud.
Near the small village of Tanaghmeilt, in the province of Azilal, the waterfall is one of the most visited in the region. Not only were we promised beautiful countryside and an impressive waterfall, but we were also promised a really great lunch. This was enough to have us pulling our trainers on.
Our driver told us all about living in Marrakech whilst outside, the city streets changed to towns, towns to villages, and before we knew it we were deep in the hills of the Atlas Mountains, the road stretching out for miles ahead of us.
The landscape in Morocco is seriously stunning. Words can’t describe it.
A couple of hours later we pulled into a dusty car park where we were greeted by Joseph, our trusted tour-guide for the day. We followed him through the sleepy village and along a riverside path. Joseph told us about growing up as a Berber, about his family, language, and donkey named Bro.
We wandered past women washing their clothes in the river and two small boys happily catching fish with a homemade fishing rod.
Joseph took a turn through some olive trees and we followed. We could hear it before we saw it.
Crashing down in front of us.
The waterfall is BEAUTIFUL.
We climbed through a hole in the fence to take a closer look. (They aren’t too fussed about health and safety here!)
And that’s where we met these little guys!
Give the boy sitting with them a dirham or two and he’ll offer you a handful of nuts to feed them. The monkeys will happily take a seat on your shoulder (or head) and leave a scattering of crumbs in your hair.
We said goodbye to our new friends and followed Joseph down the mountainside. This is when we realised Ahmed back at the hotel may have brushed over our appropriate footwear question a little too lightly…. The walk to the bottom is more of a clamber, but it’s worth it for the freshly squeezed orange juice half way down.
At the bottom we were given two options – crossing the water along some slippery looking stepping stones, or hopping aboard a boat made of barrels and taking a detour to the base of the waterfall.
We climbed onto a colourful and slightly wobbly raft. Our captain was definitely the best of the bunch because a) he had a great hat and b) he let us row the boat.
It probably wasn’t the safest move but he found it hilarious.
Safely back on dry land, we were led to a small restaurant perched within the side of the cliff. Cascade Cafe Restaurant. (Which we can’t find online anywhere. So we either wrote the name down wrong or they just don’t fancy having a website!)
I think we had the best seats in the house. This was definitely lunch with a view.
Lunch started with moreish moroccan flatbreads, warm from the oven and served with a fresh tomato salad and fiery chilli dip.
Then a truly rustic lamb tagine – packed with tender chunks of meat, vegetables and sweet dried fruit.
Finished off with fresh mint tea and giant oranges picked from the nearby trees. By far one of the simplest and most delicious meals we had in Morocco.
If you’re visiting Marrakech we couldn’t recommend this trip more. It was so refreshing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and see a little bit of Moroccan country life.
Morocco, we’ll be back!