Visit the Berber Village of Setti Fatma
Surrounded by steep cliffs and snow-capped mountains, the Berber village of Setti Fatma is located in the picturesque Ourika Valley in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It serves as a base for tourists exploring the surrounding areas, with the spectacular seven waterfalls being one of the most popular attractions. The village offers a hotel, some sidewalk cafés and several shops selling traditional crafts and carpets, and while it has become more commercialized in recent years, still retains its old-world charm.
Although there are many self-appointed guides offering their services, it is recommended that visitors use the official guides who have an office in the village. The trail to the Seven Waterfalls is very scenic, but quite strenuous if hikers want to continue past the first waterfall. All seven waterfalls can be seen from the first stop for those who are content to enjoy the view. For more adventurous hikers, the trail leads to the other six waterfalls, but is slippery and rocky, so caution and good shoes are needed.
Souvenir hunters will find a number of Berber rug weavers at the villages on the road to Setti Fatma where they can stop and watch the intricate weaving process that have made these carpets so popular. Visitors are likely to be offered Moroccan mint tea and the opportunity to barter for a good price on a one-of-a-kind keepsake. Most of these villages have weekly markets which are worth planning a trip around, as they offer insight into daily living in this region of Morocco that is seldom seen on an organized tour. But whether or not a market is in progress, it is worth stopping off to take some memory-making photos.
While camels are generally associated with the desert regions of Morocco, visitors to Setti Fatma are likely to see some even in the lush vegetation of the valley. An unexpected feature along the road through the Ourika Valley (Vallée d’Ourika) is an ancient Berber Jewish synagogue and sanctuary where Berber Jews have lived for generations.
Certainly, Morocco is an exotic and fascinating country, full of surprises. Visitors to Setti Fatma have found this Berber village and its stunning surroundings to be a very pleasant surprise.