Located by the village of Tanaghmeilt in the High Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud Falls is Morocco’s highest waterfall, and the falls are a magnificent sight, tumbling 361 feet (110 meters) through a dramatic red-rock gorge of El Abid River.
A popular day trip from nearby Marrakech, the three-tiered falls provide a magnificent backdrop for hiking or picnicking, as they are surrounded by lush greenery and trees teeming with macaque monkeys. Clamber down the stone steps into the gorge and you can swim beneath the falls, take a raft ride across the river, and explore the natural caves carved into the cliffside. Most full-day tours from Marrakech include stops along the way to admire the mountain scenery and many include lunch at a traditional Berber restaurant.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no entrance fee to visit the falls.
- Bring your swimsuit, a towel, and a change of clothes if you plan on swimming or taking a boat trip.
- Facilities at Ouzoud Falls include restrooms, a gift shop, and a number of cafes.
- The falls are partially wheelchair accessible—it’s possible to view the falls from the top and follow some of the walkways, but the descent down to the swimming area is via steps.
How to Get There
Ouzoud Falls is located in the High Atlas Mountains, around 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of Marrakech, or about a 2.5-hour drive. Although it’s possible to take a bus to nearby towns such as Azilal, there are no public transport options for reaching the falls themselves, so you have to drive yourself, join a tour, or take a taxi.
When to Get There
It’s possible to visit the Ouzoud Falls year-round. The busiest time to visit is in the summer months of July and August. Visiting in winter offers better views thanks to increased water levels, but it’s too cold to swim.
Olive Oil Production at Ouzoud
Ouzoud Falls takes its name from the olive groves that blanket the surrounding valley (“Ouzoud” is Berber for “olive”), which are among the oldest in the world. Along the river at the top of the falls are a number of historic water mills, many of which are still used to extract olive oil from the surrounding crops. Visits and olive oil tastings are possible at some of the local olive oil cooperatives.