Ski in Marrakech at Oukaimeden.

Over the past few days Marrakech has been a little under the weather. Its rained, its been cold, not its usual sunny self. All the while the Atlas Mountains have been cloaked in a mysterious blanket of cloud. This morning we awoke to blazing sunshine again and the Atlas Mountains glistened in the distance covered in a fresh powdering  of snow. So we dugout our snow suits and ski boots and headed for the slopes.

atlas-mountains

The nearest ski resort to Marrakech is in the village of Oukaimeden, around 70km from Marrakech and assessable in about an hour and a half. The drive is beautiful. Firstly along through the Ourika valley and then up through the winding mountain road until you reach the peek.

The children became excited as we hit the snow line and we were transported into a winter wonderland. They pretended they had gone through the back of the wardrobe and spent the rest of the journey discussing all their favorite Narnia characters.

atlas-mountains-village

The slopes of Oukaimeden are at 3268m above sea level, the air is clean and crisp and when the sun is shining and the snow is shimmering it really is a very refreshing little place. The slopes are not enormous but you can have a very invigorating ski. It is hard to imagine while you are down on the arid palm filled plateau below, only an hour and half away people are whizzing up and down these ski slopes. It makes you understand why people say that Morocco is a land of many contrasts.

oukaimeden Morocco-ski-slopes

When you get to the village of Oukaimeden there are plenty of places to hire your skis. For as little as 50dhs, another 50 and you have your pass for the ski lift  and your off…… Don’t worry if you’ve never skied before for another 100 you can hire your own personal teacher. They call themselves monitors and are willing to give you lessons no matter how old you are. I’m not sure if they are qualified to teach, but Its amazing to watch my four year old confidently ski down the slopes guided by her energetic kindly monitor.

on-the-slopes1

You can snowboard, you can ski, you can eat and you can even sleep over in the many little auberges scattered around the village. The village of Oukaimeden is perfect if you have traveled to Marrakech for some winter sun and fancy a break from the souks down below. 

Here is a link to check the snow reports if you would like to have some ski fun when you come to Marrakech.

Oukaimeden Ski Report 

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~ by marrakechxanthepat on November 28, 2008.

10 Responses to “Ski in Marrakech at Oukaimeden.”

  1. Hi, I’m very interesting with this post. I just know from you that The Marrakech is the capital of Morocco.
    I’m from Vietnam. My webblog here: http://freshhome.wordpress.com

  2. I never would have associated skiing with Morocco but I guess that’s what blogs are for – to educate and learn!

  3. Marrakech is nestled at the base of the Atlas Mountains which during winter are snow capped and very very skiable.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Xanthe

  4. Beautiful pictures of an amazing place! I dont know if I will ever get to visit this place, but sure would like to after seeing your write up and pics.

  5. Great piece on the skiing. How would you rate the lifts for safety and maintenance ? Thinking about doing a few days in Marrakech and then a couple of days skiing to please all members of the family next Christmas.

  6. Interesting insight into the skiing opportunities available, could I also enquire as to the safety/reliability ratings for the ski lifts as I am looking to take the family to Marrakech in Feb 09. Additionally, do you have any recomendations on booking a auberges?

  7. Love your Blog. Check out “Lunch in Oukaimeden” on this link. http://www.marrakech.uk.com/#/mediavideoclips/4532958218
    Your children may enjoy it :)
    It’s the video clip bottom right of page. Starring my daughter Hannah xxx

  8. Oukaimeden Ski Resort
    Welcome to Africa’s highest ski resort. Oukaimeden is a village sitting at 2,600m, is 50 km from Marrakech, and has all the facilities you find in a typical European resort – ski hire, ski school, restaurants and hotels – but all done in a Moroccan way.

    The ski hire shops offer reasonably well-maintained, if dated, skis and boots for around €11 a day. A lift pass costs €7; ski lessons range from €3 to €8 an hour and donkeys, rather than shuttle buses, wander back and forth between lifts. But Oukaimeden is not just about skiing. There is a big sledging area for families.

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