Toubkal National Park © Fabrice Cadou
The village of Ouirgane, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, about 90 minutes' drive from Marrakech, stands at the centre of a popular resort area, where summers are cooler and winters less harsh than those experienced in the city. The surrounding Berber countryside offers picturesque villages and hamlets to explore, set in pine forests full of wildlife and groves of fruit trees, alongside streams cascading down from the High Atlas Mountains and fields of wild flowers. The soil is a striking red, which emphasises the luxuriant greenery and makes the landscapes slightly otherworldly in some lights. The area is also known for its extraordinarily beautiful rose gardens.
The village is mainly just used as a peaceful place to relax, and as a hub for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain-biking and horseriding. There are a few attractions in town, however, including the Tin Mal Mosque, what remains of the somewhat ruined old kasbah, and a small souk (market) every Thursday, which is noted for its traditional Berber pottery. Although the mild climate is one of the attractions of Ouirgane year-round, the best time to visit the town and surrounding area is between March and May, or between mid-September and December.