The absolute pièce de résistance of any visit to the Ourika Valley is a trip to Nectarome, the region's first aromatic garden. It produces essential oils for massages, spas, and hammams in the classiest of hotels and riads back in Marrakesh. Started by two Moroccan brothers (one a biochemist, the other a pharmacist), it grows 50 species of aromatic and medicinal plants, all in 2.5 acres of beautifully maintained and colorful gardens. They pick the plants on-site, then
extract, process, and bottle the oil in the top-secret perfume workshop. You can take a guided tour (80 DH) through the grounds and learn about the healing properties of each plant (lavender for rest; rosemary for blood circulation; thyme for digestion; geraniums for menopause, etc.), or wander on your own (20 DH). You can also have an essential-oils open-air pedicure in specially constructed basins dug into the ground (80 DH for 20 minutes) or bake your own Berber bread in one of three types of clay oven to accompany your breakfast (50DH). Whatever you do, don't miss the seven-plant tea infusion, taken in a garden gazebo or Berber tent, or the boutique, where you can buy the goods. Don't munch on the leaves of the oleander rose; they're pretty on the outside but poisonous on the inside. Two leaves are enough to kill a man.
B.P. 142, Tnine de l'Ourika, Morocco