HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS & ESSAOUIRA
Escape the heat of Marrakech this summer...
Combine your visit to the High Atlas Mountains with a stay in the coastal town of Essaouira with its cooling Atlantic summer breezes.
Trip reference: KASESC
The High Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas Mountains, which dominate the skyline to the south of Marrakech, have always played an important role for the city, not least with regard to commerce.
With several peaks above 4000 metres, the Western High Atlas is part of a larger chain of mountains that spreads from the Atlantic Coast in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. The mountains are home to the indigenous Berber people who have inhabited Morocco for at least 5000 years. The Berbers live in small clusters of earthen adobe houses which cling precipitously to mountainsides and are often only accessible by mule or foot.
Guests will stay on a half-board basis in our luxury accommodation at Kasbah du Toubkal in the trailhead village of Imlil (just 40 miles from Marrakech, but seemingly a thousand miles from the hubbub and heat of the city!).
Essaouira, which lies approximately 100 miles from Marrakech, is a magical fortified coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. In total contrast to Marrakech, the pace of life here is relaxed and slow. Essaouira was made famous by Orson Welles who filmed Othello here, and more recently by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones who stayed here in the 1960s.
Unlike Marrakech and Fes, there are no single places of major historical note to visit, but Essaouira in itself has become an historic location and is not to be missed. The fishing port creates a lively backdrop to the white painted buildings of the medina. The souk is small when compared to that of Marrakech and easy to stroll around without the need of a guide.
Essaouira is a haven for artists and as such handmade works of art are to be found in abundance. Being a fishing port, fresh fish is readily available and lunch at the port is a must where the day’s catch is cooked in front of you. The wide-sweeping beach offers windsurfing, kite surfing, camel and horse riding and quad bike excursions.