Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Modernity isn't a big thing in the mountains south of Marrakech, where Berber culture is strong, and tourism mainly confined to trekkers. Two specific draws are the snaking road south to Taroudannt; and Imlil, Asni and Aremd, the Berber villages en route to the highest peak, the Djebel Toubkal. But sights aren't what the High Atlas is about – it's the views. Almond blossom at Ouirgane; winter snow at Ouïkaimeden; wild nature and traditional villages all year round.

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Areas in Atlas Mountains

Do Go/Don’t go

There's skiing of a kind in Oukaïmeden in winter, though good snow isn't guaranteed. Trekking is best in spring when the almond blossom is particularly lovely. The cooler temperatures in autumn make this a good time too. High summer is still a good time for the mountains, unless you're intending to climb Mount Toubkal.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Fly into Marrakech with BA, Air France or Royal Air Maroc. EasyJet starts daily flights from Gatwick in July.
  • Automobiles

    This is 4x4 country, and you'll pay up to MAD1,000 a day for a Suzuki or a Mitsubishi, though you're probably better off hiring a mule for the day unless you're used to the dirt roads. The best way to get out to the High Atlas is in one of the big Merc 'grands taxis'.
  • Taxis

    A 'grand taxi' will take up to six – explain first if you don't want to share with other parties. Establish a price for your trip before you set off.

Aman Room at Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains

Aman Room at Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains

Hide away within the walls of Kasbah Tamadot: you'll spend your days wandering its peaceful courtyards and intriguing stairways, exploring its glorious grounds and taking it its heavenly High Atlas views. Our top pick of the compound's deluxe suites is the antique-packed Aman Room, with its roomy terrace and private pool…

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African Room 1 at Heure Bleue, Essaouira

African Room 1 at Heure Bleue, Essaouira

Built into the medina walls, Heure Bleue hotel is an oasis of luxe in laid-back, countercultural Essaouira, the one-time playground of the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. Dotted with carvings and draped with fabrics, seductive African Room has a spacious king-size bed and black marble ensuite, as well as a fabulous fireplace – ideal for heating up windswept Essaouira nights.

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

From gentle exertions like cycling between the vineyards around Hôtel Crillon le Brave, to brow-dampening hikes in the Atlas Mountains near Kasbah du Toubkal, we know activity-packed places to appeal to every type of adventurer. Thrill seekers might consider the Alps: bathed in summer sun, they're a playground for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and white-water rafters. Alpaga makes for a tranquil base to rest up afterwards. Those of a more leisurely persuasion might prefer to mount a steed and see the White Isle's wilder side on horseback – rustic retreat Can Curreu in Ibiza has its own stables. And if Sweden's big-kid-thrilling Treehotel can't make you fall in love with the outdoors, nothing can. 

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