This kasbah (fortress) is only 45 minutes from Marrakech. But, having swapped the frenetic, raucous souks for these gape-inducing views across the Ourika Valley and Atlas Mountains, you’ll wonder if the city even existed at all. Up on its romantic hilltop throne and bathed in sunlight all day, Bab Ourika is a exercise in serenity. The vistas are of red rocks and orange trees; of ochre-coloured hamlets and Berbers pummelling olive trees. Further off, green cedes to yellow and the Sahara begins. Eventually there’s a spectacular sunset, and then an endless blanket of stars takes over.
The 15 individually-decorated rooms have earthy textiles, local wooden furniture and famously comfy beds. Most have their own terrace, too. The four categories range from Superior Rooms up to Deluxe Suites (one with a pool) which suit larger groups.
Making full use of one of Morocco’s finest vegetable patches plus produce from nearby villages, Bab Ourika’s chef offers both Moroccan and international cuisine. The menu changes daily, and even breakfast is brilliant – particularly those spicy Berber omelettes. Meals can be served in the terraced gardens, the courtyard or the colonnaded restaurant. There’s also a secluded swimming pool and Wi-Fi.
MORE INFO: Exploring the valley is a must. As well as easy walks and scenic picnics, Bab Ourika can arrange various mule-supported treks, including to the remote Salt National Park. The Monday market at nearby Tnine Ourika is also well worth seeing.
For your Atlas mountain holiday at the Bab Ourika, call 01672 500555 to discuss your plans.