Winter Sunshine on Morocco’s Cosmopolitan Coast
5 Aug 2016
- Relax on Essaouira’s golden sands, surf and windsurf; or enjoy camel rides
- Combine time on spectacular beaches with exploring the medina (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Relax at Le Jardin des Douars’ hammam and spa and in the outdoor heated pools
- Stay in a traditional Moroccan terracotta building with private outdoor space at Le Jardin Des Douars
- Direct flights from London in 3.5 hours or connect from Marrakech in 3 hours
Essaouira is a dream destination and still relatively unknown as a winter sunshine spot. It has spectacular beaches, great azure sea and perfect conditions for water sports such as surfing and windsurfing, along with a cosmopolitan, developed medina, making this a hot destination for winter breaks.
An independent hotel set in botanical gardens, Le Jardin des Douars is the perfect base to experience Moroccan hospitality, offering privacy and easy access to the beach and medina.
The laid-back vibe of Essaouira with year-round sunshine, means a holiday here will tick all the boxes particularly for independent travellers who want to discover the real Morocco. With many new restaurants, shops and galleries rubbing shoulders with traditional traders, visitors are spoilt for choice.
Made up of a series of traditional terracotta Moroccan countryside buildings, Le Jardin des Douars offers a unique setting. There are just 28 bedrooms, suites and luxury villas; all with their own outdoor space, making it a truly relaxing retreat. The hotel’s three dining areas have great views (you can also dine alfresco). Le Jardin des Douars also features a couples-only restaurant. Le Jardin des Douars has two outdoor heated pools overlooking stunning tropical planting.
Guests can also experience the hammam and spa, located in its own terracotta building surrounded by the botanical gardens. Open until 8pm daily this is the place to enjoy the traditional hammam ritual, with products containing organic Argan oil, sourced locally from the Sidi Yassine area. A selection of other spa treatments are also available including massages and facials. The spa also has its own boutique selling beauty products and fashion items by local designers.
Filled with history, arts and adventure, the medina in Essaouira is super-relaxed. The ‘fashionable’ places to visit include:
– Mega Loft – Popular for its night-time live music, this restaurant is full of unique furniture pieces and local art
– Gipsy Surfer – A fashion and beach concept store offering surf boards, beachwear and fashion accessories
– Galerie Damgaard – Showcasing Essaouira’s artists since 1988, where visitors can buy pieces by local makers including those of Arab and Berbere cultures
– Ocean Vagabond Restaurant – A buzzy, beachside restaurant serving local Moroccan dishes
Essaouira’s sunshine and windy climate in the winter make it an ideal destination to enjoy surfing, wind surfing and kite surfing. Expect waves of between one and three metres. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Essaouira’s beach is Golf de Mogador. Designed by Gary Player, the newly launched 18- and 13- hole courses have been beautifully integrated into the natural landscape. Open daily, the two courses are ideal for professionals and beginners.
Flying to Essaouira from the UK recently got easier, with direct flights between London Luton and Essaouira. Visitors can also arrive via Marrakech and travel by road to Essaouira. Several coach companies operate many daily connections between the two cities in under three hours.
B&B priced from around £100 per room, per night in a ‘Relax’ room and from £180.00 per suite and from £390.00 in a villa
easyJet fly between London Luton and Essaouira twice per week on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Essaouira airport is located 15 minutes from Le Jardin des Douars and a shuttle service is available. Marrakech is about three hours from Essaouira by coach or less by car.