· Combine time on the beach and in the UNESCO World Heritage Site medina
· Essaouira officially has around 320 days of sunshine per year, ideal for winter sun breaks
· Le Jardin des Douars is Essaouira’s leading hotel located in a botanical garden
· Ryanair launch London Stansted flights on Tuesdays & Saturdays from 29th October
· Stay 3 nights or more and save 15% throughout November and December* 2019
Essaouira is like nowhere else in Morocco. One only needs to look at the airport’s arrivals board to see that the airport is only open a few days each week currently with direct flights to Paris and Brussels. London will once again be added to the arrivals board from late October with Ryanair adding London Stansted flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Located on Morocco’s Atlantic west coast, Essaouira has always been a free-spirited destination. Jimi Hendrix helped elevate this destination in the 60s but artists have always been drawn to the city’s light and laid-back ambiance. More recently the hit television show Game of Thornes also filmed here. But it is the people who have chosen to invest in Essaouira that have really elevated this to a unique desired destination. Visitors won’t see many high-rise hotels but will discover local hip restaurants and bars in the cosmopolitan medina. This is a destination where visitors will encounter both bikinis and boards on the beach before walking over to the medina. All this just 12 minutes away from Jardin des Douars in its exclusive location in the hills overlooking the Ksob River.
Art Meet artists in their studios in Essaouira. Most of the artists are local and self-taught inspired over the years by the light and beauty. The Galerie Damgaard, located at the gates of the medina, showcases Arab and Berbere cultures with a creative power of gesture, wide variety of themes and plenty of jubilant colour.
Beach In the winter visitors can stroll or take part in water sports and in the warmer months the sun beats all day. The medina is a short walk away meaning visitors can break away from the heat for a walk. Ocean Vagabond on the beach in Essaouira, is one of the coolest and most affordable places to dine whilst watching the waves. The laid-back terrace is the perfect backdrop after a day learning to kite surf. Ocean Vagabond offer several kite surf options.
Botanical Garden Le Jardin des Douars is located inside a botanical garden with views of argan-studded hills. There are many varieties of tropical trees and plants. Maybe visitors will spot the various phoenix canariensis or the butia capitata, callistermon linearis or the sabal pamettos. If these are hard to find just ask one of the many gardeners. Look out for the resident tortoises and peacock.
Eco Retreats Nature may not be the first thing that springs to mind when planning a visit to Essaouira. But, Essaouira is home to the famous Argan trees found across forests just inland from the Atlantic coast. The Argan is a true symbol of the region surrounding Essaouira. Southwest Morocco produces this highly prized oil which is extracted from nuts and these have been used across the world in beauty products and spa treatments. How about finding out about the origins of the Argan tree and exploring the Moroccan countryside?
Food Visitors can try Atlantic catches at Essaouira's fish souq whilst also sampling traditional Moroccan tajines across this cosmopolitan city. The medina includes traditional and new dining ventures, showcasing both the city's location by the sea and the country's freshest produce at local markets. Restaurateurs head to the port each day to get fresh fish. At Jardin des Douars guests can eat in the main dining room, a more intimate 'couples' dining room or alfresco on the terrace.
Hammam Jardin des Douars is home to a hammam and spa where treatments are offered using Argan oils. Le Jardin des Douars offers a varied hammam and spa treatment list not typical of most hotels, the Argan oil used is local and organic. Treatments include the Skin exfoliation Hammam with Smimou Salt and Argan Oil.
Medina The walled medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here visitors will discover the most laid-back medina in Morocco, compared to larger towns and cities. Combined with traditional craftsmen and women creating authentic Moroccan pieces on sale in many stalls and shops, guests will also experience many contemporary new restaurants, shops and galleries. Essaouira's medina is smaller than those in other Moroccan cities meaning guests can explore and shop without getting lost. A great place on Rue al Yeman is Mega Loft, popular for its night-time live music, this large restaurant is full of unique furniture items and local art.
Music The Gnaoua & World Music Festival takes place each June. This annual contemporary music festival welcomes a diverse selection of artists for four days. The vibrant festival spills out across the town with street performances. One of Morocco's most popular music events.
Water Sports Aside from kite surfing, visitors can try Stand Up Paddle, Windsurfing and Surfing. Expect waves of between one and three metres. The beach is also the place to ride a camel or horse or simply relax and take a walk towards the medina. Beginners welcome as are families.
Independently owned and family-run Le Jardin des Douars offers luxurious yet affordable accommodation nestled in the heart of the Essaouira hills only 12 minutes by shuttle to the medina. The botanical garden setting further adds to the attraction of this hideaway. There are 19 bedrooms and 6 suites in total and three luxury villas with their own heated swimming pools. The hotel's facilities include two outdoor heated pools, three dining areas including a large open plan restaurant, a ‘couples’ dining room and alfresco dining on the terrace. Other facilities include a hammam and spa and a shuttle service.
Re-discover paradise this autumn and beyond on the Atlantic coast, just 3 hours from the UK.
www.jardindesdouars.com B&B priced from around £115 per room, per night or £500 per villa, per night.
15% OFF - 3rd November – 21st December package - Save 15% on 3-night stays or more
Travel Information: Ryanair fly between London Stansted and Essaouira twice per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays starting 29th October. Essaouira airport is located 15 minutes from Le Jardin des Douars and a shuttle service is available. Marrakech is about three hours away.