A day trip from Marrakech

Recently we posted about a day trip from Fez that takes you into Berber country and some wonderfully inexpensive carpet buying. Several readers wrote and asked us about other trips, so today we head south from Marrakech, across the plain and up through the foothills of the High Atlas.

There are several fine Berber market towns and hamlets such as Asni and Moulay Brahim, but our destination is a lunch in very beautiful surroundings just a 90 minute drive from Marrakech.

La Roseraie at Ouirgaine is surrounded by 50 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the main attraction being the roses. The best time is April and May, but the roses are in bloom through to December. The air at 3000 ft is sweet from the scent of roses and the hotel encircled by forests, snow-topped peaks and rugged valleys. There is accomodation so if you are interested in trekking, horse riding or bird-watching or if you are an artist, gardener or seclusion-seeker you will think you have arrived in heaven.

La Roseraie has 40 cottage-style rooms and suites, all with bathroom, patio leading into the gardens and some junior suites with an open wood-burning fireplace. There are 4 swimming pools (1 indoor and 3 outdoor) and 2 tennis courts. Meals are served on the shaded terrace or the indoor restaurant.

La Roseraie Riding Centre

The well established riding centre at La Roseraie has superb Arab horses which guests can ride by the hour or by the day or with a local guide into the surrounding countryside, spending one to five nights in simple Berber houses en route.

La Roseraie Health Centre

With the emphasis on healthy living, this facet of La Roseraie offers its guests the use of an heated indoor pool, jacuzzi, hammam, sauna and fitness equipment together with staff specialising in facial and body treatments in Shiatsu massage, reflexology, hydro-jet massage and hammam with manicure and pedicure

We went for a day trip and a delightful lunch, but obviously it is a place one could stay for a while. Phone ahead for reservation or more info. 08707 - 406 306