The Atlas Mountain range is one of the most tranquil and untouched spots in North Africa. Spanning Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, it hosts a broad range of diverse climates, terrains, and wildlife and is dotted with picturesque Berber villages. A perfect location to explore the remote mountain villages of the Berbers or enjoy the view of snow-capped mountain peaks and never-ending valleys, you really can lose yourself in the breathtaking and tranquil Atlas Mountains. The perfect place to find your balance in yoga and relaxation, we have picked out the top 5 best yoga retreats in the Atlas Mountains.
Kasbah Bab OUrika, Marrakech, Morocco
Kasbah Bab OUrika is a beautiful Moroccan retreat located in the stunning Atlas Mountains in Marrakech. Perched on its own hilltop with the beautiful backdrop of the Atlas Mountains beyond, this haven of peacefulness lies just a 35-minute drive from Marrakech International Airport overlooking stunning greenery and the lemon and orange groves beneath.
Appearance-wise, like many buildings in Morocco, this eco-friendly retreat is constructed from pise (rammed earth) using traditional Berber building techniques, blending beautifully into its natural surroundings. Temperatures are therefore naturally regulated with the Kasbah Bab OUrika being wonderfully cool in the Summer months and warm and cosy when chillier. The surrounding grounds are glorious and well maintained making them a wonderful space for relaxing contemplation. Sitting with the warmth of the sun on your skin during the day, you cannot help but be captivated by the snowy peaks around you and at night mesmerised by the stunning sunsets.
The ever so courteous staff are Berbers from the local villages, and from the moment of arrival it is clear that their sole objective is to ensure that all guests are comfortable. The 26 rooms are individually decorated in authentic Berber style – 15 of them located in the main ‘kasbah’ whilst the remainder are dotted throughout the lush gardens. The majority of rooms come with a fireplace but the ones to stay in have to be the rooms in the kasbah’s four towers as they offer double-aspect windows and the most superb wraparound views. The two pool suites also offer excellent views overlooking the valley and are equipped with their own kitchen facilities.
Kasbah Bab OUrika often hosts group activities including yoga, meditation and painting events. As a venue it is also a perfectly suited for special parties, weddings, and corporate events. For those looking to escape from the hustle bustle of daily life, visits to waterfalls and guided walks exploring the local area are not to me missed, whilst days can also be spent quietly reading by the pool or unwinding in the hammam. Tucked away in the gardens you will also discover the Beldi Spa, offering a wide range of massages and treatments for pure relaxation and wellbeing. Of course you can’t beat ending the day gazing at the stars, having enjoyed one of the tastiest and most freshly prepared meals you’ll have the pleasure of experiencing. The charcoal cooked tagine, beautifully served with herbed couscous and organically grown vegetables is amazing and of course, had to be devoured in one of the very best vegetable patches to be found in Morocco – at Kasbah Bab OUrika.
Salama Ayurveda Retreat Center
If you are looking for a ‘get away from it all’ location, the Salama Ayurveda Retreat Center is the place to stay. Located in the middle of the national park Toubkal, it’s easy to get to from Marrakech and a perfect spot for yoga, massages and wellbeing. An intimate resort with 13 simple but comfortable rooms, this small scale retreat offers calmness and purity in a unique location. Meals are served in the restaurant with panoramic views and food is perfectly balanced, healthy and delicious. To top it all off, the owner and staff are super friendly making this retreat a perfect base for relaxing and unwinding or discovering the beauty of the unspoilt Atlas Mountains.
Kasbah du Toubkal
Just 90 minutes from Marrakech, you will find the delightful Kasbah du Toubkal set on a hilltop in the Toubkal National Park. A short walk or mule ride from the village of Imlil, it really is a wonderful location for a yoga and mindfulness retreat with its panoramic views of the mountains, waterfalls and valleys. Days can be spent exploring on daily guided walks, participating in yoga classes (which are suitable for all abilities) and relaxing in their hammam. At mealtimes vegetarian food is served unless otherwise requested, and is of traditionally North African influence adding to the authenticity of this secluded haven.
Tigmi is a perfect desert retreat to relax and be pampered, whether in their very own traditional hammam pool or steam bath. Meaning ‘my house’, it can be found set on the brow of the Berber hamlet of Tagadert offering 24 comfortable rooms, all authentically furnished. Its yoga studio and roof terrace make Tigmi a popular location for yoga and pilates trips held throughout the year. If looking for solitude, you are simply spoilt for choice with plenty of quiet spots for peaceful contemplation; interlocking courtyards and doorways reveal secret terraces and quiet corners, all yearning to be discovered. The gardens are charming and the smell of jasmine quite something else – an absolutely perfect spot to enjoy a nice cold drink with the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains and distant lights of Marrakech beyond.
This gorgeous Berber castle is located on a hilltop and boasts stunning panoramic views of the mountains whilst overlooking the local villages and olive groves. Kasbah Angour has been designed and built by an Englishman who lives in the grounds of the property and runs this fortified styled retreat. Beyond its red earthed walls, you will discover 25 rooms and suites adorned with Moroccan rugs on terracotta floors accompanied by traditional Berber style shuttered windows and ceilings. As well as two hammam to relax in, there are plenty of spacious public areas, a wonderful swimming pool to take a dip in, and beautiful gardens to enjoy. With its many terraces and the conference room facilities, this is a perfect yoga retreat.
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