The Friday flight from Heathrow to Marrakech departs late afternoon. By 9pm, you could be checking in for a late dinner and bed at a palace perched upon a crag that is the most sought-after address in the Atlas (the North African mountain range, that is). The Kasbah du Toubkal is a noble home reborn with imagination and sheer graft. Once-derelict buildings on the edge of a town have been transformed – with meticulous artisan credentials – into a Berber Hospitality Centre that makes Hollywood stars and location scouts drool. This mountain retreat (altitude 1,800m) is base camp for a two-day adventure climbing Toubkal. At 4,167m, this is North Africa’s highest mountain, which you can see clearly from the Kasbah. On Saturday morning, take your time over breakfast: the day’s exertion comprises a gentle ascent to the refuge (a communal hostel) at 3,207m. Along the way, rest beside a creek while lunch is created for you. Dinner is served at the refuge, a jolly occasion though tempered with trepidation about the next day’s climb. At dawn, you begin the long slog to the top. Toubkal beats the Eiger by 200m, but unlike that notable mountain, requires no great technical skill. Depending on the time of year, you may need to use ice picks and crampons. By 9am on Sunday morning, the guide should have coaxed you to the summit. For a few brief moments enjoy the world at your feet before the bitter breeze urges you down. You should be back at the Kasbah in time for a late lunch and at Marrakech airport for the last flight home.
Hours from London: Four
Travel modes: Flight, transfer by four-wheel drive, then leg power
Number of nights away: Two
Double rooms at Kasbah du Toubkal start from €150 (£100) per night including breakfast. Call +212 (0)24 48 56 11 or visit kasbahdutoubkal.com. BA flies to Marrakech from London Heathrow and Gatwick, visit ba.com