Riders exploring the atlas mountain in morroco

Endurance training in Morocco

Only a stone’s throw away from Marrakesh, discover the beauty of Morocco and spectacular views of the Atlas mountains on a special endurance week. Learn what it takes to become a great endurance rider before embarking on your own adventure and taking part in an official race. Travel through this magnificent region and embrace the local Moroccan culture.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Endurance
8 days/ 6 days riding
From £1,100
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Enjoy the superb setting of a comfortable eco-lodge as you stay at the foot of the Atlas Mountains
- Receive high quality training from a professional equestrian team accustomed to endurance racing.
- Take part in an accredited endurance race by the Moroccan Equestrian sports federation
- Discover the varied paths and rolling tracks, perfect for long days in the saddle.
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - MARRAKESH - ATLAS MOUNTAINS

    Lodge
    Day flight to Marrakesh. Your guides will be waiting to greet you at the airport and take you to our eco-lodge in the mountains (45 minutes drive). An introduction to the team, fellow riders and horses before enjoying a welcome lunch on the terrace. Time to relax before dinner. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Marrakesh as you have dinner at the farm restaurant.
  • Day 2 2: ENDURANCE TRAINING - 4 to 5 hours riding

    LODGE
    After breakfast you will be paired with your horse before starting your endurance course. Start your day with a moderate pace as you get to know your horse and work on your endurance position. Enjoy a delicious lunch made up of local produce, before getting back into the saddle. Discover the real thrills of endurance as you vary your pace, and pick up the pace for your afternoon ride. A video session in the evening to help you prepare for the race ahead. Dinner at the lodge restaurant.
  • Day 3 3: ENDURANCE TRAINING - 4 hours riding

    Lodge
    A morning spent in the saddle. Today, you will discover that endurance isn’t just about the riding. An afternoon spent doing cardio GPS practice and vet control simulation, as well as learning the correct way to present your horse in a veterinarian trot up. Dinner at the lodge restaurant.
  • Day 4 4 : ENDURANCE TRAINING - 6 hours riding

    Lodge
    Today will start by resuming the endurance training programme and continue to practice cardio GPS. After lunch, you will head out onto the uneven and varied tracks of the Atlas Mountain to gain an insight into the difficulties of endurance riding. Enjoy the beautiful Moroccan landscape as you ride further into the mountains and surrounding villages. A delicious picnic lunch in a superb setting before delving into the do’s and don’ts of your race strategy! Dinner at the lodge restaurant.
  • Day 5 5 : ENDURANCE TRAINING - 3 to 4 hours riding

    Lodge
    After learning and perfecting the techniques of an endurance race, you will put into practice everything that you have learned and ride out into the Moroccan countryside. Here, you can enjoy the magnificent scenery and the variety of terrain- a perfect landscape to help you prepare for the race. In the evening, you will be joined by your trainers for some final advice before the big day ahead. Dinner at the lodge restaurant.

  • Day 6 6 : ENDURANCE PREPERATION - 3 hours riding

    Lodge
    After breakfast, race preparation is in full flow! A morning of light training and preparation for you and your horse. Teams of horses and competitors arrive throughout the day and settle into the racing village. The atmosphere is spectacular, with a feel of excitement and anticipation for the big day ahead. A debrief given by the federation, before spending an evening with fellow competitors and trainers.
  • Day 7 7 : ENDURANCE RACE

    Lodge
    It's race day! Saddle up and get ready for a spectacular day ahead. 20, 30 or 40km is dependant on each horse and rider. Endurance races in Morocco have been practiced for over ten years now, with many horses qualifying for the 80km races! Start the race on the marked track, veterinary control after the first 20km. Take in the magnificent surrounding scenery as you pick up the pace. At the end of your race, you will put into practice your trot-up techniques and present your horse to the vet for final inspection. Once the horse has been cared for, washed down and given a well deserved feed, the prize giving presentation will begin. An evening of good food and celebrations for your last night in Morocco.
  • Day 8 8 : ATLAS MOUNTAINS - MARRAKESH - EUROPE

    A final breakfast before you wish farewell to the amazing horses and trainers. Transfer to Marrakesh Airport for your return flight back to Europe. If you would like to extend your stay, after lunch transfers are available to Marrakesh city centre. Lunch at an additional cost.

    Extensions can be organised upon request. It is possible to organise a stay in a hotel or riad in Marrakesh or any other city with a tailor-made programme. Please enquire for further information.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room at the lodge.

- The group is composed of international and Moroccan riders. There is no limit to the number of participants although the lodge has a limited number of horses available to international guests.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx €265/£225. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.

- Transfers are included from Marrakesh airport and will be shared with other participants.

- Rider weight limit: 90kg/198lbs/ 14.1 st This is a strict limit as the horses are small and the terrain is demanding. Heavier riders and riders over 1.95m please contact us.

- It is possible to book one or two additional days: Approx €120/£105 per day, per person on the basis of a standard double room.

- Federation license is to be paid locally. This covers the cost of the race. Approx €25/£20. This will be confirmed by the federation on arrival.

- Subject to availability, at a reduced price, it is possible to stay in a Berber tent with a communal toilet block. Please enquire for more details.

- If you would like to extend your trip, all optional activities will be available to book. Payable locally. Approximate cost:
Accro Park Package from €10/€15
Tyrolean and monkey bridge package from €15
Mountain biking from €18
Downhill scooter from €6
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support team

1 English-speaking horse guide
1 backup guide

Logistics

1 vehicle and driver
The team including: groom, cook and trainer
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Transportation

Transfers to and from Marrakesh airport

Accommodation

Lodge room (twin or double, single on request)

Meals

Full board accommodation from lunch on D1 to breakfast on D8

Price doesn't include

Extra

Gratuities to the local team

Meals

Extra drinks and personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Federation license is to be paid locally

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
Visas and personal purchase

Optional

Accommodation

Single supplement - see price details above
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    21/03/2021 28/03/2021 £1,100 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The team of horses is made up of beautifully bred Arab geldings and stallions. They are smaller in size and agile on their feet and have incredible endurance capabilities. They are powerful, fast and sure footed horses that are perfect for endurance riding. Their kind and calm characteristics will give you a safe and comfortable ride over the mountainous paths of Morocco.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This introduction to endurance ride is reserved for experienced riders who are comfortable riding in all three paces and in outdoor open spaces. Open to first time endurance riders who would like to experience endurance riding for the first time.

Rider weight limit: 90kg/198lbs/ 14.1 st

Pace

Depending on your riding ability, fitness and health, the horse’s temperament as well as you being a novice rider or a member of an endurance club, the team will decide what distance you can do: 40 km, 30 km or 20 km. Whatever distance you ride, the team will expect you to finish (well) and at the same time have fun.

Tacking ability and participation

You are expected to groom and tack up your own horse, and to help un-tack and wash them down them after riding. You will also help feed and water your horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle in the sun and at high altitudes. The terrain is varied to include steep ascents/descents and there may be holes to avoid. You need to be able to mount and dismount your horse whilst on rocky paths so as to assist your horse during hard climbs and tricky descents - you will likely be asked to dismount and lead your horse on foot.

Temperatures are cooler in the mountains than in Marrakesh because of the altitude but it can still be hot and very sunny in summer. Please remember than there is always a level of unpredictability when riding in the mountains and you may experience wind, cold or even storms.

Having previous experience of riding a trail of several days is compulsory on this ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces. You also need to be fit enough to walk on foot and lead your horse in the mountains.

You will ride across inhabited valleys and cross desert mountains. The support vehicle may not be able to reach you every day, so please make sure to pack your saddlebags sensibly (water, sunscreen, lip balm). Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.

Equestrian equipment

Our local team uses light-weight, tailor-made saddles. Saddlebags are available.

You will be requested to wear a helmet and we recommend your bring yours.

Travel info

Comfort

A charming lodge surrounded by the open outdoors and spectacular views of Morocco. After a long day in the saddle, you will be happy to relax in the comfort of the lodge.
- Simple lodge (64m2): 1 bedroom, living room with a convertible sofa- bed, bathroom, separate wc, private terrace.
- Double lodge (75m2): 2 bedrooms, living room with a convertible sofa- bed, two bathrooms, and private terrace.
Tented accommodation (comfortable Berber tents) is also available on request (shared bathrooms).

Meals

Moroccan inspired dishes with some French influences. All meals are home cooked and locally sourced. Cold meals will be provided at lunch, with lots of fresh salads and fruits, and hot hearty meals in the evening.
Please try to avoid the use of plastic bottles. We advise you to bring two reusable water bottles with you – the team will refill them for you.
Vegetarian and special diets can be accommodated upon request.

Climate

The Atlas mountains have a typical mountainous climate with cold winters and the rides don't run during the winter months.
During the summer months the mountains offer a good alternative to the heat of the desert or Marrakech. The nights are cool without being cold (9-14c depending on altitude) and the days are usually sunny with temperatures around 25c. In short, the climate is ideal from May to September, with temperatures dropping in March/April and October.

Marrakech has a Mediterranean climate which is usually hot summers and a clear blue sky, with cold winters. The best season to visit this city is Spring/Autumn when the temperatures are pleasant all day (22-30c).

Guide and local team

Abdou Mountassir is has mastered the art of endurance, and is a highly qualified and capable trainer. He is assisted by an excellent team of guides, grooms and endurance experts meaning you will be left in good hands throughout your stay. Abdou speaks little English, but English-speaking riders can rely on his assistant Rachid who speaks really good English and is an enthusiastic guide.

Tips

It is customary, as a sign of thanks to tip the local team. We recommend a tip of €50/ £45, but you should give what you feel comfortable with. We recommend giving the tips to your guide who can distribute them amongst all of the staff members.

Packing list

Head
- Helmets are mandatory on endurance rides. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Light waterproof jacket - the rains are rare but can be difficult to foresee
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for non-riding trips
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend comfortable riding boots with profiled soles with half chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots or shoes with a leather sole.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- PJs

Other useful items
- Camel back for the longer endurance rides
- Swimsuit
- Sarong (for going to/from showers)
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch
- Waterbottles

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and limited to 20kgs.
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Evenings are nice and relaxed, and long sleeves and light trousers are recommended to avoid mosquitoes!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance details with you.

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. Some toiletries are provided by the camps so you can pack lighter.

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Visa & Health

Formalities

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the valid visa requirements for entry.
We will endeavour to keep this section up to date, but please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/morocco.htm l (US citizens) or https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco/entry-requirements (UK citizens) for further information.

To enter Morocco, a passport valid for the duration of your stay is required by all British, American, Canadian and EU nationals. However, the Moroccan Consulate General in London advise that your passport should be valid for at least 3 months on your date of entry to Morocco. If your passport does not meet this requirement you may face difficulties and you should check with the Moroccan authorities and your travel provider before travelling.

Passport note:
You should ensure that your passport is stamped when you enter the country. Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Morocco. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Visas
Visas are not required by British, American, Canadian and EU nationals for stays in Morocco of up to three months.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade du Maroc
    5, rue Le Tasse
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.45.20.69.35
    Fax :
    info@amb-maroc.fr
  • Ambassade de France au Maroc
    1 rue Aguelmane Sidi Ali Agdal BP 602
    Rabat - Chellah

    Tél. : +212 5 37 27 66 00
    Fax : +212 5 37 27 67 11
    webmestre@ambafrance-ma.org
  • Moroccan Consulate
    Diamond House
    97-99 Praed Street, Paddington
    W2 1NT London
    Tél. : +44 020 7724 0624
    Fax :

Health

There are no legal requirements regarding vaccinations. Still, it's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Morocco. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also both hepatitis A as well as typhoid would be recommended.
Malaria is very rare and present only in a few remote areas. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

127/220 volts AC, 50Hz, depending on age and location of building. Plugs usually have two round pins or the standard three pin UK.

Budget and money

The official currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). One dirham is equivalent with 100 santimat (singular: santim).
• Banknotes 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 dirham
• Coins 1, 5, 10, 20 santimat; ½, 1, 2, 5, and 10 dirham

Telephone and jetlag

The telephone dialling code is +212.
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good in towns and cities, and across the west of Morocco, but a little more erratic east and further south.

Time zone: GMT