Riders with a background of the valley, Atlas, Morocco
Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains

An exciting horseback trail ride in the midst of the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Riding courageous stallions, cross the most mountainous landscapes of Morocco, discovering high plateaus and forgotten valleys. Reaching heights of 3,400m this riding trail takes you away from the sultry heat of the desert.
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Trail Riding
8 days / 6 riding
From £670
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    Ride powerful horses, most of them stallions
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    Spectacular views across the mountains
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    Surveying the countryside
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    Riding back into the traditional villages of Morocco
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    Riding in the beautiful Atlas mountains
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    Stunning scenery during your trail ride
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    Riding in the remote Atlas Mountains
  • Horseback trail ride through the High Atlas Mountains
    Ready for the evening at Camp

Itinerary

Highlights

- The contrasting landscapes of the High Atlas : green valleys, dry plateaus, red mountains, snowy peaks and dense woodland
- Immersion in the heart of the Berber culture : beautiful villages and traditional farming
- Mobile trail on traditional Moroccan Barb stallions which are well trained
- Panoramic views over the High Atlas from the mountain paths.
- High level of service whilst camping during the ride (dinner tent, shower tent, toilet tent)
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - MARRAKECH - TAHANAOUT

    International flight to Marrakech from Europe.

    Welcome in the airport and transfer to the first foothills of the High Atlas just beside the Toubkal National Park (30mn drive). You will be settled into your ecological lodge where is situated the horse stable. The place is made with and for local population, with an exceptional panorama over villages and on the peak summits of mountains. You will have dinner with the other riders, then, if you want, you can admire the stars and Marrakech lights.
  • Day 2 2 : TAHANAOUT - ASFLALA - 3-4 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    Today, you will meet the team and your horse. After a short ride to ensure everyone is happy, depart for High Atlas. You will follow a trail along the crests of red ground until reaching your campsite close to the Berber village of Catulte.
  • Day 3 3 : ASFLALA - TINZERTE - 5-6 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    This morning, continue on the same trail and then climb by mule path up to the Kik Plateau. From the plateau you should have impressive views of the High Atlas, with some peaks towering above 4000 meters. A panorama of 360° will reveal the Toubkal Mountain Massif, the valleys and crevasses of Amezmiz valley, Takerkoust lake and houses following the slope of the mountain and blending into the landscape. Stop for a picnic lunch after the Tizi N'ousaud path.

    After lunch, descend on a trail through a wood of thuyas and green oak. Camp near Tinzerte village at a height of c. 1300m.
  • Day 4 4 : TINZERTE - TIZIANE - 5 hours riding

    Today you ride through the Tassa Ouirgane valley until reaching Oued Azaden, one of the most beautiful valleys of the Toubkal massif. This area shelters some of the most amazing Berber villages in the High Atlas. You will have lunch on the banks of the river in Azerfssane.
    In the afternoon, continue along the Azzadne valley on mountain paths before reaching the village of Tiziane. Here you spend the night in a local gite/shelter.
  • Day 5 5 : TIZIANE - TACHDIRT - 6 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    A tough morning for your horse as you ascend the N'Oudile path up to 2100m before dropping down to the Matate village at 2000m, deep within the scenic Ghighaya valley. Picnic on the banks of the river in Aguerssiwal.
    Back in the saddle you follow the Aguerssiwal path (1500m) and then ride along the magnificent valley of Imnane where villages hang from foothills of Toubkal - Tachdirt at 2350m is the highest Berber village in the Atlas range.
  • Day 6 6 : TACHDIRT - IFGHANE - 5-6 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    Another day of climbing as you follow a track to Tizi N'Addi at 3400m high up. This high point of the ride offers a stunning panorama over all the High Atlas, including the summit of Toubkal - at 4167m this mountain is the highest in North Africa. Ride across the Oukaïmeden plateau at 2800m and then descend through the Houze plain until reaching your campside near to the village of Ifghane.
  • Day 7 7 : IFGHANE - TAHANAOUT - 5 hours riding

    Your last day on the trail takes you in the direction of Asni along a track through a wood of oaks and junipers. Your picnic lunch is taken in the shade of pine trees alongside theDjebel Choucht. There is a chance for a final canter along pleasant tracks until reaching the stables and lodge. Settle into your room before your farewell dinner.
  • Day 8 8 : TAHANAOUT - MARRAKECH - EUROPE

    Time to say goodbye to the team and horses before being transferred back to Marrakech airport for your flight home.

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/tent during the ride. 

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 international riders and a maximum of 12 riders.

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €280/£245 per person. Once the group has reached 3 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of €120/£105.

- Rider weight limit: 90 kilos, 14st1lbs.  Heavier riders please contact us. 
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 groom and horse guide assistant

Logistic

1 vehicle and driver
1 cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transports

Airport transfers from Marrackech
Private bus or Landrover

Accommodation

Double/ triple or quadruple room in Guesthouses
2 people in a 3 man tent
Double room in hotel standard 3/4*

Meals

Full board from first diner D1 to last breakfast D8 except dinner on D7
Filtered or bottled water

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages (except during the trek) and personal extras
Dinner not included on day 7
Lunches not included on day 1 and day 8 depending on your departure time

Transports

International flights

Extra

Small group supplement. See above the price details.

Extra

Tips to local team

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

Optional

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    21/06/2020 28/06/2020 £690 Open Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/07/2020 12/07/2020 £690 Open Book now
    12/07/2020 19/07/2020 £755 Open Book now
    19/07/2020 26/07/2020 £755 Open Book now
    23/08/2020 30/08/2020 £755 Open Book now
    30/08/2020 06/09/2020 £755 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/06/2021 04/07/2021 £670 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2021 11/07/2021 £670 Open Book now
    25/07/2021 01/08/2021 £740 Open Book now
    01/08/2021 08/08/2021 £740 Open Book now
    22/08/2021 29/08/2021 £740 Open Book now
    29/08/2021 05/09/2021 £740 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/09/2021 12/09/2021 £740 Open Book now
    12/09/2021 19/09/2021 £740 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are all Barb Arabs or Arabian stallions. They are tough and keen but sensible and sure-footed across the varied terrain. As they are stallions, they do need be handled with softness and you do have to maintain distance from the other riders, but they are well schooled. Their average height is 15 hands.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a competent rider, capable and in control in all paces. You must be able to rise to the trot and canter in a forward seat. It is also important to be a confident rider as you will be riding stallions.

Please note that the horses are only c. 15hh so if you weigh over 90kg or are taller than 6ft 5inches then please contact us before booking so that we can check there is a suitable mount for you.

Pace

There is a lot of walkong on this trail because of the mountainous landscape, however there are opportunities to trot and canter each day where the terrain allows.
Please note that canters are always in single file due to the fact you are riding stallions.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking up and untacking your horse each day whilst out on the trail. It would also be appreciated if you could help with camp tasks such as putting up tents or watering and feeding the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle (c. 6 hours) in the African 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. Temperatures are cooler in the mountains than in Marrakech 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 would be an advantage but it is not compulsory. Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the 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.

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

Forestier trail riding saddles and comfortable tack.
Saddlebags are provided.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

The first and last night are spend in an ecological lodge, either in twin rooms or Berber style tents with shared bathrooms.
Whilst camping, you stay in two person tents with mattresses (you must bring your own sleeping bag). There is a communal tent for dining, a shower tent with hot water (morning/evening) and a toilet tent.
One night is spent in a gite/shelter in a twin or quadruple room with shared shower and toilet.

Meals

A cook travels with you and prepares all of the meals. You will usually have a cold lunch and a hot evening meal when camping. Meals are typical Moroccan cuisine.
One bottle of water is provided per person each day but you may wish to take some micropur or similar purification tablets with you in case you require more than this.

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

You will be guided by local Moroccan's who are familiar with the horses and the landscape. They will be accompanied by grooms. At least one of the guides will speak English but the grooms may only speak French and Arabic.

Tips

It is customary to tip the local team as a gesture of thanks and we would recommend c. £30 for the week, but you should give what you feel is right.

Packing list

Head
-Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and 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 dust
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- 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 lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps as long chaps/long boots can get very hot.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in, or a t-shirt and shorts for warmer nights
- A woolly hat when camping (desert nights can be cold)
- Sleeping bag - we recommend a comfort factor of 2-5c (Oct-Nov and Feb-April) and minus 5 - minus 8 for Dec/Jan. We also recommend taking a silk or fleece liner for an extra layer

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- 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!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit
- Towel. Camping towels will pack lighter and dry more easily
- Sarong (for going to/from the shower tent)
- Water bottle (1.5 litre or two x 1 litre)
- Hand sanitiser
- Wet wipes for when showers aren't possible
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night
- Toilet paper and small plastic bags for taking rubbish away

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.
- Small penknife

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

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Rehydration sachets (dioralyte or similar)
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets

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

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Atlas mountains stretch 1,600 miles across north-western Africa, through Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The mountain range seperates the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans from the Sahara desert and its highest peak is Jebel Toubkal at 4,167 metres.

The Atlas mountains are inhabited by Berbers - an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. Historically they spoke Berber languages but when the French invaded northern Africa they were forced to speak French and forbidden access to other languages. Despite this there are still 25-30million Berber speakers in North Africa, but the number of ethnic Berbers including non-Berber speakers is much greater. Well-known modern Berbers include Zinedine Zidane - the French-born international football star of Algerian Kabyle descent.

Berber's are nomadic or semi-nomadic, following the cycle of grazing with the their livestock. Traditionally men take care of the livestock whilst women look after the family and weave. Each tribe has it's own appearance/distinctiveness within their woven tapestries or kilims, with most having a wide variety of stripes and some also including geometric patterns. The Moroccan kilims often include extra decoration such as sequins or fringes.

You will ride past Berber villages and meet local Berber people on all our horseback rides in the Atlas mountains.