Riders with a background of the valley, Atlas, Morocco

The Riders of Essaouira

This horseback trail ride crosses several landscapes: Argan forests, sand dunes, wild beaches and ocean cliffs offering panoramic views across the ocean. After exhilarating beach rides the trail ends at the little fishing village of Essaouira, famed for it's white alleyways. Morocco as you have never seen it!
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Trail Riding
8 days / 5 riding
From £745
  • Horse riding holiday on the beaches of Essaouira
    Ride into the Atlantic with your horses
  • On horseback on the moroccan beaches
    Explore the stunning sand dunes of Essaouira along the beach
  • Horse riding on the beaches of Morocco
    Long sandy beaches, ideal for fast canters
  • Morocco wild coast and horses
    Following a coastal path
  • Beach riding holiday on horseback in Morocco
    Explore the beautiful city of Essaouira
  • Horse riding on the beaches of Morocco
    Essaouira beach on horseback
  • Horse riding vacation across the beaches of Morocco
    View across the harbour of Essaouira

Itinerary

Highlights

- Ride traditional Moroccan Barb and Arabian stallions which are well schooled and well balanced.
- Temperate climate, particularly pleasant during the summer months.
- Gallops on long deserted beaches. The coastline is known for being windy so is not popular with sunbathers, meaning that the beaches are perfect for riders.
- One night in a riad in the medina of Essaouira with free time to explore the city.
- Two nights in Marrakech to discover the city and its medina
- High level of service whilst camping during the ride
  • Day 1 1 : LONDON - MARRAKECH

    Fint hotel
    International flight to Marrakech from the UK (not included).

    You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you meet the rest of the group over dinner.
    Welcome in the airport and transfer to your hotel.
  • Day 2 2 : MARRAKECH - IMSSOUANE - TISSILA - 2 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    You wil be met in the hotel reception at c. 8am for the road transfer bus to Imssouane (c. 4h30 drive). There you will meet the equestrian team and have lunch. You will then have your first short ride to ensure everyone is happy with their horses. This ride crosses an Argan forest - a typical Moroccan tree famous for its Argan oil - before reaching your campsite at Tissila.

    Please note that this trail may also run in reverse.
  • Day 3 3 : TISSILA - TIMZGUIDA - TAFADNA - 6 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    Today is a long days ride as you meander between the forest and the beach. You continue riding through the Argan forest, passing typical Moroccan villages along the coastline. Ride along the river channel of oueds which is sacred to local Berbers before arriving at Tafadna beach. Camp near to a fishing village.
  • Day 4 4 : TAFADNA - IFTANE - 5-6 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    Start the day by riding along the cliff with only the sea on the horizon. Descend to the beach for lunch and then in the afternoon ride to the tomb of a marabou. Camp is set up on the cliffs of Iftane high above the ocean.
  • Day 5 5 : IFTANE - SIDI KAOUKI - 5 hours riding

    Moroccan Camp
    Todays ride follows narrow paths and pleasant tracks with a succession of beaches and forests before riding through sand dunes. Continue riding inland through more Argan forests until, at the end of the afternoon, arriving on Sidi Kaouki beach for a final fast gallop. Camp on the beach.
  • Day 6 6 : SIDI KAOUKI - GHASSOUAL - ESSAOUIRA - 2 hours riding

    You leave the ocean behind and ride through thuyas woodland to the little city of Ghassoual. After this morning ride there is time for lunch and to say goodbye to your horses nefore being transferred to Essaouira (c. 30 min drive). After settling into your hotel there is free time to explore this city. Dinner is either a the hotel or in a restaurant within the medina with your guide.
  • Day 7 7 : ESSAOUIRA - MARRAKECH

    The morning is again free to explore Essaouira, its harbour and medina. After lunch in Essaouira you transfer back to Marrakech (c. 2h30 drive) for a final night in a hotel and dinner in town.
  • Day 8 8 : MARRAKECH - LONDON

    Transfer to Marrakech airport for your flight back to the UK.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) 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.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 international riders and a maximum of 10 riders, plus guides.

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €300/£260 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 €140/£120.

- 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

Logistic

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

Inland transports

Transfers from the airport if your arrival date/ times match the rest of the group. Otherwise count appr. £15/transfer.
Private bus or Landrover

Accommodation

2 person tents and foam mattress
Double/triple room in hotel standard 3/4* in Marrakech

Meals

Filtered or bottled water
Full board from dinner on day 1 to last breakfast on day 8 (excluding dinner on day 7)

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

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

Transports

International flights

Extra

Small group supplement. See the price details above

Extra

Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Optional

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement (see price details)
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/04/2021 25/04/2021 £840 Open Book now
    25/04/2021 02/05/2021 £840 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/05/2021 16/05/2021 £800 Open Book now
    16/05/2021 23/05/2021 £800 Open Book now
    23/05/2021 30/05/2021 £800 Open Book now
    13/06/2021 20/06/2021 £750 Open Book now
    20/06/2021 27/06/2021 £750 Open Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2021 11/07/2021 £750 Open Book now
    11/07/2021 18/07/2021 £800 Open Book now
    18/07/2021 25/07/2021 £800 Open Book now
    08/08/2021 15/08/2021 £800 Open Book now
    15/08/2021 22/08/2021 £800 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/09/2021 12/09/2021 £800 Open Book now
    12/09/2021 19/09/2021 £800 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 walking on this trail, however there are opportunities to trot and canter each day where the terrain allows. The long beaches with hard sand are perfect for gallops.
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 climate is pleasant, particularly from June to October. Temperatures are cooler along the coast than inland due to ocean winds but it can still be hot and very sunny in summer. Some short storms)can occur.
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.

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

Essaouira : riad/villa with twin or triple rooms, each with private bathroom.

Marrakech : 3 or 4 star hotel with twin or triple rooms.

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.

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

Being a coastal city, Essaouira enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. There are often coastal breezes along the Atlantic coast to cool things down too.
Temperatures are c. 30c during the day in summer and c. 22c in spring and autumn. In winter the wind can make it feel colder,
The sea temperature is usually 20-22c between June 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 Moroccans 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?

During this horseback trail in Essaouira, Morocco you will ride through forests of Argan trees.

The Argan tree is endemic to the semi-desert valleys of Morocco and Algeria and grows up to 8-10metres and can live for 150-200 years. They are thorny with gnarled trunks and small oval leaves. The fruits contain a very hard nut which protects one (and occasionally two or three) small, oil-rich seeds and takes over a year to mature, ripening in the June/July of the following year.

The fruits are harvested once they've fallen and the hard nuts are cracked by hand between two stones to released the seeds. After roasting the seeds they are ground to a paste and then squeezed by hand to extract the oil. This labour-intensive production of Argan oil makes it a luxury item in Morocco.

Argan trees are in decline and their area has decreased by half over the last 100 years. Goats are often seen climbing in the trees, eating their leaves and fruit, which also stunts their growth. The wealth generated by the Argan oil industry has meant that locals can afford to buy more goats, which further destroys the trees. The hard nuts are so resilient that the kernals are collected even after they have passed through the goats, so that they can be cracked open to release the seeds!

You will see many of these trees (and climbing goats!) on your trail ride. Of course, you will also have the opportunity to ride along the beach, which is a memorable experience! 

On the blog

If you have had the opportunity to travel around North Africa, it is very likely you have encountered the local Barb horse. Strong, steadfast, and with a big personality, this breed is at the very centre of our riding holidays in Morocco.

Read more: https://blog.equus-journeys.com/en/post/4/discover-the-barb-horse