From the horse’s mouth
The Riders of Essaouira
- 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 - MARRAKECHLes 3 Palmiers hotelInternational 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 ridingMoroccan CampYou 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 ridingMoroccan CampToday 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 ridingMoroccan CampStart 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 ridingMoroccan CampTodays 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 ridingYou 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 - MARRAKECHLes 3 Palmiers hotelThe 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 - LONDONTransfer to Marrakech airport for your flight back to the UK.
Dates & prices
- 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. €450/£390/$480 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/$135.
- Rider weight limit: 90 kilos, 14st1lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.
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.
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 vehicle and driver
Private bus or Landrover
Double/triple room in hotel standard 3/4* in Marrakech
Full board from dinner on day 1 to last breakfast on day 8
Price doesn't include
Beverages (except during the trek) and personal extras
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 16/04/2023 23/04/2023 £895 €1,054 $1,110 Guaranteed departure Book now 23/04/2023 30/04/2023 £895 €1,054 $1,110 Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 21/05/2023 28/05/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 28/05/2023 04/06/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 02/07/2023 09/07/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 09/07/2023 16/07/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 06/08/2023 13/08/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 13/08/2023 20/08/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 20/08/2023 27/08/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 27/08/2023 03/09/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 03/09/2023 10/09/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Open Book now 10/09/2023 17/09/2023 £860 €1,013 $1,066 Guaranteed departure Book now
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
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.
Please note that canters are always in single file due to the fact you are riding stallions.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
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.
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.
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.
Water is provided but you should bring your own bottle.
Special diets can be accommodated, however please note that some foods can be difficult to find in Morocco. Certain diets may incur a supplement (gluten-free diets can be accommodated at a supplementary charge of €100/£90/$110 for instance). All dietary requirements must be specified at the time of booking.
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
-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
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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 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
Tél. : 01.45.20.69.35
- 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
- Moroccan Consulate
97-99 Praed Street, Paddington
W2 1NT London
Tél. : +44 020 7724 0624
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.
Budget and money
• Banknotes 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 dirham
• Coins 1, 5, 10, 20 santimat; ½, 1, 2, 5, and 10 dirham
Telephone and jetlag
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
Read more: https://blog.equus-journeys.com/en/post/4/discover-the-barb-horse