Essaouira riding holiday in Morocco - Far and Ride
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Essaouira, Morocco




Programme


• Knights of Essaouira

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Barb Arabian stallions

Nature of horses:

Sure-footed, gentle, individual. All are stallions but well handled and well mannered. Some are suitable for nervous riders.

Height of horses:

15 - 16 hh

Weight limit:

90kg / 14 stone

Tack type:

English or Icelandic saddles with English bridles. Bits are either snaffles, Pelhams or Spanish, depending on the horse.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

Essaouira is a coastal town about two-thirds of the way down Morocco on the Atlantic ocean. Powerful trade winds and currents ensure that Essaouira remains an important fishing port and has also made the town very popular amongst kite surfers and wind surfers. The area is also important in argan oil production, and the sight of goats climbing the argan trees is unique to the region.

Our horse-riding trails take you inland and away from the coast, into the mountains and Berber villages which are scattered along the hillsides and through the valleys. The circular route returns you to the coast so that you can experience the wide sandy beaches and cliff tops for yourself.

Riding local Berber stallions, which are not castrated in line with local tradition, you will discover agricultural fields, forests of argan trees, sand dunes and the thrill of galloping down the beach.

Your hosts are French Moroccan and consider their horses to be members of their family. They aim to introduce you to the culture of their country as well as their horses and will provide authentic Moroccan meals freshly prepared by their chef.

These trails are camping based and you spend each night in a different location. You can choose to camp as the locals do, sharing one large 4m x 4m tent, or to take a smaller tent and sleep within your own space.

Trails can be scheduled to suit for groups or you can choose to join a trail which already has people booked onto it.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Whilst on the trails you will be camping. The camps have a shower with hot water and a chemical toilet. There is a kitchen tent for the cook and larger tent for dining in. Tents suitable for 1-2 persons are provided along with mattresses but you will need to bring your own sleeping bags.

Camp moves location each night so you experience different locations along the trail.

Meals are prepared by the cook who aims to show you the culture and local food of the area. Fresh traditional Moroccan food is prepared daily.

Vegetarians and some special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.

Breakfast is usually coffee/tea with breads and jams.
Lunch will include various salads with fish or meat skewers.
Dinner will begin with soup and include tagines or special Moroccan dishes with couscous. There is often fruit to finish.
Snacks of mixed nuts and chocolates are also on offer.

Water is provided but you will need to bring with you any other drinks you would like - either buy them locally or duty-free. Alcohol cannot be supplied for you, so you must ensure you bring this with you, but some soft drinks can be bought by the time and brought out to camp for you.

 

Activities

Our itinerary is purely for riders, but there is plenty to do in Morocco for any non-riding friends or partners that wish to join you. Our partners can help you arrange camel riding day trips as well as quad biking days or even hiking tours of a few days.

 

Further Details

Languages: French, English, Arabic

Health requirements: General good health and fitness.

Age limit: Children of 12 years and older provided they are good riders and used to riding horses - there are no ponies. Under 18's must wear helmets.

Tuition: No

Included: Airport transfers, riding, meals on the trail, water.

Not included: Flights, insurance, sleeping bag, meals before/after the trail, drinks other than water

 

Travel Information

You can fly directly to Essaouira with EasyJet from London Luton, or indirectly from a number of other UK airports, routing through other airports in Europe, particularly France.

If you cannot find suitable flights to Essaouira then it is possible to arrive into Marrakesh or Agadir instead, but the transfer is much longer.

Airport: Essaouira

Alternative Airport: Agadir (Al Massira)

 

Programme


Knights of Essaouira



A circular trail through argan forests, gorges, valleys and fields, taking you down to the beach and along the Atlantic coast. Pass through berber villages, experience the local rural way of life and camp in remote but beautiful spots. 

Day One:

Arrive in Essaouira and transfer to your riad to overnight. Depending on the time of your arrival you may be able to explore the town a little. Have dinner with your guide and fellow riders (to own account).

Day Two:

After breakfast, transfer c. 15mins to Diabat where you meet your horses. Set off riding along a river (Ksob oued) surrounded by abundant vegetation. Pass through the village of El Ghazoua and enter the largest forest of argan trees in the area, which extends from Essaouira to Agadir. Stop for a picnic lunch on the banks of a river under the shade of the argan trees. In the afternoon, continue riding through forest, going up and down some hills in the direction of Ida Ou Gourd where you may see some traditional berber houses and fields. After a brisk canter along the paths you reach your first camp near the ruins of an old sugar factory constructed from mud and straw. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day Three:

Set off riding through a small village and follow broad paths bordered by argan trees and fields. At certain times of year you may see donkeys or oxen ploughing the fields. Upon reaching a charming valley you will ascend a path up a small mountain where you stop for lunch with beautiful views of the valley. In the afternoon, cross a mountainous area and a splendid plateau covered in pasture and cultivated fields, heading towards Neknafa. Ride along Zerrar dam and lake before reaching your camp at Aintizeril.

Day Four:

An early start as this is the longest day on horseback. Start by climbing a mountain and passing through a river bed and 'marabout' - small berber village located on top of a mountain. There are lots of opportunities for canters along the paths bordered by fields, before returning to walk to descend the mountain. A final canter will take you to a village where there is water for the horses to drink whilst you have lunch. In the afternoon you ride through gorges, canyons and fields towards Argana where camp is set up - here you can visit a female argan oil cooperative and learn about how the oil is produced. 

Day Five:

Ride past a small Berber village and then cross a plateau between two small hills alongside the coast. In the middle of the valley you will find a spring where you stop for lunch. Another afternoon of riding along paths bordering fields, until late in the day, you get your first incredible view of the sea. Arrive at a small village of fishermen (Ifthane) and ride along the beach, taking the horses to splash in the water. After a good gallop along the beach, ride up onto the cliffs where camp is located. 

Day Six:

Ride through fields and coastal villages in the direction of Sidi Embark where you stop for lunch - there is the possibility to swim here, either in the waterfalls or the sea. After lunch there is another fantastic gallop along the deserted beach and through the sad dunes. Pass through another fishing village to reach camp in the early afternoon, which is located on one of the beaches near Sidi Kaouki. In good weather it may be possible to swim the horses (May-September). 

Day Seven:

After breakfast in front of the sea, ride towards Diabat along the beaches. Pass the small lighthouse at Cap Sim and leave the beaches behind to cross the dunes and enter a forest of eucalyptus and mimosa. In the late afternoon you will arrive back in Diabat, passing the ruins of the Sultan's palace before you reach the stables. Say goodbye to your horses and camp team before transferring back to Essaouira and your riad to overnight.

Day Eight:

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home.  



Accommodation: 2 nights in a riad in Essaouira and five nights camping.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 12
Ability description: You should be a capable rider, comfortable in all paces and fit for some long hours in the saddle.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 7 nights / 6 days riding
Departure dates: On request
 
Pricing: 2018:

£668 per person sharing

Transfers from Essaouira airport: £57 per person return (min 2)
Transfers from Marrakech/Agadir airport: £97 per person return (min 2)

Single supplement: £97 incl. transfers from Essaouira airport
Single supplement: £158 incl. transfers from Marrakech/Agadir airports