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Desert to Coast Crossing (The Long Ride)

Special Offer!

Early Booking Discount

Secure your space on this epic 29 day journey across the length of Morocco before the 31st of July and you'll pay 2024 rates.

Offer ends July 31, 2024

Overview

When you think of Morocco, most will likely conjure imagines of the expansive Sahara desert, the rugged Atlas Mountains or perhaps even extensive sparkling coastlines (both Atlantic and Mediterranean). Recently, these distinct landscapes have become playgrounds for tourists and locals alike, really…

Highlights

  • Adventurous month long ride for competent riders
  • Discover Moroccan culture from one region to another
  • Ride up to 45km a day
  • Magnificent open spaces for gallops over long distances
  • Camping under the Moroccan sky

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 6 - 9 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Description

When you think of Morocco, most will likely conjure imagines of the expansive Sahara desert, the rugged Atlas Mountains or perhaps even extensive sparkling coastlines (both Atlantic and Mediterranean). Recently, these distinct landscapes have become playgrounds for tourists and locals alike, really anyone who enjoys active and outdoor pursuits. Surfing, cycling, climbing, trail running and horseback riding allow individuals to take full advantage of these diverse natural topography.

The challenge of conquering all three of these has been a goal for our Sahara desert trail team for several years now. Passion for the country and horses has led to the creation of the Long Ride; an epic month long crossing of southern Morocco from the Sahara desert in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Beginning in Ouarzazate - the "doorway" to the desert - the trail route winds its way across the Anti Atlas before traversing the flatlands of Souss-Massa and eventually arriving at the beaches of Agadir on the Atlantic coast. A difficult and demanding route requiring long hours in the saddle and an incredible stamina from both horse and rider. Every morning and afternoon will bring a new challenge as you move from one region and landscape to the next, negotiating any obstacle or barrier in your way. Marvel at your horses' bravery, sureness of foot and his great fitness as you cover miles and miles of rural Morocco each day. By night, you will camp out under the Moroccan sky, savouring camp cooked traditional meals, with your horses resting peacefully close-by.

This epic trail takes place just once each year, between January and February. It is not a challenge to be taken lightly and as such should only be considered by those who have a great level of personal fitness as well as extensive experience of trail riding too. You must be independent and able to meet your horses' needs as well as your own when required to. A good sense of humour and being content spending several days at a time sleeping in basic camps is also recommended!

For the right person, this is the trip of a lifetime and an adventure like very few others!

Horses & Riding

Tack

English style endurance/trail saddles. Saddle bags are provided. You must be able to saddle and bridle your own horse.

Horses

Barb and Arab-barb - the horses are mostly stallions, although some geldings are also used. They are fit and strong, perfectly adapted to the harsh terrains you will be riding through.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Atlas to Atlantic Rally (East to West) is a trail ride

Ages

Experienced and active child riders can be accepted on this trail if accompanied by an experienced and competent adult. Please use your discretion and bear in mind that this is a very long and tough trail. Anyone unable to keep up with the group or not meeting the demands of the trail may have to travel in the support vehicle instead.

Health

Good health and a high level of fitness are required for this very demanding trail. If you have severe allergies, heart or respiratory problems or other physical limitations then please consult your doctor before considering this ride. Riding days are long and many will include several hours of walking. You must, therefore, be able to dismount and walk beside your horse when needed.

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

There will be a cook as part of your support team and they will be responsible for preparing all meals whilst you are in camps. Lunches will generally be a pre-prepared cold picnic, whilst in the evening and for breakfast you will have cooked hot meals. Dishes will feature traditional Moroccan cuisine which is usually healthy, hearty and delicious.

Filtered water will be provided for drinking. We recommend taking your own drinking bottle to avoid single-use plastic bottles. You can also take water purifying tablets or a small travel filter to clean water from the many streams you will pass. Other drinks can be provided and will need to be paid for locally.

Accommodation

The first and last nights of the ride will be spent in 3* quality hotels in Ouarzazate and Agadir. There will be 3 nights (one at the end of each riding week) where you will stay in guesthouses or hotel along the route, with shared rooms and access to hot showers and washing facilities! The rest of the nights will be spent in mobile camps which you will set up along the way.

Camps are simple and designed to be easily assembled and dismantled at the beginning and end of each day. Camps are basic with tents and mattresses provided as well as buckets of water for washing. You will need to help dismantle camp in the morning but tents will be set up for you in the evenings as you will often arrive to camp quite late in the day. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Itineraries

Atlas to Atlantic Rally (East to West) Basic / Tented accommodation.

Other Activities

Due to the nature of this ride, the focus is on the riding experience and so there are no non-riding options offered. Each day is full and affords a true challenge for even the fittest and most experienced equestrian.

Travel

Guests should plan to arrive to Ouarzazate airport on the first day of the trail. A transfer from the airport to a hotel in the city will be organised at an extra cost.

Arrivals at Marrakech airport is also possible and a transfer will be organised from here at extra cost. Flights to Marrakech should land before 15:30 pm on arrival day - the transfer to Ouarzazate is approx. 5 hours and only one group transfer will be organised if multiple guests arrive to Marrakech.

The trail will finish with a hotel night in Agadir. Transfers to the airport of Agadir are not included on departure day, but can be organised at additional cost. Transfers to Marrakech on departure can also be organised, again at an added cost.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

* The below is an outline of this adventure but a full day by day itinerary of this ride is available for those who are interested - please do ask. *

Guests should plan to fly into Ouarzazate (or Marrakech) airport during this day. You will be met at the airport and transferred to a 3* quality hotel in Ouarzazate (transfer at extra cost). This evening, you will be able to enjoy a first dinner and ride orientation with your fellow guests and guides. A chance to ask any last minute questions you might have about the ride and ensure you are suitably prepared too!

Day 2 - Ouarzazate - Ouzina

Riding: 2 hours

Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, you will load up the vehicles and begin your long transfer to the start point for the trail (6-7 hours). You will have a brief lunch before being paired with your mount for this epic ride and setting off for your first afternoon's ride to get acquainted with the horses. In the early evening you will arrive into your first camp and will settle the horses before locating your tent and enjoying your first camp cooked dinner.

Days 3 to 27

Riding: 6 - 10 hours

Over the next few weeks you will follow the trail heading from east to west across Morocco. You will first be heading south to ride along the Draa Valley and the northern edge of the Sahara Desert, before heading turning west and crossing the Anti Atlas mountains and eventually arriving at the coast near Agadir. Days will vary in length and terrain, with most days seeing you cover between 27-45km with some days seeing you riding for up to 10-11 hours. The pace of riding will be varied, but there will be some days when you will need to do some long stretches of walking, both on the horse and off - sturdy boots with a good sole are recommended, as is a seat saver/sheepskin cover for your saddle!

Each night you will stay in simple mobile tented camps which will be set up for you, with dinners cooked by your chef and support crew. The camps will include a central "mess" tent for eating, as well as toilet and washing tent. Each morning you will help to pack up camp before preparing yourself and your horse ready for the next day of riding. The support crew will meet you at the lunch stops with a prepared picnic and an opportunity to adjust layers if you need or want to. At this time of year, the nights can be cold and the mornings chilly. However, the temperatures will soon rise once the sun comes up and you will likely be riding in t-shirts by midday.

There will be 3 scheduled rest days during the trip (one at the end of each full week) which will allow riders a break from the saddle and the chance to have a proper shower - which will be very welcome after a week of bucket washing. During the rest days you will be stay in a guesthouse or hotel in shared rooms with access to hot showers. The rest day is free for you to do as you wish, but a visit the a hammam is certainly recommended!

Day 28

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Breaking camp early today, you will begin your final morning ride to arrive at the coast near Agadir. A great opportunity to enjoy the beach with your horses and the sound of the wild Atlantic waves.

Finally, you will say goodbye to your horses, enjoy a light lunch and after you will be transferred to a hotel in Agadir where you will spend the night. A farewell dinner with your guides and group will be a great way to round-off this adventure!

Day 29 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Departure from Agadir (airport transfers not included).

Accommodation

First and last nights of the ride will be spent in 3* quality hotels in Ouarzazate and Agadir. There will be 3 nights (one at the end of each week for a rest day) where you will stay in guesthouses or hotels along the route, with access to hot showers. The rest of the nights will be spent in mobile camps which you will set up along the way.

Experience Experienced

You should be a very fit and competent rider to take part in this trail. Many days will entail long hours of riding, as well as walking over very difficult terrain.

Minimum group size 6
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Jan. 19, 2025 - Feb. 16, 2025

Pricing

2024
10 pax in a group; sharing
£4615 $5990 €5485
2024
6 pax in a group; sharing
£5245 $6810 €6235
2024
7 pax in a group; sharing
£5045 $6550 €6000
2024
8 pax in a group; sharing
£4925 $6390 €5850
2024
9 pax in a group; sharing
£4720 $6130 €5610
2025
6 pax in a group; sharing
£5560 $7220 €6610
2025
7 pax in the group; sharing
£5350 $6945 €6360
2025
8 pax in the group; sharing
£5225 $6785 €6215
2025
9 pax in the group; sharing
£5005 $6495 €5950
2025
10 pax in the group; sharing
£4895 $6350 €5815
Included 28 nights accommodation (some in hotels/guesthouses and some in tented camps), full board meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, drinking water, tents and mattresses for camping, 24 days of riding, as well as experienced bilingual guides and support crew throughout.
Not included Flights, transfer from/to the airport, drinks (other than filtered water), sleeping bags, tips and any other personal expenses.

Extras

2025 - Single Supplement £335 $435 €400
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms only possible on nights in hotels/guesthouses.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.