Ask a Question

Check Availability

Essaouira

Overview

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 oi…

Highlights

  • Essaouira's open beaches and sea views
  • Forward-going stallions
  • Camping in remote locations
  • Traditional mint tea
  • Fantastic weather all year round

Essential Facts

  • 4 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

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.

Horses & Riding

Tack

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

Horses

Barb Arabian stallions

Riding

There are 4 itineraries:

  • Knights of Essaouira (7 Nights) is a trail ride
  • The Path of 1000 Kasbahs in Ouarzazate (7 Nights) is a trail ride
  • The Loop of Ifthane (5 Nights) is a trail ride
  • The Loop of Argana (4 Nights) is a trail ride

Ages

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.

Health

General good health and fitness.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

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. PLEASE NOTE: Alcohol cannot be supplied for you and drinking in public spaces is not officially allowed and can lead to arrest.

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.

Itineraries

Knights of Essaouira (7 Nights) Tented accommodation.

The Path of 1000 Kasbahs in Ouarzazate (7 Nights) Tented accommodation.

The Loop of Ifthane (5 Nights) Tented accommodation.

The Loop of Argana (4 Nights) Tented accommodation.

Other 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.

Travel

The nearest airport is Essaouira but it is not always easy to find flights there. Transfers from and to Marrakech (2 hours 45 mins) or Agadir (3 hours 30 mins) are very affordable and give a lot of flight options.

Testimonials

Julie, March 3, 2020

I had a lovely time! The trip was such an adventure and totally different from any vacation I’ve ever taken. I’m still tired! My favorite memory was galloping full speed down the beach!


Ana, Oct. 18, 2019

Great horses, amazing scenery, good company and lots of mint tea. It was wonderful.


Maria L., Sept. 19, 2018

The holiday was fantastic! It was the perfect combination of mountains and adventure, followed by a gorgeous treat of sunny beaches to finish - heaven! I loved all of the holiday but particularly camping on a hillside overlooking the beach, the exhilarating gallops along lush sandy beaches and the moment where, after an adventurous day through rocky mountains, we turned the corner to find a luscious green haven of a reservoir.


Kim S., Sept. 19, 2018

It was superb! Incredible, strong and forward-going horses that never hesitated. To make it short: we are again very very happy!!


Emma S., Sept. 13, 2018

The holiday was amazing, probably the best way to experience Morocco. All the horses are so well behaved and beautiful. An amazing country with so much to see, stunning views and it is clear that our hosts love the horses. Food was fantastic and tasty, especially for veggies! I'm a camping rookie, so wasn't sure what to expect, was a little unprepared, but it was fun! Riad was lovely. My horse (Simba) was fantastic and very well suited. Horses well looked after and tack adequate. (Favourite memory?) The extremely fast gallop across the beach - Berber stallions can shift it! All the donkeys! Learning about the culture as you travelled through surprisingly varied landscapes.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 4

Riding: 5 - 7 hours

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 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 8

Riding: 1 hours

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

Two nights in a riad in Essaouira and five nights camping.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be a capable rider, comfortable in all paces and fit for some long hours in the saddle.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Oct. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Dates available on request for 2+ riders, subject to availability)

Pricing

2021/2022
Single traveller with transfer from Essaouira
£695 $965 €830
Includes private Essaouira transfers and a single room in the riad.
2021/2022
Single traveller with transfers from Agadir
£775 $1070 €915
Includes private Agadir transfers and a single room in the riad.
2021/2022
Single traveller with transfers from Marrakech
£755 $1045 €900
Includes private Marrakech transfers and a single room in the riad.
2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Essaouira
£640 $885 €760
Includes Essaouira transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Agadir
£705 $975 €840
Includes Agadir transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Marrakech
£690 $955 €820
Includes Marrakech transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, 6 days riding, all meals whilst on the trail, drinking water, specified airport transfers
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, meals in Essaouira before & after the trail, drinks other than water, sleeping bag, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £42 $58 €50
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement for two nights in riads (only payable by riders who are sharing transfers but would prefer single rooms at the riads)
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.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Arrival at Marrakech airport and transfer to the Palm Grove of Skoura (5 hours, lunch is not included). Dinner and overnight in Skoura in the Kasbah Ait Abbou with the team.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you will set off across the palm grove of Skoura where you will encounter magnificent palm trees, in the distance you will see the the snow-capped mountains and the contrast of landscapes is quite extraordinary. You will picnic at Ait Said before reaching your bivouac in the heart of the oasis of Tamassinte.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

You will set off towards the Atlas Mountains seeing a variety of landscapes. You will stop off for your lunch at Tamsoulte in the valley of almond trees which flower at the end of February to the beginning of March with their amazing scent. You will follow the paths where villages have been dug into the mountains before you reach your bivouac in Atagragra.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

As you set off to meet the nomads and their camps, full of children, sheep and goats, you ride up to your picnic point at Assagnmou which peaks at 1600m. After lunch you will followed the rugged mountain paths down toward the small fortified village of N'Aij, near Ghassat at 1450m where you will find your bivouac & camp for the evening.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

As you leave your camp you set off to cross the magnificent valley of Assif Izerki inhabited by nomads and filled with picturesque villages before stopping for lunch at Taferghouste. After lunch you ride up the path to the oued Dades which is lined by ksour and the oasis and dominated by the silhouette of the Atlas Mountains. The oued Dades feeds the lake of restraint and the dam Mansour ed Dhabi. This then allows the irrigation of the valley of Draa. As you ride round the lake you will find your bivouac for the night.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

As you leave the camp you will follow the Dades to the village of Afra where you will stop for lunch with the magnificent Casbahs nearby. In the afternoon, you will head towards the Sarho mountains and your camp for the night will be on the plateau of Maouste, in front of the village of Sidi Flah. The village consists of two Arab hamlets and a Berber hamlet.

Day 7

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

On your last day riding you head along the small paths that take you back to the palm groves of Skoura where you will have lunch in the casbah Ait Abbou. You will then depart towards Marrakech in the early afternoon with free time to discover/visit Marrakech in the evening, sampling the local foods (dinner is not included) and then spending your final night in a riad.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast in the hotel before departing for the airport.

Accommodation

Two nights in a riad in Skoura (first and last) and five nights camping.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be a capable rider, comfortable in all paces and fit for some long hours in the saddle.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Oct. 15, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Dates available on request for 2+ riders, subject to availability)

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Marrakech
£845 $1170 €1005
Includes Marrakech transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, 6 days riding, meals on the trail, drinking water, specified airport transfers.
Not included Flights, meals in Essaouira before & after the trail, drinks other than water, sleeping bag, insurance, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £42 $58 €50
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement for two nights in riads
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.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Arrival to Marrakech or Agadir and transfer to your riad in Essaouira for your overnight stay (2h45 and 3h30, respectively). Enjoy dinner (not included) with your fellow riders and discuss the trail ahead. Night in riad.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Meeting at 9.30 am at the riad and transfer to the stables (15 min). First contact with the staff and horses in Diabat. You will first ride along a river or oued to reach the village of El Ghazoua that you will cross. Then you will travel through the Moroccan countryside travelling on small paths and crossing argan tree forests on your way. Lunch is prepared by the team cook and served in a field. After some rest, you will get back in the saddle and take the direction of Argana where your first camp is located. You will cross several traditional Berber villages and take a visit of a women's cooperative of argan oil, tasting the local products (oil, honey and amlou). You will spend the night under the oldest and largest argan tree of the area. Night in tent.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Through the countryside, you will continue the trail across small Berber villages, valleys and fields. The ground is full of beauftiful colours in this area. You will have lunch near a place called "The Source" where the horses can drink. After lunch you will ride on small paths surrounded by fields and crops. In the late afternoon you will appreciate an extraordinary panorama with an incredible view of the sea. You will arrive at the small fishing village of Ifthane and after a gallop on the beach (a small deserted creek), you will up up onto the cliffs which dominate the coastline and find your camp for the night.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

This morning you will cross fields and small villages which are located all along the sea or, if it's not too windy, you may ride up on the cliffs for the fabulous views. You will take the direction of the cascades of Sidi Embark where you will stop for lunch. These cascades flow directly into the sea. After lunch (which includes a 2 hour break and time for swimming!) you will ride towards Sidi Kaouki along the beaches and cliffs, enjoying some gallops. You will arrive at the camp based in Sidi Kaouki in mid-afternoon. You will have some time to swim before dinner. Overnight in camp.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After a generous breakfast taken in front of the ocean, you will get back in the saddle and ride along the beach towards Essaouira. In the second part of Sidi Kaouki, you will see the Marabout. You will then cross huge sand dunes that are unique to the region, enjoying at the same time some gallops. You will cross a small fishing village and then take the direction of a small Berber village on a cliff facing the Atlantic. After a picnic in a small creek where you can swim, you will go towards the lighthouse of Cap Sim. Then you will take a small sandy path and go down the dunes. You will have the feeling that you are in the desert but the sea is just behind them. You will see some very small fishing villages on the beach side. After some gallops on the beach, you will enter into the forest of eucalyptus and mimosas located between the beach and Diabat and see the ruins of the former palace of the Sultan. Arrival at the stables in late afternoon. Transfer to Essaouira and night in the riad. Dinner not included.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

Meeting at the riad and transfer to Marrakech (2h45) or Agadir airport (3h30).

Accommodation

First and last nights are spent in a riad in Essaouira (single, double or tin bedrooms). The other nights will be in simple camps with tents and sleeping mattresses.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to experienced riders - you should be happy at walk, trot and canter and fit to ride long hours.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Oct. 15, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Dates available on request for 2+ riders, subject to availability)

Pricing

2021/2022
Single traveller with transfers from Marrakech
£560 $775 €665
Includes private Marrakech transfers and a single room in the riad.
2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Marrakech
£490 $680 €585
Includes Marrakech transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
Included 5 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, 4 days of riding, meals on the trail, drinking water, specified airport transfers.
Not included Flights, meals in Essaouira before and after the trail, drinks other than water, sleeping bag, insurance, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £42 $58 €50
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement for two nights in riads (only payable by riders who are sharing transfers with others)
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.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Arrival to Marrakesh (Marrakech) or Agadir and transfer to your riad in Essaouira for your overnight stay (2h45 and 3h30, respectively). Enjoy dinner (not included) with your fellow riders and discuss the trail ahead. Night in riad.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Meeting at 9.30 am at the riad and transfer to the stables (15 min). First contact with the staff and horses in Diabat. You will first ride along a river or oued to reach the village of El Ghazoua that you will cross. Then you will travel through the Moroccan countryside travelling on small paths and crossing argan tree forests on your way. Lunch is prepared by the team cook and served in a field. After some rest, you will get back in the saddle and take the direction of Argana where your first camp is located. You will cross several traditional Berber villages and take a visit of a women's cooperative of argan oil, tasting the local products (oil, honey and amlou). You will spend the night under the oldest and largest argan tree of the area. Night in tent. 

Alternative Day 2 for beginners:
Meeting at 9.30 am at the riad and transfer to the stables (15 min). First contact with the staff and horses in Diabat. You will first ride along a river or oued to reach the village of El Ghazoua that you will cross. Then you will travel through the Moroccan countryside passing on small paths and crossing argan tree forests on your way. Lunch is prepared by the team cook and served in a field. After some rest, you will get back in the saddle and take the direction of the small village of Sidi Kaouki. To do so, you will cross several small Berber villages and forests. You will arrive in Sidi Kaouki by the upper side which dominates the sea and the long beach. Arrival at the camp in late afternoon. After a good snack and some mint tea, you may enjoy the beach. Your evening meal will be served in a traditional tent and prepared by the cook. Night in camp.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Through the countryside, you will continue the trail across small Berber villages, valleys and fields. The ground is full of beauftiful colours in this area. You will have lunch near a place called "The Source" where the horses can drink. The afternoon will show you other Berber villages but the ground is now changing and bcomes more sandy as you have taken the direction of the ocean and cascades of Sidi Embark. The view of the sea between the dunes is magnificent. You will then arrive on the beach and enjoy galloping! The views are a mix of cliffs and beaches and you will finally arrive in late afternoon at the camp located in Sidi Kaouki. Night in tent. 

Alternative Day 3 for beginners:
After a breakfast with view on the beach, you will begin the trail. You will go along beautiful desert beaches and huge sand dunes. You will cross a small very picturesque fishing village. You will take the direction of the natural cascades of Sidi Embark where you will eat lunch. The cascades flow directly into the sea. After lunch (2h break and time for swimming), you will go back to Sidi Kaouki by the beaches or by the fields and small villages along the beaches. Arrival at the camp based in Sidi Kaouki in mid afternoon. You will have some time to swim before the dinner. Night in tent.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After a generous breakfast taken in front of the ocean, you will get back in the saddle and ride along the beach towards Essaouira. In the second part of Sidi Kaouki, you will see the Marabout. You will then cross huge sand dunes that are unique to the region, enjoying at the same time some gallops. You will cross a small fishing village and then take the direction of a small Berber village on a cliff facing the Atlantic. After a picnic in a small creek where you can swim, you will go towards the lighthouse of Cap Sim. Then you will take a small sandy path and go down the dunes. You will have the feeling that you are in the desert but the sea is just behind them. You will see some very small fishing villages on the beach side. After some gallops on the beach, you will enter into the forest of eucalyptus and mimosas located between the beach and Diabat and see the ruins of the former palace of the Sultan. Arrival at the stables in late afternoon. Transfer to Essaouira and night in the riad. Dinner not included.

Day 5

Riding: No riding.

Meeting at the riad and transfer to Marrakesh (Marrakech) (2h45) or Agadir airport (3h30)

Accommodation

First and last nights are spent in a riad in Essaouira (single, double or tin bedrooms). The other nights will be in simple camps with tents and sleeping mattresses.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Trail can be suited to all levels but we will only match you with guests of a similar ability.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Oct. 15, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Dates available on request for 2+ riders, subject to availability)

Pricing

2021/2022
Single traveller with transfers from Marrakech
£420 $580 €500
Includes private Marrakech transfers and a single room in the riad.
2021/2022
Sharing (2+ people travelling together) with transfers from Marrakech
£375 $520 €450
Includes Marrakech transfers and twin/double rooms in the riad.
Included 4 nights accommodation in shared rooms, specified airport transfers, 3 days riding, meals on the trail and drinking water.
Not included Flights, meals in Essaouira before and after the trail, drinks other than water, sleeping bag, insurance, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £42 $58 €50
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement for two nights in riads (only payable by riders who are sharing transfers with others)
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.