Set in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains we offer a comfortable, sustainable lodge with activities for everyone, less than an hour's drive from Marrakech. Explore the marvellous landscapes in the foothills the Atlas Mountains and parts of the forests of the Toubkal National Park on this horse riding holiday. You will ride superb Barb-Arab horses who are very surefooted, reliable and responsive. The location is below the High Atlas and the foothills are draped with green forests interspersed with open spaces and marvellous views. It has a perfect temperature for maximum riding in spring and autumn, and in winter the sun in the day warms the air. Your accommodation offers high levels of comfort, either in lodges or tents, whilst reflecting traditional Berber styles and techniques.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from SB of Bruxelles on 27/02/2020
This horse riding holiday is available all year round and can be extended for as many days as wanted, or you may wish to add days in Marrakech. We recommend a stay at Riad Mazaya in Marrakech itself.
Riding is available all year round and is suitable for all levels of rider. The trails follow paths in the area that allow for steady riding to enjoy the views, or faster riding for more experienced riders! Approximately four hours riding per day is included, with either two hours of riding in the morning and afternoon, or a four hour ride and picnic lunch out.
The horses are Barb Arab crosses, ideally suited to the climate and terrain. There are stallions amongst the herd as it is customary not to castrate riding horses, but there are also geldings for children or less experienced riders. All of the horses have individual characters and are well schooled and sure-footed over rougher terrain. Riding routes can be adapted to individual riding abilities and fitness levels. Riders are welcome to help with the grooming and tacking up of their horses.
There are two accommodation options - the Eco Lodge or Tented Nature Village. Both provide good levels of comfort, and the facilities and restaurants of the full estate are open to guests. All of the accommodation is designed with both the environment and local traditions and culture in mind. Traditional Moroccan styles are reflected throughout the accommodation and meals.
All meals are included and in each of the restaurants on site, the food is a mix of traditional Berber and European styles. There is a strong French influence, so meals are an important element of each day! Traditional Berber mint tea is a special, refreshing treat. All special diets can be catered for with prior notice. Picnics will be carried on full-day rides.
There are plenty of other activities available, including hiking, climbing, archery and mountain biking. There is a pool on site, and of course, when not busy riding or enjoying other activities, guests are welcome to simply relax and enjoy the beautiful views!
Transfers from Marrakesh are included and can also be arranged from Ouarzazate for eg €140 per vehicle (1-8pax) in 2021 each way for riders wanting to extend their holiday after a desert tour. These additional transfers are payable on site.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses used for this ride are Arab Barb crosses, ideal for the climate and terrain. They are generally 14.2-15.3hh. Some of the herd are stallions as it is customary not to castrate riding horses. The stallions all have individual characters and are well schooled, of good temperament and no more difficult to handle than normal riding horses.
There are also Arab Barb geldings available to ride; these horses are more suited to novice riders and children. The tack is English saddles, snaffle bridles. Saddle bags are provided. Time is spent on the first day to match you to your horse.
The riding can be at all paces, if wanted, once everyone is comfortable with their horses. Experienced riders will be separated from novice and beginner riders. The terrain varies from vast open desert like plains to rocky riverbeds, rolling hills and forests. There are some rocky steep areas which can be avoided if you are not comfortable with this. The views are stunning and every day brings new delights.
All abilities are catered for on this ride. Experienced riders who are happy and balanced at all paces when controlling a horse in open spaces will be allowed to ride the stallions. Less experienced riders, and children, will ride the geldings and quieter horses. Your guide will be able to match you to the right horse.
Experience over rough terrain may be beneficial but not essential as the horses are very sure-footed.
Weight limit: 15 stone (95 kg)
The weight limit for this ride is 210 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
There are 2 accommodation options with this holiday; either the Eco-Lodges or the Tented Nature Village.
The Eco-Lodges have been built with due respect to traditional Moroccan buildings and to the ancient techniques of Berber craftsmen. Set on a slope overlooking a large pool, the lodges offer ideal accommodation for families, friends and couples alike. There are 18 single bedroom lodges (64 sqm) and 8 double bedroom lodges (75 sqm), all decorated in rustic Berber style with various artefacts and handmade furniture.
The single lodges have a bedroom, large sofa/day bed in the lounge area, bathroom, separate toilet and private terrace.
The double lodges comprise of 2 bedrooms, a large sofa/day bed in the lounge area, 2 bathrooms and a private terrace.
The bathrooms in all lodges have rainwater showers but no baths. Fans are placed in the rooms in the summertime as there is no air conditioning and there is heating for winter. Lodges also come equipped with a telephone, welcome products, a hairdryer, complimentary safe and a kettle. There are no TV's in the lodges. 2 lodges have disabled access.
The private gated terraces are fitted with deckchairs and aromatic plants alongside a beautiful view over the villages, mountains and the city of Marrakesh. The gates make the terraces ideal for small children.
The lodges are approximately 700m (10 mins) away from the stables. The reception desk at the main lodge is open 24 hours and staff speak English, Arabic, Berber, French and Spanish.
For all residents (lodges and tented village) there is complimentary Wi-Fi as well as a comfortable bar, several lounges and a library area; perfect for relaxing in after a days' activities! One of the lodges' unique features is the wide range of places to relax, be it under the sun or in the shade drinking mint tea and chatting on the terrace, covered patio or living room. Outside there is also the 'Tintar' swimming pool, perfect for relaxing by or for taking a dip.
The Tented Nature Village, which is 200m away from the lodges, comprises of 32 semi-permanent tents which are made from earth and canvas bedouin style.
They have 1 bedroom and a lounge area and are decorated beautifully with local decor. The bathroom facilities are shared: there are 2 bathrooms blocks with 14 showers and 10 toilets.
All tents have welcome products, a power supply of 220v and a private terrace area with deckchairs and stunning views. The tents are approximately 250m (5 mins) away from the stables. The reception area at the Nature Village is also manned 24 hours a day but there is no Wi-Fi available.
There are 3 different restaurant options:
The Farm restaurant - located at the foot of the estate’s rose garden, this open-air restaurant under net or Khaïma tent will provide guests with a hearty breakfast when they awake and a very friendly dinner at sunset. Guests can then wile away the hours by the traditional camp fire while looking at the stars. There is an unsupervised pool available.
intar Restaurant - this restaurant, with its breathtaking panoramic views, is open for lunch and offers various facilities such as terraces, tents and the lunch room. Enjoy unrestricted views over the Douars, the valley and the Atlas Mountains. The pool here is supervised by a lifeguard. The Tintar restaurant is 250m from the lodges.
illage Nature Restaurant - facing the pristine 247,000 acres of the Toubkal National Park’s forests, this restaurant invites lodging tent guests to a gourmet breakfast at sunrise and to taste traditional Berber meals at night time. Enjoy eating by the comfy fireplace or on the terrace with panoramic views.
Meals: The food on the estate is thoughtfully prepared to give guests a taste of Morocco and include the European diet. Remember the language here is French and the French love their food and this is excellent!
reakfast is simple continental buffet style consisting of omelettes, eggs, Berber pancakes, homemade breads and freshly squeezed juices.
Lunches consist of various meat skewers, homemade breads, olives and salads.
Dinner will include traditional Moroccan fare served buffet style: slightly spicy local food such as cous-cous and rice dishes and various meat tagines. Traditional Berber mint tea is a really refreshing and welcome treat.
All special diets can be catered for. Juice, bottles of water and ice-creams are available throughout the day from waiting staff or the small cafe where the outdoor activites are organised. All extras can be charged to the room so there is no need to carry cash around. Alcohol is available to purchase on-site or guests are welcome to bring their own.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
A valid passport is required for travel to Morocco. Visas are not required for U.K. or other European nationals at the time of going to print. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 0207 008 0232/0233.
The Honorary British Consulate in Marrakesh is at: 55 Boulevard Zerktouni, Residence Taib, tel: (212) (44) 435095.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morrocco in the U.K is at 49 Queen's Gate Gardens, London SW7 5NE. Telephone: (020) 7581 5001/4. Email: email@example.com.
The days are warm and the nights chilly. There is also a considerably different climate in the mountain to the desert. A guide is given below but these temperatures are averages and snow is not unheard of! Marrakesh is on average 5C warmer than the mountains.
Please check with your doctor for any vaccinations required. You should take an insect repellent that contains DEET to prevent mosquito bites.
The most common cause of injuries to visitors to Morocco is on the roads, every precaution must be taken when travelling in cars or bikes.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org
We recommend you bring along plenty of sunscreen as it can be deceptively easy to burn at high altitudes.
Voltage is the same as in the UK (220V or 110V, 50Hz) and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
You will be in a remote area and we suggest you bring sufficient film and batteries with you from the UK.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
Riding trousers - jeans or breeches
Riding boots, paddock boots, or
Riding sneakers (with heel)
Lipbalm with sunscreen
Half chaps (optional)
Riding hat with brim (there are a limited number available to borrow, please advise when booking if you would like one)
Hard hat (recommended)
Plastic bags for wet clothing
T-shirts and shorts
All terrain sandals
Camera and film/batteries
Long sleeved shirts
Spare set of shoes
Informal wear for evenings
Copy of your passport
Light wind breaker or light fleece for evenings
Bandana / sarong / light scarf
A buff ( full face mask ) to protect against dust
This programme is available all year around with any day arrival.
2021 Low Season: 3 Jan to 13 Feb; 6 Jun to 10 Jul; 7 Nov to 25 Dec
2021 Mid Season: 14 Feb to 3 Apr; 2 May to 5 Jun; 11 Jul to 16 Oct; 31 Oct to 6 Nov
2021 High Season: 4 Apr to 1 May; 17 to 30 Oct; 26 Dec to 2 Jan 2022
Prices based on 4+ riders. Supplement for 2 or 3 riders applicable, please ask your Travel Advisor. Supplement for 24/12/19 and 31/12/19 applicable please ask your Travel Advisor.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||499|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||565|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||91|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||135|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - adult||56|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - child 2-12 years||28|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||565|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||659|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||91|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||135|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||659|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||795|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||91|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||135|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||565|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||645|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||105|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||155|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - adult||63|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - child 2-12 years||31|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||645|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||745|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||105|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||155|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||745|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||899|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||105|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||155|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||705|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||805|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||129|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||195|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - adult||79|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - child 2-12 years||39|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||805|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||929|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||129|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||195|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||929|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||1,125|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||129|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||195|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||5,899|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||6,705|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||1,075|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||1,609|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - adult||659|
|2021 - 4 nights (Low Season)||5d/4n||3||Supplement for 24 Dec - child 2-12 years||325|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||6,705|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||7,779|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||1,075|
|2021 - 4 nights (Mid Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||1,609|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp tent||7,779|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||double pp lodge||9,389|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement tent||1,075|
|2021 - 4 nights (High Season)||5d/4n||3||single supplement lodge||1,609|
Of course a good guide book is invaluable but in addition:. The Conquest of Morocco by Douglas Porch examines the takeover of Morocco by Paris, leading to the establishment of the protectorate. Peter Mayne's highly readable A Year in Marrakesh is his account of time spent living among the people of the city and observations on their lives. Their Heads Are Green is an intriguing collection of short stories about North Africa by the famous Tangier resident Paul Bowles (author of Sheltering Sky). The House of Si Abdallah: the oral history of a Moroccan family, by Henry Munson Jr, is a unique insight into the daily life and thoughts of Moroccans, mainly through the eyes of a traditional pedlar in Tangier. A fascinating look at the lives of Moroccan women is Leonora Peet's Women of Marrakesh. Over 40 years (1930-70) Peets got about as close as a non-Muslim can to the lives of local women. Iain Finlayson's Tangier: city of the dream is an intriguing look at some of the western literati who found a new home in Morocco at one time or another. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
There is plenty to do on this holiday besides horse riding, from adreneline fuelled and cultural activites to craft and traditional Berber activities there will be something for everyone! All activities are supervised and safety is paramount.
Zip wire - Intrepid visitors will discover an outstanding course fitted with zip wires, a monkey bridge and a suspension bridge. Once attached to the wire, there is no turning back and the wonderful landscape flashes by above pine trees. This is a unique feeling of freedom.
Accro Park - experience an adventure assault courses through the tree-tops! Suitable for children and adults alike
Mountain biking - in the Atlas Mountains the beauty of silence and wild nature will give bikers unforgettable memories due to an infinite feeling of sharing and respect.
Hiking - there are various guided walking trips to join.
Climbing - start with an introductory climbing course at the Amanar rock. Instructors will guide and fully belay you on a 10m (33ft) high rock face that overlooks the Terres d’Amanar Canyon. The most daring guests can travel back to the lodge using the estate ‘s longest zip wire (320m/1,050ft in length and 110m/360ft in height).
Archery - try your hand at this sport which epitomizes precision and quick achievement whilst also learning new skills.
Disc Golf - A developing sport played with frizbees, disc-golf is a playful and outdoor sport for all. It is an ecological activity where players must obey the rules of the game and respect for the environment and each other.
Craft Workshops - Share with your heart and eyes. Stay for a while in the craftsmen’s village, meet with them, share their history, expertise and wealth.
Children's Play Park - this is a playground fully dedicated to children over 4 years old. Managed by our supervisors, the children will play numerous activities such as Accro Park Junior, trampolines, swings and slides while the older ones can enjoy the BMX course.
Swimming, relaxing and reading - take your time and live as you please. You can choose to do nothing, nap by the “Tintar” pool or play parlour games and table tennis while admiring the panoramic views of the villages and the High Atlas Mountains. The library at the lodge has a significant importance and presents many different books, music and films on the Berber culture and life in the Atlas.
This holiday can also cater for large groups such as businesses looking for team-building holidays and school bookings. Please enquire for more details.
In the valley the inhabitants mostly speak the Berber language, but a few speak French. Most staff on-site speak Berber, Arabic, French, English and Spanish. Islam is the predominant religion and it is therefore necessary to dress and behave appropriately in the lodge as well as in the surrounding areas, as the teams comprises of locals villagers.
What is an ecolodge? It is a type of lodging that adheres to the precepts of ecotourism:
* minimisation of the structure’s impact on the environment
* participates in protecting the environment
* develops projects to improve the well being of local populations
* participates in sensitising visitors and locals for preserving the environment and culture and develops cross-cultural exchanges.
At the heart of sustainable development The Terres d’Amanar Project has been designed by, and in partnership with, the locals people:
The staff on-site are mainly locals, especially dwellers from the surrounding villages. Thanks to the project, 150 families are living in the vicinity, which means that they haven’t left. They lay much emphasis on partnerships with local co-operatives (such as vegetables, craft products and building raw materials) and they strongly encourage participative management as a way for employees to develop and keep on passing on their expertise to the next, as well as communicate to a diversity of guests on an international level.
Terres d’Amanar has also implemented a strict environmental policy:
- Staff training and environmental awareness
- Using local building techniques (loam walls, compressed earth bricks)
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Water and electricity savings
- Customer awareness of the role they can play in preserving the environment
The Kingdom of Morocco is on the north-west corner of Africa. Morocco has a history as an independent nation state stretching back to the 9th century interrupted only by the brief interlude of the Protectorate (1912-1956) when the country was divided into French and Spanish zones.
Morocco's cities are bustling and full of life, usually centering around the market place. The muslim country is deeply spiritual and this mysticism is echoed in the dazzling art work found throughout. The power of the evil eye is a potent force for many Moroccans. One way of warding it off is to show the open palm of the hand, fingers pointing upwards. This 'hand of Fatima' (the Prophet's daughter) can frequently be spotted on stickers, painted on doors or as jewellery.
Morocco is on GMT. The international dialling code for Morocco is 212 and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. They are on GMT.