Starting a few miles from Marrakech this point-to-point camping trail takes riders through the central part of the High Atlas Mountains with splendid views over the Haouz Plain and Toubkal summits.
The responsive but sensible Barb Arab stallions are perfect for intermediate riders onwards. The terrain varies from mountain trails to bigger paths and allows riding at all three gaits each day. This is the perfect way to discover the unspoilt authentic Morocco, riding from village to village with incredible views in the summer when the snow has retreated from all but the highest peaks.
This is a camping trail with facilities, and hotel accommodation on the first and the last day. Showers are available in camp each evening, luggage and food is carried by support vehicle.
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 ME of Zürich on 10/09/2017
Meet and greet at airport and immediate transfer to the riding centre. Depending on the arrival time, riders may get to meet the horses. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Saddle-up for an evaluation of each rider before the horses are allocated for the week. There is a briefing and equipment double check before setting off. The first day's route heads to the first foothills of the Atlas Mountain, along a ridge trail until reaching the first overnight camp site next to Tatult village. 3.5 hours riding
Today the trail climbs up a path in the direction of the N’Kik plateau for a remarkable view on Amizmiz Valley and Takerkoust Lake. After crossing the Tizi N’Ousaud pass, stop for a picnic break. In the afternoon, the trail descends and follows a path across a forest of Thuya and green Oaks until reaching the camp site near the village of Tassa Wourgane Saline. 5.5 hours riding
After breakfast, ride across the Tassa Ouirgane valley and enjoy the fresh air at Azzadne Oued (river) with its pretty Berber villages. The lunchtime picnic will take place beside a river in Azerfssane. The afternoon will be spent in Azzadne valley along mountain paths before taking the trail to Tiziane village. Overnight with a local family. 5 hours riding
This morning the group climb out in the direction of the Tizi N’Oudide pass (2100 m) before heading down to Matate village overlooking Gheghaya valley. Today the picnic lunch is beside the river in Aguerssiwale. In the afternoon, ride up to the Aguerssiwale pass and then along the superb D’Imnane valley with its pretty villages nestled at the foot of the mountains. Overnight with a local family in Ounskra down the Toubkal summit (highest in Morocco). 6 hours riding
Today the route gains altitude from one pass to another. Reach Tizi N’Addi (3100 m) which offers a spectacular view over the High Atlas and the Toubkal Summit (4167 m) before riding through the Oukaïmeden plateau (a winter sport resort in another season). Enjoy our picnic near the Tizi ‘N Ouka pass (2800 m). In the afternoon, ride down the trail overlooking the Haouz plain until reaching Tiselit, where the camp site is already prepared and snacks are waiting. 5-6 hours riding.
The last day of riding takes the group to the village of Asni, through a forest of oaks and junipers. Enjoy a picnic in the shade of the Alep Pine trees at the foot of Djebel Choucht. Enjoy the last canters In the afternoon and back to the starting point for dinner and overnight in the hotel. 4 hours riding
Breakfast and airport transfer (3 hours before departure) Depending on flight schedules, an optional extra visit to Marrakesh can be arranged on request.
This ride can be confirmed for 2 or more riders for a supplement. This supplement is fully refundable if the more riders subsequently book on the same date.
For non riders interested in exploring the region there is the option to follow the ride by mountain bike. Please enquire for more details.
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 all stallions as it is customary not to castrate riding horses in Morocco. They all have individual characters and are well schooled, of good temperament and no more difficult to handle than normal riding horses. They are generally 14.2-15.2hh.
The tack is English saddles with snaffle bridles. Saddle bags are provided. Time is spent on the first day to match you to your horse. The riding is at walk, trot and canter once everyone is comfortable with their horses. The temperatures can vary from very warm in the daytime to cool nights.
To go on this ride you should be comfortable spending up to six hours a day in the saddle and ride at all paces on a good horse. Experience over rough and challenging terrain is recommended but not essential as the horses are very sure footed and capable.
Certain stages may force you to have longer days than usual. Certain passages in the mountains force us to dismount and lead our horses. A sense of humour and common sense are essential as well as the capacity to enjoy remote mountain scenery.
There is a full backup team with vehicle for the length of your stay. You will be requested to assist with grooming and saddling your horse. The minimum age for this ride is 16 years.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
The first and last nights of the trip are spent at hotel/lodge/resort that comfortable and environmentally friendly, set in the foothills of the Atlas mountains (or similar). Riders stay 4-nights in simple two-person dome tents with 2 porches for bags, and at 'Inns' (houses owned by local Berber families). Foam mattresses are supplied but riders will need to bring sleeping bags. YRiders are expected to assist with the setting up of the tents. There is a shower tent with a large bucket of hot water for washing every day, and a chemical toilet. Private rooms and tents are available for an extra fee.
The food on the ride is thoughtfully prepared to give a taste of Morocco and include European tastes. Remember, the language here is French, and the French love their food so it will be good! Breakfast is simple continental style, lunches are picnic with beautifully prepared salads. Dinner will include balanced, slightly spicy, local food such as cous-cous and rice dishes served in a traditional Tagine. Traditional Berber mint tea is a really refreshing and welcome treat. Most special diets can be catered for - please enquire.
Alcohol is not included on the trail but guests are welcome bring their own. The back-up includes a truck carrying the luggage and tents, and will meet up with the group for most lunchtimes. There is a cook, driver, a horse guide who cares for the horses, and an English speaking guide.
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.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures
Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months on your date of entry to Morocco. When entering the country, make sure your passport is stamped. Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp. Before travelling, make sure your passport isn’t damaged. Some travellers have been refused entry when travelling on damaged passports.
Morocco is a Muslim country which follows Islamic laws and customs. You should respect these at all times.
Passport and Visa 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 should you need a visa.
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Morocco.html
In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/morocco
The days can be warm (usually no more than 25 in the mountains, below graph is for Marrakech which is much warmer and the nights generally cooler (10-16C). Mountain weather can be very variable and you are advised to be prepared for anything from relentless sunshine which burns at altitude to showers and wind.
COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.
You should always bring any regular prescription drugs you may need with you, and spare, just in case.
Morocco has a poor road safety record. Please take care when travelling on roads.
Henna tattoos are common in Morocco. If considering a henna tattoo be aware that some henna paste contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which can cause a painful allergic reaction including swelling and an itchy rash in some people.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 150 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Morocco and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
Sunscreen, any personal medication, insect repellent.
Although there are no compulsory vaccinations it is recommended you see your local doctor for up to date information.
Malaria has been known to occur in the northern coastal areas in Morocco at certain times of year if you are also travelling there.
Water must be purified or boiled if not using mineral water. Mineral water is widely available for purchase at about 40-60p per litre. If not buying mineral water you should bring water purification tablets or drops with you. We recommend Micropur tablets which are tasteless.
A first aid kit is carried on all rides but we would suggest basic travellers medicines such as Dioralyte, Immodium and any other routine medication you may require.
We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen, sunburm is common at high altitudes and often not detected early due to cooler mountain temperatures.
In Morocco the supply voltage is 220V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 220V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.
You will be in a remote area. There is often mobile reception near the villages or at high points. Hotel nights can be used to charge cameras etc and many have wifi, solar chargers are useful on camping nights. There is a backup vehicle which can be used in an emergency to recharge but there is not enough battery power for regular recharging by all.
We have put together a suggested packing list for your trip. This should be used as a guideline as requirements may very according to your programme and preferences. A laundry service is available at the hotel.
Saddle bags are provided.
• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard. If you do not have one we can arrange for you to borrow a helmet, please request before you book so we can confirm.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Walks boots strongly recommended foe this trail. There are some steep areas where you must walk with your horse
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Fleece - Although the weather is generally very warm, the evenings can be a bit cooler
• Warm layers - At times the evening temperature drops significantly
• Casual Clothes - for when out of the saddle
• Swimwear for the first and last nights
• A sleeping bag
• Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Raincoat - although it rains very rarely it may be a good idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
• A copy of your passport
This is an 8 day / 7 night programme with 6 days riding on set departure dates. Private departures for groups of 4 or more can be arranged.
2023: 18, 25 Jun; 2, 16*, 23* Jul; 13*, 20*, 27* Aug; 3*, 10* Sept.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||785|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||359|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||115|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||839|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||359|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||115|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||875|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||399|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||125|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||939|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||399|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||125|
|Riding days||Product item description||US $|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||985|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||449|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||139|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||1,055|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||449|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||139|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||10,285|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||4,705|
|2023 Low Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||1,469|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||double pp group of 3 riders or more||11,019|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||supplement for group of 2||4,705|
|2023 Mid Season||8d/7n||6||single supplement for tent and lodge||1,469|
RECOMMENDED READING – 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
The hotel has various activities including archery, climbing and craft workshops (not included). Depending on departure time, a tour of Marrakech can be arranged for an additional (reasonable) cost.
Cooking will be done for you but you will be requested to assist with grooming and saddling your horse.
We recommend you bring 2 water bottles, mineral water will be supplied. It is also possible to buy mineral water for about 60p per bottle in local shops as well as the usual array of carbonated drinks.
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.