Morocco - Desert Trails

  • Open Sep-May
  • Set arrivals
  • 7 nights / 6 days of riding | 2 to 5 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Ouarzazate
  • Weight limit: 14st (89 kg) (196 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 10

In the south of Morocco lies the Sahara Desert, but it is far from being empty. Here you will find date palm tree oasis and Berber communities. There are three itineraries to choose from:

Desert Cavalcade

Heading south east from Ouarzazate, pass through the Draa Valley which makes its way towards the desert and along a beautiful string of oasis. This ride is in the very south of Morocco, near the Sahara and has the most opportunity for faster riding. It is the most challenging of the desert trails.

 

Siroua Saffron Trail

Ride in the Siroua (pronounced Sirwa) Mountain region, situated between the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas. This area is perfect for riding in Spring and Autumn. It is getting too hot to ride in the desert and not yet warm enough to ride in the High Atlas.

Valley of the Roses

This trail sets off from Skoura palm grove, one of the most beautiful oasis of the south and continues to a region famous for its rose plantations. The rose essence is used in well-known perfume blends. There is one long day of over six hours riding but in general this trail is not as challenging as the other desert trails.

The horses are mainly stallions. They are Barb and crossbred Barb/Arabian.

They are well trained, fit and forward going - they behave well on the trail. You need to remember (as on all rides, but of even more importance when riding stallions) to keep a distance from other horses at all times.

The tack is good quality English-style saddles. Guests normally assist with grooming and tacking up their horse but assistance is on hand at all times.

The riding is a mix of paces to suit the terrain. In some places it will be slow, either because it is very rocky or the ground is very soft. Where possible there are plenty of fast canters and gallops which may be along hard tracks.

You need to be confident riding in open spaces and in control at a fast pace. You must also be physically fit as well as riding fit since there is some walking on foot on steeper descents. These holidays are not suitable for nervous riders.

The first night and last nights are in hotels and the other nights are in a simple camp which is moved on each day. A support vehicle meets you each day for lunch and then goes ahead to set up camp. There are two nights in hotels and five nights in camp.

When camping you stay in two person dome tents with a porch area for baggage. Normally everyone helps with the setting up of the tents. There is a large mess tent for eating and relaxing in the evenings. There is also a separate shower tent and you are provided with a large bucket of hot water for showering.

The food in Morocco will be a highlight of the holiday. A meal typically begins with hot and cold salads and is followed by a tagine which may be served with couscous.

Because alcohol is not provided and is not easily purchased during the trails, you should bring your own alcohol from home or buy from duty-free if you wish. There are some shops where you can buy alcohol in Marrakesh and Ouarzazate, but the choice is very limited and can be expensive.

If you would prefer not to camp, then you should consider the Horses, Dunes & Nomads itinerary.

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

These itineraries are scheduled during the cooler months of the year and will be guaranteed to run with two guests in the group.

For other rides in Morocoo, have a look at the Essaouira Coastal Trail or Toubkal Mountain Trail. If you would prefer not to camp, the Horses, Dunes & Nomads itinerary would be perfect.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Desert Cavalcade 7 Feb 2021 - 14 Feb 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 14 Feb 2021 - 21 Feb 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,152.01 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 21 Feb 2021 - 28 Feb 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,152.01 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 7 Mar 2021 - 14 Mar 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,152.01 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 21 Mar 2021 - 28 Mar 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,152.01 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 4 Apr 2021 - 11 Apr 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,201.38 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 11 Apr 2021 - 18 Apr 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,201.38 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 25 Apr 2021 - 2 May 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,036.81 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 2 May 2021 - 9 May 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 9 May 2021 - 16 May 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 16 May 2021 - 23 May 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 23 May 2021 - 30 May 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 30 May 2021 - 6 Jun 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 19 Sep 2021 - 26 Sep 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 26 Sep 2021 - 3 Oct 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 3 Oct 2021 - 10 Oct 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 10 Oct 2021 - 17 Oct 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $987.44 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 17 Oct 2021 - 24 Oct 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,201.38 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 24 Oct 2021 - 31 Oct 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,201.38 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 21 Nov 2021 - 28 Nov 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 28 Nov 2021 - 5 Dec 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 19 Dec 2021 - 26 Dec 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,069.73 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENTS These apply if there are only two people confirmed onto the ride. They will be removed once there are three or more people confirmed:

Desert Cavalcade: $460.80
Siroua Saffron Trail: $370.29
The Valley of the Roses: $477.27

INCLUDES Accommodation; full board (from dinner on night of arrival to breakfast on last morning); riding; camping equipment and transfers from Ouarzazate.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT For all of the itineraries, a supplement of $137.14 is payable if you are in a single room. If you are prepared to share this will be refunded once a sharer is found. A single tent is an additional $54.85 for the week.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Lunch on arrival or departure day; drinks in hotels; alcoholic beverages; tips.

NEAREST AIRPORT Ouarzazate.

TRANSFERS Are included from Ouarzazate. It is possible to be transferred from Marrakesh and this is an additional €140 per vehicle each way (payable locally and shared between all those in the vehicle).


Getting There

Your first and last night is in Ouarzazate and transfers from Ouarzazate airport are included at any time.

We can also arrange transfers from Marrakesh airport or a hotel for an additional charge. Your flight should arrive into Marrakesh before 14:00 to allow for the 4 hour transfer to Ouarzazate. Return flights should depart from Marrakesh after 16:00 to allow for the transfer back from Ouarzazate.

For Siroua Saffron Trail

Your first night can be in Ouarzazate or Marrakesh depending on which airport is easier for you to fly to. Transfers are included, at any time, from both Ouarzazate and Marrakesh airport to your hotel for the first night.

The next morning you are transferred to the start of the ride which is about 2 hours drive west from Ouarzazate or 4 hours drive south from Marrakesh.

At the end of the ride, on the evening of day 7, you can be transferred either to Ouarzazate or Marrakesh for your last hotel night. There is no charge for this transfer.

On the final day, transfers are included, at any time, from your hotel to either Ouarzazate or Marrakesh airport.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

These trails are in the deserts of southern Morocco.


Weather & Climate

The Desert Trails running in the south between mid October and mid May, will see temperatures rising to 20°C with cold nights. In April, May and October the day time temperatures will be hotter and the nights less extreme. Rain is possible but unlikely.

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Guest Review

It was a fabulous holiday. We really enjoyed it. The guides charming, friendly and fun. The horses spirited and ideal for the job. The scenery stunning and the views of rural Morocco often surprising and very special.

Patrick, Herefordshire

4.5 star rating Overall rating: 4/5

In The Saddle says

These are very impressive horses; fit and well trained for the trail.

Our Top Tip

Pack layers. Even when its hot during the day it can feel cold at night in the desert.

Email: rides@inthesaddle.com

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