Morocco - Desert Trails

  • Open Sep-Jun
  • Set arrivals
  • 7 nights / 6 days of riding | 2 to 5 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Marrakesh
  • 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. We have three itineraries to choose from:

Desert Cavalcade
Heading south east from Ouarzazate you 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 to the Sahara and has the most opportunity for faster riding. It is the most challenging of the desert trails.

 

Siroua Saffron Trail
This riding trail is in the Siroua (pronounced Sirwa) Mountain region which is situated between the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas. This area is perfect for riding in Spring and in Autumn when it might be getting a bit 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 and is exported worldwide. 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 Barb Arabian and mainly stallions. They are well schooled and behave well on the trail and the only thing you need to remember (as on all trails but of even more importance when riding stallions) is 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 and is fast in places. 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. The trails are not suitable for nervous riders.

In some places it is very rocky and suitable only for walking. In other areas it may be very soft and also not suitable for fast riding. Where possible there are opportunities for trots and canters which may be along hard tracks.

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.

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

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 our rides in different regions, check out our Essaouira Coastal Trail and Toubkal Mountain Trail. If you would prefer not to camp, our Horses, Dunes & Nomads itinerary would be perfect.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Desert Cavalcade 22 Dec 2019 - 29 Dec 2019 7 nights 7 ngts $1,125.83 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 29 Dec 2019 - 5 Jan 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 5 Jan 2020 - 12 Jan 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 2 Feb 2020 - 9 Feb 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 9 Feb 2020 - 16 Feb 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 1 Mar 2020 - 8 Mar 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 8 Mar 2020 - 15 Mar 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Full
Desert Cavalcade 15 Mar 2020 - 22 Mar 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 29 Mar 2020 - 5 Apr 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 19 Apr 2020 - 26 Apr 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $971.61 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 26 Apr 2020 - 3 May 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $925.34 View (.pdf) Book
The Valley of the Roses 3 May 2020 - 10 May 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $925.34 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 10 May 2020 - 17 May 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 17 May 2020 - 24 May 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 24 May 2020 - 31 May 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $925.34 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 20 Sep 2020 - 27 Sep 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 27 Sep 2020 - 4 Oct 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Siroua Saffron Trail 4 Oct 2020 - 11 Oct 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 18 Oct 2020 - 25 Oct 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 15 Nov 2020 - 22 Nov 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 22 Nov 2020 - 29 Nov 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,002.46 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 13 Dec 2020 - 20 Dec 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,079.56 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 20 Dec 2020 - 27 Dec 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $1,055.47 View (.pdf) Book
Desert Cavalcade 27 Dec 2020 - 3 Jan 2021 7 nights 7 ngts $1,055.47 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: $431.82
Siroua Saffron Trail: $347.00
The Valley of the Roses: $447.25

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 $128.52 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 $51.40 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.


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

Desert Trails Riding Specialist

Lucy says

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

My Top Tip

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

Email: lucy@inthesaddle.com

Lucy Downes
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