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5 Day Loop of Argana Horse Riding Holiday in Essaouira

Zouina Cheval, Village de Diabat, - BP1042 44000 Essaouira, Morocco

Morocco Horse Riding Holiday

If you're looking for a short break with guaranteed sunshine combining the discovery of the countryside and a cavalcade along the Atlantic coast, this horse trail is for you! Two nights will be spent in a camp under a Moroccan tent, one in the countryside, and one at the seaside, far from the city so that you'll feel like you're in a different world!

Key information

  • Riders Weight Limit: 85 kilograms / 188 pounds
  • Horse Breed: Barb-Arabic Stallions (about 1.55m height)
  • Tack type: English saddles

Meet the instructors

Najib
Read more

Highlights

  • 3 horse riding days
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Discover the countryside and ride along the Atlantic coast and its long deserted beaches
  • Daily breakfast and all meals during the trail are included
  • Visit a women's cooperative of argan oïl
  • Enjoy a canter on the beach
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Arabic, French
Group size: 2-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Agadir–Al Massira Airport
Airport transfer included: Marrakesh Menara Airport
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Accommodation

Your first and last nights will be spent in a riad in Essaouira, while your second and third nights will be in a camp in two different spots with hot water/shower and toilets at your disposal. The camp during the trail is on a high-standard level (pleasant dining tent, shower tent with hot water, chemical loo in a separate tent). There is a possibility to sleep in groups under the big Moroccan tent or isolated in igloo tents. Foam mattresses are supplied but you will need to bring a sleeping bag and camping pillow.

Horse Riding Center in Essaouira

Zouina Cheval welcomes you all year long in its facilities and offers to make you discover horse riding and camel riding with its instructors and guides who know the horses and camels perfectly. For both horse and camel rides, horse riding holidays, quad biking, or hiking, Zouina Cheval will welcome you in a pleasant setting where men, horses, camels, and dogs live in complete harmony. If you do not want to ride and prefer to wait for your family or friends at the stables, you will enjoy the shady patio.

The riding center has a pleasant setting and quality facilities. For horse riding, you will pass through the saddlery upon arrival and Zouina Cheval will provide you with helmets and mini-chaps for your safety and comfort. The center provides helmets of any size (for children and adults). You are recommended to ride with closed shoes like trainers (avoid smooth soles) and trousers (flip flops and shorts should be avoided).

Program

You will have a stop during the trail to visit a women's cooperative of argan oil and taste the local products. One of the highlights of the trail will be the long gallops on the beach, the dream of each rider! To relax before and after the trail, sleep for two nights in a charming riad in Essaouira.

Horse Riding Holidays

Horse treks are usually recommended for intermediate and experienced riders. Beginners are welcome on Zouina Cheval's short treks but the longer riding holidays should be avoided due to the related physical fatigue. If you are a beginner and would like to experience horse trekking, you are recommended to start gently with a two-day/one-night trek.

To take full advantage of your trek, you must be reasonably fit and in good health. To avoid irritations such as chafing, blisters, and bruising, you are recommended to get in the saddle regularly in the weeks leading up to your trek and that you wear good quality riding jodhpurs.

Children are welcome but they must be accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian. They must be over 12 years of age and good riders and also must be capable of spending long hours in the saddle. Zouina Cheval reminds you that helmets are obligatory for under 18s; if you have a riding helmet, please bring it along.

Day 1

Arrive at the airport, either in Marrakesh (Marrakech) or Agadir, and you will be transferred to your riad in Essaouira for your overnight stay (2 hours and 45 minutes or 3.5 hours, respectively). Enjoy dinner (not included) with your fellow riders and discuss the trail ahead, afterward, spend the night in the riad.

Day 2

Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the riad and transfer to the stables (15 minutes). Have your first contact with the staff and horses in Diabat then depart. 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 cook and served in a field.

After some rest, you will go back in the saddle and take the direction to Argana where the first camp is located. You will cross several traditional Berber villages; visit a women's cooperative of argan oil and have a tasting of local products (oil, honey, and amlou). You will spend the night under the oldest and largest argan tree in the area; spend the night in a tent.

Day 2 (Alternative for Beginners)

Meeti at 9:30 a.m. at the riad and transfer to the stables (15 minutes). Have your first contact with the staff and horses in Diabat then depart. 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 our cook and served in a field.

After some rest, you will go 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. Arrive at the camp in the late afternoon.

After a good snack and some mint tea, you may enjoy the beach. The evening meal will be served in a traditional tent and prepared by the cook and spend the night in camp.

Day 3

Through the countryside, you will continue the trail across small Berber villages, valleys, and fields. The ground is full of beautiful colors 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 becomes sandier, 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 will mix cliffs and beaches and you will finally arrive in the late afternoon at the camp located in Sidi Kaouki; spend the night in a tent.

Day 3 (Alternative for Beginners)

After a breakfast with view on the beach, you will begin the trail. 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 have lunch. The cascades flow directly into the sea.

After lunch (2-hour 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. Arrive at the camp based in Sidi Kaouki in the mid-afternoon. You will have some time to swim before dinner and spend the night in a tent.

Day 4

After a generous breakfast taken in front of the ocean, you will go 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 to be in the desert but the sea is just behind them. You will see some very small fishing villages on the beachside.

After some gallops on the beach, you will enter the forest of eucalyptus and mimosas located between the beach and Diabat and see the ruins of the former palace of the Sultan. Arrive at the stables in the late afternoon and transfer to Essaouira; spend the night in the riad have dinner (not included).

Day 5

Meet at the riad and transfer to the airport in Marrakesh/Marrakech (2 hours and 45 minutes) or Agadir (3 hours and 30 minutes).

Included with Zouina Cheval

  • High standard level in the camps during the trek (pleasant dining tent, shower tent with hot water, chemical loo in a separate tent).
  • Possibility to sleep in groups under the big Moroccan tent or isolated in igloo tents. The camp is moved on each day. Foam mattresses are supplied but you will need to bring a sleeping bag and camping pillow.
  • At lunch, the meals will be served by the cook (except on the last day where there is a picnic) in the shade. The break is long enough to recover. Bottles of water are provided daily by the staff.
  • Saddlebags will be provided to keep personal equipment (camera, sun cream, etc.) during the rides. Transportation of materials and equipment with a support vehicle. You will have access to your luggage each day for lunch (except on the last day).

The Horses

All of Zouina Cheval's horses are Arab-Barbs perfectly adapted for the Moroccan paths. They are surefooted and at ease on both the beaches of the Atlantic coast or the narrow, steep paths of the Atlas. The Arab-Barbs are gentle by nature and wish to be neither beaten nor threatened, they prefer to be ridden with care and respect. The horses are not castrated in accordance with Islam religion.

The stallions all have their own character but are nevertheless gentle and adapt their behavior according to each rider and are very docile with children and beginners; it’s a pleasure to ride them! Our stables, located in Diabat, at 3 km from Essaouira, are a pleasant and welcome environment for your comfort and that of the horses. All the horses are in individual spacious stalls, well-sheltered from the sun and wind, allowing them to relax between two rides.

  • Hidalgo

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2008, he grew up in the stables and Zouina Cheval trained him perfectly. Hidalgo is a lovely and gentle horse that perfectly answers to the voice, legs, and hands and never does anything stupid. Still quite young, he is very dynamic and lively; even if he is thin, he will surprise you with his speed. With him, you will not get bored! A horse for all riders but more enjoyable for good riders!

  • Dahab (Golden in Arabic)

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2010, gentle, sociable, calm, and a balanced horse. He is very sweet and always looking for a caress. He is very responsive at three speeds (walk, trot, and canter) and knows how to make riders confident. This horse is suitable for all riding experiences.

  • Kiss Me

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2005. Robust and full of life, he is a nice joker full of sweetness and joy of living. He is also a big glutton. He loves swimming and playing with water. Kiss Me is the carrier so that he can be ridden by heavier riders. Slightly stubborn, you must show him early that he has a responder on his back; a horse suitable for all riders!

  • Ayour (Moon in Berber)

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2008. An adorable stallion looking and acting like a foal that is never afraid and does not care what surrounds it when he goes outdoors; he is very sociable and he is very friendly with other horses and very cuddly with riders. A horse for all riders and perfect for beginners!

  • Chocolat

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2002. He was the first to arrive in the stalls to the delight of the whole team. A lovely horse with a heart of gold which adapts to the level of his rider. He has a good temper and very friendly with other horses. He responds exceptionally well to the voice and is attentive to his rider. He loves hugs and bathing! A perfect horse for all riders, even for the kids!

  • Saphir

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2010. Saphir, since his arrival, is an excellent horse for guiding, never tired, and always happy to lead a trek. DéFull of energy, he likes to play; he is very gentle, a good responder, and afraid of nothing. He is perfectly adapted to experienced riders who will appreciate his energy and will know how to channel it.

  • Latif (The Gentle in Arabic)

Barb-Arab stallion born in 2004. Robust and with a wide collar, he inspires comfort; he's a real sofa! He is always ready for a ride on the beach. He has a strong character and is full of energy which will make the good riders happy. A little stubborn, he needs an iron hand in a velvet glove to be in harmony with his rider. A horse suitable for good riders with gentle hands!

  • Calimero

Arab-Barb stallion born in 2009. He is very nice, both with riders and other horses, this horse is dynamic, determined, tireless, and a bit rascal. However, he may sometimes have some energy to channel but it is only to express his joy. He is comfortable and you will feel confident with him; a horse suitable for intermediate and advanced riders.

  • Smimou

Arab-Barb stallion born in 2002. Gentle, calm, easy, and balanced, this horse will please beginners and low-to-intermediate riders. He will help you feel comfortable in the saddle and enjoy the ride. He is very responsive at the three speeds. Due to his calm nature, he is very friendly with other horses. His small size also makes him a perfect companion for children.

  • Mimoune

Arab-Barb stallion born in 2009. Full of energy and with good size, this horse is perfect for intermediate and experienced riders. He is calm and gentle while being dynamic, a trustable horse well in his head.

  • Simba

Arab-Barb stallion born in 2005. He is friendly with both riders and other horses. He is very pleasant to ride because he is always determined, dynamic, and full of positive energy. His good temper makes him a trusted partner; a horse suitable for experienced riders.

Included excursions

  • 3 days on horseback (1.5 days in the countryside and 1.5 days on the beachside)
  • Visit and tasting of an argan oïl cooperative on Day 2

What you will like

  • Horse riding holiday to do with family and/or friends (Accessible from 10 years old for riders and from 12 years old for beginners)
  • A horse trek suitable for all riding levels
  • A horse trail running all year long from two participants
  • The tough and gentle Arab-barb horses
  • A trek mixing one day and a half in the countryside and one day and a half on the Atlantic coast and its beaches to show you different landscapes
  • The nights in camp in Argana and Sidi Kaouki
  • Swimming with the horses between May and September
  • Canter on the beach

Instructors

Najib Es-SAMLALY

Location

Nights one and four will be in a charming riad at the old medina of Essaouira. You will have some free time before and after the trail to discover the charm of Essaouira, its shops and its fortifications.

Nights two and three will be at a camp in the countryside and on the seaside, in the surroundings of Essaouira.

The departure and end of the horse trail will be from the stables, located in Diabat, a small Berber village located at three kilometers from Essaouira.

Food

All the meals will be prepared by a Moroccan cook; he will make you discover the tasty local dishes including tagines, couscous, Moroccan salads, etc.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Hallal
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Quad Biking Tour in Essaouira

Quad biking with departure from Diabat, a small Berber village three kilometers from Essaouira. Notice to the thrill-seekers: Zouina Cheval also offers quad biking tours to discover the surroundings of Essaouira. From the introduction or training essential for the beginners to the confirmed practice, there is something for everyone!

For this purpose, Zouina Cheval created another company, Quad Attitude, specialized in quad biking in Essaouira. You can book directly via Zouina Cheval to avail of this activity. You will be coached by an instructor who will teach you the basics of the quad so you can enjoy your activity.

The instructors will adjust to your level and they will accompany you on all your rides. You will drive your quad in the forests, on the beaches, and in the heart of the beautiful dunes along the coast between Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki through Diabat and the Cap Sim. For the most passionate of you, you can also enjoy treks with nights in a camp that will give you the opportunity to discover the charms of the countryside as well as the traditional Berber villages.

Zouina Cheval can organize personalized programs on demand. If you fancy a sporting adventure, feel free to book for a training, a ride, or a trek on a quad. You have the choice to be one or two persons in the same quad. For one or two persons per quad, here are the rates:

  • 1-hour quad biking: 1 person 30 EUR/330 DHR | 2 persons 45 EUR/ 500 DHR
  • 2-hour quad biking: 1 person 45 EUR/500 DHR | 2 persons 65 EUR/ 715 DHR
  • 3-hour quad biking: 1 person 55 EUR/600 DHR | 2 persons 80 EUR/ 880 DHR
  • 4-hour quad biking: 1 person 70 EUR/770 DHR | 2 persons 90 EUR/ 990 DHR
  • 4-hour quad biking with picnic: 1 person 80 EUR/880 DHR | 2 persons 105 EUR/ 1150 DHR
  • Day in Sidi Kaouki quad biking + lunch: 1 person 95 EUR/1050 DHR | 2 persons 135 EUR/1485 DHR
  • Day in Sidi Kaouki and falls quad biking + lunch: 1 person 125 EUR/1375 DHR | 2 persons 150 EUR/1650 DHR
  • Selected quad bike + Moroccan dinner, night and breakfast in a camp under the Moroccan tent: Price of the bike + 65 EUR/700 DHR per adult

Please consult Zouina Cheval for the children's prices that will be based on their age. Quad biking holidays in Morocco and quad trails are organized all year long.

Duration: 2 days quad biking with one night in camp

  • Highlights: Diabat - Cap Sim - Sidi Kaouki - Sidi Embark Falls - Ifthane beach
  • Prices: 300 EUR per participant/quad or 450 EUR for 2 participants on the quad

Duration: 3 days quad biking with two nights in camp

  • Highlights: Diabat - El Ghazoua - Argana - The Source - Ifthane beach - Sidi Embark falls - Sidi Kaouki - Cap Sim
  • Prices: 480 EUR per participant/quad or 700 EUR for 2 participants on the quad

Prices of the treks with departure from Diabat: Zouina Cheval can organize your return transfers from the airports of Marrakesh (Marrakech) or Agadir/Essaouira and book for you the first and last nights in a riad in Essaouira for 110 EUR additional per person. Have lunch in small local restaurants. Dinners, nights, and breakfast in a Moroccan tent (tent and mattresses furnished but not the sleeping bag). For longer treks, prices for groups or companies, please do not hesitate to contact Zouina Cheval.

Moroccan Night

Would you like to escape from the town with your family or your friends and spend some time in nature? You will certainly enjoy a night in the tent, under the stars as a city break! Nothing easier: you can book a Moroccan tent (20 persons maximum capacity) for a great evening and spend the night!

Zouina Cheval proposes a Moroccan dinner in the tent, made of a succulent tagine or couscous that will be prepared for you with a good mint tea. If you want some musical ambience, you can rent traditional Moroccan musicians for the evening and sing and dance with them! You will spend the night near Diabat, in the dunes, very close to the beach.

You will enjoy the stars during the evening and take your breakfast in front of the ocean. If you want to have something different during your holidays, please do not hesitate to contact Zouina Cheval.

  • Rental of the tent, mattresses, and sleeping bags included + Moroccan dinner and breakfast: 65 EUR per person
  • For children under 5: Free
  • For children between 6 and 10 years old: 45 EUR
  • Group prices: Contact Zouina Cheval

Hiking Trails in Morocco

You will be accompanied by a Moroccan guide, who knows the area perfectly and will be able to make you discover the authentic charms of Morocco throughout your excursion. A vehicle of assistance or a camel will ensure the transportation of your personal effects as well as tents and will wait for you each evening in the camp.

The evening meals will be prepared by the cook and will consist of Moroccan dishes such as tagines or grills. The meals of midday consist of copious picnics with grills of meats or fishes, salads, etc. For 110 EUR additional per person (price given on a basis of two people), Zouina Cheval ensures your transfer from the airport of Marrakech to Essaouira and you will be placed the nights before and after the trek in a riad of charm, in full heart of the medina, in Essaouira.

What's included

  • 3 horse riding days
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • 4 nights' accommodation (2 in a riad and 2 in a camp)
  • Helmets may be provided

What's not included

  • Lunch and dinner (Day 1 and Day 5)
  • Dinner (Day 4)
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Agadir–Al Massira Airport (AGA) or Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK). From these airports, you will be picked up and transported to Essaouira according to your flight schedule, transfers are already included in the package. Please provide your flight number and exact arrival and departure time.

Airport: Agadir–Al Massira Airport Airport transfer included: Agadir–Al Massira Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Marrakesh Menara Airport Airport transfer included: Marrakesh Menara Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
5 days / 4 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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