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8 Day The Knights of Essaouira Horse Riding Holiday in Essaouira

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

Morocco Horse Riding Holiday

This six-day horse trek in Morocco crosses day by day argan tree forests, small traditional Berber villages, a dam and its lake, gorges and valleys, small mountains, fields of dunes, wide beaches, and cliffs along the Atlantic coast to offer huge views on the ocean, punctuated of small fishermen villages. This trail is only open to intermediate and experienced riders, beginners are not allowed. The cavalcade in Morocco starts and ends in Essaouira!

Key information

  • Riders Weight Limit: 85 kilograms / 188 pounds
  • Horse Height Range: 15 hands
  • Horse Breed: Barb-Arabic Stallions (about 1.55m height)
  • English saddles

Meet the instructors

Najib
Read more

Highlights

  • 6 horse riding days
  • Ride along the Atlantic coast
  • Approximate daily riding time: 6 - 7 hours
  • Discover the hinterland and small traditional Berber villages
  • Riding holiday open to experienced riders with highly diversified landscapes
  • Daily breakfast and all meals during the trail are included
  • Roundtrip airport transfers are included
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 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

During this holiday, two nights will be spent in a charming riad in Essaouira on your first night and last night and five nights will be spent in a camp under the Berber tent with access to toilets and a shower with hot water every evening.

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

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

After breakfast, meet at 9:30 a.m. in the riad and transfer to Diabat (15-minute drive). Meet with the staff and have first contact with the horses. After departure, follow a river (Ksob oued) surrounded by abundant vegetation and take the direction of the village named El Ghazoua that you will cross. You will then reach the largest forest of argan trees of the area which extends from Essaouira to Agadir.

Have a picnic at the bank of a river, in the shade of the argan trees and after some rest, continue to cross the forest and go up and down by small mountains, being careful not to walk on the turtles! Take the direction of Ida Ou Gourd and see some traditional Berber houses and fields.

After a gallop on the paths, arrive at the camp (bivouac), which is located close to the ruins of an old sugar factory, made from mud and straw. Have dinner and spend the night in a tent.

Day 3

In the morning, cross a small village and take broad paths bordered of argan trees and fields. According to the season, you will be able to attend the ploughings, still carried out with donkeys and/or cows. Arrive towards a charming valley and take a path to ascent a small mountain. Lunch will be served up the mountain and you will have a beautiful view of the valley.

In the afternoon, cross a mountainous area and a splendid plateau with a lot of fields and cultures. Direction Neknafa, ride along Zerrar dam and its lake surrounded with luxurious flora. The final stop will be in Aïntizeril, where the bivouac is located.

Day 4

Wake-up early today because this will be the longest day on horseback of the week! In the morning, climb a mountain, passing through a riverbed and see a marabout, a small Berber village located at the top of a small mountain, which is also famous for its marabouts and traditional healers, then, walk and gallop along the paths bordered by fields.

A short walk will take place to get down the mountain and have a last gallop on a path and arrive in a little village with a source to make the horses drink during lunchtime. In the afternoon, alternate gorges, canyons, and fields in the direction of Argana where your bivouac is. Visit a feminine argan oil cooperative where you will learn how to produce it and discuss it with the women.

Day 5

In the morning, cross a small Berber village and a plateau located between small hills, along the coast. After being gone down in the middle of a small valley, join “the source” where you will have lunch with the team. After lunch, spend time in the fields, on paths; in the late afternoon, appreciate an extraordinary panorama with an unspoilable view on the sea.

Arrive at the small village of fishermen of Ifthane. Go on the beach and enjoy walking in the sea with the horses, after a good gallop on the beach (small deserted creek), go up on the cliff dominating the sea where the camp is located.

Day 6

In the morning, cross fields and small villages located all along the sea. Take the direction of the cascades of Sidi Embark where you will have lunch; the latter flows into the sea, with a possibility to swim (in the falls or the sea). After lunch, go along the superb deserted beaches and the immense dunes of sand, where you appreciate long gallops.

Cross a small village of fishermen and arrive at the camp early in the afternoon, located on one of the beaches of the village of Sidi Kaouki. If the weather is nice, there is a possibility to swim with the horses or alone. Spend the night in a tent.

Day 7

After breakfast in front of the sea, return towards Diabat while going along the beaches. Pass in front of the small lighthouse of the Cap Sim. After having left the beaches, cross the dunes and a forest of eucalyptus and mimosas. Arrive in Diabat in the late afternoon while passing by the ruins of the palace of the Sultan. Transfer to the riad in Essaouira and have dinner (not included), spend the night in a riad.

Day 8

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

You will like:

  • A highly diversified and quite technical horse trail
  • The tough and gentle Arab-barb horses
  • A discovery of the hinterland and small traditional Berber villages and a ride along the Atlantic coast with cliffs, deep gorges and valleys, dunes, cascades, dam, small fishermen villages, and long beaches
  • Swimming with the horses between May and September and canter on the beach

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

  • Discover the hinterland and small traditional Berber villages during the first part of the trail
  • Have a ride along the Atlantic coast with cliffs, deep gorges and valleys, dunes, cascades, dam, small fishermen villages, and long beaches during the second part of the trail
  • Discovery traditional Morocco on horseback with contact with the inhabitants
  • Zerrar dam and its lake surrounded by a luxurious vegetation

Instructors

Najib Es-SAMLALY

Location

Zouina Cheval's stables are located in Diabat, a small Berber village three kilometers from Essaouira. Before and after the trail, you will sleep in a charming riad located in the old medina of Essaouira. You will have some free time to visit Essaouira, do some shopping, and admire its fortifications. During the trail, you will discover the countryside of Essaouira and the Atlantic coast.

Food

Daily breakfast is included on all days. All meals during the trail ride are included. The meals on Day 1 and the dinner after the trail (evening of Day 7) are not included. During the trail, in addition to the three usual meals, you will have a snack after the afternoon ride. The cook will freshly prepare daily traditional Moroccan meals to make you discover the numerous local flavors.

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
  • 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

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • All meals at the camp during the trail

What's not included

  • All meals on the first day
  • Dinner on Day 7
  • Lunch of Day 8
  • Personal expenses
  • Airfare

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.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Availability

Arrival: Saturday January 9, 2021
Departure: Saturday January 16, 2021

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