The Middle Atlas

The Middle Atlas

  • 8 days (6 on horseback)
  • Activity: Horseback riding
  • Comfort: Camping
  • Level: confirmed

Riding in the Middle Atlas will allow you to discover a region with little tourism, yet with an unusual charm and many attractions: the emblematic cedar forests of course; bare plateaus where pastoralism dominates and where cereal crops are still cultivated in an archaic way, with peat and sickle; and beautiful small mountain lakes on the edge of which lunch is taken.

  • The magnificent cedar forests.
  • The lakes along the route.
  • Paths and terrain adapted to the pace.
  • A little-known country without international tourism.
  • The discovery of Fez and its medina.

The Middle Atlas

*2021 prices from 3 pers.

DEPARTURE RETURN PRICE STATUS  
25/07/2021 01/08/2021 948€ OPEN
01/08/2021 08/08/2021 948€ OPEN
22/08/2021 29/08/2021 948€ OPEN
29/08/2021 05/09/2021 948€ OPEN
05/06/2022 12/06/2022 898€ OPEN  
12/06/2022 19/06/2022 898€ OPEN  
19/06/2022 26/06/2022 898€ OPEN  
24/07/2022 31/07/2022 948€ OPEN  
31/07/2022 07/08/2022 948€ OPEN  
21/08/2022 28/08/2022 948€ START  
28/08/2022 04/09/2022 948€ OPEN  
         

Price details

  • Price per person and excluding flights.
  • Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 international riders and a maximum of 12 riders.
  • Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €250 per person. Once the group has reached 3 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.
  • Single supplement room/tent : 140€

Please note

The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

OUR PRICE INCLUDES

Accompanying persons

1 French-speaking and/or English-speaking Moroccan guide following the group and 01 groom (on horseback) beyond 5 riders.


Logistic team

  • 1 vehicle and driver
  • 1 cook
  • 1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland Transportation

  • Minibus or 4x4 to reach the start of the hike from Fez.
  • Reception & airport transfers to and from the airport.

Type of accommodation

  • Camping/bivouacs: 3-seater tents for 2 people and foam mattresses
  • Hotel 3 stars in Fez based on 2 persons per room at the beginning and end of the ride.

Meals

  • Full board from diner D01 to breakfast D08.
  • Filtered water or in case mineral water served during the hike.

Miscellaneous equipment

Group pharmacy (first aid)

OPTION

Hosting

Single room and tent supplement on request.

Arrival

Pick up at the airport of Fez.
On request, pick up from another airport or another city.

 

OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

Cancellation, Interruption and Repatriation Insurance.

Miscellaneous

  • Visits of Fez in case.
  • All museum entries and other during the trip.

Meals

  • Lunch on D1 and D8 (depending on your flight schedule).
  • Drinks and personal extras.

Miscellaneous

  • Supplement for groups of 2 participants: 350€ per person.
  • Tips for local teams.
  • Possibility of privatization. Quote on request.
Day 1 : Arrival and welcome in Fez

Accommodation : 3 star hotel in Fez

Reception at the airport of Fez and transfer to the city center a few steps from the Medina. According to your arrival you will be able to discover this twelve centuries old imperial city with its medina of 9000 lanes, the largest in the Maghreb.

Day 2 : Fez - Transfer from hiking - Boumzil : 3 ½ hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

In the morning, transportation by minibus from Fez to Khenifra, crossing an agricultural region where arboriculture is highly developed, with a short stop in Ifrane, the Moroccan Switzerland.

After joining the logistics team and having lunch, the horses are assigned. This half-stage of 3h1/2 winds through cultivated hills, up to the bivouac set up near the hamlets of Boumzil, where there is electricity and internet relay, but no running water. Yet water runs from everywhere in the Middle Atlas,nicknamed the "water tower" of Morocco.

Day 3 : From crops to the magnificent cedar forests : 7 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

Approximately 7 hours of riding during the day, equally divided between morning and afternoon. A series of agricultural valleys are first crossed, before approaching the forest and being amazed by the centuries-old cedars. Lunch is taken at the edge of the three enchanting lakes of Tiguelmamine, whose waters are so clear that swimming is a must.

Afterwards, we will cross very serene agricultural areas, with a scattered habitat full of sheep, cows, donkeys and mules, and sometimes hobbled mares that put our stallions in turmoil. We then have to tackle a tough climb to cross the mountain and open out into a magnificent forest of cedars, holm oaks and junipers, before reaching the sublime Ajdir plateau, the place of the bivouac. A paradisiacal place with vast flat grassy areas, ideal for the last gallops of the day.

Day 4 : Ajdir - Aït Atmane : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

The morning is spent entirely in a majestic cedar forest, some of which may be 600 years old, up to 70m high, but unfortunately many of them are mutilated. The Berbers have indeed taken the habit of lighting fires at their base to collect honey. This short stage of 2h1/2 brings us to the edge of the great lake Aguelmame Azigza, where we are welcomed by a colony of monkeys, not at all shy, who come to get food and let themselves be photographed. Nice place again for lunch.

The long afternoon stage, 4 hours, takes place essentially in a huge agricultural basin where the population is busy maintaining and cultivating by hand plots too small and too sloping to allow access to any machinery. The crossing of small villages, where storks are numerous, makes us appreciate - there as elsewhere - the kindness of the Moroccans.

The bivouac is set up near the hamlets of Aït Atmane, along a river that the horses appreciate.

Day 5 : Aït Atmane - Plateau d'Ounane : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

In the morning, a 3-hour stopover, mainly in a beautiful forest where cedars predominate, with pleasant clearings and on a wide, not very stony trail. Lunch is taken as usual towards a lake, that of Aguelmame Wiwane, where a long pleasant moment can be spent, as long as the afternoon stage is only about ten kilometers long. We then ride mostly on flat high plateaus bordered by sheepfolds, which allows us to gallop, while crossing countless flocks of black-headed sheep and poultry of all kinds around Lake N'Ifaghrioune.

The plateau of Ounane, the place of our bivouac, even has a small pond in the middle to water the herds. Another superb place, ideal to gallop and spend a great evening.

Day 6 : Ounane Plateau - Azaghar : 5 ½ hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

After crossing the plateau of Ounane, we start a long descent in a forest of holm oaks, by a wide track, being able to cross vultures. Three hours are necessary to reach a beautiful valley where water flows everywhere and where oleanders abound. We have lunch on the edge of a river, near the beautiful village of Zaouit Ifrane which is installed in a remarkable site.

The afternoon stage takes us up through a pleasant forest on a high plateau, as far as the eye can see, where brilliant gallops take us to Azaghar, the place of the bivouac. The hike ends in apotheosis, so much the place is splendid, in edge of forest, with beautiful lawns without pebbles and a very green grass which pleases the horses.

Day 7 : Azaghar - Fez : 3 ½ hours riding

Accommodation : 3 star hotel in Fez

For the last half day, we ride on the crest of this long plateau of Azaghar, in vast areas of grassland where sheep abound; and maybe we have the chance to witness the shearing of the sheep by crossing sheepfold hamlets.

Little by little we approach the big lake Aguelmame Afenourir where the logistics are waiting for us for the last lunch in the middle of nature. This natural lake at an altitude of 1800 m is part of the Ifrane National Park, an important stopover for migratory birds.

Return to Fez by minibus in the afternoon, by an itinerary different from the outward journey through sumptuous cedar forests. And free evening before departure the next day.

Jour 8 : Fez - Airport

Breakfast and transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule.

CAVALERY

Bearded stallion horses and bearded Arabs, selected and trained by our team, enduring, lively and docile. They are admirably adapted to the paths of the High Atlas: small sure-footed and big-hearted, their gaits are raised. Height at the withers: 1.45 m to 1.55 m.

They will amaze you on this hike by their resistance on sometimes the most difficult paths... You will come back for them!

THE HORSES AND LEVEL

Minimum technical requirements

Perfect mastery of the 3 gaits in outdoor and open terrain: trotting with the trotters off, galloping in balance and in groups, keeping control of the horse (distance, direction) at brisk paces with a light hand. Minimum academic equivalent of gallop 4.
Riders over 90kg and over 1m95 must consult us before registration. Good physical conditions required.

Paces

The basic pace in hiking is the step. Good regular trots and gallops every half day: from the small collected canter to unbridled gallops when the terrain allows it.On this trek through forests and crops the paces are often possible. Just managing your companion's health will make you as reasonable as possible to manage his form.

Autonomy and participation

Everyone is required to dress, saddle, bridle and unhook his horse. They are also expected to participate in camp tasks, including the setting up and dismantling of tents. You can participate according to your wishes in the care of the horses (distribution of water and food).

Level and experience required

Good physical condition and good endurance on horseback. Expect cold evenings in early spring (April) and late fall (October).
A multi-day horseback riding experience is a plus, but is not mandatory. Riders who don't ride regularly must get back in the saddle before the ride.
Encountering different cultures and mentalities implies an acceptance of these differences and respect for them.

Equestrian Equipment

Tailor-made hiking saddles, very practical saddlebags are available.
Bombs or helmets are not mandatory but strongly recommended. Our partner has a few bombs, but preferably bring your own equipment. In case of request, please do so when you register.

Comfort

In camp: Tents for two people with mattresses, Moroccan caïdal tent for meals, shower tent with hot water morning / evening, toilet tent.
In Fez : Hotel 3 stars in double room. Possibility on request to spend the night in Riad in Medina (extra charge).

Meals

Copious dinners, cold at noon and hot in the evening at the bivouac.
The cook takes care of everything.
In order to avoid plastic bottles, please provide micro-pure tablets or we provide filtered water (catadyn ceramic filter). We advise you to take with you one or two metal cans... to avoid plastic.

Climate

In the Middle Atlas, long and heavy rains are rare but not non-existent. On the other hand in summer showers or thunderstorms are on certain daily periods. They never last long and protect us from the sun in the afternoon! But global warming makes all standards obsolete! From April to June and from September to October the temperatures remain pleasant 20°/25° in altitude.
In the heart of the summer (July/August), the days can be hot for the first two days with an average mountain temperature of 30/35° in the middle of the day. At night the temperatures will always be very pleasant but cool under the showers.

Local Team Guide

French / English-speaking Moroccan equestrian guides assisted by grooms.

TIPS

It is customary, as a sign of thanks, to give a tip to the local teams. You can foresee about 30€ / 40€ for the whole team.

Packing List
Head
  • A riding helmet: it is seriously recommended and often mandatory. Manufacturers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème...) offer today ventilated, solid and light riding helmets, pleasant under all latitudes. There are also protective shells to put under your hat (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western helmets (Troxel).
  • Cap or hat for the sun (essential)
  • A bandana, scarf or chèche to protect the neck or face from dust and sunlight
  • A pair of high protection sunglasses
  • A hat or hood in early spring and late fall.
Bust
  • Thermal underwear (April and October).
  • Cotton T-shirts + long-sleeved shirts (for protection against the sun) or T-shirts made of quick-drying technical materials.
  • 1 light fleece or equivalent
  • 1 warm fleece or equivalent for evenings.
  • 1 warm Goretex-type jacket (waterproof and breathable).
Legs
  • 2 riding breeches or long leather chaps
  • 1 spare pair of pants (hiking or jeans or equivalent)
  • 1 swimsuit may be useful (swimming, toilet)
  • Cotton or non-irritating synthetic underwear
Pieds et Mains
  • 1 paire de chaussures de marche légères (indispensable pour la montée du col) avec chaps ou boots avec des mini-chaps spécifique pour l'équitation
  • 1 paire de baskets ou chaussures légères équivalentes pour le soir.
  • Plusieurs paires de chaussettes
  • 1 paire de gants pour se protéger du soleil, du froid et des frottements
Feet and Hands
  • 1 pair of light walking shoes (essential for the ascent of the pass) with chaps or boots with specific mini-chaps for riding
  • 1 pair of sneakers or equivalent light shoes for the evening.
  • Several pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of gloves to protect yourself from the sun, cold and rubbin

Little tricks on horseback

  • Soothing cream very useful in the corners of your intimacy irritated by long hours on horseback.
  • Nothing on your back, everything in your jacket or a banana on your belly: lipstick,sunscreen, passport, small camera or mini camera (waterproof), cords, glasses... more accessible than fonts.
  • Riding backpacks are not allowed

Sleep

  • Sleeping bag warm comfort 2 °/-5 ° (April / May and September / October) and light from mid-June to mid-September. We also advise you to double this one with a meat bag which will be very useful on hot nights.
Miscellaneous
  • Soft travel bag/case
  • 2 metal cans of 1 liter or equivalent
  • Headlamp, batteries and spare bulbs
  • Toilet kit (biodegradable wipes to replace water, micropur...)
  • Toilet paper + lighter to burn it after use
  • A Swiss Army knife or equivalent (in the hold!!)
  • Small paper bags to throw in the trash can
  • Earplugs can be useful for those who would have light sleep as a roommate.
  • Camera (with a spare battery)
  • A pair of binoculars possiblyt
Pharmacy
As a precaution, list your drug allergies in your pharmacy.
  • Personal medications
  • 1 Broad-spectrum antibiotic
  • Aspirin or paracetamol
  • Anti Diarrhea
  • Vitamin C
  • Highly protective sun cream for lips and skin
  • Eye drops
  • Moisturizing cream for after sun.
  • A roll of plaster
  • A 10 cm wide adhesive elastic band
  • A box of bandages is
  • Ready-to-use disinfectant pouches
  • Micropur or Hydroclonazone tablets to disinfect water
  • An anti-mosquito cream and spray

©2018 Horse Riding by Sport Travel. All rights reserved.               Designed by : INMOROCCO