The Safron Trail

THE SAFRON TRAIL

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

This is a brand new horseback riding trail in the Siroua Mountain!

Between the High Atlas & the Anti Atlas, the Siroua Mountain, a volcanic formation with an average altitude of 2500 m (Siroua Summit culminates at 3400 m) allows horse trekking in spring-time & in autumn. Various landscapes alternate between green grass to dark volcanic rocks, with many small villages in the valleys & an endless crocus culture that is the wealth of this region.

Our well trained horses will take us very safely in some difficult places. The good thing is that these hard paths usually lead to nice pastures very much appreciated by our horse shoes!!

  • Long meadows for nice canters
  • Siroua landscape : volcanic rock interspersed with small Berber villages, traditional sheep pens and saffron fields
  • Ride traditional Moroccan Barb and Arabian stallions which are well schooled and well balanced
  • High level of service whilst camping during the ride

THE SAFRON TRAIL

*2021 prices from 3 pax

DEPARTURE RETURN PRICE STATUS
16/05/2021 23/05/2021 780€ OUVERT
23/05/2021 30/05/2021 780€ OUVERT
30/05/2021 06/06/2021 780€ OUVERT

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. €300 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 Marrakech.
  • Reception & airport transfers to and from the airport.

Type of accommodation

  • Camping/bivouacs: 3-seater tents for 2 people and foam mattresses
  • Hotel 3*** based on 2 persons per room in Marrakech

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 Marrakech.
On request, pick up from another airport or another city.

OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

Cancellation, Interruption and Repatriation Insurance.

Miscellaneous

  • Visits of Marrakech or Ouarzazate 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: 300€ per person.
  • Tips for local teams.
  • Possibility of privatization. Quote on request.

Day 1 : Arrival in Marrakech airport

Accommodation : Hotel Les Trois Palmiers

Meet & greet at airport

Overnight in hotel in Marrakech

Day 2 : Marrakech - Anzal – Tamllakoute : 2 ½ hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain Camp

At 07:00 you will be collected from the hotel reception and transferred to Ait Marssid in the Siroua massif (c. 4h drive). Here you will be welcomed by your equestrian guide and the logistical team. After lunch you will be introduced to your horse and after a short ride to ensure everyone feels comfortable with their horses, you will set off on the trail. Follow the bank of the Anzal Oueds to the village of Tamllakoute where you spend your first night of camping.

Day 3 : Tamllakoute – Amezri : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain camp

The morning starts along a track which offers the opportunity for faster riding, before crossing the little town of Tinzaline. You then ride across rocky terrain until reaching the village of Tizgzawine which appears lost in the mountains. After lunch you continue to Merzoug and the vast Amezri plateau, from where there are beautiful views over the surrounding mountains.

Day 4 : Amezri - Talat n’Mdist : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain camp

Today, your trail takes you to the Siroua summits, crossing the Ait Tigga which towers above the valley of Ait Semgane with its saffron fields. You keep climbing up a path which offers views across the numerous Berber villages which are scattered along the valley. Lunch is taken above the sheep pens at Tisswatine.
In the afternoon, you ride up to the well known high pass of Tizi n'Anzommer (2,732m) for views of the surrounding mountains. Descend along old shepherding trails to your camp in Mdist valley.

Day 5 : Talat n’Mdist – Azazougzane : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain camp

During the morning you ride along a track which crosses a mountainous and desert landscape which is rich in medicinal plants. Berbers travel all over Siroua and collect several plants to sell in Moroccan souks. Descend along a scenic track until reaching the river with views over Ighighi gorges. There is time to rest and enjoy lunch at the foot of Djebel Tazoulte.
In the afternoon you ride along a trail which brings you to the sheep pens at Azib Azazougzane where camp is set up for the night.

Day 6 : Azazougzane – Anmid : 5 hours riding

Accommodation : Mountain camp

After breakfast you continue riding through green meadows and sheepfolds in a magnificent rocky landscape. Lunch is taken amongst the sheep pens before climbing to Tizi n'Ait Qalla for a panoramic view over the large village of Anmid. Set up camp at the base of the village.

Day 7 : Anmid – Amassine : 2 ½ hours riding

Accommodation : Hotel Les Trois Palmiers

After your final night of camping, ride out in the direction of Agrilaoune village. You will ride on a long track which towers above beautiful Berber villages which hang from the mountains steep sides. After a final canter, you say goodbye to your horses and board a vehicle for the transfer back to Marrakesh and your hotel (c. 4h drive).

Day 8 : Marrakech - Airport

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

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!

NIVEAU ÉQUESTRE ET FORME PHYSIQUE

Minimum technique requis

Parfaite maîtrise des 3 allures en extérieur et en terrain ouvert : trotter enlevé, galoper en équilibre et en groupe, garder le contrôle de son cheval (distance, direction) aux allures vives avec une main légère. Equivalent académique minimum du galop 4.
Les cavaliers de plus de 90kg et plus de 1m95 doivent nous consulter avant inscription.

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.Note that the gallops are done in line, especially at the beginning of the ride, because of the temperament of the stallions.

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 April & 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 Marrakech : Hotel 3 stars in double room.

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 south of Morocco the rains are rare but not non-existent. Since a few years very important rainy events have been affecting the south of the country.
From October to November and from February to April the temperatures remain pleasant see warm 35°/20° (October and April) 25°/12° (November, February, March).
In the heart of winter, mornings and evenings are cool to cold (up to -5° at the end of December). At noon, temperatures reach 18°/20°C to decline fairly quickly in the evening. In summer, the climate is torrid (around 45°C) and riding is not organized.

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 winter (December and January)
Bust
  • Thermal underwear (December and January).
  • 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 (From November to mid-Februar).
  • 1 warm Goretex-type jacket (waterproof and breathable) (From December to mid-February) .
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
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 ° (October to November and from February to April) and -5° or -8° (December and January).
  • 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

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