Horse riding in Morocco – a trek near Marrakech
Posted on October 28, 2012 by James Robbins
There are many ways and means to see Morocco, but today’s method was on horseback.
I awoke reasonably early and met Charlotte, Ben and Louisa in the hotel gardens. Charlotte and Louisa had been horse riding many times before – although not in Morocco – yet Ben and I were very much novices (but no less excited).
The four of us took a 15–20 minute drive down to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, stopping at a beautiful spot surrounded by lake Lalla Takerkoust. There we met Hassan and his team, our tour guides for the day and owners of many handsome and healthy steeds. They greeted us with a traditional Moroccan mint tea and then asked us about our horse riding ability.
Charlotte and Louisa explained that they’d ridden many times previously and were soon high above us on good looking horses. Ben and I were allocated two equally handsome horses who wouldn’t be flustered in our inexperienced hands. Hassan and his team did a great job of making us all feel welcome and safe.
Mounted and ready, we set off through the smaller hills of Morocco’s High Atlas. Charlotte was off and away in full chase of tour guide Hassan, with the rest of us trotting comfortably behind. Ben and I were accompanied on foot by one of Hassan’s team who was making sure we were comfortable and that our horses were calm.
The Moroccan terrain was fascinating; we were riding along dried up river beds, through harvested fields, down beaten tracks away from all communities. But just as you thought we were miles away from everything, a head would pop up from a rock or from behind a tree – a shepherd with his flock of sheep and goats graving on the hill side.
After riding for about two hours we stopped on the top of a hill for refreshments. Our stop also gave us time to take some mid-trek photos of our horses and the amazing views of lake Lalla Takerkoust below.
One hour later we were back at camp saying farewell to our horses, who all deserved a good rest. Hassan and his team gave us some more of their mint tea – which this time was sweetened. Clearly Hassan had one look at Ben and I realised that we were shattered from this amazing experience!
I’ll certainly go horse riding in Marrakech again – it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in Morocco.