Morocco hike, bike & horse ride vacation

“A week’s small group adventure tour, hiking and biking in the Atlas Mountains, horse riding on Atlantic beaches and experiencing superb Berber hospitality. ”

Highlights

Marrakech | Bike tour of Marrakech | Downhill mountain biking in Atlas Mountains | Ourika Valley | Imlil | Homestay with Berber family | Aroumd | Essaouira | Beach horseriding | Traditional hammam

Travel Team

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Date
Price
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03 Oct 2020
US $1070
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Whilst using public transport is the most sustainable way of traveling, in Morocco it’s not always easy to. Aside from good train connections between the major cities, it’s often tricky to travel to more rural or remote areas by public transport. On this trip we use private transport in a few places, but wherever we can we jump on public transport. For instance, our journey from Essaouira and Marrakech uses a local bus. Not only is this a very comfortable way of traveling, but it’s also a scenic ride. As this bus is used by people living or working between Essaouira and Marrakech it offers a great opportunity to chat freely with the friendly Moroccan people. The bus also stops once or twice at local roadside restaurants where you can snack on Moroccan delicacies and enjoy a local coffee.

With the help of our Moroccan suppliers, we also contract local specialists to run all our activities on this multi-active adventure. Before signing them up, we’ll always make sure that these individuals share our philosophy and stance on important environmental issues. Therefore, you can be sure that your local guide in the Atlas Mountains will never contribute to the problem of waste management.

Hardly any waste collection takes place in the High Atlas, but our guides will always carry their rubbish back with them to Marrakech, something we actively encourage our passengers to do too. Similarly, with mountain biking in the Atlas Mountains, we’re aware of the environmental problems affecting the region and so we manage our groups and suppliers in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Our suppliers in Marrakech, where you’ll be going on a city cycling tour, will show you the best local places you wouldn’t see otherwise. This is where the local knowledge of our suppliers really comes into play. In Essaouira, not only will we take you to see local artisans and craftsmen, but we’ll also take you on a horse ride. We’ll make sure pristine places around Essaouira aren’t negatively impacted by our presence either, through limiting our group sizes, collecting nothing but memories and leaving nothing but footprints.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

The High Atlas Mountains are our second home on this trip, and we’ll trek, cycle and mountain bike around these breath-taking places. It’s important to understand that this area is still very focused on keeping local traditions alive. Religion also plays a very important role in the everyday lives of the local people here. When introducing our travelers to these places, we want to make sure no one behaves in a disrespectful way, either consciously or unconsciously. To help avoid this, we pre-educate our clients about customs in the region and ensure our local leader explains these ahead of starting the trip. In addition, when we sit down for a dinner with our hosts in Aroumd, there’s time to talk about the similarities and different between our cultures, customs and traditions. These sorts of discussions lead to a deeper mutual understanding and more respectful behaviour. This somewhat unplanned activity is highly valued by travelers and our local hosts alike.

There’s a serious lack of secondary or higher education opportunities for girls living in the High Atlas Mountains. Due to the remoteness of the area, a lack of school buildings, as well as local traditions and beliefs, restricting families from sending their daughters to remote schools. This means that lot of young women don’t receive education beyond the primary schooling in their village. Together with our foundation, we’re supporting a project called Education for All (EFA) that tackles this issue.

Founded in 2007, EFA currently supports 192 girls across five safe boarding houses, each of which is managed by local house mothers. The girls also have access to books and computers, receive three meals a day and have access to additional study support. All girls return home to their families every weekend. The results of this program have been impressive, with the girls' grades almost double the national average. EFA's work is also changing cultural attitudes where families who previously kept their daughters at home are now enthusiastic to support their daughter’s education. Our travelers will be able to learn more about the initiative from our trained local leaders. Although it’s worth mentioning that we don’t visit the project itself, so as not to disturb the girls from their studies and everyday lives.

Climate

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