Horseback Riding in Morocco

Morocco Sand Dune Ride


Ride on the edge of the Sahara, from Ourzazate, Morocco. Pass through the sand dunes which lend their name to this ride, as well as farmland. Ride Barb-Arabian stallions and mares and choose to camp or stay in hotels.

Three nights are spent in hotels, in Ouarzazate and Rissani. The other nights are spent camping, or you may choose to book the hotel package. While camping, accommodations are in 2 person dome tents.

Meals are taken in a large dining tent while on the trek and are a sampling of the Moroccan cuisine. The cook will prepare dishes such as tagines and couscous. Tagines are stewed or steamed dishes traditionally cooked over a small charcoal brazier with olive oil or butter, liquids and spiced meat to which vegetables are added. The picnic lunches feature prepared salads. Breakfast is simple, continental style.

  • Overview:
    As is the custom in Morocco, the horses are Arab / Barb mares and stallions, 14.2 - 15.2hh. They are strong, calm and well trained for trekking. The horses are accustomed to traveling together, however, riders must be aware of the stallions and not allow them to come too close to each other. On Day 2, time is spent matching each rider with a suitable mount. English saddles and snaffle bits are used.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arab / Barb stallions and mares
  • Trip Pace:
    moderate to fast
  • Tack:
  • Weight limit:
    185 lbs (85 kg)

This is not a recommended choice for non-riders.


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Ouarzazate. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 2

Drive from Ouarzazate through the valley of thousand Kasbahs to Tinghrir by car. Reddish- yellow valleys in the desert and groves of palm trees with the Kasbah castles gives you a first impression of the desert. Drive on through the desert to the horses. After a short lunch you start riding the horses. Ride along the groves of the palm trees through nice little fields of grain or wheat in direction to Erfoud. Afterwards you get to the real desert landscape. Sandy ground, dried out riverbed and the first sand dunes begin. Towards evening you reach a little hill range which is covered by sand. Only a few black rocks stick out the top. In these mountains there also are many fossils which are old coral reefs. Today these fossils are dug out and  processed for tables, plates, washbowls etc. Overnight in the camp (or hotel if booking hotel itinerary).

Day 3

You ride over little hill ranges, gallop through wide plains, cross dry river valleys and again sand dunes overgrown by grass. Soon you reach the black hills, where you can have more good gallops. From far away you already can see the pink colored sand dunes of Ergchebbi. Finally you are there. The horses are placed at the guesthouse and the riders can decide between a night in the guesthouse or a camel ride in the dunes with an overnight in a nomad style tent. Everybody should definitely take the time to enjoy the sunset from the sand dunes.

Day 4

After an ample breakfast in the guesthouse you ride along a dune in direction of Algeria. On one side of the big sand dune you can find many little guest houses, but you’ll be riding on the other side where it is more secluded. The sight to the huge dunes is always very impressive. You cross the dunes to get back to the flat country side on the other side. A few short gallops lead you to the camp at the lake which is is sometimes dry. Only after a rainy winter does it file and attract many different kinds of birds. Sometimes you can even see flamingos. If you are not camping, a 10 minute drive after dinner will bring you to your hotel.

Day 5

In the morning ride over the black plains. Endless gallops bring you to a river bed. On the other side the ground suddenly turns white and sandy. In the distance you can see the groves of palm trees of Rissani. On little paths you ride through an oasis to the hotel. The horses stay right next to the hotel in the palm trees. In the afternoon you drive to Rissani to the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the first king of the dynasty of the alaouits. Afterwards there is still time left to get to the souks of Rissani and have a break in a café. The turbulent life in the desert city is very impressing. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 6

Today you ride through groves of palm trees again out to endless plains. Over and over again there are little sand dunes. Ample gallops bring you to the distant mountains. In the afternoon you reach the area of the underground canals which are from the middle ages. Like molehills the sand of the excavations rises. Overnight in the camp or drive 10 minutes to your accommodations.

Day 7

Cross a little farmer village. Some of the farmers are quite well off and have built beautiful houses. Then again enter in the empty landscape where small sand dunes alternate with dry river valleys. After that you can see huge tufts of grass where sometimes rabbits live. Soon you get to see something sticking out in the distance. It’s the skystairs built by a German artist. This monument made out of natural material is very impressive. Little later you will see the Orion town and the Golden Spiral. Then long canters bring you back to the cars where the horses are left behind. After a short lunch you drive back to Ouarzazate. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 8

Transfer from the hotel for your onward travel (not included in trip price).

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be changed at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Trips can all either be camping or in hotels.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Mar 17, 2024
Mar 24, 2024
Mar 24, 2024
Mar 31, 2024

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,275Per person price with 4-9 participants camping
  • Pricing Variation
  • 3 guests 4-9 guests
    Camping $1,470 $1,275
    Guest Houses $1,875 $1,650
  • Single Supplement
  • $135For camping itinerary
  • $270For hotel itinerary
Additional Pricing Information:
Age limit: 11 yrs. for experienced rider traveling with an adult. Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange rate and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time the deposit is paid.

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Contact Megan Barrett

All the staff were so wonderful. I felt intimidated traveling to a country where I do not speak the language or know the local cultures, however the guide and everyone she had around her were so welcoming and warm, I immediately felt at home. From the moment she picked us up at the airport to the moment we said goodbye after breakfast, I felt like she had become a part of my family and I hers. She truly is a wonderful person, so caring, and so attentive to the needs of others from her guests to the horses to the staff. The horse I rode for most of the trip was amazing, I could not have been happier with this wonderful mare who took such good care of me the whole trip. She was a wonderful mount who instilled a lot of confidence in me, and who I was excited to ride even after hours and hours in the saddle. 100% would ride her again, and would buy her if I ever had the opportunity.

Colburn, 2019