When I suggested taking our children quad biking in Essaouira, Morocco, my husband wasn’t keen. Fast, open topped vehicles with small, energetic children on the back wasn’t an idea he relished.
But I did my research and found a company that does quad biking tours for children as young as four. Palma Quad’s website impressed me. Palma Quad seemed professional, had rave reviews and its website answered all my questions. I decided to go ahead and organise the combo quad biking and camel riding tour, trusting that my hubby would get on board with the plan.
We were not disappointed.
Palma Quad’s offices were sleek and modern, with quad bikes on display, helmets ready to select and a flat screen TV and sofas where we could watch our photos afterwards. The staff were helpful and immediately put us at ease with their friendly professionalism.
Rashid the company owner demonstrated how to use the quad bikes within the shop, then we were kitted out with protective jackets, gloves, scarfs and helmets – all sizes were catered for, even our petite four year girl had gear to fit her perfectly. We put all our personal belongings safely in a locker and were told not to worry about taking photos, our guide would be our photographer and we would be sent all the photos from our tour via email at the end. We were free just to enjoy the ride.
We went on a 2 hour quad bike tour, which enabled us to learn how to use the bikes safely and as the tour progressed we were able to try more challenging things like going faster and riding the biggest sand dunes. Neither my husband or I had any experience of quad biking but that wasn’t a problem as we were taught how to ride them by the guides, and by the end, I think we were pretty good! We even joked about getting one back in England.
For our family of 5 (mum, dad and a 9, 7 and 4 year old) and our 2 tour guides, we had 5 quad bikes. The quad bikes which carried the children were large bikes with a protective leather cushion at the back that the child sat in. Surrounded by this cushion on their sides and back, and with an adult sat in front of them, they were completely safe – there would be no way that they could climb or fall out – they were cocooned.
At the front and rear of the group were our tour guides – they both carried one of our sons. Dad had our four-year-old daughter on the back of his bike, and I had a bike all to myself. I was relieved about this, as it enabled me to enjoy the experience without thinking about the kids! My quad bike was smaller and better suited to people with a smaller frame, I’m 5’2 so I appreciated this and it meant I could sit comfortably. My bike had a smaller engine but I was happy with that too! In a role reversal, my hubby loved quad biking so much that he kept urging me to go faster. All three kids had a blast and would even put their arms in the air when going down big dunes or when riding round corners.
Biking over the dunes and rocketing across the vast Essaouira beach with the Atlantic ocean lapping against the shore was absolutely stunning. In a mix of adrenaline-fuelled adventure and enjoyment of the natural beauty surrounding us, quad biking made for a very special experience that all five of us loved.
Half way through the tour, we stopped for a photo opportunity, and for chocolate biscuits and bottles of water, provided by Palma Quad.
Then we were straight back onto the bikes again, all of us eager to do more.
As we were returning to Palma Quad’s office, I was pleased that we had decided to go for the combo tour, as we weren’t ready for the adventure to end.
In a total change of pace, we got off our bikes, our hearts racing, and got dressed into Berber clothes. Then we began our wobbly, meandering camel ride through the dunes.
It shocked us to discover that our 4-year-old daughter who loved the fast-paced thrill of the quad biking, was terrified of the height and strange movements of the camels. She really liked the animals themselves, but she found the experience of riding them a bit unnerving! Our guide Muhammad was unperturbed by her crying. He swiftly got her down from the camel’s hump and let her hold the rope to walk the camels. She was in her element then, and was beaming ear to ear. We really appreciated his flexibility and that he didn’t mind us walking a bit slower because she was leading the way.
At the end of the tour we were all able to snuggle up to Cappuccino, the camel that led the group. He was a gentle giant who adored us stroking the fur on his nose.
Our experience of quad biking and camel riding with Palma Quad was exclusively positive – our tour guides put us at ease and made sure that every member of our family were having a safe, memorable and fun time.
When we got back to the office, we really enjoyed sitting on the sofas and reliving the experience again by watching the photographs. It was a great to discover that the photographs were included in the price too, as often companies charge extra.
Combo Quad and Camel Ride Tours start from €75 for one adult and one child rider who is under 6 years old
Contact Rashid the owner of Palma Quad to discuss your requirements.