Looking for sporty getaways this spring? Check out our top destinations in Morocco for action-packed ideas in the heart of the Berber backcountry.
Year-round sunshine, idyllic locations and breathtaking views – all in less than 5 hours from home, Morocco is an all-action destination on Europe’s doorstep. Renowned for its local traditions and warm welcome, the North African coastline has become a mecca for endless summer nomads looking for consistent swells and affordable hospitality. Renowned for its balmy 17°c water temps and highs of 25°c, the ‘Arab West’ has long been popular with surfers and kitesurfers – but today, Morocco is proving it’s much more than just a winter surf hotspot.
With 3,600 km of shoreline, Morocco is most well-known for its watersports culture and an endless horizon of desert plains that span the Rif and Atlas mountains. Frozen in time, camel and donkey might still be the most reliable modes of transport, but as the rest of the world raced ahead, Morocco continued to develop its unique cultural and culinary heritage – making it one of the most authentic action sports destinations in the world.
Read on for our selection of the best spots in Morocco:
Situated on the Atlantic coastline in southern Morocco, Agadir sits in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Razed to the ground by the 1960 earthquake, the town sits on the destroyed remnants of old Agadir. A resort destination with warm temperatures all year round, the village of Taghazout is located 30 km north and is internationally renowned as one of the best surf spots in Morocco. The bay of Agadir is 6km long with a sheltered beach break and calm swell perfect for beginners thanks to its medium-sized green waves. Whatever your level, check out local spots like Dracula, Anchor Point, Mysteries, The Source, Killer Point and Kettle – or for chilled SUP sessions and beach yoga, check out Imsouane 70km north of Agadir and 100km from Essaouria for the perfect combo of holiday vibes and high-intensity thrills.
One of the best kitesurfing spots in the world. Fact. With more than 300 kiting days per year, Dakhla is a great place to learn both kite and windsurf. Situated on the southernmost tip of Morocco, Dakhla is renowed for its calm lagoons trapped between the Saharan desert and Mauritania. Thanks to its unique micro-climate, temperatures average at 22°c – 27°c and 22°c in the water – no wonder it’s an international kitesurf competition location and home to some of the world’s best pro riders… More than just sun, sea and sand, Dakhla is also known for its traditional hammam and thermal treatments that offer the ideal wind-down to a tough day on the water. Spice up your stay with visits to the local spice markets and head to the centre of Dahkla for unbelievable rooftop sunsets. Check out Dakhla attitude, Dakhla Spirit or Héliophora for kitesurfing holiday packages in a paradise location.
A bustling port town on the Atlantic coast, its strong trade winds and long beaches make this rustic shoreline town perfect for surfing, kitesurf and windsurf. Its medina (old town) is protected by an 18th-century seafront and is celebrated as a UNESCO world heritage site for its old brass walls and stunning ocean views. Local pros, Ocean Vagabond offer surfing lessons and longboard lessons along the coastline (plus camel and horse rides) right in the centre of town. For those with a bigger sense of wanderlust, discover Sidi Kaouki 25km away, Moulay Bouzerktoun 25 km north or even the little fishing village of Tafedna that brings more of a community vibe to your holiday. 120km north is the iconic Safi wave – known as one of the best right-handers in the world. Wander where the WIFI is weak and discover the lesser-seen trekking trails to natural pools inland from Essaouira or sandboard in the desert for added regional thrills!
Known around the world for its endless maze of markets and bustling city vibe, Marrakech is a city that revolves around the Jemma-el Fna medina and its cosmopolitan mix of modern cool and traditional allure. Nicknamed ‘the red city’, this densely packed, walled medieval city dates back to the Berber Empire, with thriving souks an urban playground for longboarders and BMX vanguards. Join Dunes & Desert for SUP sessions at Lalla Takerkoust lake or ATV excursions in the Agafay desert in between visits to artisanal argan oil manufacturers and heritage leather tanneries. And, if you’re still looking for that ‘book now’ reason to visit Morocco, find out more about the 110m Ouzoud waterfall in the Atlas mountains with a curious population of macaque monkeys. An opportunity to experience a real slice of Morocco and its ancient Berber communities, head out with Mountain Bike Morocco for amazing trips into the isolated Atlas Mountains.
What trip to Morocco would be complete without visiting this bijoux little town north of the country’s capital? 30km from Rabat, Mehdya is known around the world for its pumping beach break, this quaint coastal town has been reuniting surfers from around the world since the 60s. The final stop on the 2017 European bodysurf tour, this strategic surfing location is loved for its beautiful beaches and old skool surfing heritage.
A Northern African peninsular full of hidden treasures and unexpected surprises, whatever you do on your next holiday to Morocco – watch out for flocks of billy goats hanging out in the treetops, we’re not even kidding….
Photo : © Ombeline de Louvigny Taghazout-Beach