Morocco is one of the best surf countries in the world. Positioned along the west coast of Africa, it has 1,140 miles of coastline that are fed by deep swells from the Atlantic Ocean. This rich seascape contains numerous rock shelves, deep water corridors, and sandy bays that produce beach breaks, reef breaks, and point breaks – perfect for surfing. In total, there are at least 50 named breaks along the Moroccan Atlantic coast waiting to be explored.
Anyone wanting to surf and stay in Morocco can expect waves that are surfable in a variety of wind and weather conditions with suitability for many different skill levels. On top of fantastic waves, Morocco is also a country rich with African heritage, natural landscapes, and Arabic culture.
Alongside long days spent catching waves, you can also go spice hunting in the souks (an Arab marketplace), deep cleansing in a hammam (steam baths), and fabric shopping in the medinas (old town). As a bonus, travellers often fall head over heels for Moroccan cuisine. Inspired by a middle-eastern palate, Moroccan dishes are spiced, served with couscous, and prepared over a fire in an earthen pot.
What could be better than finishing a long day surfing by enjoying a bitter Maghrebi mint tea and a sumptuous lamb tajine while you swap stories with new friends in a hip surf hostel? To get started with your trip planning, here are some of the best places to surf and stay in Morocco.
Tips before you go
The surf breaks in Morocco are spread across a wide area. Simply flying to one city and then staying in a single coastal town won’t give you access to the full range of waves. Instead, you should either hire a vehicle or bring your own – surfing road trips from the UK to Morocco in the winter are becoming very popular amongst overlanders!
At the very least, ensure your accommodation offers transport to different beaches so you can follow the waves if the conditions change. This is one of the factors that makes surf camps in Morocco so popular. Visiting a surf camp gives you access to the experts and locals who know exactly where the best swells will be and when!
Despite the country almost touching Spain and sharing a coastline with the Mediterranean, Morocco is no longer in Europe. As such, you should purchase travel insurance before your trip and ensure you take safety precautions when abroad. Make sure your policy covers your medical expenses in case you get injured while surfing.
The next tip is to select the season you want to surf and stay in Morocco. October – April are the most popular months, and many surfers consider Morocco to be a prime winter destination. Surfing is available year-round, but the weather is too hot in the summer and the best waves strike the coastline during the winter.
Don’t forget, just because it feels like a desert climate, doesn’t mean the water is warm. Opt for a 2/3 mm wetsuit to ensure you can spend hours in the water without succumbing to the chill of the Atlantic!
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Best Places to Surf and Stay in Morocco
For anyone wanting to surf and stay in Morocco, the most popular surfing region runs between Essaouira and Agadir. There are many other waves to explore along the coast (such as Rabat and Safi), but this area is renowned for its hyped towns, easy access points (there are international airports at Essaouira and Agadir), backpacker communities, and wonderful surf spots.
Taghazout is one of the top destinations to surf and stay in Morocco. This small fishing village rose to prominence in the 1960s as a contender for the best surf town in Africa. The area is now world-renowned for its amazing range of surf breaks accompanied by its cool surfing community.
Where to surf
La Source is a beginner-friendly surf spot with barrelling walls that break close to shore. Panoramas is another sandy point break with a right-hand wave that’s good for newbie surfers. You might even get your first opportunity to catch a fully-formed barrel! Hash Point is another favourite for beginner surfers as it offers a smooth, relaxing ride.
For those wanting a greater challenge, head out to Anchor Point – experienced surfers can ride this wave for almost a kilometre. Killer Point has a powerful right-hand point break ideal for experienced surfers. It’s difficult to access but once you’re in the zone, you’ll be greeted by gnarly barrelling waves. Both of these breaks deliver nerve-shredding walls that will really get your adrenaline pumping when the swell hits right.
Where to stay
Taghazout is packed with hipster hostels and plenty of great-value surf schools. Even on a shoestring budget, you can get a lot for your money here and this is a top place to make friends and meet other surfers. For the full package, check out World of Waves surf hotel which offers surfing, yoga, accommodation, and a great onsite restaurant.
Hashpoint Surf Camp is one of the best places to surf and stay in Morocco let alone Taghazout. With traditional architecture, a laid-back vibe, and inclusive surf lessons, this is the perfect spot to spend a week in Taghazout. Close on their heels is Surf Berbere, another top surf school in Taghazout. Surf Berbere offers surf & yoga packages to any range of surfers, and they have 12 years of experience to boot.
If you’re simply looking for a chilled-out place to stay where you can surf at your own pace, The Surf Hostel is one of the best accommodation options in town. You can choose to stay in a dorm or private room, depending on your preference. Surf lessons and board rental are also available onsite.
If you want to stay out of town, head north to Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa for a resort-type hotel that has a more luxurious feel to it. When you get hungry, check out Restaurant Windy Bay for surf grub and Moroccan food.
Tamraght & Aourir
Tamraght and Aourir are two sister towns slightly south of Taghazout. They are within easy access of Taghazout, and many people lump them under the same bracket. However, they offer a different vibe to Taghazout and are a quieter option for anyone wishing to surf and stay in Morocco.
Where to surf
Banana Beach is a smooth right-hand break and one of the top places to surf in Tamraght. Imourane is a sand beach with silky, smooth waves. However, this is hardly a best-kept secret, and you’ll often find this beach filled with beginner surf camps.
Devil’s Rock is a sandy-bottom beach break that has variable conditions. Some days the waves break left, other days they break right – in any case, its swell is consistent year-round. Cro Cro shares similarly mixed conditions and is good for intermediate surfers.
If you are an experienced surfer and want to catch the same waves the locals do, head to Spider’s. The waves here a shallow and powerful, but it’s an inconsistent break. If you do see locals out there catching those rare hollow waves, grab your board and join them before they’re gone!
Where to stay
Set on the outskirts of Tamraght above Plage Imourane, you’ll find Sunset Surf House. A chilled-out hostel with a little roof terrace. There’s a kitchen for independent cooking and a variety of surf packages and lessons on offer. The Lunar Surf House is another laid-back hostel that offers free breakfast, games tables, yoga classes, and surf lessons/rentals.
Pro Surf Morocco Yoga & Surf Camp is one of the top places to stay and surf in Morocco. It is a female-owned hostel that welcomes families and solo female travellers. This hostel offers mixed surf/yoga packages and camps to suit all experience levels. If you want to sample some local food, give Babakoul a try.
Agadir might not have the best waves in Morocco, but it offers a city-based holiday which may be preferable to some travellers. If you are flying to the south Atlantic surf beaches, you will likely use the Agadir international airport. This makes the city a good access point if you don’t want to travel too far and are happy surfing on the nearby beaches. Agadir is also the ideal place to try a post-surf soak in a hamman, plus it has a buzzing nightlife.
Where to surf
Agadir is home to a commercial port which can make the water quality a bit dodgy. However, if you follow the coast south of Agadir, you will find Cherry, a beginner’s reef break that curls into the shore with a right-hand wave. If you head towards Aourir, you can surf the KM11/12 breaks which are a couple of good high-tide spots for mid-level surfers. Anza is another fun spot to try when a western wind is blowing. There’s a mix of left and right-hand waves and some awesome peaks to be caught.
Where to stay
Most people head up the coast to the smaller towns when looking for accommodation. However, if you are a resort person and want to opt for a hotel visit, Agadir is the place for you. These resorts are usually more expensive and less charming than the hostels in Taghazout, but you can still find some excellent accommodation options with top-notch facilities.
The Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa is a luxury resort with onsite pools, a fully-equipped spa, and private beach access. Iberostar Founty Beach is another swanky 4-star resort that has a gym, multiple bars and restaurants, indoor/outdoor pools, and a spa with a sauna. Alternatively, you could rent an apartment or stay in an Airbnb in Agadir for an independent surf and stay in Morocco trip. If you want to splurge on a meal with a view head to Ô Playa along the seafront.
Essaouira is a port city that is frequented by more than just surfers. A variety of water sports fanatics visit “Wind City” to kitesurf and windsurf. Not to mention that Essaouria is a historic location with an 18th-century medina and some fascinating ramparts around the port and along the city walls. The swells really kick up in the winter and that’s when you’ll find Essaouria at its best and busiest.
Where to surf
Essaouria is graced by some powerful winter swells with chest-high waves on the regular thanks to the powerful “alizée” trade winds that blow into the coast. The crescent-shaped Plage Essaouria is the main surf beach in the city. The chest-high waves are ideal for beginners. Unfortunately, you won’t have the waves to yourself as many surf lessons occur on this beach.
In general, Essaouira is less-crowded than the coast between Taghazout and Agadir. For example, Sidi Kaouki is a fantastic surf spot situated to the south of Essaouria. It is a beautifully remote area of the coastline with great breaks to match. Cap Sim is a hard-to-access right-hand point break that has adventure written all over it. The waves can be messy but when the wind is right, it forms some awesome hollow walls.
Where to stay
Essaouria has a backpacker vibe with a range of hostels and surf camps on offer. Loving Surf is the perfect place to get a lesson or hire a surfboard and they also have a few private rooms if you want your own space. Essaouira Beach Hostel is another spot that’s a mere stone’s throw from the beach. It’s a no-frills hostel that’s all about surfing. You can see the ocean from the rooftop terrace and there are plenty of surf activities on offer.
Atlantic Hostel is another option to the north of Essaouria. This is the ideal location for long-term travellers and digital nomads. Alongside dorm rooms, a rooftop bar, and an interactive vibe, this hostel also has a co-working space. There’s an on-site restaurant that serves local Moroccan dishes and a live band that plays every night. For a cool bar with good food and better views, head to Taros.
Imsouane is a small town with a remote coastline. The waves are near-perfect and the whole area is basking in natural beauty. There are also some breaks reaching down the coast to Tamri. Tamri is pretty much devoid of tourists and is only filled with devout surfers. Locals frequent this stretch of the coast so you’re less likely to run into the surf schools and more likely to see a Moroccan legend sweeping down some crazy waves.
Where to Surf
Cathedral is a point break that, on good days, can have you jostling for a position in the water. However, if the swell is right, the wave stretches along the beach allowing you to find your own space to ride. Beginners may have better luck tagging on to the end of this wave when it flows over the sandbanks. It gives you the chance to catch an intermediate-level wave plus it’s less of a problem if you fall onto the soft bottom.
Magic Bay has some neat point breaks that you can ride for near-on 600 metres when the conditions are right. The wave starts at the harbour jetty and flows all the way down to the farthest beach head. In fact, it’s one of the most famous waves in Africa and a great place to surf and stay in Morocco. If you want to catch this mammoth right-hand wave, surf this spot from low to medium tide.
Where to stay
If you are road-tripping in Morocco and have your campervan, this is one of the best places to surf and stay in Morocco. You can set yourself up in a rural area along the coast and live a simple, self-sufficient life that is all about the waves. You can also visit Imsouane on a day trip from many of the bigger towns nearby.
Sandycamps is a popular place to surf and stay in Morocco. As with many Moroccan surf camps, it offers surf & yoga packages. The community at the hostel is friendly and the surf lessons are top quality. Afer Surf is another hostel with a small family atmosphere. It offers a good breakfast, comfy rooms, and a scenic rooftop bar. If you do get hungry, Chez Jolo is a great spot to eat cheap and tasty seafood.
Morocco has an exotic allure for many surfers and travellers. Whether you want to visit for a week of beginner surf lessons or spend the whole winter catching waves, there’s something for everyone who wants to surf and stay in Morocco. One of the big draws of this country is all the cultural activities and food experiences that occur alongside your surfing holiday.
Rather than being stuck in a soulless resort competing for waves on a beach packed with sunbeds, parasols, and crowds of tourists, you can have a more special surfing experience. Now you’ve heard the hype, all you need to do is book your flights, wax your board, and get ready to catch some gnarly waves along the Atlantic coast of Morocco!
About the author
Matt is a travel writer with a passion for outdoor adventures - from catching swells to trekking through jungles and climbing mountains. He is currently travelling down the Pacific Coast, from Canada to Chile, surfing as he goes. Follow along at mattwalkwild.com.