24 Jun 10 Reasons Why Morocco Should Be on Your Bucket List This Year
Far from the tourist traps of Taghazout and Marrakech, finding our favourite spot on the Moroccan coastline is like travelling to the land that time forgot. The further south you drive, the more rugged and rural the landscape becomes. Rocky valleys of cacti and palm trees give way to sweeping stretches of sand beneath towering cliffs. Clean swell rolls in from across the Atlantic to produce long, peeling waves that seem to go on forever. On the way to the beach, a father and son sell cactus fruits from the side of the road, and a herd of goats follow their shepherd up into the hills.
This is Morocco away from the tourist trail, where we escape to twice a year for some sun, surf and solitude. But it’s not just about empty waves and sun-baked beaches here – there’s heaps to discover in this quiet part of the country. Wander through sleepy fishing villages, hike along dramatic coastlines and learn about the local Berber culture at the colourful souks and family-run cafés.
If you’re looking to get away from the well-worn path, surf some world-class waves without the crowds and experience authentic local culture, Morocco should definitely be at the top of your bucket list for your travels this year. And these are the reasons why we love it so much!
1. It’s easy (and cheap!) to get to
With loads of international links to Agadir airport, you can get to Morocco from pretty much anywhere in the world. There are direct flights from most of the main European airports, and if you’re coming from further afield it’s a great excuse to check off some of your European bucket list on your way. And with budget airlines flying in from all over the continent, you can bag yourself a ticket for less than your weekly petrol refill. We’ll be there waiting for you as you step off the plane into the balmy Moroccan air.
2. Guaranteed sunshine all year round
The coast of Morocco gets about a week’s worth of rain each year – which means the other 358 days are sun-baked and blue skies. During the months we visit, you can expect hot and dry weather with warm water to match. Sea temperatures peak at around 25°C in June, so you probably won’t need a full wetsuit in the summer months. In September, a 3/2mm wetsuit is all you’ll need to stay toasty in the cooler early morning and sunset sessions.
3. Consistent swell even in off-season months
You might be surprised that we’re heading to Morocco in summer since it’s mainly known as being a winter destination. Actually, this is exactly why we chose these shoulder season months for our Morocco’s Secret Surf trip. After years of travelling to this quiet corner of the coastline, we’ve found that June and September offer the cheapest flights with empty line-ups and clean swell. This means fun and friendly-sized waves without the crowds of peak season!
4. A wide variety of waves for all levels
Not only are there always waves, but there are just so many to choose from! From beginner-friendly beach breaks and fun wedges to peeling point breaks that work like clockwork, you really are spoilt for choice here. And with different options as the tides and winds shift throughout the day, you can surf your brains out and take your surfing to the next level. You might even find yourself on one of those famous 40-second-long magic carpet rides…
5. Coaching with local surf guides
We’re super lucky to work with an amazing team of local surf coaches who have spent their lives scouting out the best waves in the area. With their 20+ years of experience, they know exactly which spot is going to be working at what point in the tide, so that means less guesswork for us and more waves for you. At the beach, you’ll get expert water-based surf tuition tailored to your ability, as well as video and photo analysis to advance your riding (you’ll even get to take all of your footage home with you). Then back at the villa, it’s time for some pool-based surf coaching and performance-enhancing surf discussions covering forecasting, fear, surfboards and more.
6. Experience authentic Berber and Moroccan culture
Out of all our trips abroad, this is the one with the biggest culture shift – you won’t meet many tourists here. And with the villa being so close to town, the colourful culture is just a few steps away. Donkey-drawn carts clatter by as people pour mint tea from an impressive height in the small cafés, speaking in Amazigh (Berber) and Darija (Moroccan Arabic). Wander down spice-scented alleyways to find market stalls selling trinkets and fresh produce. And if you’re craving a cold one after a day on the beach, there’s even a tiny hotel that has a rooftop terrace and cosy bar – a rare treat in Morocco.
7. Getting off the beaten track
Our mission for this trip was the search for isolation. We wanted to get away from the tourist traps and find a spot where you could surf uncrowded peaks and enjoy whole beaches to yourself. And we’re pretty happy with what we found. Rugged hills, huge coastal cliffs and striking stone archways make for dramatic views as we drive to find the best waves every day. One of our favourite ways to enjoy the scenery is on a sunset hike up to the ancient fort ruins that overlook the village and ocean.
8. Tuck into traditional home-cooked food
After all that surfing and exploring, you’ll be hungry to feast on the local flavours served up by our in-house chef, with three meals a day catering to all dietary requirements. Start the day with just-baked bread, boiled eggs and fresh fruit outside by the pool, washed down with some Moroccan mint tea. At the beach, we take a break for lunch in the shade of a Bedouin tent, before jumping in for another session. Dinners are always traditional and full of flavour – freshly-caught fish, spiced tagines and veggie stews served with heaps of couscous and aubergine zaalouk.
9. Experience the warmth of Moroccan hospitality
Moroccan people, both Berbers and Arabs, are known for their warm-hearted hospitality and friendly nature. You can’t step inside someone’s house without being offered a fresh pot of mint tea or a steaming tagine! And you’ll want to strike up a conversation to get to know their great sense of humour. Everywhere you go you’ll be greeted with cheerful smiles – the market vendor you barter with for your trinkets, the man who makes your Moroccan pancakes in the village and the locals in the surf who call you onto waves.
10. Plenty of time to chill out
Surfing aside, Morocco is a great place to switch off and relax. When the winds turn onshore in the afternoon and we’re tired from our morning session, you’ll find us lounging around the pool, soaking up the sun and sipping on mint tea while chatting about the epic waves we caught (and dreaming about what’s for dinner later!). We also run two surf-specific stretch sessions incorporating yoga techniques to ease your muscles after a day in the water.
Fancy joining us for empty waves, amazing culture and a week of awesome accommodation? We have one space available for our Morocco’s Secret Surf trip this September 16th – 23rd, get in touch if you want to come!
By Lily Plume