Surfers who have Morocco on their travel wish lists are often seeking long, flawless righthand points and powerful, slabby wedges. Those were exactly the kind of oceanic cravings surfers Ben O’Haraand Oliver Boswell–the owners of Surf Maroc–had a couple decades ago when they drove down from the UK in a Transit van to explore the many world-class points that line the North African country’s coast.
“We were at university together studying in the UK and we just came out here on a last minute trip, like within 3 hours booked this trip,” says Ben. “We kept coming back. It's just an easy, quick trip from the UK, great place, great waves, great climate.”
The duo kept visiting the area of Taghazout–a small town outside Agadir–that fronts the famed Anchor Point and decided they wanted to set up a surf camp there for traveling surfers. Fast forward 15 years and now Surf Maroc operates four ocean-front camps and accommodates surfers from all around the world.
After staying with Ben and Ollie on a recent trip to Taghazout–and with the Atlantic finally waking up for winter–we decided to put together a short guide for surfers looking to go on a Moroccan strike mission this winter.
HOW TO GET THERE AND WHERE TO STAY
When to Go: Morocco gets surf year around, as its curvy coastline faces both NW and SW. But if you’re looking for those perfect, lined-up, grinding right-handers, you’d be smart to go during the winter season (October through March) when the Atlantic starts churning out powerful swells.
Getting There: If you’re heading to the Taghazout area, you’ll have to fly into Agadir, which is roughly a 25-minute drive from Taghazout. If you’re flying from LAX, you’ll likely have a layover in New York and possibly Paris or Casablanca. One way to find a cheaper round-trip flight is to book a flight from LAX to Paris through a major airline. And then take Easy Jet, Ryanair or Transavia from Paris to Agadir. You might save a few hundred dollars doing things that way, but make sure you give yourself enough time between your arrival and departure in Paris to allow for having to recheck all your bags into a different airline.
What to Know About the Town: Surfers have been traveling to Taghazout for decades, and the town reflects that. Taghzout was once a small fishing village that is now a bustling mini-town full of cafes, accommodations and shops–even of the surfy nature. It’s got a very laidback, bohemian vibe and everyone is very friendly. Morocco is a Muslim country, so just remember to be respectful of their culture, no matter how different it is than yours. You should be fine wearing beachwear in town, but if you’re a woman and choose to visit a nearby smaller village, make sure to cover up your shoulders and knees.
Also, there’s no ATM in Taghazout. If you’re staying at one of the Surf Maroc locations, you don’t even really need to carry cash as you can charge everything to your card. But if you plan on taking any taxis or eating at the local joints in town, make sure to take out cash when you arrive in Agadir.
Where to Stay: Because of the world-class waves nearby, many entrepreneurs (both local and foreign) have set up camps along the main strip of Taghazout–giving surfers on various budgets the opportunity to stay close to the some of the country’s best waves.
L’Auberge: This is your best bet if you’re running on a super tight budget. The accommodations are more of a hostel-type. The adjoining cafe is a must-visit while you’re there.
Taghazout Villa: This spot is one of the original Surf Maroc locations. It’s got 11 rooms and an easy-going, surf camp vibe. Rooms run from $35 to $46/a night if you stay at the Villa a la carte, but if you want the full surf-guiding package (which includes all meals, transfers) you’ll be looking at roughly $83 to $94/night.
Amouage: If you choose to stay here, you’ll never be able to do a dirt-bag surf trip again. It’s that nice. Think hip, modern boutique hotel meets surf camp–which draws both surfers and non-surfers alike to the place. Rooms overlook Anchor Point, and a la carte room runs from $45 to $112. Again, if you’ve got the money to spend and would like to buy an all-inclusive package (which includes meals and transfers), be prepared to put out anywhere from $94 to $160/night. Oh yea, there’s also a super nice pool that overlooks the ocean.
Morocco Surf Adventures: Another good company ran by real surfers who know how to take care of wave-hungry visitors–and pros too. They’ve catered to many traveling pros making movies and landing magazine spreads. During the prime months, a surf guiding package will run you about $105/day or $593/week.
Airbnb: If you’d like to rent a car in Agadir and explore the region on your own, there are plenty of AirBnB’s you can grab in the area. But if it’s your first time visiting Morocco, I’d highly recommend doing your research beforehand, as it’s not always obvious (unless you’ve really studied the best wind and swell for each spot) where the best waves will be each day.
Where to eat: There are great places to eat all along the main strip in Taghazout. The restaurant at Amouage is open to guests and visitors for lunch and dinner (and they also have a bar that serves deliciously crafted cocktails as well, which is a rare thing in Morocco). L’Auberge is also a really popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving both Moroccan and international food.
WHERE TO SURF IN MOROCCO
The Taghazout/Agadir region is dotted with world-class breaks and is generally consistent. Even when there isn’t sizeable swell in the water, you can usually find something to surf that’s within driving distance. But again, if you want to really score, book a trip between the months of October through December.
Anchor Point: The right point most people think of when it comes to surfing in Morocco and it’s probably the coast’s most visited break. Sitting right in front of the Surf Maroc locations, Anchors is easily accessible to anyone in town and therefore also really crowded. This spot works best on a low or a mid-tide.
Killers: Also a flawless rock-and-sand-bottomed point and just as good as Anchors. If Anchors is intolerably crowded, go check Killers.
Draculas: If you get a wave at Dracs it’ll likely be the best waves of your life–but good luck getting out. Razor sharp rocks line the entry/exit route, so you’ll need booties or super calloused feet and impeccable timing. When a big northerly swell bombards the coastline, surfers will take out their step-ups and score the longest barrels they’ve ever seen.
Boilers: A sort-of point more exposed than Anchors. Will likely be breaking when Anchors or Dracs are not. However, Boilers is a really tricky wave to surf as it, unfortunately, bends out to sea in the most frustrating way. Can still be fun though.
Tamri: Where your beach break dreams are made of. If you’re an experienced surfer, it’s not exactly what you travel half-way around the world to surf, but as its a big, open beach and quite the swell magnet, you can always find little ramps and bowly sections here when the points are snoozing.
Imsouane: If the waves are flat in and around Taghazout, you can always drive north an hour and a half to Imsouane. Here sits a sand-bottomed point that pleases both beginner and experienced surfers alike. Likes a low tide.
What to Do When the Surf Goes Flat: Morocco is a beautiful country, so if you have a few days to explore nearby cities or towns, do so. You can visit the Souks in Agadir (get after those poufs and rugs you guys) or even Marrakech if that swell forecast looks dismal. Marrakech is about a three-hour drive from Taghazout, so you might want to make a two-day trip out of it. If you want to sink your toes into the Sahara desert sand, again, you’ll have to carve out a couple days for that as well. And of course, you can always arrange to go camel riding if you’re feeling up to something like that.
What Boards to Bring: Basically you’ll want to bring whatever boards work best for you in long points. Maybe that means rounded tails for the bigger days and a fishy twins for the smaller ones. It also can get really windy, so you might want to pack a board with a touch more volume. There are some boards for hire in the area, but the high-performance ones are few and far between, so you might want to bring your own.
How to Stay Healthy: Getting a gastrointestinal bug while in Morocco is, unfortunately, abut as common as getting sick in Bali or Mexico. Doesn’t happen to everyone, but just be prepared in case it happens to you. I’d highly recommend bringing electrolytes, charcoal pills and possibly antibiotics (if your doctor thinks that’s a good idea.) There’s a pharmacy in Taghazout that’s open every day, but if the bug hits you hard, it’s always nice to have that stuff on hand already.