Morocco is a classic surf destination with waves for surfers of all skill levels. It is affordable, the local people are friendly, and most surf spots are easy to access. If you time your trip to Morocco correctly, you can also score world-class waves.
Morocco is a North African country with dozens of high-quality surf spots located along its Atlantic coastline, from gentle beach breaks for beginners, to powerful points and shallow reef breaks more suitable for advanced surfers. The main swell season is roughly from October to January.
As with any surf trip, gathering information and planning carefully are crucial for success. This is what you definately need to know about surfing in Morocco to plan well and get the most from your time there.
Morocco: A North African Surfing Paradise
Morocco is a surfers’ paradise. The country’s long, jagged coastline is exposed to swells from the North Atlantic, creating a wealth of long right-hand points, heavy reef slabs, and fun beach breaks.
What To Know About Surfing In Morocco
The swell season in Morocco is from October to January (autumn and winter), when the biggest, most consistent swells hit. However, it is possible to score waves as late as March and April (early spring).
The majority of popular surf spots are on the central Atlantic coast, between Agadir and Rabat, with many of the most consistent, highest quality breaks concentrated around the village of Taghazout. However, many parts of the coastline are unexplored, so there are still treasures for the intrepid surfer to discover.
Depending on your situation and preferences, there are two ways to approach surfing in Morocco. If you are a beginner surfer, you might want to stay in a village where there are a variety of gentle beach breaks, as well as surf schools and equipment rental services.
Experienced and adventurous surfers may prefer to throw a tent in a hired car and drive along the coast to find premium-quality waves with no crowds. There are hundreds of miles of rugged coastline with many secret and undiscovered surf spots to explore.
When Is The Swell Season In Morocco?
Morocco’s North Atlantic coastline starts to get hit by big, long-period swells and cold, offshore northwest winds from October to January. The swell season continues until April, when the swell size and consistency start to wane, and the prevailing wind shifts to the northeast trade wind.
Finding spots with decent waves out of season might be possible with a hired car and some local knowledge. However, the prevailing onshore winds and lack of swell during summer means there is a high risk that the search for waves will end in frustration rather than stoke.
Now you know when to get the best waves in Morocco, you can consider where you might find the best waves in this unique North African surf destination.
Tamraght-Aourir (Banana Village)
The central Atlantic coast is the prime location for surfing in Morocco. Most surfers fly into the port city of Agadir and then travel north along the N1 coastal road to find waves. The first quality waves are ten kilometers north of Agadir at the village of Tamraght-Auorir. Here you’ll find the famous Banana Point.
Banana Point is a long, right-hand point that breaks along a rocky headland. The waves range between three to six feet in ideal conditions. Banana Point is relatively mellow, but the barrel sections can get quite heavy on low tides.
Tamraght-Aourir has several options for accommodation, some of which cater to surfers specifically.
Many of the most popular waves are in and around the village of Taghazout, where you will find several beach breaks and point-breaks, including the world-famous Anchor Point.
Taghazout is located about 20km north of the port city of Agadir. It’s a small coastal village but is fully equipped with surf shops, surf schools, restaurants, and plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets.
Taghazout has a long, gently-sloping beach to the south, where you can catch waves ideal for beginners. The rocky point begins at the center of Taghazout and ends at a small headland several hundred meters to the north. Taghazout’s rocky shoreline has three main spots.
The legendary Anchor Point starts at the top of the headland. It’s a right-hand point and breaks over a rock and sand bottom, with long, fast walls and hollow barrels that can be close to perfection. Anchor Point is best suited for intermediate and advanced surfers and can get very crowded during December and January.
Hash Point is located at the bottom of the point. The break has a rocky, sand-covered bottom but has slower, gentler waves that are more suited for beginners than Anchor Point.
Panoramas is located in front of Panorama’s restaurant at a mini-headland on the southern end of Taghazout. The right-hand waves break along the rocky shoreline and connect into a mellow beach break. Panoramas is suited for all skill levels, though beginners might want to stick to the beach break section during bigger swells.
Surf Spots Near Taghazout
There are several famous surf spots just to the north of Taghazout. Many of these spots are ideal for more experienced surfers: Some of the breaks include:
- Killer’s – a heavy, barreling right-hand point-break that is exposed to open-ocean swells with waves that can get 8ft to 10ft and upwards (1km north of Taghazout),
- Boilers – this break begins with a shallow barreling reef that runs down the point in seemingly endless, fun walls (20km from Taghazout),
- Tamri – a very consistent beach break with hollow and rippable A-frame peaks (25km to the north of Taghazout).
While Taghazout and the surrounding area have exceptional waves, there are many other excellent places to stay and surf in Morocco, like Imsouane and Essaouira.
Roughly 80kms north of Agadir is the stunning coastal village of Imsouane. Imsouane has many great options for accommodation and food. Most importantly, there are two famous surf spots in Imsouane: Cathedral and The Bay.
Cathedral is a right-hand rock-bottomed point situated at the top of the headland at Imsouane. It is a fun wave when it’s small and has long, high-quality walls and hollow barrel sections in ideal swell conditions.
The Bay is located further down the point at Imsouane. This sand-bottom point-break is renowned for its mellow, beginner-friendly waves and leg-numbing rides, which are among the longest on the continent. Due to the user-friendly nature of The Bay, it usually gets crowded during the swell season.
About 90km north of Imsouane you’ll find the large town of Essaouira. Essaouira has a long, gently-sloping beach with mellow waves ideal for beginner to intermediate surfers.
Essaouira can get very windy, so it tends to be more popular among windsurfers and kitesurfers than surfers and bodyboarders. Still, you can find fun waves along the beach. There are also several lesser-known spots to the south of Essaouira, but you’ll need a car and some local knowledge to score these breaks.
Practicalities To Consider
Here are some important practicalities to consider when planning your surf trip to Morocco.
Traveling To Morocco
Morocco is easily accessible from most major US and European cities. Most surfers fly to Agadir and travel by car to the surf spots on arrival. Many surfers also choose to drive to Morocco from Spain, crossing on the ferry to Tangiers. The ferry trip takes about 30 hours, and the average cost is about $80 US Dollars.
Flying from the US to Morocco takes between 10 and 13 hours, with return airfares from the US costing roughly $600 to $900 US Dollars. Better deals might be possible by flying with Royal Air Maroc, which offers direct flights between the US and Morocco.
Flights from European countries are quick and very affordable, with average airfares ranging between $40 and $70 (US Dollars).
Getting Around In Morocco
Morocco is an easy, safe, and affordable country to travel through. The locals speak Arabic and Berber, but many local people also speak French and English. Moroccan people are warm and welcoming towards surfers.
The country has a well-developed road network. Most surf villages can be reached by bus and taxi, but you might want to hire a car (about $40 US Dollars per day) if you intend to search the coast for isolated, uncrowded waves.
Finding Accommodation In Morocco
Morocco has a wealth of accommodation options for surfers. One of the best things about staying in Morocco is the rooftop terraces where you can relax for hours enjoying the ocean views. The average accommodation prices are as follows:
- Self-catering and bed-and-breakfast = $25 to $50 (US Dollars) per night,
- Hotels = $25 to $70 (US Dollars) per night,
- Holiday house rental = $200 to $500 (US Dollars) per week.
Morocco has much to offer surfers of all skill levels. The quality and variety of waves, affordability, ease of travel, and unique and fascinating culture and landscape make Morocco one of the most enjoyable and memorable surf destinations you can find.