Morocco As a Surf DestinationJun 22, 2022
Since half of my trip to Morocco was focused on surfing, I thought it deserved a blog post all it's own. To read about the rest of my Morocco trip, CLICK HERE.
Taghazout is known as a small fishing village about 45 minutes north of Agadir, the closest city. But it’s become renowned in the surf community for great waves. The town is fairly small and very walkable. We arrived at the beginning of March and found the climate to be much like that of Southern California. The air was dry and mid 70s Fahrenheit during the day and upper 50s at the dead of night. The ocean was delightful shades of blue with warmer water temps than we have in California at the same time of year. Usually the water was around 63-65 degrees every day.
Taghazout is the land of right hand waves! While you could struggle and strive for a few golden opportunities for a left here or there... I caught one my entire week spent surfing. I was prepared to dial in my backside though and had plenty of awesome opportunities.
Their iconic spot is called Anchor Point (video above) and is truly firing when the waves are overhead to triple overhead. Most of the surf spots require a car to get to, but you could certainly book a shuttle or taxi up to the area and then hire a surf guide every day to take you around to the best spots. A surf guide is actually a pretty great idea for every level of surfer as the tide swings up to 11 feet between low and high and drastically changes each break. Of the 6-10 spots in the area, each is known for being at its best at a specific phase of the tide and for each wind direction. Though most days, with a guide or on your own, you’ll spend 30 minutes to an hour driving around to check each spot and decide where the conditions are best to surf. There’s sandy beach breaks, rocky point breaks, challenging rock traverses down to point breaks, and areas with completely different challenges based on the tide.
Coming from the beach breaks of Huntington Beach, I was the biggest fan of a spot called Mysteries because it posed the fewest dangers. But all the spots I surfed were pretty great! Most were very friendly waves with mellow drops and long rides. Occasionally a bigger swell might pose steeper drops on a specific break with the right tide and conditions... but overall, the waves made everyone from intermediates to extremely advanced surfers pretty happy. As a goofy footed surfer, I had quite a few rights to write home about.
We rented boards once we arrived, and I was relieved to find a Torq similar enough to a board I had at home that would do. There were a lot of Torqs around town. Some performance Al Merrick CI shapes. And a ton of soft top longboards. We rented our boards from Surf Maroc to the tune of $90 for the week. We got insurance on top of that, which I’d highly recommend. It was under $10 a day and unless you’re extremely proficient around rocks, you’ll probably end up being glad you had it. I know I certainly put a few new scratches to gashes in the board I rented. There’s just so many rocks and your encounter with them varies based on the tide each day.
The local surfers are pretty friendly and they RIP! I don’t know why that was so surprising, but we aware all pretty shocked by it. They paddle strong, have stylish cutbacks, and know exactly where to sit for each break. Luckily they’re happy to tell you about their breaks and where will be good when and how the tide will affect them. Making friends with them made for a truly great surf experience.
We surfed at a spot called Desert Point which you had to climb down a bunch of rocks to get to… my first real experience with rocks. And as the tide came up, the location we got in the water at was no longer the way to get out. Fortunately, I made friends with a couple locals in the water who were also running a surf camp and they let me follow them to a different spot to get out and helped me. Our timing was a bit off and we got out amongst some rocks where I got quite a bit tossed and cut and bruised my feet. This was also where I’m pretty sure I put a big new scratch in the board I was renting. My new friend, Habib, was the kindest though! Once we got back to the cars, he offered to disinfect my wounds and gave me ice for my foot. He even shared some of their lunch with me while I was waiting for my buddies to get out of the water. I then learned that he actually runs a surf hotel in the area and offers camps and surf instruction on a friendlier budget than the luxe spot we were staying in. Based on his hospitality in and out of the water, I’d absolutely stay at his hotel next time. www.thesurfhotelmorocco.com.
The Amouage operated by Surf Maroc was the gem of our entire Morocco trip. It is perhaps the most “upscale” place in town, but operates as a comfortable indoor-outdoor boutique hotel. They’ve beautifully fused modern architecture and design with Moroccan flair and traditional comforts. We opted for a triple room, a room with 3 twin sized beds, with an ocean view. Split between the 3 of us, it was about $78/night per person. Expensive sounding for the region, but worth every penny. They also have a variety of other accommodations ranging from beds in a dormitory room to spacious digs with a balcony. For booking, go here: surfmaroc.com.
Breakfast was included every day, buffet style. And we opted to have dinner there almost every night in a large communal fashion amongst 2-3 large tables with the rest of the guests. Their food was delicious and the price was always more than right.
The perfectly placed infinity pool offers the most spectacular views of the ocean down to Anchor Point with plenty of lounge beds around to tan or nap between surfs. They even have a surf room where you can store your board and offer multiple stations to rinse your gear and hang it to dry. The Amouage really exhausted every detail in their planning and I can’t wait to return one day!
What really made this place exceptional was the vibe shared by the guests and staff. The staff was so friendly they became better friends than anything. The other guests were from all over the world including Americans, English, Irish, and French to name a few. We made friends with newbie surfers up through an expert level surf school owner and even other lovelies who were simply there to enjoy the beauty of Taghazout. Several nights a week we’d also be joined by other local surfers (usually the surf guides or the guys you saw shredding in the water) and a variety of other residents in the area. Everyone was friendly and welcoming making for a truly spectacular experience.
I can't wait to go back again one day!!!