African surfing heaven
Beyond exoticism, surfing discovers a new Morocco that is more ‘hippy’ and welcoming to wetsuits. 3,500 kilometres of coastline at the mercy of its famous long right-hand waves.
With an average temperature of 25 degrees, Morocco offers perfect surfing weather from October to April. Many surfers the world over, and especially from Europe, make the most of these conditions and the lack of mass tourism to visit in pilgrimage to and in search of the perfect wave.
The region of Agadir, in the south and with 300 days of sun a year, is home to most surf spots, that is, the places that provide the perfect conditions to do this extreme sport. The fishing village of Taghazout is considered to be Morocco’s surfing mecca. It became a hippy haven in the 1960s, and is famous for its deserted beaches and an atmosphere that blends Berber and surfing culture. Some of its most renowned spots can be found on its outskirts, and they offer waves and conditions that are suitable for both beginners and pros. Anchor Point is one of the most popular enclaves because of its characteristic waves: long, powerful and with several sections. The spot was named by Jimi Hendrix in 1967, who was a devoted visitor to the Moroccan coast. Very close by are Devil’s Rock and Banana Beach for beginners, and Mysteries, which boasts long waves formed by a shallow reef.
The towns close to Essaouira are known for their ‘hippy’ feel.
Photo: cdrin / Shutterstock.com
Twenty minutes from Essaouira is one of the best destinations for surfing and windsurfing enthusiasts. Thanks to its constant gusty winds, Sidi Kaouki is a magnet for experienced surfers in search of the most challenging waves. In the bohemian area par excellence of the Moroccan coast, people lead a Rastafarian and chilled out lifestyle. All set in the beauty of its wild beach, with white sand and over two kilometres long.
A little farther north, close to the town of El Jadida is Sidi Bouzid, a spot that is renowned internationally as a point break. Its waves feature among the top ten in the world because of their frequency and power.
Excursions by camel are another one of the activities that attracts many tourists on the beach of Sidi Kaouki.
Photo: Michel Piccaya / Shutterstock.com
The spots are dotted along the entire Moroccan Atlantic coastline and, although the waves are gentler in the north, they are perfect for those who want to learn. Between bustling Casablanca and the capital, Rabat, Bouznika Beach is a haven of tranquillity.
The Quiksilver Pro Casablanca competition has established Morocco on the global surfing circuit.
Despite the quality of its waves, Morocco wasn’t part of the global surfing circuit until very recently. This changed in 2015 with the staging of the first professional surf competition: Quiksilver Pro Casablanca. The event was won by Pedro Henrique, the Portuguese – Brazilian surfer, who also took the title of European surfing champion in 2015. Ramzi Boukhiam, who is considered Morocco’s best pro surfer, highlighted the opportunity that having an event of this kind in his country represents, because “there are some very good surfers who don’t have the resources to compete internationally”. It was a historic day for Morocco, which is now officially recognised as a world surfing destination.