"YALA YALA!": A surf trip to the land of "rights"
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
I was in Morocco already in January 2016 but, unlike everyone who recommended me to go there, I didn’t enjoy it that much. Not to forget I was more or less a complete surf beginner and had actually a really hard time at those powerful beach breaks. Therefore, I wanted to give it another try and escaped the cold winter for a couple of days. And guess what… I’m so happy I did! This time I had a wonderful experience and decided to share it here.
Where to stay in Morocco I stayed at WestSurf, a cozy surf camp in Thamgrat close to Taghazout. Actually, the camp deserves a whole separate post as it was by far one of the nicest stays I’ve ever had (thanks again to everyone from there!).
It’s located on a hill in a small local village with a wonderful view over the ocean. The area is rather remote (well like most parts in Morocco) and residential with local families and dogs. There are a couple of smaller cafes down the hill. but besides that really nothing (I loved that, but if you’re looking for some party, that’s for sure nothing for you). The rooms are so cozy and everything is designed in a typical Moroccan style. They also prepare delicious food (omg still dreaming of it). All the other guests at this time were amazing, I feel like we were a small little family and we’re still keeping in touch every now and then. And of course, you can also take lessons with them or surf guiding (btw here you can also choose a board that fits you and won't be just put on a foamy like in many other surf schools). However keep in mind, that the majority of guests are German (at least when I was there), so you will also hear our language quite often ;)
The surf in Morocco Morocco really offers so many incredible surf spots. Since I didn’t have that much time and didn’t know the breaks very well (haha the usual stuff... busy with uni life), I decided to participate in the surf guiding provided by West surf. First of all, I think it’s always good to have some locals around you if you’re not familiar with the breaks and, secondly, it was actually really really fun!
We went to different spots according to our level and stayed there more or less all day long. Sometimes we went somewhere else after lunch break if the conditions were not good enough in the afternoon. We also visited Tifnit once, a small little fisher village, around 1,5 hours away, where we had the whole spot only to ourselves. While I was there, we had solid surf all the time without any wind, so pretty much dream conditions.
If you're more advanced than I am, you will benefit even more from Morocco as many breaks are very powerful and get bigger swells. (Anchor point is for example a spot hyped by all the advanced surfers). My favorite place was Banana Beach, as it’s also (in my opinion) a softer wave (unless you take the first peak in front of the rock) and therefore good for the intermediate surfer. There was also a really nice point break which you could surf both left and right. I’m actually not exactly sure how the spot was called; could be Banana Point (not Banana beach). Anyway, if you stay in a surf camp, you’ll get plenty of spot guidance.
I guess one of the most fascinating things about Morocco is the experience of such a different culture. You hop on a plane and after 4 hours you come out in a completely different world.: Among ruins, dogs, and cars whose emissions kill your lungs for the rest of your life, you find those cute Moroccan houses with ornaments, paintings, and people who smile at you from far away. Generally speaking, I also felt very safe as a female solo traveler. However, I never went out by myself at night (basically after the whole surf I was completely knocked out after 8 pm haha). But I really enjoyed the local culture, food, the camel rides, and the wonderful mint tea you get served at the beach after your surfing.
All in all, I can highly recommend a surf trip to Morocco in the winter months!
Here are some additional tips:
- If you’re a goofy surfer (like me), it’s time to practice your backhand! Morocco is the land of rights ;)
- bring warm clothes, it’s a desert and therefore gets really cold at night
- don’t take too much sugar before your trip… you’ll get a sugar rush as soon as you drink the tea there :D (but still delicious, you have to try it)
- Be careful with eating things outside and swallowing the ocean water… might result in some longer toilet conferences ;)
- don’t bring your drone, it’s illegal in Morocco and they will take it away at the airport!
- switch to the nondrinkers ;). Alcohol is not allowed.
- bring lots of time at the airport and keep calm (it took me around 2 hours to pass through the passport and baggage control at arrival...even worse at departure)
- If you’re feeling cold fast, take a 4/3 mm for surfing in winter. I personally found it perfect for a longer surf
- People do speak English every now and then so you will get around with it. But it’s always good to have some basic French too;)
Have an amazing time :)