A Guide to Morocco's Atlantic Coast
Morocco benefits from mile upon mile of sandy beaches situated on its Atlantic coastline. These beaches in Morocco are perfectly geared up for water sports fans, but are not the cocktail and sun lounger beaches that some sun-worshippers would be hoping for. The large Atlantic rollers are ideal for surfing and body boarding, something adults and older children will love. Camels, horses and quad bikes are readily available on popular beaches where children (or adults) can enjoy a short ride. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent, some beaches have a small café as well, but facilities vary from place to place.
The beaches are fun for people watching and playing in the waves and children will love building sand castles. However, the Atlantic surf can be quite rough so it is more a pursuit for confident swimmers. If you are in Morocco for longer, we recommend that you stay somewhere with a pool so that you can enjoy the beach atmosphere and crashing waves, but then relax around a cleaner and safer pool environment where you can relax in swim-wear without the concern of revealing too much flesh on the beach.
Top Beach Destinations in Morocco
Located on Morocco's West coast, Essaouira is the epitome of laid-back Morocco. A popular domestic tourist destination, the town has a small, stress free medina and a busy fishing port, ensuring fresh fish every day. Inside the old town, there are art shops and souvenir stalls, with none of the selling pressure you see in the larger Moroccan cities. The emphasis here is on relaxing and people-watching, visitors spend most of their time promenading on the ramparts and enjoying mint tea in the square. The beach is large and windy, making it a haven for water sports lovers. Kite surfing and wind surfing are popular here, as well as regular surfing.
There are a number of lovely small hotels in peaceful rural locations within 20 minutes drive of Essaouira. The hotels are usually walled gardens with pools, we would recommend you have your own hire car if staying at these properties
Just to the south of Essaouira lies the small Atlantic village of Sidi Kaouki. One of the more family friendly beach villages, this is a laid back and sleepy place with just a handful of cafes. To the north of the village are some interesting rock pools at low tide, to the south, the sandy beach seems to stretch endlessly into the horizon and if you are prepared to walk for 10 minutes along the beach, it won’t be too long until you find a deserted stretch of sand. This spot is perfect for surfers and in the summer months, when the surf is gentler, it is a great base for beginners. As is the case in Essaouira, it can get windy here in the summer months, especially in the afternoons, so it pays to hit the beach in the morning and then spend the afternoon lazing around a pool.
In the south of Morocco, benefitting from a year round temperate climate, Mirleft has some excellent beaches and some of the best boutique coastal accommodation in the country. Even better, it is still fairly off the beaten track. The coast here is wild, with pounding waves and strong currents and lovely sandy beaches. On national holidays the beaches are packed as this is a popular Moroccan destination but there are few tourists here and outside of the country holidays the beaches are almost deserted. The village is well spread out, with the centre away from the sea and the accommodation tends to be in more isolated spots making a car very useful. Mirleft makes for an excellent base for exploring some of the nearby towns such as Sidi Ifni and Tafraout, whilst staying in fantastic accommodation.
Situated on a small lagoon on the Atlantic Coast, Oualidia is a well-heeled town, slowly growing in popularity for both domestic and international tourists. Whilst most of the Moroccan Atlantic coast is exposed to the elements, the unique tidal lagoon offers calm waters and abundant birdlife: there is a chance of seeing flamingos in the winter months. Water sports fans will love exploring the lagoon by kayak or boat, whilst for keen surfers, the wild Atlantic Coast offers crashing waves and great surf. Food-wise, the region is particularly well-known for its oyster production. Sea food lovers can also enjoy fresh lobster, crab and red mullet.
Well-known as a package destination, the town’s beaches are clean and full of tourists. The town itself is geared towards package tourists and holds little charm. The airport is a convenient location for exploring the couth of the country, but you really wouldn’t be missing out if you avoided the town completely.