Surfing and Sun In Taghazout, Morocco

Surfing on the beach in Taghazout, Morocco

Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone makes for mega awesome travel experiences. Which is why this November, I decided to go all out and book myself a long weekend in Taghazout, Morocco, to try and learn to surf. Eek.

For the record, I’d never been on a surfboard in my life. I mean, I’ve done windsurfing, once, but I managed to knock myself out in the process and have therefore avoided it since. But hey, if you’re gonna learn, do it somewhere awesome – so I booked up Stoke Travel’s Morocco Surf Camp trip, packed up my carry on with swimwear and suncream and hopped on a plane for some fun in the sun. And plenty of falling into the sea…

Taghazout, MoroccoTagzahout, Morocco

Taghazout is a small village on the South West coast of Morocco, and a popular destination for surf fiends. The closest airport is Agadir, and I hopped in a cab from there to get to Taghazout itself. It cost ‎€30 for the transfer from the airport which is a bit pricey if you’re on your own, but there’s also a public bus service you can get.

Honestly? My first experience of exploring Taghazout wasn’t 100% positive. I’d arrived at my hostel around 9pm, to a friendly welcome and a BBQ dinner. Which was a pretty awesome way to arrive. I was getting pretty thirsty, so decided to go down into the village itself to pick up a coke, and as soon as I’d got onto the main street, three locals decided to shout at me from across the road to ‘come with them’. Not the best start, so I did feel a little on edge as I walked down to the shop to grab a drink and back up to the hostel. As a result, I spent the first night feeling pretty apprehensive and homesick, wishing I’d managed to convince someone to travel with me.

Taghazout, MoroccoTaghazout streets, MoroccoTaghazout streets, Morocco

But it got better. During the days that followed, I branched out into the town a little more to explore, and didn’t encounter any further issues. As I ventured further from my hostel (granted, during the daylight hours), I found a maze of streets that were different to anywhere else I’d visited before. I discovered hodge-podge streets filled with colourful facades and friendly shop owners, who I chatted away to, and bartered with for sunglasses. Even the more ‘derelict’ looking streets I stumbled down were striking.

Adventure Keys Surf Hostel, Taghazout, MoroccoAdventure Keys Surf Hostel, Taghazout, Morocco

My source of bed, food and hangouts for the weekend was Adventure Keys Surf and Yoga Hostel.

I’ve stayed in hostels before, so I wasn’t too fussed about sharing a dorm with three other travellers – there weren’t many girls in the hostel when I arrived, but sharing with guys isn’t something that phases me either. I threw myself onto a top bunk, and it was pretty darn comfortable – I definitely had a few great nights’ sleep there after busy days.

On the top floor of the hostel, there’s a comfy roof terrace, with an awesome view out over Taghazout bay. Each morning I grabbed some Nutella and banana pancakes and tucked into them while staring out over the ocean. And at night, I tucked into tagine, or BBQ, or pasta, as the sun set. It truly was a stunning view – and the food was really good too. As well as breakfast and dinner, the hostel provided packed lunches to take to the beach with us. Moroccan chicken baguettes and plenty of fruit were happily scoffed while we watched the camels stroll by. More about the beach in a moment…

The terrace was also a great place to meet people, and I spent the nights chatting away with travellers from Germany, Greece and even as far away as Canada. You can’t actually get booze in Taghazout (like, it’s just, not really a thing in Morocco), but taking a break from holiday drinking was actually really refreshing. The hostel also organise trips into Agadir if you fancy a night out!

Beach houses in Taghazout, MoroccoSurfing in Taghazout, Morocco

Time to talk surf. Before heading out, I found myself a wetsuit and grabbed a board (hire of these is included in your stay), and jumped into the van for a 5-10 minute journey down the road to the perfect surf spot. With sand stretching as far as the eye could see, and medium-sized waves for beginners, it’s definitely an awesome place to learn to surf. As part of the Stoke Travel Morocco Surf Camp, an introductory surfing lesson was included. I was the only new surfer – so it was basically a one on one session!

The first steps into the world of becoming a Pro Surf Babe (ha) involved staying on dry land, and working out the technique of catching a wave and riding it out. Which I turned out to be pretty alright at when I hit the water, and soon found myself whizzing along the whitewater. Okay, still lying down. But baby steps. Next up, I managed to pull myself onto my knees, and managed to sort of get the hang of that too. Easy, eh?

Well, not quite. The part I definitely struggled with was getting up from my knees to a standing position. I fell in the water A LOT. Eventually, I got pretty close to standing up but didn’t quite manage it, but still enjoyed just splashing about and riding the waves. Guess I’ve got an awesome excuse to go and try again another time, right?

Taghazout Bay beach, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, Morocco

On my second day, I decided to take it a bit easier and give the surfing a break, and instead opted for some full on beach chill. Our surf spot was about an hour’s walk along the beach from the main village of Taghazout, and I decided to take a stroll in the sunshine.

So worth it. I could probably walk along beaches for hours – although, granted, my feet were rubbing quite a bit in my $3 Walmart flip flops by the end. Along the way I encountered camels, dogs and lots of surfers. Oh, and on the subject of dogs – they seem to have a lot of stray ones (and cats too) casually wandering the streets in Morocco. Mostly, I was actually amazed at how healthy and cared for they looked, despite not being owned by anyone. Apparently the local mosques feed them, which is pretty awesome.

Taghazout Bay beach, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, Morocco

Once I reached the end of my walk, I took a climb onto the rocky point to take in mega panoramic views of the beach (Re: the ‘rocky point’ description: I’ve looked this up on Google and I’m not sure if it’s big enough to count as a ‘cape’ so I’m trying to avoid calling it that. But it was kinda basically a very small cape. Yeah.)

Seriously, those views. I probably could have stayed up there even longer just watching the surf and the sea and staring out, but I was also mad thirsty from my walk so took a dawdle back down to the beach.

Camel ride in Taghazout, MoroccoTaghazout Bay beach, Morocco

After I’d made it down to our spot, I kept an eye peeled for something I’d been wanting to do since I arrived. I went for a CAMEL RIDE, BABY. My camel was called Boomboom (yep, I was definitely singing along to the Vengaboys with my head on that one). Boomboom and his owner took me for a nice little stroll along the beach, and it was an amazing feeling to take in the sights of the beach as we adventured along.

I spent the most of the rest of the afternoon lying down with a book, just enjoying the sun and doing some people watching. I hadn’t bought a towel with me, so I haggled one of the beach vendors to sell me a snazzy purple blanket for 120dh (80 less than his original asking price. Bartering rocks). It’s huge, and now I’ve washed the sand out of it, a great souvenir for the living room sofa!

Vendors selling their wares wandered up and down the beach all afternoon, selling everything from clothes and souvenirs to fruit and drinks. I grabbed a cup of mint tea with honey – a popular drink in Morocco. And it was SO VERY good. Really sweet and minty, I wouldn’t normally think to opt for a hot drink on the beach of all places, but it was also very refreshing. If you’re in Morocco, seriously try some. I’m not even a big tea drinker and I was definitely a fan.

Taghazout Bay beach, Morocco sunset

In general, I had an amazing time in Taghazout and Stoke Travel provided a fantastic way to experience it. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’d advise this for female travellers who perhaps haven’t ventured out alone before, as there were a few moments throughout the trip where I felt a bit nervous being alone. If you’re a dude, you’ll be fine – but the culture towards women in Morocco is definitely very different to here in the UK – with more catcalls, and being approached by locals quite a bit.

However, I began to quickly realise that if you ignore the comments and keep on walking, they don’t go any further. Like anywhere, you do need to keep your wits about you a bit – although beachwear is totally fine on the beach itself, in the evenings I felt much more comfortable with my legs and shoulders covered. And a lot of the people I did speak to were genuinely friendly and open minded. If they weren’t, I found telling them I was married made them disappear very quickly…

The hostel was an easy place to make friends, and if you’re comfortable with solo travel and want to learn to surf, it’s definitely a great affordable adventure. Taghazout is definitely a part of Morocco that’s a little more unusual than the usual sights of Marrakech, Tangier and Fez. Plus, the surfing itself was so fun and the beach was absolutely gorgeous. Despite the slight caveats above, it’s such a lovely place to get to know.

I also spent some time haggling for bargain souvenirs in the souk market in Agadir…but that’s another post entirely…coming soon!

*I was invited for a free stay including meals and surfing by Stoke Travel. Opinions and wipeouts, all my own.

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  • Charlie Elliott

    I’m glad you managed to enjoy it in the end! A friend of mine wore a fake wedding ring when she travelled in India to keep unwanted advances at bay. Aside from that the trip looks gorgeous!
    Cx
    charliedistracted.com

  • LaaLaa

    Love your photos, I have heard of others experiences of being a western woman in countries as these which is unfortunate but like you said, got to have your wits about you. x

  • Wow! This is a side of Morocco I have never seen!
    I have been obsessed with the notion of going, all the beautiful colours but this is so different (not in a bad way!)
    Good on you for trying something new, I tried body boarding a couple of times but i’m such a wimp haha x

  • jigsawparenting

    It looks stunning and what beautiful pictures, its not a place I have personally been to but may just have to add it to my bucket list

  • Joanna

    Gorgeous photos I’d love to go to Morocco it looks like u had managed to enjoy ur holiday in the end.

  • Natasha Mairs

    Beautiful beach. I have never been, but I have been to Gran Caneria which isn’t too far from Morocco and the buildings actually look quite similar

  • Jo Wiggins

    I tried surfing once and like you I didn’t manage to get off my knees. Was great fun though x

  • Elodie

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf and what a beautiful place to learn! I’m from the French Riviera and love to rent a paddle board and explore, but I’m not sure I could stand up on waves. Especially since a surf board is smaller than a paddle board!

    – Elodie x

    http://www.elle-yeah.com

  • How did you knock yourself out wind surfing? What a beautiful place to visit. I am super envious.

  • Oh my goodness how blue is that sky. I wish I had tried surfing while I had been able to. x

  • You booked a long weekend to go learn how to surf?oh wow I am so jealous, I cant surf wont even attempt it as I will do more than knock the wind outta myself

  • I swear you always go to the best places hun. I have always wanted to go to Morocco and where better to learn to surf. Beautiful xx

  • Lily Greenslade-Davey

    So I have a few things I want to say. 1) THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER! 2) I’M VERY, VERY JEALOUS! and 3) I’m so happy you had a great adventure! Your pictures were stunning and I’m so very sad that I’ve got a rainy and cold Cardiff to look forward to seeing tomorrow morning haha!

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    I didn’t know that you could surf in Morocco. Now I had even more reason to go!

  • I absolutely loved exploring Morocco when I went last new year but I totally get what you mean about being apprehensive being a solo female traveller x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    The scenery is just absolutely fantastic and it looks as though you had a fab time x

  • Georgina

    What a great thing to do – looks like you had loads of fun! I would love to visit Morocco!

    http://www.georginadoes.co.uk

  • Ive been to Morocco years ago it was great. Looks like you had a brilliant time

  • My folks love Morocco and have stayed in Agadir and Marrakech before and loved it. This looks like a fab place too!

  • I admire your courage to just travel on your own in an unfamiliar place. I know people who have back packed across Thailand on their own and the thought makes my heart race. Morocco looks beautiful and I absolutely love that picture of the camel on the beach xx

  • Francesca Nelson

    Gorgeous photos!!! Morocco sounds wonderful! I couldn’t travel alone, I’m too weary and worried about everything haha!

  • Ah what an amazing trip! It sounds so good, I’d love to try surfing though I bet I would be totally useless at it!

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • This sounds like a fantastic and exciting trip! I have always wanted to learn to surf, it looks so much fun! But I would be quite scared to fall and knock myself out, it sounds quite scary. Good thing it didn’t happend again this time! 🙂 Amazing photos btw!

  • Good you had an amazing time. Sounds like it was good fun.

  • Annie Brooks

    Milly! This looks amazing! I love surfing but I am not fantastic. I kind of stopped looking that way for holidays to be honest but this looks awesome

  • omg i so want to try the camel ride! its one of my goals for 2017 to get out for long weekends!

  • Jenni Grainger

    Wow what a way to spend a long weekend, looks incredible x

  • AlicevstheWorld

    That hostel you stayed in looks lovely, places with a bit of character are the best!

  • Your pictures look incredible. How lucky that you’re so close to visit for a weekend!

  • hilary

    I’ve been thinking about Morocco for a while now, but never thought of it as a surf spot! How cool! I live near the beach in SoCal, which is great, but we never see Camels, let along ride them! #farawayfiles

  • Untold Morsels

    You rock Milly. The whole experience looks fantastic – especially the camels lounging on the beach. What a great way to unwind and forget big city life. Surfs up! Thanks for joining us on #farawayfiles

  • Sounds like a lot of fun. I have not heard a lot of stories about surfing in Morocco but I know certain places are famous in surfing circles. This town reminds me a bit of the beach towns in Baja California. #FarawayFiles

  • nattiekaf

    This sounds awesome! I grew up surfing in Souther California and have taken a few surf trips around the world, but I had no idea Morocco had surf! The hostel you stayed at the Travel Stoke company sound like a good way to go for a trip like this, I’ll definitely be saving this post for later!
    #farawayfiles

  • Welcome to FarawayFiles – you are our 100th blogger! No award or medal other than a virtual high five and glad to have you along! I tried surfing for the first time in California last summer and I had the same exact trouble – could never get from the one knee up kind of awkward doggy style to a full stand – and fell A LOT. Ugh. It was exhausting! But I loved being in the water and watching my kids pop up around me. Morocco is HIGH on my wish list and I loved your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing – cheers from Copenhagen! Erin