The mass of sand that comes to mind when you think of Morocco is probably the Sahara Desert.
So, this may come as a surprise… But Morocco has a sandy coastline that’s actually 1,200 miles (nearly 2,000 km) long. And not only it is punctuated with laid-back port cities like Essaouira and resort destinations like Agadir, the beaches themselves are stunning too.
While some are the perfect respite from the bustle of Marrakech, others kick it up a notch with adventure sports aplenty. And then there are others that are just straight up easy on the eye!
Here’s our pick of 5 of the best beaches in Morocco:
Legzira, Sidi Ifni
Venture to southwest Morocco and, on the shores of the Atlantic, you’ll come across Sidi Ifni. Though an atmospheric city in its own right – full of peaceful vibes, Spanish art deco flair and artsy murals, it’s the beaches that really captivate. Both far from commercialized and perfect for long walks, they’re just lovely. And the rocky cliffs above them are the perfect outpost to admire a dazzling sunset and the red-ish glow of the rocks.
But it’s a brief walk down the cliffs that showcases one of Morocco’s most unique stretches of sand. The magnificent thousand-year-old rock archway formed from years of erosion. Though there were actually two and one collapsed over time, the largest one still stands tall, as if encouraging visitors to gaze in amazement. During low tide you can walk under the arch and enjoy splashing around in the waves.
How to visit: Visit Legzira Beach on Intrepid Travel’s NEW 8-day Morocco Atlas and Atlantic trip. Starting and ending in Marrakech, it also offers 2 nights in a surf resort! Here, there’s an included surf class AND yoga class, as well as a guided tour of Sidi Ifni.
La Source, Taghazout
It’s hard to pick just one noteworthy beach in Taghazout, a charming fishing village just one hour north of much-more-built-up Agadir. Why so tough? Because the town is known for its incredible surf scene. So, it’s not surprising it has some decent stretches of sand to go along with it.
The village’s coastline is dotted with beaches, each offering up their own special set of waves. La Source has golden sands and waves fit for beginners, while Devil’s Rock is for the intermediate (beware of the stacks of rocks to one side). Feeling intimidated? Don’t. You can always join a surf camp before you hit the waves (a half-day surf course is included on this trip).
Taghazout is a fantastic place to find some zen. The modest main square hosts only a few fresh produce and souvenir shops. And the rest of the town is made up of little more than surf shops and sea-view restaurants offering up fresh seafood. It’s bliss.
Moulay Bouzerktoune, Essaouira
Back in the 60s, Essaouira was a hub for hippies and those involved in the counterculture movement. Over the years, it has maintained its eclectic spirit, but has become a magnet for water sports fans too. And it’s Moulay Bouzerktoune that’s one of the prime spots for water sports.
Essaouira is to Morocco what Chicago is to the U.S. when it comes to strong winds. Though the 18th-century ramparts enclosing the medina block most of the wind (so you can wander in peace!), the winds really make themselves felt on the main beaches. This means that Essaouira is home to some of the best kite and windsurfing around.
When you’re tired out from all manners of adventurous activities, refresh with fresh oysters and sea urchins at the fish market. Or head to some of the city’s hip galleries and boutique shops.
How to visit: We have two great options for you. If you have time and want to really get to grips with the country, check out Intrepid’s 15-day Best of Morocco trip. The trip includes Fes, the Sahara, hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira and much, much more.
Alternatively, check out Intrepid’s 7-day Hike, Bike and Horse Ride trip for something a little different. On this tour, you go mountain biking in the Atlas Mountains, horse riding in Essaouira, and hiking in Aroumd, before enjoying a much-needed spa session in Marrakech.
Rmilate Beach, Asilah
Also known as Paradise Beach – for obvious reasons – this is the place to hang out amongst the locals. Just a few kilometres from the fortified town of Asilah (which is under an hour from Tangier), there’s always a free spot on the beach to bask in the sun and relax. It’s far less crowded than the centrally-located beaches, and much cleaner.
Locals ride around horseback along the waters, offering rides for those wanting to scope out the beach from a different vantage point. The town itself is also a good-looking one, with colorful murals covering buildings and cultural festivals brightening it up even more throughout the year.
The Lagoon, Oualidia
Roughly halfway between Essaouira and Casablanca, Oualidia is one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets. (Well, it’s a well-known beach resort for Moroccans, not international visitors.) The focal point of this small town is a sapphire-colored lagoon. Not only is this lagoon bordered by serene beaches, but the seafood to be found here is otherworldly. Oualidia is actually dubbed the oyster capital of Morocco!
In the spring and summer months, you can spot pink flamingos in the lagoon. Year-round, travelers can walk along the pristine beaches or take a swim in the calm waters. Alternatively, venture through the lagoon on a short boat ride to the sandy island within it for some more secluded sands.
Want to visit one of these beautiful beaches? You can on one of Intrepid Travel’s small group tours in Morocco!
(Image credits from top to bottom: Hero Image c/o Julie Faye Germansky, Intrepid Travel x2, Julie Faye Germansky, Intrepid Travel x2.)