Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Morocco is a resolutely seaside destination. But what is less well known is that the country is home to a wide variety of beaches, some ideal for swimming, others for water sports. Our local expert tells us about her favorite beaches and shares with us her best finds.
Agadir beach for swimming in a protected bay
Agadir’s family-friendly beach is often considered one of the most beautiful in Morocco. For me, it’s one of the most pleasant family beaches. Just over ten kilometers long and protected from the winds, it offers a truly perfect environment for cooling off on vacation. The downside is that in high season, it can become very crowded, even too crowded. Nevertheless, the sun shines here 300 days a year, and the sea is just as good for swimming. So it’s hardly surprising that Agadir is one of Morocco’s most popular seaside resorts. And even if the town itself doesn’t have much in the way of cachet, we only need to drive a few kilometers to reach some magnificent natural and historical sites.
Mirleft beach for surfing
If you’re coming to Morocco to surf, then let me introduce you to Mirleft beach. To briefly describe the region, I’d say it could be summed up as kilometers of wild beaches battered by powerful waves, punctuated by secret coves and bordered by vertiginous cliffs. Can you imagine? There’s no posh seaside resort here, no developed infrastructure. And that’s exactly what I love about this region: it’s one of the few places in North Africa where you can surf in such a wild environment.
Over the last few years, the village of Mirleft has become very popular with surfers from all over the world. In my opinion, it’s the best place in the country to surf if you already have a good level. As the beach is unsupervised and the infrastructure non-existent, I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners.
Take a stroll on the beaches between Imsouane and Essaouira
I find that the picturesque side of the Moroccan coastline is all too often forgotten. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, I suggest you explore the coastal landscapes between Imsouane and Essaouira. The region is ideal for hiking and nature walks. Here, everything is still wild and no construction spoils the scenery. For the more athletically inclined, I suggest some magnificent hikes with bivouacs en route along the coast. Swimming is not recommended here. The waves are powerful and the beaches are not supervised. On the other hand, the coastline in this part of the world has a lot of character and is largely overlooked by tourist itineraries.
Oualidia beach for bathing and dining
Located on the Atlantic coast, Oualidia beach is one of the region’s most popular seaside resorts. In my opinion, it’s one of the best beaches in Morocco for swimming, since not only is it protected by dunes and a rock, but it’s also supervised. If you want to avoid the crowds, I wouldn’t recommend visiting in July and August, when the locals come here to cool off.
This charming beach, located halfway between Essaouira and Casablanca, is a must for food-loving travellers. Why should you? Quite simply because, in my opinion, it’s one of the country’s most interesting gastronomic towns. Oualidia is one of only two places where oyster farming is practiced in Morocco. Oysters and shellfish, as well as sea urchins, shrimps, langoustines and spider crabs, can be found on the menus of virtually every restaurant. Seafood lovers, you’re in for a treat!
Dakhla; beach, bastion of ecotourism in Morocco
Located south of Agadir, not far from the border with Mauritania, Dakhla beach is my latest favorite. This charming, booming resort is home to a large, wild lagoon ideal for contemplation and rejuvenation. Here, no high resorts to block the view, low-rise buildings and ecolodges dominate the tourist scene. It really is the ideal place to discover the wild, natural side of Morocco‘s coastline.
To the north and south of Dakhla, dozens of kilometers of golden sandy beaches stretch out before your astonished eyes. One of my favorite excursions in the area: sport fishing with the locals. It’s a great opportunity to discover ancient fishing techniques and meet sea turtles and dolphins. Another excursion I love to suggest to travelers is a catamaran trip on the Dakhla lagoon. Here, too, you can meet dolphins and observe the region’s migratory birds, including a whole colony of pink flamingos.
What to see and do in Morocco
Marrakech ; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
Both traditional and contemporary, Marrakech has many facets. Just 3 hours by plane from Paris, it is easily accessible and attracts visitors looking for a change of scenery for a weekend. The city, as well as its many districts, are full of treasures, with the Atlas Mountains’ peaks serving as a backdrop. By turns vibrant and calm, electric and serene, there’s something for everyone, whether in the picturesque alleyways of the Medina, the historic city center protected by ramparts, in the lush gardens of Majorelle and Menara, or in the trendy boutiques of Guéliz, the modern part of town. Further north, the Palmeraie is ideal for quad biking or camel riding. Enchanting and generous, Marrakech is waiting to welcome you.
The Atlas ; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
Morocco is a country with a wide variety of landscapes. Between dunes and beaches, the relief is also marked by the Atlas mountain range in the northern part of the country. The High Atlas region, home to North Africa’s highest peaks, offers incredibly rich landscapes and will delight lovers of hiking and trekking. Between verdant forests and arid valleys, snow-capped peaks and vast plateaus, the region is dotted with roads and trails that allow you to discover another facet of Morocco, off the beaten track.
The Ourika Valley, close to Marrakech, is a must-see, plunging visitors into the heart of untouched nature, where they can meet Berber tribes. The Atlas region also boasts major national parks such as Toukbal and Souss-Massa. The latter is home to the M’Goun massif, whose slopes are a winter delight for skiers.
Further south, in the Anti-Atlas region, there are pleasant hiking trails accessible from the town of Taroudant. Here, the high mountains have given way to oases, fields of crops, torrents and waterfalls.
Fez; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
Undoubtedly one of Morocco‘s most beautiful imperial cities, purists will call it a “true Moroccan city”, with its authentic atmosphere and architecture. The old town, a World Heritage site, is home to a rich cultural heritage of traditional souks, museums and medersas (Koranic schools).
Why blue? Blue reflects the sun’s rays, keeping homes cool. Copper sulfate mixed with lime gives this indigo color, which also keeps insects away. Clever!
Chefchaouen is something of a postcard of Morocco. Located in the north-east of the country, this mountain village is intriguing for its faded blue color, which completely covers the walls of the houses. A stroll through the narrow streets of Chefchaouen almost transports you to an imaginary land, where you’ll feel both disorientated and enchanted. In the heart of the medina, the winding streets are lined with carpets, fabrics, herbs and spices, woven baskets and other handicrafts. This friendly village also boasts a number of historic monuments that can be spotted just around the bend: the tree-lined central Outa El-Hammam square is a daily rendezvous for tourists and Chaounais alike, and from one of the terraces you can admire the terracotta walls of the ancient Kasbah. Not far away is the Grand Mosque, which can only be admired from the outside, as the entrance is reserved for Muslims only.
The Drâa Valley
Visit the Cad Ali Kasbah in Agdz, the nearby towns of Timidert and Tinzouline, or the historic district of Tamnougalt, which is guarded by an outstanding Kasbah.
From Ouarzazate, the Drâa Valley stretches for 200 km in a long, fertile crescent in the middle of arid land, with a succession of Berber villages, historic fortifications, oases and lush palm groves watered by waterfalls. Between the towns of Agdz and M’Hamid, via Zagora, several itineraries are available for trekking through the varied landscapes of the valley cradled by the Oued Drâa, Morocco‘s longest river. But the region is also studded with Kasbahs and Ksours built of adobe, witnesses to its historic past.
Meknes ; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
On the route of Morocco‘s imperial cities, Meknes is one of the must-see stops on this tour. Founded in the 8th century, the city is surrounded by ramparts and monumental gates, and boasts unique architecture and historical remains inherited from the greatest Moroccan dynasties over the centuries (Idrissides, Almoravides, Merinides and Alaouites). A heritage that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.
Essaouira ; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
A pretty seaside resort on the Atlantic coast, Essaouira enjoys a sunny climate all year round, allowing you to enjoy its superb beaches.
Due to the sometimes powerful winds that regularly blow along the coast, swimming is not always tranquil, but the town is undoubtedly a paradise for surfers and other water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, etc. Incidentally, Essaouira is also the venue for the annual Kitesurfing World Cup. Essaouira is also renowned for its dazzling white Medina, the historic city center surrounded by ramparts and listed as a World Heritage Site.
The good news is that this is one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims. In passing, we take the opportunity to visit the museum and library.
A port city less frequented than its seaside cousins Agadir or Essaouira, Casablanca is no less devoid of
The dunes of Erg Chebbi
More unusual, these large dunes are also the scene of yoga classes, or sandbording, surfing on the sand!
This region, located near the Algerian border, boasts the highest sand dunes in the Sahara. A unique landscape
Don’t hesitate to visit the Village Minier Fantôme (Phantom Mining Village), a village of former mines that are now deserted.
Located in the far east of Morocco, close to the Algerian border, Figuig is a cool oasis lost in the middle of the desert, surrounded by
To explore the Dadès gorges on foot, a good level of physical fitness is required, and it’s highly recommended to undertake this journey accompanied by a mountain guide.
110 km east of Ouarzazate lies Morocco’s Grand Canyon: the Dades Gorge. Formed by the wadi of the same name, these vertiginous gorges reach depths of almost 300 metres and are the perfect playground for climbing and rafting enthusiasts. Along the way, the landscape alternates between lush green plains planted with orchards, and mountainous terrain glowing in the sunlight. Near the village of Boulmane, a geological curiosity awaits visitors: astonishing rocky peaks rising into the sky, nicknamed “monkey fingers”. Further on, the Sidi Boubkar gorge marks the starting point of hiking trails leading to natural pools. Enjoy a moment of relaxation and escape in this paradise-like setting.
While staying in Tafraout, don’t forget to try the local specialty: prune tajine with almonds. Bon appétit!
160 km south of Agadir, Tafraout is built into the granite foothills of the Anti-Atlas at an altitude of 1,200 m, overlooking a vast palm grove planted with almond, date, argan and olive trees. This small mountain town with its typical Berber architecture is the starting point for excursions to the surrounding villages and natural sites: The Ammeln valley, a verdant territory where the majority of villages are located. Among them, a visit to Oumesnat is an edifying way to learn more about the traditions and arts of Berber culture. On the way to Tiznit, stop off at the village of Agard-Oudad to see its iconic bright-red sloping rock, dubbed “Napoleon’s hat”, as well as the
stunning blue-painted rocks of Aoumerkt. Land art by Belgian artist Jean Vérane. Finally, hiking enthusiasts can venture into the Aït Mansour gorges. This 4X4 tour takes in the sumptuous scenery between rocky cliffs and lush oases.;Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
Along the way, don’t hesitate to stop off and visit the village of Telouet and its splendid Kasbah, or Tighza, the starting point for many pleasant hikes.
At the gateway to the desert, where the Drâa and Dadès valleys meet, Ouarzazate lies on a vast rocky plateau, dotted with
Rabat ; Morocco’s most beautiful beaches
Built on the Atlantic coast and on the banks of the Bouregreg river, Morocco’s capital has everything to please: kilometers of coastline alternating between sandy beaches and rocky coves, a hinterland characterized by unspoiled nature and ideal for hiking, and last but not least, a cultural heritage marked by the influences of the various civilizations that participated in the city’s construction and development.
Protected by an impressive fortified wall, Rabat’s medina is home to a number of historic sites that are listed as World Heritage Sites. But the city is also modern, with the construction of a new European-style district.