Taghazout and Imsouane are two premier surf destinations located in the southwest of Morocco, renowned for their laid-back surf culture and world-class long, peeling right-hand point breaks. These small coastal towns offer a truly unique surf experience, catering to both beginners and seasoned surfers alike. The coast’s proximity to the international airport of Agadir in Souss-Massa makes it easily accessible for surfers from all over the world, making it an increasingly popular destination for those seeking both great waves and warmer temperatures. With a vibrant surf community and a variety of waves to choose from, Taghazout and Imsouane are must-visits for any surfer.
As a team, Morocco holds a special place in our hearts. We want to share our experiences with both surfers and non-surfers so you, can also can make the most of your trip.
Tips and information to know to organize your surf trip
The surf season
Morocco’s southwest coast is a surf paradise, with two small towns, Taghazout and Imsouane, at the forefront of the country’s surf culture during the surf season. A season that starts in September and ends in March, with December to February being the months with the most consistent and powerful swells. These swells originate from the northern Atlantic and travel to Morocco, providing surfers with an opportunity to ride the same swells that grace the shores of northern Europe.
The waves in the Souss-Massa region
Taghazout and Imsouane offer waves for surfers of all skill levels, though it should be noted that the region is not known for its barreling waves. It is a paradise for regular footed surfers, with a majority of the breaks being clean right hand point breaks. Goofy footer be ready to work a bit on your backend!
As we said the region is exposed to long-period swells and can experience periods of flatness due to a lack of shorter swells.
While localism and aggressive behavior are not nonexistent, it is not a prevalent issue in Taghazout and Imsouane. The locals are generally friendly and welcoming to visiting surfers. They will often cheer for you when you catch a good wave and are happy to engage in conversation in the lineup.
Covid situation and the ugly side of Taghazout
As of February 2023, all restrictions related to the pandemic have been lifted in Morocco, including the need for PCR or vaccination passes to enter the country. However, travelers will be required to fill out a “health pass form” with basic contact information upon arrival at the airport.
In addition to the standard health precautions, it’s important to be aware of a persistent public health issue in the Taghazout and Imsouane areas. Every winter, a mysterious illness spreads among tourists, causing symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting for one or few days. This issue has been ongoing for years and is thought to be caused by a norovirus linked to sewage issues in the towns. Any group of surfers or non-surfers that plan to stay in the area for more than a few days, is likely to have at least one member affected if not all of them.
When it comes to staying connected in the region, prepaid sim cards are readily available in many small shops. The staff will be happy to help you set up your sim card for free. Don’t forget to ask them for your new phone number. Recharging your internet credit can be done at these shops or online, though some knowledge of French or the use of translation tools may be helpful.
The food in the area is delicious. You’ll find a variety of fruits, tajines, and fresh fish in a lot of places. When the surf is good, you might see a vendor walking around the spot selling mint tea – it’s a great way to end a surf session. On Fridays, which is a holy day, many places serve couscous. Keep in mind that some of them will require you to order the day before.
For a good selection of local restaurants, head to the main street of Aourir, where you can also find a fish market and get fresh catch of the day grilled at nearby restaurants. Imesouane also has a fish market for fresh seafood options.
Plenty of options are available if you’re looking for a place to stay while exploring the surf near Taghazout. There are numerous surf camps, as well as a wide range of hotels and hostels. A good tip to keep in mind is to avoid booking online as much as you can and instead speak with the owner directly to get better rates. The longer you stay, the better the price will be. Tamraght and Taghazout are great options as they are central locations, Imesouane is also a good choice for a few days.
Imessouane vs Taghazout
Should you choose to stay in Taghazout or Imessouane? This is a question that comes up very often.
Both Taghazout and Imessouane are located about an hour apart from each other and can be easily visited on a day trip. However, despite their close proximity, they offer different experiences.
Imessouane is a traditional Moroccan fishing village that has gained recognition as a surf destination worldwide. While there has been some tourism development and accommodations built around the main surf spot, the village itself has maintained its original atmosphere. Don’t expect a vibrant nightlife here, but rather a peaceful and relaxed surf holiday. Imessouane is known for “The Bay,” a long and mellow longboard wave, but it’s also a great place for shortboarding with a few other surf spots in the immediate area.
On the other hand, Taghazout is a larger and more developed surf town located about 20 kilometers north of Agadir. Unlike Imessouane, Taghazout is a year-round hot spot for tourists, with more developed tourism infrastructure. The town is also surrounded by numerous surf spots in the immediate area, making it the epicenter of the surf industry in the region.
We recommend not exclusively choosing one over the other, as moving between Taghazout and Imessouane is a great way to experience a variety of waves and vibes during your visit.
Getting to and moving around Taghazout and its surrounding areas is relatively easy. There are several options available to you.
Public transportation is one option, with three different bus lines running between Tamri (north of Taghazout) Aourir (south of Taghazout), and Agadir. These lines are 32, 33, and 31. You can find more information about the bus schedule and routes on this website.
Another option to move around is to take taxis or a collective taxis. They are abundant and move up and down the coast. Collective taxis are a cheap option, know that you will generally need to wait a bit until the taxi is full before it starts its journey.
Renting a car is the preferred way for surfers to check the spots around. You will be able to get a lot of rental quotes online, your bargaining skills will come in handy as good negotiations can get you a much better price than advertised. Most rental companies will allow you to meet them at the airport and drop the car off at the same location when you leave.
The surf equipment in Morocco
When surfing in Taghazout and its surrounding areas, it’s important to note that the water temperature oscillates between 16°C (60.8°F) and 19°C (66.2°F), so you will need a wetsuit. A 4/3 or 3/2 wetsuit will be perfect, depending on the month you go. Boots won’t be needed unless you want to protect your feet from the reefs.
Renting a board is possible there, but don’t expect to be able to choose from the latest models. Like hotels, the longer you rent, the better the rate.
If you’re interested in buying a surfboard, there are a few local shapers in the area, although the industry is still growing. You will also be able to find a limited selection of international brand-new boards in some racks of local surf shops.
If you plan to stay for more than a few days and are not a beginner, we advise you to bring your own surfboard and equipment in double as a backup. In case something breaks, as choices are limited there.
The surf breaks
There are countless surf spots between Legzira south of Agadir and Imessouane north of Taghazout. Many of them are concentrated in the vicinity of Taghazout. With so many options available in such a small area, this part of the Moroccan coast is a fantastic surfing playground when the swell is firing.
Surf spot map
Similar to our surfing guide to Sri Lanka, we have created a fully interactive map of the surf spots in the area. It should be noted that the map is not exhaustive, as you will discover while exploring the coast, but it does list most of them.
Morocco surf spot map: the blue points on the map represent different surf spots, and the orange point represents a location that we deemed as a good base for exploring the surrounding area.
The famous/popular surf spots
The team’s favorites
Once again, the Moroccan region of Souss-Massa is gifted with surf spots. You will have no issues by looking at our map and by driving around find spots that fit you well. Just know that the beach breaks of Anza and Tamri are good swell magnets when the points do not get enough swell, the rest we will let you figure out…
Did we miss something? Would you add anything? or do you have any questions that we could answer?
Do not hesitate and leave us a comment down there.