Sun, sea and mint tea

By 12/10/2015December 13th, 2016Travel and Expeditions

There aren’t many places you can fly to from the UK in just 3.5 hrs for almost guaranteed sun and surf in October. Morocco still seems to tick every box a SUP surf adventurer could ever have…

Essaouira isn’t the usual entrance point into Morocco for surfers. However if you are looking to mix up your surfing with a little culture and sightseeing then I can’t recommend it highly enough. Accommodation is plentiful and the old town riads (hotels) offer incredible value and quality. Built around a central court yard and often with roof top terraces over looking the bustling city they house ornate and traditional furnishings and their hosts are always keen to oblige.

The city itself is most interesting in the old walled town. It is possible to wander the souk and alley ways savouring the heady incense and exotic sights for hours, winding your way through ornate archways and past bantering traders. Stop for a mint tea and have it expertly poured for you to savour at leisure. The wall itself is lovely for a walk and the views along the coast over the imposing battlements magnificent. Down by the harbour you can watch the fishermen haul in their catch and barter for their livelihood. Makeshift restaurants will try and usher you in to sample the produce. Calamari,  lobster, shrimp or any type of fish you can imagine can be negotiated for and then BBQ’d whilst you wait. Delicious.

Once you have had your fill of Morocco’s best kept (not so secret) secret, the surf mecca Taghazout is a mere 2 hrs down the coast. We chose to stay just North of the town itself and away from the dudes, in a small block of apartments built right over the beach. Named after the eponymous La Source surf break which curls endlessly on the reef directly out front, this slightly isolated accommodation is just what the doctor ordered if you want quiet, sunset views and some of the best surf in West Africa within walking distance of your sun drenched balcony.

With a pool, lovely beaches either side, and apartments that are furnished to ensure total comfort, La Source does not disappoint. The breaks near the accommodation are fast, powerful and line up around rocky points and over notoriously shallow reefs. Brilliant fun for those quick or fool hardy enough. For some thing a little more mellow beach breaks like Tamri are a great option. A short car journey away, even when the surf is small they seem to have a magnetic attraction to even the most meagre of ripples.

This winter if you are after warm waters and pumping waves fly south. Morocco won’t disappoint.

Flights – Easyjet from Luton from £55 per person return plus £70 for board transportation. Pack your board well to avoid tears….

Car hire – From £120 per week for something small.

Dinner out – £3 to £6 for a tagine. £1 for a life changing kebab.

Night in a Riad – Possible for under £10 but £40 will get you a luxury double.

Night at La Source – Will sleep 4. Around £90 on booking websites, but contact them direct and negotiate for a great deal.

A beer – You’ll be lucky! There are a few bars in Essaouira where a local beer is around £2.50. Taghazout is a dry town so maybe buy a bottle in duty free.