While sipping my sweet Moroccan mint tea, I gaze at the view of the Atlantic ocean, watching the waves move in the distance. The whole coast is covered with morning fog, giving Essaouira a mysterious look. Seagulls are flying around, their sounds alternate with the call to prayer.
After escaping the chaotic, sizzling heat wave of Marrakech, Essaouira feels like a quiet, pleasant spring breeze. It was only yesterday since we left the streets of the busy medina and its infinite souks behind to exchange them for the laid back gypsy vibes of Essaouira. The palm-lined medina full of narrow whirling streets, white washed houses and blue coloured harbour make you feel like you’re going back in time.
I came to Morocco to surf and Essaouira is a great place to learn. This coastal town is known as ‘wind city of Africa’ and therefore attracts lots of (wind)surfers. I booked some lessons with the spot morocco and hit the waves with one of the surf instructors.
While our instructor drives us through bumpy gravel roads in his four wheel drive, I dream away listening to the African drum music that’s playing in the background of the car. The sandy roads lead us to a beautiful beach full of sand dunes. Apart from four local surfers, there is no one to be seen. The fog has given way to the sun and the ocean seems to be calling me with her green waves. So I jump into the damped wetsuit and grab my surfboard, it’s time to surf some waves! Or at least try to.
This was my first time in Morocco and the country surprised me in a positive sense. It was wild, dry, chaotic, different, noisy, colorful, kind, overwhelming and extreme. From misty mornings to sunny afternoons, from 40 degrees to thunder and rain. It was oases of nothing, to chaos all around. Trying to communicate in French, German, English and Arabic or just with signs. It was getting lost in the streets of the medina, surfing my first green waves, eating with my hands, early morning wake-up calls from the mosques, making friends from different cultures and late night bbqs in the dessert while gazing at the stars. Maybe seven days was not enough to really get to know you, but don’t worry Morocco I will be back.
- How to get there
Essaouira is a 3-hour bus drive away from Marrakech. You can buy a ticket for 10 euro at Supratours or arrange a private driver to take you there for about 50 euro.
- Where to sleep
There are lots of fun and affordable places to stay. Ane vert lodge offers sustainable bungalows from 35 euro per night. Or if you’re on a tight budget you can sleep in the heart of Essaouira for 6 euro per night in one of the dorms at the Surf and Chill Riad. If you want to experience the arabic fairytale feeling check out Riad Chbanate or Riad Lunetoile.
- Where to surf
Essaouira bay is an ideal surf spot for beginners, rent a board for 15 euro for half a day at Explora or book a lesson for 30 euro. After surfing relax in one of the hammocks with ocean views at Ocean vagabond and try some local tagine for lunch. Or drive 25 kilometer outside of Essaouira and catch some waves at the beautiful Sidi Kaouki.