Taghazout vs. Tamraght: Where Should You Go Surfing?
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In Southern Morocco, where the deserts, argan plantations, and the Atlas Mountains meet the Atlantic Ocean, two sleepy fishing villages turned international surfing hotspots attract wave chasers all throughout the year.
When it comes to surfing in Morocco, the choice is often narrowed down to two destinations: Taghazout and Tamraght. While there are similarities between the two, as they are both located in Taghazout Bay and are only a few kilometers apart, they can feel like two different worlds.
Let’s have a closer look at each of them and help you decide between surfing in Taghazout or Tamraght:
But first, when is the best time to go surfing in Southern Morocco?
Image credit: Blue Waves Surf House
The stretch of coastline receives consistent northwest swell between October and April. For intermediate and advanced surfers, this is the best time to come. But don’t worry, beginners will find sheltered spots and mellow waves during this time of year as well.
In fact, beginners have a good chance of scoring mellow waves during summer too, but do take note that some surf spots may not work at all.
Between October and April, both Taghazout and Tamraght are frequented by surfers and backpackers. During summer, the locals flock to the coast to escape the inland heat. The beaches are packed with beachgoers and there are very few surfers.
Find out all you need to know about planning your surf trip to Morocco.
About 20km (12mi) north of the popular seaside resort of Agadir, Taghazout is set right at the ocean. Its labyrinthine narrow alleys and numerous old whitewashed houses give it a classical Mediterranean vibe.
Once famous for its calamari and hippies, this sleepy little fishing village has become Morocco’s premier surfing destination.
Although smaller than Tamraght, tourism is more developed in Taghazout and the village is more popular among tourists and surfers. You’ll find more accommodation facilities and surf camps, as well as a bigger selection of restaurants serving various cuisines, cafes, and surf shops.
Taghazout is home to a predominantly Berber population. But thanks to the numerous tourists from all corners of the world, it’s widely acknowledged as one of the world’s best surf towns, one of the best places to work remotely, and one of the best backpacker destinations in Morocco.
There are no ATMs or banks in Taghazout. Therefore, you should carry Moroccan Dirhams with you. The nearest exchange office is in Tamraght and the nearest ATM is Aourir. Don’t forget to let your bank know you’d be withdrawing money in Morocco to avoid your cards being blocked for unknown transactions.
In Taghazout, raw sewage is still being dumped into the ocean and swimming and surfing right next to the village should be avoided. Luckily, this issue is in the process of being solved, with a new sewage system being installed to connect the village to a wastewater treatment system.
Image credit: Blue Waves Surf House
Surf culture dominates the streets of Taghazout. The village is busier and livelier than Tamraght, with an up-and-coming creative and artistic scene. During the high season (fall/winter/spring), there are live music events and there’s a weekly market on Fridays, where you can find traditional Berber crafts.
The sunrises and sunsets on Morocco’s coast are out of this world and since surf and yoga go hand in hand, you’ll find numerous surf and yoga camps in Taghazout to enjoy practicing on its magnificent beaches whilst enjoying nature’s spectacle.
The beach is within walking distance from the surf camps and lodgings. There’s a daily fish market on the waterfront where you can also eat freshly-caught fish. And you’ll find numerous restaurants serving all sorts of cuisines, as well as vegetarian and vegan eateries.
Until recently, you could not find alcohol in Taghazout. Now, a few bars and surf camps sell alcoholic drinks, but there aren’t any shops selling it. The nearest place you can buy alcohol from a supermarket is Agadir. This is also where you’ll find a more active nightlife, as there are a number of nightclubs.
Do take note that Morocco is a Muslim country and alcohol consumption is frowned upon. Alcohol is mainly sold to tourists and is more expensive than in Europe.
The waves in Taghazout
Image credit: Blue Waves Surf House
The Taghazout area delivers point break after point break and some of the best waves on the entire African continent. North of town, you’ll find a good number of surf breaks scattered along the coast all the way up to Tamri. To the south, the beach stretches all the way to Tamraght, Aourir, and beyond.
The area offers a wide variety of surf spots – beach breaks, point breaks, and reef points. You can literally find quality waves for all levels of surfers. And because there’s so much on offer, they don’t get too crowded either.
» Join a beginner surf camp in Taghazout.
Let’s take a closer look at the surf spots in Taghazout:
- Killer Point – located north of town, this is the most consistent point break in the Taghazout area. Killers is a swell magnet and can hold the biggest waves in the area, which is why it’s recommended for advanced surfers. There’s a relatively long paddle-out to the wave, which tends to thin the crowds.
- La Source – breaking over a rock reef, this wave doesn’t get too big and is quite consistent, offering something for all levels of surfers.
- Mysteries – more accessible than other point breaks in the area, this wave is recommended for intermediate and advanced surfers.
- Anchor Point – just north of Taghazout, this is Morocco’s most famous surf spot and one of the most crowded. With a big swell, this point reef break becomes a freight train. Very consistent and clean, it offers several sections, with a steep take-off and hollow and fast finish. This one is recommended for advanced surfers.
- Hash Point – next to Anchor Point and right in front of town, this fast point break is more forgiving than its big brother and is excellent for intermediate surfers.
- Panorama – just south of town, this sheltered beach break with a sandy bottom offers great beginner-friendly waves.
You can also travel a bit further north and check out the legendary waves between Taghazout and Tamri. When big swells kick in, Boilers and Dracula’s will test the skills of even the most experienced surfers, while Desert Point is more forgiving and suitable for all levels.
For more on the waves, check out our guide to the best surf spots in Morocco.
Image credit: Surf Coast Morocco
Only 9km (5.5mi) south of Taghazout, Tamraght is a small Berber fishing village set on a hillside, a bit further back from the beach.
Most houses in Tamraght are colored pink, with brightly painted doors and intricate tile walls. There are two main streets and two mosques. You’ll find, however, all the essentials: great food, shops, pharmacy, barbershop, transportation, exchange office, and Moroccan hospitality. Most people speak French, English, or both and welcome travelers with open arms.
Everything is within walking distance, including the surf spots. Plus, you can easily get from Tamraght to Taghazout on the 6km (4mi) coastal bike path, which you can bike, walk, or skate.
Tamraght and neighboring Aourir are known collectively as Banana Village because of the many banana groves along Oued Tamraght, which separates the villages. You’ll find more facilities in Aourir, such as a bank, a gas station, and a post office.
Image credit: Wave Gypsy Surf Yoga
Tamraght has a more chilled atmosphere than Taghazout. It’s quieter and less touristy, allowing you to immerse in a more traditional lifestyle. You’ll find a welcoming fishing community and camels everywhere – you’ll see them wandering on the beach as well as on the hills behind the village.
There’s a wonderful mix of local and international culture, where Berber families blend in with the many surfers from all over the world.
There are no bars or nightlife in Tamraght, other than the lively evenings at the surf camps. For that, you’ll have to go to Agadir.
As previously mentioned, Tamraght is more traditional than Taghazout. It’s a dry village and you won’t find any alcohol for sale in any of the “bars” or surf camps.
There are restaurants and cafes serving local Moroccan dishes as well as international cuisine. The prices are low, the food is fresh, and the vibes are great. You’ll find anything from tajines, couscous, and other North African dishes to pizza and tacos. You’ll also find vegetarian and vegan options in the village, but the prices are more European than Moroccan.
Shops selling Moroccan flat bread and other street food and snacks line the main streets. Close to the beach, there are a few restaurants specializing in fish and tajine.
If you’d like to stock up on more goodies and crafts, visit the Wednesday market in neighboring Aourir (5km/3mi from Tamraght). It’s much more authentic than the souk in Agadir, as locals from the surrounding villages do their shopping here.
The waves in Tamraght
Image credit: Wave Gypsy Surf Yoga
Almost all the waves in Tamraght are accessible for beginners too. Sure enough, the village does have its fair share of challenging waves, but instructors take first-timers in the whitewash and intermediate surfers further out in the lineup to catch set waves. Most of these breaks are more forgiving than the ones further north.
Furthermore, all the surf breaks are within walking distance from the surf camps or lodgings, as well as from one another.
» Join a beginner surf camp in Tamraght.
From north to south, let’s take a look at the surf spots in Tamraght:
- K17 – just south of Taghazout’s Panorama, this spot is located 17km north of Agadir, hence its name. K17 is a point beach break with a sandy bottom and a few rocks, and is great for beginners.
- Cro Cro – the first surf spot you can reach by walking from the village, Crocodiles is one of the most consistent waves in the area. This beach break is a great place to learn to surf in Tamraght.
- Devil’s Rock – another point breaking over a sandy bottom, this wave offers a variety of sections and conditions for all levels of surfers and can be tackled by beginners too.
- Spiders – this fast and hollow point reef break produces a ripping and shredding A-frame barrel for advanced surfers only.
- Banana Point – yet another quality right-hand point break, but much more forgiving than the points further north. Therefore, it’s ideal for intermediate surfers and for those wishing to surf a point break for the first time. With a big swell, it can offer challenging sections for advanced surfers too.
- Banana Beach – south of Banana Point, close to Aourir, this is a great surf spot for beginners. It offers some long rides, which is why it’s also popular among longboarders.
Both Taghazout and Tamraght are charming in their own right, have gorgeous year-round weather, are home to endless right-hand point breaks, and are within easy reach from the Agadir Al-Massira International Airport (AGA).
If you’d like to tick as many waves off your bucket list and connect with the local and international surfing communities, make sure you visit both!
*Cover image credit: Wave Dance
Join a beginner surf camp in Morocco that will take you to the best waves for your level in the Taghazout Bay.