17 of the Best Beaches in Morocco

17 of the Best Beaches in Morocco

17 of the Best Beaches in Morocco

While perhaps best known for its towering Saharan dunes, and bustling, colourful souks, Morocco has plenty to offer for the beach-lover too, whether you’re looking for big waves to surf or quality family time. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the northeast, and the wild Atlantic Ocean to the west where you’ll find popular destinations including Tangier and Casablanca, Morocco has some 1,200 miles of frequently stunning coastline to explore.

 

The best thing about Morocco beaches? Many of them are relatively undiscovered, and lie well off the radar of most visitors. Sure you’ll find it hard to find an isolated spot on the most popular beaches within 20 miles or so of Casablanca, but with a little research, you can find charming coastal towns, historic ports and laidback fishing villages with virtually no other travellers in sight.

 

With this guide to the finest beaches in Morocco we’re aiming to provide something for everyone, so if you want to taste the freshest seafood right off the boat in a scenic harbour, find the perfect place for a romantic sunset, or pose for a dramatic photograph framed by mountains and white-tipped waves, then read on.

Legzira

Located between Mirleft and Sidi Ifni, halfway down the Atlantic coast, Legzira is known for its remarkable sandstone geological formations, in particular an immense rock arch spanning the beach – a second, smaller arch, collapsed in 2016, robbing us of a great natural wonder. Widely regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful stretches of sand, Legzira is best seen either at sunrise or sundown, when the surrounding cliffs are tinged with light to provide a stunning backdrop.

Around five miles in length, Legzira is not where you come for sunbathing. It’s a rocky, windy spot held in awe by surfers and paragliders and while yes, it is fairly touristy, you will still encounter occasional scenes of traditional coastal life here. There is a handful of decent hotels nearby, if you plan to stay for a while, but with Mirleft only 12 miles away, that is definitely your best option.

Legzira

 

Plage Sauvage 

Legzira is the preeminent beach in Mirleft, but far from the only one. Plage Sauvage (Wild Beach) amply rewards those who seek it out – and it does require some tracking down as it’s not at all well-signposted; ask a local for directions. Reached by a walk down from the cliffs, the beach is wonderfully secluded, and as suitable for swimming as it is for surfing. There are no lifeguards here however, so unless you’re a confident swimmer it’s best not to go too far out. The neighbouring beach of Sidi El Ouafi, where there is a surf school, can be reached with an easygoing walk.

 

Rmilat Beach, Asilah

Further up the Atlantic coast, just to the south of Tangier, Asilah is a compact, fortified seaside town that’s popular with Moroccan and Spanish holidaymakers. There is a pleasant, sleepy atmosphere here for most of the year but during the summer months Asilah comes alive and the main town beach is best avoided. Instead, make for Rmilat, also known as Paradise Beach which because it can be quite tricky to access, usually sees far fewer visitors.

About a mile out of town, the best way of getting there is by shared taxi, but you can also enjoy a (slightly bumpy) horse-and-cart journey too for just a handful of dirham. The journey takes around 40 minutes and most drivers are happy to stick around for the rest of the day until you’re ready to return. In summer there are plenty of lunch options, with shacks lining the beach where you can dine on fish tagine and tasty grilled sardines.

 

Asfiha Beach, Al Hoceima

At the northern tip of Morocco, looking out over the Mediterranean with the Rif Mountains at its back, Al Hoceima was developed by the Spanish in the early 20th century and is now a very popular summer resort. You’ll notice that many houses here are distinctively painted either in blue, representing the sky, or white, representing the sea. The area is dotted with pleasant sandy coves and the well-informed traveller will skip the main town beach and instead venture south to Asfiha, or west to Tala Youssef, both of which are usually less crowded. Easily reached from Chefchaouen or Tetouan, Al Hoceima is also good for hiking, with many trails nearby which naturally present stunning views of the coast.

 

Essaouira 

The ancient city of Essaouira was during the 1960s a popular stop on the hippie trail – Jimi Hendrix was one notable visitor, as was Orson Welles a few years earlier – and it’s never lost its appeal. More recently, it has served as a filming location for Game of Thrones. An important cultural and historic destination, the city has a busy souk and is also well-known for the little blue fishing boats that bob on the waves wherever you look. There is plenty to do in Essaouira, and it is especially worth visiting if you are a watersports enthusiast.

 

Sidi Kaouki 

Just to the south of Essaouira, Sidi Kaouki is one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets, an idyllic spot that is renowned for its surf. This Berber village is blissfully tranquil, with little to do beyond hitting the waves or curling up in a hammock during your downtime. Camels move sedately along the sands, and life goes on much as it has done for centuries. There is a clear European influence here, so you’re advised to brush up on your Spanish as much as your French, especially if you plan to do some bartering in the souk. During the winter, you can walk a little way out of the village to see wild flamingos, and of course if you do feel like an evening out, Essaouira is just up the road.

camel

 

Dakhla

Bordering the western Sahara, Dakhla occupies a narrow peninsular between the Atlantic and a lagoon where wild flamingos perch atop a white sand dune jutting out of the water. A fine place to try freshly harvested Moroccan oysters, the city is within easy reach of many majestic beaches, and at low tide you can even cross over to Dragon Island, where the waves slip back to reveal a variety of colourful seashells. Dakhla is fantastic for foodies, and also for the more adventurous type: there is a highly regarded watersports centre here, and you can take nomadic safaris out into the desert or explore on a quad bike.

 

Ba Kassem, Tangier 

The main reason many people choose to visit Ba Kassem is because of its proximity to the Caves of Hercules in nearby Cape Spartel. Legend has it that Hercules slept in the cave during his 11th labour, and it was thought to be bottomless for many years. To enter the cave for a look around costs just a few dirhams and it’s worth it to photograph your silhouette in the opening looking out over the sea – the shape has a distinct resemblance to that of Africa. After exploring the cave you can retreat back to the calm, sunny beach at Ba Kassem. The waters are a little on the chilly side but the rugged beauty of the coastline more than makes up for it.

 

Saïdia 

Known locally as ‘the Blue Pearl’, Saïdia is one of Morocco’s longest beaches, and certainly ranks among the most beautiful. Situated within touching distance of the Algerian border, there is a wealth of attractions here. You might spend a day exploring the casbah, attend the traditional folk music festival held every August, or simply play a few rounds of golf at one of several nearby courses. The Blue Pearl is as magnificent as it sounds, a glorious stretch of golden Mediterranean sands that you reach by walking through a mangrove forest. Arrive early to get prime position under one of the ample umbrellas.

 

Martil

Just north of Tetouan, Martil is a good spot for those wishing to combine a little beach time with their golfing at Cabo Negro a few miles away. It’s also an easy day-trip from Tangier. We recommend visiting Martil out of season if you’re able, as during the summer months this picturesque spot is a veritable hive of activity. Many choose to wander slowly along the boardwalk, ice cream in hand, or float in the dreamily warm waters while looking back at the green mountains off in the distance. The vibe here is modern and cosmopolitan, and there is no shortage of accommodations and restaurants to suit any budget.

 

Tamara Plage, Rabat 

Most of the beaches around the Moroccan capital do leave a lot to be desired unfortunately, often crowded and poorly maintained. Tamara Plage, about eight miles south of Rabat, is an exception however, a wild Atlantic beach that is lined with villas built by wealthy locals who appreciate a good view when they find one. To be perfectly honest, Rabat is not going to be first on the list if you’re interested in a Morocco beach holiday, but if you are visiting the city and want to spend a day on the sands, Tamara Plage is among the best in the area.

 

rabat

 

Agadir

Agadir needs little introduction. This Atlantic Coast resort is one of Morocco’s most popular beach destinations, and with a large marina, it attracts a stylish, well-heeled crowd. There are also plenty of surfers to be spotted however, the beaches on the outskirts of town offering plenty of good breaks. A crescent-shaped beach is busy whatever the season – Agadir sees over 300 days of sun every year – but our advice is to hire a car or a driver, and follow the surf crowd. There is a wealth of heavenly stretches of sand in the area, from the bohemian Tamraght and Taghazout, to those of Souss Massa National Park where birdwatching is a common activity.

 

Imsouane

This peaceful rural community is situated between Agadir and Essaouira, known for its surfing breaks and a lively fish market. Crab, eel and many more exotic forms of marine life can be seen, and sampled, in the trading hall where visitors rub shoulders with locals hoping to pick something up for the evening meal. What we really love about it is that outside the market you can hand your purchase over to a stall-holder outside the market who will cook it up for you straightaway on an open fire – the aromas are mouthwatering and it’s the ideal way to end a day on the beach.

 

Moulay Bousselham

There’s not much to this small fishing village beyond a sprinkling of shops and cafes along the main street, this is a popular surfing spot during summer but outside of peak season pretty much everything shuts down. However, if you have an interest in Morocco wildlife holidays then Moulay Bousselham should definitely be on your itinerary. Take a sunrise boat trip to the wetlands and you can expect to encounter pink flamingo, heron, sheldrake and many other species of coastal birdlife. A golden sweep of beach offers plenty of glamour, but be warned that this is not a great location for swimming due to a sharp drop-off a little way out.

 

Tamuda Bay 

A great option for family beach holidays in Morocco, Tamuda Bay is on the less-visited eastern coast and has many luxury properties available, as well as more budget-friendly options. The beach slopes softly into the Mediterranean, so it’s perfect for younger children still learning to swim, while teenagers can have fun with watersports, or tackle the slides at the town’s water park.

beach

 

Haouzia Beach, El Jadida 

Around 70 miles to the south of Casablanca lies the port city of El Jadida, which was occupied for two centuries by the Portuguese. Much of the notable architecture here derives from that period, and it’s an interesting place to explore for a few hours. After you’ve done so, take a taxi out of town to Haouzia, a little gem of a beach that’s just remote enough to keep the crowds away but well-known enough that most drivers will know exactly where to go. During lowtide, you’ll have a clear view of a shipwrecked Japanese vessel which makes for a novel seascape.

 

Plage Blanche, Guelmim

We’ve saved the best for last with Plage Blanche, a vast (24 mile) expanse of white sand that is the jewel of the ecological park surrounding it. There are virtually no signs of human civilization in this unique landscape, bar the occasional fisherman’s hut or line of footprints in the sand.

It’s a pristine wilderness that can only be reached by some intrepid off-roading in a 4×4, and if you really want to get away from it all, this is the spot. Bring your board, or a good book, and don’t be surprised if you don’t see another soul for hours. The Sahara begins just behind Plage Blanche, and there is a well-known oasis, Air Bekkou, not far away.

 

If you’d like to discuss planning your visit to Morocco, please do get in touch today; We look forward to hearing from you.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *