I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I arrived in Taghazout, Morroco. Situated North of Agidir it has a reputation as a bit of a hippy surf town! In fact outside of the surfing world I’m sure most people would struggle to place it but within the surfing community it has a growing reputation and is fast being added to many surfers “bucket list”. Let me say at this point that I am not exactly a pro surfer but as a town to base yourself in it has access to a variety of breaks that will suit all levels and abilities. With a growing number of surf schools and camps there is also plenty of local knowledge on hand to help you pick out the best spots!
Taghazout itself is not that big. Made up of a short Main Street with a little Square it’s not exactly big on nightlife? In fact, you’ll struggle to buy alcohol anywhere in Taghazout! (Morocco being a Muslim country) BUT don’t panic! Alcohol is available from Agidir and most of the surf accommodation has comfortable social areas that in the evening turn into a ‘BYO’ bar and great place to have a beer and a chat at the end of a days surfing. Taghazout actually reminds me a lot of Greece about 20 years ago! Most of the buildings are unfinished, deliberately missing a roof just in case it is decided in the future to add on another floor! It is also quite dirty! Rubbish and flies are everywhere, as well as lots of random animals! Dogs, cats, goats and camels – You’ll see them all! But that is part of the charm of the place. Most visitors are here to surf and not too worried about all that other stuff. Locals, tourists and animals living in harmony. I got the feeling that I was actually very lucky to experience Taghazout at this point in time. With lots of construction going on just outside the town catering for the more upmarket tourist you can’t help but wonder how long the vibe of this laid back surf town will continue?
As a break from surfing we took a trip one afternoon and travelled inland to Paradise Valley. I have to say that despite the name my expectations were not high? A dodgy rock pool with a few palm trees sprung to mind! I was actually pleasantly surprised. A gentle walk through some attractive date palms on a shaded pathway eventually led to a small river with some large rock pools for swimming and deep enough for some “cliff jumping” (sort of)? Although not exactly a secluded spot – it became popular in earlier decades with hippie travellers who believed it had healing properties- it was a little oasis in a normally arid landscape and was a fun break from the heat of the beach. On our journey back to camp we also stopped off at the women’s co-operative to pick up some locally hand pressed argan oil. Argan oil is only produced in Morocco and a must have product to help replenish our dry skin and hair form all the sun and salt water!
If you are thinking about visiting Taghazout to test out the surf I can highly recommend it! BUT get there soon as something tells me that in another 10 years this little surf town may look very different!
I was on a week long surf camp in October 2012 arranged by @SurfAffinity and hosted by @SurfBerbere.