Since the early Seventies, although technically part of another Continent, Morocco has been feeding the European surfers' imagination. Being now one of surfing's ultimate destinations, its line-ups are a vibrant mix of surfers from all over Europe, Australia, America, and South Africa.
Whereas North Atlantic cold fronts brunt Western Europe, with gale force winds, and freezing water temperatures, Morocco receives only long period ground swells, with seasonal water temperatures (18º-20ºC for most of the year), direct sunlight, and some of the best right-hander point-breaks in the world, embracing all the Atlantic ground swell activity, with an all year round surfing season peaking from October to April.
Taghazout in Central-Southern Morocco, just a few strides from Agadir, is one of the best surfing regions of this country, as it faces directly NW and it nestles behind a huge cape, Cape Ghir, which funnels the consistent North winds into an offshore direction. That’s why Morocco is a well known all season surf trip destination for surfers looking for easily accessible waves peeling out on flat rock sand point breaks, sandy beaches, pleasant temperatures and enough cultural diversity to blow your mind out.
Along the coastline you’ll realize that this country is endowed with an incredible geological diversity, with bays, beaches and capes, bathed in water always over 18ºC, even in the coldest winter day, representing for the European surfers what’s Baja California for the Americans. The variety of surf in this area of Morocco is huge. The region has something for everyone, from ideal beginner waves to challenging reef ledges. Due to the nature of the coastline there is almost always somewhere a sheltered and manageable peak.
Hundreds of miles of coastline facing North West Atlantic Ocean at the latitude trough which the swells run in winter, going lower and lower in the hemisphere.
Its proximity, its inexpensive cost of living, its mild oceanic Mediterranean climate and the fact that it constitutes a foretaste of the African Continent, have earned Morocco its first place among exotic countries as the preferred destination of surfers.
Fortunately for the Moroccan surfers, the current King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, is a fan of surfing, and therefore founded the biggest, public surf club in the world in Rabat.
Thanks to the efforts of this surf club, Ander El Harim, a Moroccan national surfer, was able to beat Rob Machado in a Pipeline competition.
At the same time, the development of Bodyboard Clubs in Agadir has shown a very high commitment to the environmental maintenance of the beaches.
The most popular location is Taghazout, just south of Agadir, a classic one-lane town right on the Oceanside, that is indeed a surfing Mecca due to several of its world-class breaks.
surf camp Morocco
Morocco has always been a crossroad of civilizations almost like a zip closure between two different continents and cultures: here’s where Europe takes end and starts Africa. Its coastline has always had a very important role for the ancient Mediterranean cultures as for the southern European modern age nations dedicated to the Atlantic Ocean exploration until the XIX century, like: France, Spain and Portugal.
Modern DNA analysis has confirmed that various populations have contributed to the present-day gene pool of Morocco, including, in addition to the main ethnic groups - Berbers and Arabs - Phoenicians, Sephardic Jews, and sub-Saharan Africans.
Morocco is also one of those religious frontiers where orthodoxy and local custom have met and compromised.
The Caspian culture brought Morocco into the Neolithic about 8000 BC, at a time when the Maghreb was less arid than it is today.
For as long as recorded history can recall, Morocco has been largely occupied by one group of people, with a fierce spirit, always jealously guarding their independence: the Berbers. The Berbers, or Imazighen (free men), were divided into clans and tribes settled in the area thousands of years ago. The Berber language probably arrived at roughly the same time as agriculture, and was adopted by the existing population as well as by the immigrants that brought it.
Nor the colonizing Phoenicians, neither the Romans after the sack of Carthage in 146 BC, did upset the Berber way of life. The Berbers of the coastal plains actually became the dwellers of the city the Romans founded during the long periods of peace. In the 3rd century AD Christianity turned up, and again the Berbers asserted their traditional dislike of centralized authority.
When armies swept out of Arabia in the 7th century, Islam burst onto the world stage. After conquering Egypt, the Arabs controlled all of North Africa by the start of the 8th century. A fundamentalist Berber movement emerged from the chaos caused by the Arab invasion, setting itself in Morocco and Muslim Andalucia. Marrakesh, the capital, was founded by the Almoravids, soon replaced by the Almohads.
These new rulers achieved the peak of their cultural development, settling up a professional civil service until the Merenids, from the Moroccan hinterland, succeeded to the Almohads, which power began to wane. The area, again, blossomed, until the fall of Spain to the Christians in 1492.
The Alawite family secured a stranglehold in the 1630s, after a number of short-lived dynasties rose and fell, managing to keep Morocco independent for more than three centuries, although it was not a smooth ride.
Modern and Recent History
Marshal Lyautey, the first French resident-general, built French villes nouvelles (new towns) alongside the existing Moroccan towns. Lyautey made Rabat on the Atlantic coast the new capital and developed the port of Casablanca. The Berber scholar Abd el-Krim rose up against French and Spanish colonial forces and it was only through the combined efforts of 25,000 Spanish-French troops that Abd el-Krim was eventually forced to surrender in 1926. WWII saw Allied forces using Morocco as a base from which to drive the Germans out of North Africa.
An independence party inspired after the II World War by Sultan Mohammed V finally secured Moroccan freedom in 1956.
Mohammed V promoted himself to king in 1957 and was succeeded four years later by his son, Hassan II. With a force of 350,000 volunteers, Hassan overcame the indigenous Sahrawis to claim the mineral-rich region as their own, and staged the Green March into the Western Sahara, an area formerly held by Spain.
Western Sahara's Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia al-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario) protracted a war of independence against Morocco. Despite the attempts of international diplomacy the issue remains unsolved.
In 1999, Mohammed VI ascended to the Moroccan throne just prior to his 35th birthday. The young king accelerated the more liberal trends that began late in his father's rule, being most innovative in the field of social policy, and more specifically, in women's rights. The new legislation grants unprecedented rights and protections for women concerning marriage, divorce and custody of children.
At a different level, investment in new roads, the widespread introduction of electricity, the provision of better sanitation and a huge number of social housing developments are all improving the daily lives of average Moroccans.
Check detils about The Trip