Stretching for more than 3500km from the Algerian border to the Mauritanian frontier, Morocco’s vast Atlantic and the Mediterranean coastline teems with best beach towns in Morocco. Porpoise and dolphins are commonly spotted around the strait of Gibraltar. Moroccan beaches are the ideal spot for surfers and water sports fan, and summer holiday.
About 6km further on is this laid-back fishing village, famous for its calamares “squid”, Taghazout is the which is best beach towns in Morocco for surfers. The serious guys get to spots such as Killer Point, La Source and Anka Point to the north, while the not so serious only get as far as the appropriately named Hash Point at the northern end of the village.
There’s a large, bleak and very basic camp site overlooking the southern beach. It’s usually crammed with camper vans, more of which dominate the surrounding beaches.
In the village, Hôtel Atlantique, just up from the harbour, has sea views and tidy rooms, if somewhat bizarre decor.
There are plenty of eateries and cafés here, including Café Panorama looking south over the beach. Down on the beach itself a couple of simple restaurant serve spiced-up calamares “squid”, steak and chips, burgers and the like.
2. Aglou Plage
About 15km from Tiznit lies Aglou Plage, which has a long, deserted beach, spoilt by a fair amount of rubbish,and good surf. When Atlantic winds start blustering, it’s a wild and woolly sort of place. For much of the time the strong undertow makes it dangerous for swimming.
After a 2km walk north along the coast you reach a fishing village where many families live in caves hollowed out of the cliffs. The line of multicolored doors is clearly visible from across the bay.
3. Cala Iris & Torres de Alcala
Though it’s a bit of a hike, one of the finest best beach towns in Morocco is at Cala Iris around Al-Hoceima, about 50km west along an attractive road through the empty, rust-colored foothills of the Rif Mountains.
Other than the scenery en route, the only attraction is the superb white-sand beach, which for most of the year is completely empty. There’s no village, just a smart new fishing port (with little sign of activity), a restaurant and a camp site. If you relish peace and quiet and want to get well off the beaten track, this is the place for you.
There are a couple of very basic shops at Torres de Alcala, a village 5km east of Cala Iris. It’s set back from a shingle beach caught between two rocky headlands. On one of them three semi ruined towers, said to be of Spanish origin, stand sentinel.
4. Essaouira the best beach towns in Morocco
The beach stretches some 10km down the coast to the sand dunes of Cap Sim. Free entertainment in the form of soccer and basketball matches often takes place at the top end. Further south, across the Ksar River, you’ll pass the ruins of an old fortress and pavilion partially covered in sand. The beach is windy and has a strong current but is excellent for windsurfing.
Along the shore, Magic Fun Africa rents windsurfing equipment and surfboards. It also offers kite surfing. Shops in Essaouira also rent out surfboards and all the kit. Equipment standards vary, so shop around.
5. Martil beach
About 8km northeast of Tetouan is the beach town of Martil. Once Tetouan’s port and home to pirates, it’s altogether quieter now (despite the huge university) and has a reasonable beach and some pleasant waterfront cafés.
Walking along the seafront in Martil is a rather desolate experience in the low season when, without the summer crowds, there’s not much to see except half-completed buildings and the litter-strewn sand. However, many Moroccan families have summer houses here and it’s in July and August that the place really comes to life.
6. Cabo Negro & M’diq
About 5km up the coast from Martil, the headland of Cabo Negro juts out into the Mediterranean and is clearly visible from Martil. Tucked in the lee of its north side is the small fishing port of M’diq. Fishing is the lifeblood of this small community, the hassles are few and the pace of life is slow.
The port, with its boat building, fishing fleet and hordes of expectant cats, is well worth a visit, and there’s a good stretch of beach to the north. This best beach town in Morocco, though, is now dominated by the sprawling tourist beach resorts of Restinga-Smir, and Marina-Smir complete with discos, bars, restaurants and all the rest of it. There are, however, a few reasonable places to stay in and around M’diq, which makes this a good stopover if you’re late leaving Ceuta.
Around 40km southwest of Tiznit, on the coastal road to Sidi Ifni, is the village of Mirleft, an increasingly popular spot with travellers looking for good beaches and a very laid-back place to hang out. The closest beach is along a turn-off from the northern end of town. There’s a ruined fort behind the village, and a smaller beach with some dramatic rocks and a few cafés to the south. Mirleft has a post office but no banks.
There are several basic hotels on the main street. Most have cafés that serve up some of the tonnes of fresh fish that end up here.
Local buses and grands taxis between Tiznit and Sidi Ifni stop in Mirleft.
8. Sidi Bouzid
At the thriving beach resort of Sidi Bouzid, 5km southwest of El-Jadida, spruce holiday cottages front onto a grand, curving esplanade and one of this area’s better beaches, equally popular with sunbathers and surfers. Outside July and August, the town makes an enjoyable half-day excursion or even a possible overnight stop on the route south if you’ve got your own transport.
One of the nicest places to stay is the Spanish-style Club Hacienda, set in attractive gardens one block back from the sea. It has self-contained bungalows and apartments, sleeping up to six, complete with kitchen and satellite TV. There’s also a cafeteria and swimming pool.
The Florence has a licensed restaurant, but Sidi Bouzid’s top eating spot is Le Requin Blue, which serves excellent fish dishes and traditional Moroccan food on tiered terraces overlooking the beach.
9. Ras el-Ma one of the best Mediterranean beach town in Morocco
Further west lies Ras el-Ma (Cap de l’Eau in French), where the vast beach is a popular weekend spot with Moroccan families during summer. There’s an active fishing port here, and a walk up to the lighthouse at the headland will give you a reasonable view of the Spanish-owned Jaafariya Islands.
The little fishing town of Ras el-Ma has no accommodation but masses of small restaurants serving grilled fish. Inside the port gates, the Restaurant du Port has a solid reputation.
To get here, catch a bus from Nador or a grand taxi from Berkane. From Saïdia you’ll need to hire a whole taxi.
10. MOULAY BOUSSELHAM
The little fishing village of Moulay Bousselham is 44km northwest of Souk el-Arba du Rharb and around 40km due south of Larache. During the summer months (particularly July and August), it becomes a low-key beach resort, popular with Moroccans and a handful of European windsurfers. In late June or July, the town hosts an important annual festival in Morocco (moussem).