Moving on from Taghazout and traveling north along the coastal road you will find the remote fishing village of Imsouane, Morocco. Many surf camps in Taghazout will organise day surf trips to Imsouane when waves in Taghazout are looking a little flat. But to really enjoy the vibe in Imsouane it is better to stay there for a few nights and fully immerse yourself in its surf culture.
You cannot come to surf Morocco and not visit Imsouane.
There really isn’t a great deal to do in Imsouane other than surf, the village is a traditional fishing village and it is far enough from the main cities of Agadir and Essaouira to be not such a tourist hotspot. But this is the charm of Imsouane, it is sleepy, slow-paced and quiet, only on days where there is certain swell though the village does get busy.
This is when the surf schools from Taghazout bring their groups to surf the longest wave in Africa at the point break in Imsouane bay. This wave is a perfect right hand wave starting from the point of the harbor and sweeping along the bay, it is so long that you can drop off your board and jump right back on again and still have a long surf back into the beach. The length of the wave makes it perfect for beginners as you don’t have to be so fast to jump on the board as a wave approaches.
When the swell is big the waves at the bay rival the world-famous Anchor Point in Taghazout, advanced surfers rush to the line up to try to catch the wave of their lives. There are also other popular surf spots at cathedral point and cathedral beach. The reef break at the point can build some pretty immense waves with a steep peak, so if you want to avoid the reef, the beach is great for intermediate and beginner surfing.
I recommend booking surf lessons with a local surf school so you can really enjoy the waves, if you are more of an intermediate surfer you should book surf guiding to safely improve your technique. Usually, you will find surf lessons available from your accommodation.
What To Do in Imsouane (other than surf!)
If you are tired of surfing or just don’t feel like getting wet there are a few other ways to pass the time.
Hike up the cliffs to catch the incredible uninterrupted views over the waves and watch the sunset over each surf spot.
You can also sit in one of the cafes overlooking the waves and pass the day.
Maybe you want to jump on a different kind of board if so the streets are perfect for skating and you are sure to pass lots of skaters enjoying the lazy hills and smooth tarmac. Ask at one of the rental shops to rent a skateboard.
You should also take a stroll around the village and find walls adorned with graffiti, Morocco has many skilled creatives and they use their environment as their canvas. Search around to experience a raw version of an art exhibition.
There is a local animal shelter, the Ims’One Project set up by a young French expat, Fanny, she is responsible for the TNVR program in Imsouane which has kept the dogs and cats healthy and rabies-free. She knows every dog in the village and works tirelessly to care for them. Her shelter is just a small hut in the mountains behind the bay, there you will find donkeys, cats, dogs, and the odd injured seagull! Her budget and staff are limited so the only way the dogs can go for walks is when tourists volunteer their time to hike with them. It is a beautiful way to explore the remote surroundings and enjoy a few hours with happy dogs. You won’t regret it.
What To Eat
You can’t stay in Imsouane and not eat fish BBQ for lunch in the harbor, the tiny blue boats arrive right in front of you so you know the fish you are being served is the freshest it can be. Go to Hassan’s, the first restaurant next to the bay, and enjoy your meal on the harbor wall.
For great coffee go to Wave Cafe in the square, it doesn’t look like much but the coffee and service is great. Sit outside on the benches to soak in the sun and the atmosphere.
If you would like to indulge in a wonderful local dinner with wine, you can go to Auberge Tasra, here they serve traditional meals with a selection of local wine and beer. They also cater to vegan options which is often a challenge in many parts of Morocco!
Where to Stay
If you are looking specifically to stay in an Imsouane surf camp there are plenty of accommodation options. I recommend booking your stay at Olo Surf and Nature. Set on the cliffside with great views of the ocean, they have a few options to choose from depending on your needs and budget. If you would like something with an onsite restaurant and bar stay a little further back from the beach at Auberge Tasra. You can also visit the restaurant and bar as an external guest for a great dinner and a relaxing evening.
How Long to Spend
You can easily lose yourself in the bubble of Imsouane, surfing, hiking, and relaxing by day with more quiet relaxing evenings under the stars. For this itinerary, I recommend 3 nights in Imsouane. This will give you ample time to enjoy the surf and explore the remote surroundings.
If you are driving from Imsouane to Essaouira it is a simple enough drive and relatively well signposted. If in doubt use your Google Maps!
There are also shuttles with Souk to Surf departing Imsouane around 12noon, the journey will take around 1 hour 45 minutes and costs 100dh ($10 USD). The road is really beautiful and will take you through the colourful mountain landscapes of Southern Morocco.
What do you love most about Imsouane and its surf? Let me know in the comments below.
Post written by Natalie Collins
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