Adventurekeys surf hostel ,On the south-west coast of Morocco, 19 kilometers from the city of Agadir you will find Taghazout. Originally this was a fishing village inhabited mostly by Berber people, but mother nature has blessed this village with good and consistent surf conditions for both beginners, pros and everything between. Famous for it’s long right-hand point breaks such as Anchor Point, consistent beach breaks and other excellent surf spot gems it’s safe to call Taghazout a multicultural surfer’s paradise these days. Or as some put it: “the surf Mecca of Africa”.
Among all the surf hostels and other places to stay in the Taghazout I chose to stay with Amine, Youness and the other wonderful people that makes the staff of “AdventureKeys Surf Hostel and Yoga”. Here I had a warm welcome with a good healthy lunch made by the lovely ladies in the kitchen on my arrival. After that I was introduced to the people that work and live here and was given a tour around surf house. The first thing that struck me about this place was the chill vibes and an amazing panorama view of the entire village and surrounding area from the big roof terrace which works as the common area at AdventureKeys Surf Hostel . Here they serve breakfast in the morning, dinner in the evening and there is plenty of room to just enjoy the nice and chill vibes with surfers, travelers and other nice people from all around the world.
But this place has even more to offer than long and glassy waves, chill vibes and friendly people. The staff at the surf house was more than happy to share their experiences and tips on what to do while visiting Taghazout, they also helped out a lot when it came to things like car-rental, transport, finding the best surf spots with the surf guides and great surf instructors for people that want to hop on a wave for the first time. Anything you need, ask these guys and they’ll do everything to fix it for you.
So I made a list over things I recommend to do while visiting this wonderful place.
The main attraction in Taghazout and the surrounding area is of course riding the long waves which consistently comes towards the points, reefs and beaches along the coast here. The conditions are good for both beginners who want to learn surfing, advanced surfers who want a small challenge and experienced surfers looking for the perfect wave. For the beginners the surf house offers group lessons on the beach usually around Devil’s Rock (5 minute car ride from the surf house), which offers a good beach break during high-tide with both lefts and rights washing in on the beach. Advanced surfers may also find some joy in Devil’s Rock’s (you guessed it) right hand point break, which presents nice long ride from the point to towards the beach on mid- to low-tide or Banana Point which is just a few minutes away or if you want to go for the bigger waves I recommend the ultra-consistent beach break of Tamri, another village about 40 minutes with car from Taghazout. Experienced surfers looking for the ultimate waves will want to wait for the big swell to arrive at the world famous surf-spot, Anchor Point, located about 2 kilometers from Taghazout this point-break present you lines and lines of speed-walls and cutback hooks and works great during all tides, except high-tide. If the conditions at Anchor Point are perfect it’s actually possible to ride one single wave from the point all the way to Taghazout beach (2 km!!). So if surfing is your passion or something you want to make into your passion Taghazout is the place to be!
Personally I have to say that I didn’t think yoga was my kind of thing to do. That was until I figured out I might as well try it out since it was included in my “all inclusive” package here at AdventureKeys Surf Hostel and Yoga. I have to say that after a 1-hour session with the in-house yoga teacher on the roof of the surf house overlooking the amazing sunset, I was both mind blown and amazed by this combination of relaxing meditation, stretching and working on core-muscles I didn’t even know I had. This is an absolutely amazing way to either start your day or soften up those muscles and limbs after a long day of surfing.
A day in Paradise valley Even though Taghazout is blessed with nice waves to ride almost every day, all year you might experience that some days are “flat” or if you just need a rest day I highly recommend going on a day trip to Paradise Valley. The staff at AdventureKeys helped out with organizing transport and packed lunch for the group that wanted to go to this beautiful oasis in the sandy hills. A van arrived to pick us up right in front of the surf house and we where on our way! The drive from Taghazout to Paradise Valley takes about 40 minutes, but our trip was a little longer. We were asked by the driver if we wanted to stop on have a tour at a local factory where they make both cosmetics and edibles out of the famous Moroccan Argan oil. Here we got a tour through the garden where they showed us and learned us some facts about the different plants and herbs they use in their products and also how they make the different oils either for cooking or for cosmetics and health beneficial uses from nuts that grow on the Argan tree. We also got to test samples of Argan-honey mixes for eating and everything from sunscreen to lip-balm all made with Argan oil with all natural ingredients. After the tour we jumped in the car and set course towards Paradise Valley again.
We arrived on a small parking place and jumped out of the car again, from here we had to walk the rest of the way. After just walking up one small hill we could already see the beauty of this oasis in the valley, with palm trees growing and a small river running through it. On the way be saw several small restaurants alongside the river where you could enjoy some freshly squeezed juice or a small meal, with your feet in the water if you prefer that. After walking for about 20 minutes we arrived at one of the natural gorges in the river that flows through the valley, here we had some fun playing with the locals who made watersides by simply just pouring water and soap on the cliff and slid down in the gorge, there were also different cliffs at different heights where you could show of some cliff diving skills into the gorge when in need of a refreshing bath. It’s difficult to describe this paradise in words so if you’re in the area you will definitely not regret taking a day trip to Paradise Valley. This place surely lives up to it’s name.
If you’re in for proper authentic cultural experience while visiting Morocco you should definitely do a trip to the local hammam. A Moroccan hammam can be compared to a Turkish bath, but it has it’s differences.
The hammam is a very important part of the Moroccan culture. The locals usually go to the hammam once a week to cleanse their skin and body and pick up on last days gossip with their friends and family.
When you enter the public hammam you have to pay an entrance fee (around 12MAD/€1.50) and then you go into the changing room to get undressed for the cleansing. Now you are ready to enter the sauna! This is like a normal sauna where the purpose is to sweat out all the toxins in your skin so you can get it washed of with a bucket of nice, ice cold water in the next room. Here you can also get someone to scrub your body from top to toe until the point where it feels softer than silk, when your skin has been scrubbed you can, for an extra fee (around 50MAD/€4.50) get a massage. This is not for the easily frightened, because these guys sure give you a rough treatment. Then you’re good to go back to the dressing room, get your clothes back on and enter the world as a refreshed, clean and stretched man or woman.
The city of Agadir is the place to be if you would like to go to a pub, nightclub or a restaurant that is more similar to the European tourist cities. The beach promenade is busy and packed with shops, bars and restaurants with a beautiful view over the city beach.
The part of Agadir that I found most interesting and more authentic Moroccan was the so called Souk, the market. Here you can stroll around for hours just absorbing the vibrant atmosphere of salesmen in their shacks selling everything from handcrafted jewelry, clothes, spices, tools and everything between, people haggling trying to make a good deal. You can also make some really good deals if you want to bring home some souvenirs to show your friends and family or groceries to cook yourself a proper Moroccan meal after a long day of walking and haggling. Just remember to keep an eye out for pocket thieves and always try to make a better deal for yourselves if you buy something.
If you, as I did chose to stay at AdventureKeys Surf House and Yoga you will be served a delicious and healthy Moroccan dinner every day you’re here, but I would also recommend to go to some of the local restaurants in Taghazout. The places close to the beach offer a more familiar menu with hamburgs, pizzas and pasta, but with a Moroccan twist which can be enjoyed with some nice fresh ginger beer or fresh pressed juice. For a more authentic culinary experience you should definitely go a small restaurant that is located underneath the mosque in Taghazout. Here they serve different types of Tagine. Tagine is an traditional Berber/Moroccan dish which consists of meat, seafood or chicken with vegetables and delicious Moroccan spices cooked in a earthenware pot in endless different varieties. The pot they prepare it in is also called a Tagine.
Hope this is helpful for you boys and girls that want to explore this surfer’s paradise and the surrounding area.
Thanks to Amine, Youness and the rest of the staff at AdventureKeys and all the nice travelers, surfers and locals that made this into an unforgettable trip.