If you are in need of a cheap and culture filled adventure, Morocco will tick all of your boxes. With it being only a 3 and half hour flight from London, you really can immerse yourself in a whole new World in really no time at all.
Although my 10 days in Morocco was spent only in the small fishing town of Taghazout, which has become well known for it’s hippy and surf vibe, I still felt like I got a taste of what Morocco has to offer and will definitely be returning to fill in the gaps that I missed.
It has taken some time for me to admit to anybody but I have, over the past couple of months, been suffering from severe spouts of anxiety (not what you would expect from someone who travels I know). So my last minute trip to Morocco was close to tipping me over the edge and in to the deep black hole of ‘holy hell I need a paper bag and a lie down’ kind of a frenzy.
I was though, actually pleasantly surprised at how much Morocco had the opposite affect on me and soon enough I was starting to unwind the tangled mess of thoughts and stresses in my head while sat on my roof terrace, soaking up the sunshine and listening to the hustle and bustle of the streets below me.
First things first, I would just like to say, that on my second day in Morocco, I made the biggest mistake any traveller could make and that was I got sick. Yes sometimes it cannot be helped but this time, I just got a little to excited while at a Souk (market) when a group of Moroccan men invited me over to eat some of their home made tagine with them, on the floor, passing bread from hand to hand around the group.
It was safe to say, as soon as my eyes opened the next day, I ran to the toilet straight away and spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself, while sipping at water, unable to eat a thing and watching nearly all 3 Lord of The Rings movies in a row.
I lost a whole day to the travellers belly.
So what about the good days? Well here I try and squeeze in the do’s and don’t of visiting Taghazout and the surrounding areas.
Rent a Car
If you are in Taghazout to Surf then the best time to visit is in the Winter months when the swells are bigger, you will still find waves on some days throughout the year but be prepared to travel. We had 5 flat days so decided to travel up the coast to find some waves.
I recommend surf spots such as;-
Anchor Point (my favourite and is only a 15 minute walk/5 minute drive from Taghazout)
Don’t be put off by the thought of getting a bad tummy and go out and try the local cuisine! Just remember to skip things like salads and freshly prepared things unless you trust the places cleanliness of a place. Here are a few places I recommend;-
Cafe Mouja (amazing smoothies to awaken the soul with in the mornings)
West Coast Cafe (great pizzas!)
L’Auberge (a great place to dine out in the evenings)
La Terrasse d’Argana (my favourite, for their chocolate and banana crepes and coffee with a great view of Hash Point).
Use the Cashpoint at the Airport
You can’t take out Dirham outside of Morocco and they don’t have ANY cashpoints in Taghazout or many places that accept card as a method of payment, so take a lump sum out at the airport. As a guide, I took out 2500 Dirham and it lasted the 10 days and that was with paying for my hostel and hiring a rental car.
Your nearest cashpoint is in Banana Village, which is a 10 minute car ride or a 45 minute walk along the beach.
Try out Surfing/Yoga
Yes there is heaps to do other than surfing and yoga but you are in a place that is so full to the brim with places to learn and with people who are more than willing to help you learn that it would be ludicrous if you didn’t give it a go!
Stay at a Hostel
You don’t need to pay extra for hotels of even apartments as there are so many good hostels around Taghazout that offer extras and the obvious all round good atmosphere and home from home feeling that you can’t get in hotels.
I stayed at Ocean Surf House and can’t recommend them enough, Momo and Abdu go above and beyond and are generally just really cool guys who will make you feel right at home!
I have also heard great reviews from Surf Berbere and Surf Maroc.
(View from our roof top at the hostel)
Visit a Souk
Banana Village has a Souk (market) every Wednesday morning and although it is probably not the biggest one in Morocco, it is definitely a great market to visit but beware, stay away from friendly men who offer you home made tagine!
Also avoid giving money to people to buy you alcohol, although we weren’t stupid enough to do this, we heard a few people had and in return had lost their money when they didn’t return with the goods.
Just go T-total and enjoy a relaxing detox or if you need a tipple, you can find places in Agadir that sell alcohol.
Drink the Water
In any form, unless it’s bottled of course.
Use a Taxi
Expensive and grumpy lunatic drivers is not the way forward (I am sure there is safe and happy drivers too). There is usually always people hanging around the sides of the road with their own vehicles happy to take you where you need to go for a small fraction of the price that taxi’s charge.
Yes it may seem weird and unsafe, but if you can find others to go with (I shared with 2 other British travellers that I came across) then it is so much cheaper. We payed 5 dirham each to get from Banana Village to Taghazout and the taxi was 50 dirham.
Also their bus service is pretty ace and very cheap to!
I’m a sucker for crap, tat, rubbish, and things that look pretty but don’t be fooled, it is not actually that cheap and you don’t want to clog up your backpack or suitcase with rugs, ashtrays and wooden camels.
Worry about what your wearing
I packed, unpacked and re packed my backpack many times, always thinking ‘can I wear a bikini/shorts/dresses?’. I shouldn’t have worried, most of the local women are bouncing around on the beach in bikinis (the thong types seemed to be popular) and a lot of the Women, although covered, dressed quite casual in Taghazout.
To put it simply, don’t get it all out and be respectful, but shorts, t-shirts, dresses and bikini is just fine.
Let the Culture change scare you
You are in a new place, things are different, weird and wonderful. It may be out of your comfort zone but that is the beauty of it. Push yourself, push your boundaries and do things you didn’t ever think you could be capable of. Take it all in and enjoy Taghazout.