Africa,  🇲🇦 Morocco

Surfing in Imsouane. Lovely spot 2 hours far from Essaouira.

Spoiler: this spot is great to start surfing, it is almost impossible to not catch a good one.

It’s August 2018 and this is my second trip to Morocco. This time, I’m with my beloved friends Monica and Laura.  After two days in Marrakech, we head to our main destination: Essaouira. If you look for chill nights in moroccan summer, this is really the best place. We decide to go for a day trip to a surf spot with two friends that are in Essaouira to do some windsurf. We, the girls, end up with lieingo about how far is our destination as boys weren’t in the mood of driving for a long time. Finally, it’s time to go!

Reaching Imsouane

We meet just outside the city center and the fabolous five are now compressed in a Suzuki Celerio. Please do google “Suzuki Celerio” to understand how cosy it is, in particular if one out of five is 1.90m tall!  No radio on the Celerio, but Spotify and a portable speaker do their job. The road from Essaouira to Imsouane deserves the trip: desertic landscape, long series of hills, sometimes the ocean appears on your right. We cross small villages built along the main road, with market stalls reaching the sides of the street. Suddenly we see a faded table on the right, it says “IMSOUANE” and we decide to leave the main road and follow it.  WHAT. A. DEAL. We are on what should have been the old way, a narrow street above the ocean.

Quick tip, please avoid this street if: 1. You have vertigos, 2. You are not used to narrow mountain roads . 3 The big brave boys in your car do not trust girls driving in these conditions. As expected, Girls 1 – Boys 0.

Our restaurant for lunch.

We arrive in Imsouane two hours later, near the sea there is a block of shacks between the two bays. We order lunch in one of the shack and in the surf school nearby we rent the necessary and ask for the surf teacher. Unluckily my wetsuit is wet and getting inside is a real challenge! The waves in the bay in front of the school are too high and the teacher suggests us to wait for the tide to go down. He takes us to the other bay and tells us to wait for the right moment, he will be back when it’s time to start.

The wait announced to be long, we take a swim, chat, but the ocean is still there in the same position. We find a ball and start playing volleyball with two veiled ladies. They are very good and we struggle to win. Nobody speaks the others language, but gestures and smiles are enough to communicate here. For sure the fact that we have all our wetsuits on helps eliminating every cultural difference. It’s only in that moment that I realize no other European girls are there.

It’s time for surf!

Suddenly the ocean retires and the bay becomes as big as a square. Our young teacher arrives and… Wow! Waves are perfect, several super long waves gives you the smoothest push. I begin to cover meters standing on the surf, wave after wave. Our boys do not miss one wave, girls are behind in score. The teacher remind us not to care too much, “just wait for it and let the wave do most part of the job ”. Got it, new mantra. I take a moment to relax and I stop, feet in the water, to admire where I am. The cliff is far and high, the sun is turning water from blue to red, the lighthouse there and the fisherman ships behind us. Some seagulls diving to catch dinner few meters from us. After the daily mantra, the reach of happiness.

After a couple of hours we decide to stop, the surf school offers a lovely hot shower and we chat a bit with the surf teacher and his colleague. Essaouira is 2 hours far and it’s better to have dinner there. The only place that offers food is a kind of restaurant close to the lighthouse. Our Michelin starred restaurant grills fresh fish on sheet metal. Better do not mention how the forks arrived to the table. A super kind man that lived in Italy and France helps us and the waiter to order our dinner and stops with us to chat on how much France is better than Italy.

Our surf school.

Our dinner is very nice and we pay a very high price compared to the other customers, all from Morocco. As we start driving, one of the big brave boys is sick. We leave him in front of their place still alive, but he will come back to Italy weighting 5 kilos less. Girls 2 – Boys 0.  

Useful peanuts:

  • Plan to arrive three hours before sunset and book the surf school in advance.
  • Clean the oceans! Take some rubbish with you, it helps your karma and that poor beach.
  • Go there as soon as you can. The spot is now ready for surfers, soon it will be ready for tourists.
  • This spot has been recommended by a waiter in Essaouira. Less Lonely Planet, more questions to locals.
  • I spent 4 days in the beautifl riad of Villa Garance, in the center town of Essaouira. Highly recommended.
Gloria Sonda

I'm Gloria, the little brat of the Peanuts family. I deserve this title as I am the youngest & wilder. I'm fond of fine arts, but really bad at taking photos. My fast and furios recipe for happiness? A warm night, the sounds of the waves and good beer. The only thing you need to be a traveller is the need to leave.. and ok, maybe you'd better not leave the passport at home!

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