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Morocco surfing regions

At its best between October and March, Morocco gets the same swells as Western Europe but without the cold, wet weather that so often accompanies them. Basics are very cheap, yet there are none of the drawbacks that often run alongside an African surf trip such as sharks and malaria.

A mere ferry hop from mainland Spain allows you to easily take your van and because you are not in Europe you will be able to park it pretty much wherever you like along the largely uncharted 2000km Atlantic coastline. It is small wonder that European surfers have well and truly 'discovered' this laid back yet fiercely traditional moderate Muslim kingdom.

The first people to surf in Morocco were American servicemen who took to the waves in the 60s, and for a long time the country remained the preserve of only the most dedicated surf travellers who would wash up on her desert shores having heard rumours of fantastically long point breaks and a distinct lack of winter. The surf still pumps, and the conditions both in and out of the water in January are about the same as the very best days of a UK summer, but crowds are growing and villages like Tarazhoute are somewhat overrun with European and American 'surf camps' catering to wide-eyed novices. Better, and cheaper, are the Moroccan-run surf camps such as Blue Morocco, based in Imessouane, home to an insanely long (and crowded) right-hand pointbreak.

The area around Tarazhoute is the most famous, featuring headline-grabbing spots like Killers and Anchor Point, but there are plenty of excellent, and less inundated, spots north of Essouira such as Safi.

For those of you who want an actual adventure get a 4x4 and head south. The last really accessible surf spot is at Sidi Ifni, an attractive colonial town with a selection of beach and harbour breaks in somewhat polluted water, after which there is nothing much more than dirt track for 1000 km until you reach the (disputed) border with Mauritania. Local surfers are generally friendly so long as you are.