Your Guide to Surf & Yoga Retreats in Morocco
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Morocco, a colorful, fragrant and captivating country situated right in the northwestern corner of Africa. Home to the Great Mosque of Kairouan–the oldest university in the world–and plenty of the best yoga retreats.
Its unique landscapes, with the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean all meeting in one place, is one of the many reasons why yoga and surf retreats in Morocco are so popular.
Despite the peculiar beauty of this destination, you might be wondering why you would want to combine your yoga practice with surf. Well, below you’ll find plenty of reasons to do so!
Benefits of surfing for yogis
Image credit: Wave Gypsy
Did you know that surfing can help you improve your yoga skills? Since both disciplines focus on learning to breathe deeply, overcoming fear and embracing the moment with ease, after a few surfing sessions you’ll experience a whole new level of execution during your yoga routine.
Once you get on the surfboard, you’ll have to face similar fears as you do on the mat while performing the toughest asanas. But this time, you’ll be in an environment that is constantly changing. So, imagine how beneficial this can be to test and redefine your technique.
On the other hand, the ocean is an uncontrollable force that leaves you with no choice but to let go and navigate at your best. Simply put, you can’t force the waves to be as you want them to be, the same way you can’t force a yoga pose if your body isn’t prepared for it.
Besides, with so much going on, there’s no room for being in your head. Therefore, after a session of surf, you’ll find it easier to be fully present in the moment.
Lastly, there’s also a shared laidback mindful culture between yogis and surfers. Both aim to accept things as they are, understand the importance of taking care of nature and try to have healthy eating habits.
See? There’s no doubt that yoga and surf go very well together, just like salt and pepper!
What makes Morocco special?
Morocco is full of exotic beaches, sandy coasts and good waves for surfing. Although any time is good for surf in this African country, spring and summer are recommended for beginners, while the winter months are better for the advanced.
Literally meaning 'place where the sun sets', Morocco is an astonishing land with a rich history that’s printed all over its monuments and architecture. From the Phoenicians and Romans to the Arabs that conquered it in the 7th century and the French and Spanish that colonized it during the 20th century, this place is absolutely an eye-opener.
One of the most popular attractions is The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, a masterpiece that includes lots of mosaics, plaster moldings, marble columns and wood ceilings. It’s the third largest in the world with a capacity for over 100,000 worshipers. Once there, another unmissable site to visit is the Atlas Studios, the second largest film set where television series like Game of Thrones, Prison Break and Vikings were filmed.
Looking for an alternative destination to combine surf and yoga? The Algarve in Portugal is another excellent option!
One of the most common activities is to walk around the medinas, which refer to the old part of a city, usually walled, with narrow streets, fountains, palaces, restaurants, markets, homes and mosques. If you like shopping, you’ll find rugs, jewelry, leather items, engraved teapots and handicrafts in here.
In addition, Moroccan cuisine is exceptional. You should definitely try Moroccan Tajine and Moroccan Couscous, the most popular local dishes, both slow-cooked with a combination of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients. Hard to imagine a yogi that wouldn’t enjoy this healthy and delicious food.
Finally, the Moroccan tea-drinking tradition is a beloved practice that signifies hospitality and friendship, served throughout the day at mealtimes. The beverage is normally a combination of green tea with mint leaves and sugar.
Best destinations for yoga and surf in Morocco
By now you might be convinced of how magical a trip to Morocco could be–and the best part is that it’s still considered a budget destination. But where exactly to go for yoga and surf? Here’s all the information you need to choose the right place for your retreat.
And if you need further information about yoga in this country, take a look at the ultimate guide to Morocco’s best yoga destinations.
Image credit: Surf Coast Morocco
Arguably the most popular surfing destinations in Morocco, Taghazout and Tamgraht are two fishing villages located north of Agadir, a bustling seaside resort. These lively and chic little surf towns are full of cafes, surf shops and local stores, known for embracing the surf culture of foreign traveling surfers, their beautiful beaches and great waves.
La Source is a golden beach in Taghazout named after the fresh water that bubbles up from the rocks. Along with Panoramas, a less crowded shore, they’re perfect for beginners to learn to catch their first few waves. Other good spots for novice practitioners in the Agadir area are Banana Beach, Anza and Aourir.
Image credit: Surfessaouira
Essaouira is arguably the best place to get a grip of the basic surf skills in Morocco. The surf beach has a soft sandy bottom and mellow waves for beginners, while the overall atmosphere is relaxed and will help you relax.
Located just a few hours away from the famous Marrakesh, a former imperial city, Essaouira is also a popular destination for tourists due to its authentic Medina and harbor, its fish market–where the fishermen sell their day’s catch–and its several art galleries across the town.
Image credit: Sidi Kaouki Surf Station
Last but not least, Sidi Kaouki is a wide beach situated 30 km (19 mi) south of Essaouira. It offers a wide variety of waves, which makes it a great option for all levels. This is also a good destination to meet fellow yogis/surfers and immerse in the culture. You’ll find lots of chilled places to hang out with other surfers either on the coast or at a clubhouse.
Want to skip the surfing part of your yoga vacation? There are plenty of yoga retreats in Morocco that don’t add this activity.