A quiet fishing village in southwestern Morocco, known for its surfing seems to be an emerging home for digital nomads amongst a mix of surfers, hipsters and yogis practicing their sun salutations.
I spent a few weeks there in December to find out why.
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What and where is Taghazout?
Although a growing tourist destination, Taghazout still has the air of a newly discovered land. The village is a tangle of streets with whitewashed walls and blue shutters matching the sky, interspersed with vibrant colours from shops and villagers laying out their wares.
The new developments are a mile or so from the main village and with their large hotels will attract a different crowd. I’d encourage you to visit soon as with any up and coming travel destination there could end up being too many tourists and the local vibe diluted.
The closest airport to Taghazout is Adagir, a 40-minute journey. You can also check for flights going to Essaouira which is a few hours by car.
Taghazout like other towns and villages throughout Morocco can be reached by bus but you’ll need to get a taxi to and from the village to reach the bus station. I’d recommend organising a taxi through your hotel or hostel from the airport for an easier journey, it should cost 25 or 35 EUR from Adagir but you could end up paying double if flagging one down from outside airport.
The currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). It is a closed currency meaning that it’s only really available in Morocco. However, some major airports and travel agencies may be able to exchange. There are very few ATMs away from the major towns, cards are now being taken more widely than they used to but you’ll definitely need cash so pick some up at the airport. But some hotels, restaurants and even taxis will accept Euros if you’re stuck.
Surfing, Yoga, Coworking and Coliving in Taghazout
The Taghazout region boasts some of the best surf beaches in Morocco. There are several surf camps which offer surf packages from beginners to experienced surfers. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for. Some surf packages advertise a whole day but the tuition is only for half that time. You might also find you only want to surf a few days a week rather than daily which can be cheaper outside of a package.
Panorama beach is a 5-minute walk from the main street and is great for learning to surf as the waves go straight onto the sandy beach. Others like Hash Point are good for surfers new to rocky breaks and is just 5 minutes by car.
If you aren’t familiar with the different points it is worth paying for a “Surf Safari” where you will get taken to where the waves are best that day. Who knows where you will end up Anchor, Dracula’s or Killer Point!
Start your day with Yoga in a rooftop room overlooking the ocean or on the terrace outside. Surf and Yoga apparently go hand in hand in Taghazout with many surf houses and camps offering it with the option of drop in sessions if you’re not actually staying there.
There are some exceptional Yoga teachers in Taghazout the sunrise classes offer a quieter space and the change for some meditation.
Coworking and coliving
I was pleasantly surprised by the speed of the WiFi where I stayed. But I couldn’t recommend coming here for digital nomads who like to cafe hop due to unreliable internet in general.
If you want to work, you’ll need to base yourself in a good hostel such as AdventureKeys Hostel (dorms from 15 EUR, private double from 25 EUR). Or a dedicated coworking space such as SunDesk (dorms from 22 EUR, private single from 32 EUR).
Both are great options for different crowds and equally reliable WiFi. With SunDesk, you’ll get a calmer crowd, comfy coworking space and a strong focus on productivity. With AdventureKeys primarily being a large surf hostel, you’ll get your usual hostel crowd, lots of opportunities to socialise but it still offers a quiet coworking space and an epic view.
Other things to do in Taghzout
If you’re not a yogi/yogini, pro surfer or ‘digital nomad’ don’t let it stop you from visiting there are lots of other things to do.
The streets are narrow and make perfect frames for your shots. Walk along the beach to find the rows of fisherman’s boats or capture the contrast of a camel and its owner watching the surfers. With pretty much every building having a rooftop terrace the possibilities for photography are endless.
Excursion to Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley is probably the cheapest excursion and definitely the biggest contrast from the bustle of surfers. Paradise valley is a section of the Tamraght river valley at the beginning of the high atlas mountains.
A palm tree-lined river gorge that doesn’t disappoint. Walking along the trails and cooling off in the many waterfalls is indeed paradise. If that sounds too tame for you, of course, there’s always the adrenaline rush of jumping off the rocks into the pools.
Remember to bring plenty of water, it gets very hot in the valley.
Ok it’s related to surfing. However, this is a skatepark created on public ground with and for the local community with help from volunteers around the world. The Taghazout Skatepark Association was formed from local government, business and youth associations. As well as taking charge of the day-to-day running it offers skateboard classes with donated skateboards for local kids.
The park is open from 8 am – 8 pm and about a 10-minute walk from the centre of the village and the view from the top of the hill in itself is worth the trip.
What and where to eat in Taghazout
There is a great mix of restaurants and cafes overlooking the water serving anything from classic Moroccan cuisine to American fast food.
There are local shops in Taghazout but no big supermarkets. If you are staying for longer than a few weeks you might need to take a trip to Banana Village which sells everything apart from meat, cheese and alcohol.
A word of caution, Morocco is renowned for food poisoning. It may not necessarily be bad food but just your body reacting to the different bacteria. Take precautions, don’t drink tap water, be careful of open buffet type food, all the usual advice when travelling. Stay hydrated.
@ World of Waves Beachfront Cafe (eating something familiar because my stomach felt dodgy)
Drinking alcohol in Taghazout
Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country which follows Islamic laws and customs. Alcohol is served in licensed hotels and bars but you must drink it on the premises. Drinking alcohol in the street isn’t allowed and can lead to arrest.
You won’t find much alcohol being served at all in Taghazout and none in the local shops.
A few posh hotel restaurants will serve alcohol with food but my favourite place to visit for a beer while watching the sunset was a secret outdoor bar at D’frost Almugar hotel. You can also access the bar via the beach.
Another way to buy alcohol for consumption indoors would be a trip to a large supermarket in Agadir. There are other ways you will find when passing certain local vendors on the street but I wouldn’t recommend taking the risk.
I had a few fun nights drinking at AdventureKeys Hostel with new friends and sharing a taxi to a couple of bars in Agadir. But for the most part, I came to Taghazout to relax.
If you do drink, do so responsibly and don’t appear visibly drunk on the streets both for your own safety and respect to the locals.
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Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for supporting my blog this year, its grown way more than I had imagined with over 1,000 of you reading daily 😄. I've taken a break recently but I have loads of new posts planned for January and new ways to help you make money online so you can travel more. Enjoy the holidays x #thattravelblog