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12 Best Beaches in Morocco

Written by Jess Lee
Sep 2, 2020

Beach life in Morocco offers more than sun and sea. Just a short hop from Europe, Agadir, the country's main resort town, attracts many Europeans for a simple summer sun-and-sand break, but for plenty of other travelers, Morocco's beaches are all about the surfing. The wild and windy beaches that line the Atlantic Coast are acclaimed for their surf, and with plentiful surf operators, this is a great place to learn.

Many of Morocco's beach towns and resorts are within easy reach of some of the country's most famous historical sights. Down on the southern Atlantic Coast, you can make day trips into the Anti Atlas, while the central Atlantic Coast gives easy access to Marrakesh, so if you're looking for a vacation that mixes a spot of sunbathing with cultural sightseeing, you're also in luck.

For ideas on the best places to visit by the sea, check out our list of the top beaches in Morocco.

1. Agadir

Agadir Beach

Agadir, on the southern Atlantic Coast, is Morocco's most famous beach resort town. European travelers looking for a laid-back and well-priced, family-friendly beach vacation have flocked here for decades. Agadir's trailing stretch of golden sand rims the length of the city center, so there's plenty of space to choose from.

If you're after full facilities, with easy access to cafés and restaurants while on the sand, head to one of the two private sections known as Palm Beach and Sunset Beach. These two strips sit in front of Agadir's central tourism district and offer up the promise of easygoing days of sun and sand.

Hotels that sit slap on the seafront also have their own private patch of sand. The five-star Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort Hotel is the pick of the bunch for visitors seeking resort living with a beach, pool, excellent service, and rooms imbued with a stylish Moroccan aesthetic.

For traveling families, though, the Iberostar Founty Beach steals the show with a focus on activities and entertainment geared towards little ones, a large pool area, and great swath of sand out front.

2. Mirleft

Mirleft

Sitting 129 kilometers south of Agadir, little Mirleft may not be as well-known as its northern neighbor, but for independent travelers who don't want a package-deal vacation, beach life at this southern Atlantic Coast town is better. There are several beaches to choose from, most backed by a rim of craggy rocks and cliffs. The wide sweep of Imin Tourga Beach is the central and most popular choice.

Mirleft has a burgeoning activity scene, and most of the travelers who come here aren't after a beach holiday that's just about sun-soaked lounging. Many visitors head here to learn to surf, with plenty of surf school operators offering five-day lesson packages, as well as equipment rental. There's also sea fishing and paragliding, and the town is a good base from which to launch yourself out into exploring the Anti Atlas region inland.

There's a good range of small guesthouses and boutique hotels in Mirleft. The top pick is beach-fronted Dar Najmat, with seven comfortable rooms and a pool with the best Atlantic Ocean view in town.

3. Essaouira

Camels on Essaouira Beach

Want a beach but also want to explore some of Morocco's many historic attractions? Step right up, Essaouira. This small city is a fine compromise. The central walled old town, with sturdy seafront ramparts that hold back the Atlantic Ocean's waves, is a maze of wriggling alleys and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The beach yawns out along the coast for over five kilometers, just to the south of the old town walls. Beachgoers should be aware, though, that regular high winds on this stretch of coast make Essaouira unsuitable for sun-slothing vacations.

Instead, the beach here is all about water sports. Travelers head here for windsurfing and kitesurfing, with several operators both in Essaouira itself and in Sidi Kaouki, 25 kilometers to the south, offering lesson-packages for beginners, as well as equipment hire.

For boutique hotels in restored mansions, you can't beat staying in Essaouira's old town. The Madada Mogador is a great option, decorated in a stylish mix of modern and traditional, with views that span both the beach and the old town bustle.

4. Legzira Beach

Rock arch at Legzira Beach

One of Morocco's most picturesque slices of sand, Legzira Beach lies 10 kilometers north of the blue-and-white old Spanish Sahara port of Sidi Ifni. Unfettered by tourism development, the beachfront here exudes a lonesome appeal, enhanced by its dramatic, wave-lapped rock formation arcing over the sand. Sunset is the time to be here for the best photographs, when the jagged rocks glow orange in the fading light.

There are few facilities here, though a handful of seafood restaurants dish up meals and refreshments. Pack a picnic and head here for the afternoon from either Sidi Ifni or from Mirleft, 23 kilometers to the north.

5. Oualidia

Oualidia beach

Pretty little Oualidia wraps around a sheltered lagoon making the water here much calmer than in other resorts straddling the Atlantic Coast. It's a top spot for swimming and a good, safe choice for kids who like to get in the water.

The crescent-shaped, golden-sand bay is a popular holiday destination for Moroccan families, and during July and August weekends it can seem like half of Casablanca (176 kilometers to the north) has decamped here for a day at the beach. Come outside of this peak season, though, and you could have much of the sand to yourself.

Water sports operators on the beach rent stand up paddleboards and kayaks for those that tire of lying in the sun, though surfing (past the lagoon's breakwater) is the most popular activity.

With Marrakesh only 186 kilometers to the southeast, an Oualidia beach-break is an easy add-on to a trip exploring Morocco's famous Red City with its labyrinthine old town - it's a solid choice if you want to do more on your vacation than sit on the beach.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Oualidia

6. Moulay Bousselham

Moulay Bousselham beach

The curving, sandy spit of Moulay Bousselham lies right at the tip of town and buzzes with crowds of local vacationers during August. Despite its popularity, it's important to note that the beach is better for sun lounging than for a dip in the sea. Swimmers need to be careful, as the coast here is known for powerful riptides.

Head 15 kilometers south from town for Moulay Bousselham's other main sandy strip at Temara Beach. Again, swimming is not suitable for young children or those inexperienced in the water, but this beach offers good wave action for surfers.

Outside of summer, Moulay Bousselham is a sleepy little place, with visitors more likely here to bird-watch in the lagoon and marshlands of Merja Zerga National Park than to throw down their beach towel on the sand. It's a good option for nature-loving travelers to combine a couple of beach days with some bird spotting.

7. Asilah

Camels on the beach in Asilah, Morocco

Budget travelers love Asilah for its easygoing charms. With the old town's walls directly fronting a curve of sand, Asilah provides plenty of opportunities to combine beach time with more cultural sightseeing.

You could easily come here as a side trip from Tangier - 46 kilometers to the north - spending a couple of days discovering Asilah's skinny old town alleys, rimmed with jaunty white-and-blue buildings that are irresistible fodder for photographers. While the litter on Asilah's central beach unfortunately lets the side down somewhat, there are plenty of sandy bays nearby for you to soak up the rays and swim.

Paradise Beach, seven kilometers to the south of town is a good swimming and sunbathing choice, with free sunshades dotted along the shore and a lifeguard on duty during summer months. Be aware that other facilities on Paradise Beach are sparse, so bring along a picnic and refreshments.

During summer, Asilah and the surrounding coastline packs out with local Moroccan beach breakers, so to avoid the crowds, head here in spring or fall.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Asilah

8. Achakar Beach

Achakar beach

Achakar Beach is just 15 kilometers west of bustling Tangier but a world away from the big city. The sandy strip here is a good chance to slip in a lazy day at the beach between exploring Tangier's historic attractions.

Loomed over at the northern tip of the sand by the cliff of Cap Spartel - which marks the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea - Achakar Beach is a wide strip of golden, compacted sand backed by green, gently sloping hills.

There are free sunshades on the sand and a decent beachfront café for when you get hungry, but little else, so don't forget to bring all your beach supplies with you. Make sure to take a wander down to the southern end of the beach to see the Hercules Caves. This grotto is where, local legend states, the god Hercules was said to have had his home.

9. M'Diq & Cabo Negro

Cabo Negro Beach

The Mediterranean Coast's most developed beach area incorporates the two neighboring towns of M'Diq and Cabo Negro (13 kilometers northeast of Tetouan), which are only separated by a jutting, rocky headland covered with pine trees.

M'Diq offers a long, wide stretch of shingle and sand, backed by the headland's rolling green hills, with cafés, restaurants, and midrange accommodation rimming the sand.

Just southeast along the shore, Cabo Negro is a more upscale affair, with resort-style accommodation, a golf course, and a better beach. The soft sand here threads along the coast for a couple of kilometers and is shallow at the water's edge, so it's an excellent choice if you're traveling with tots.

M'Diq and Cabo Negro have a range of accommodation, from midrange small hotels to larger resorts, so there's something for every budget and style of traveler.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in M'Diq and Where to Stay in Cabo Negro

10. Martil

Martil

Only 10 kilometers east of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town of Tetouan, the modern port of Martil is a favorite summer haunt of local beach vacationers. Although little visited by foreign travelers, if you're exploring the Rif Mountain area inland, a visit here is a good add-on for fresh sea breezes, sandy strolls, and a dip in the sea. If you're staying in Tetouan, it's easily visited as a half-day trip.

Because Martil is focused on the domestic tourism market, there are plenty of holiday apartment developments, but the town is also home to a few decent midrange and budget hotels that front the narrow but long swatch of sand. From June to August, the town hums with Moroccan families, who pack out Martil's cafés and restaurants and picnic on the beach.

11. Oued Laou

Oued Laou beach

Oued Laou (48 kilometers southeast of Tetouan) is a budget-friendly Mediterranean beach town with bags of laid-back charm. The beach may be mostly shingle rather than sand, so it's better for strolling and swimming rather than slothing out, but colorful fishing boats bob in the sparkling blue water, and either side of the gentle curve of bay are craggy cliffs, good for hiking and scrambling.

There's little to do here except relax, head out for a swim or maybe a boat ride, and watch the sun set from the cliffs. If you're looking for a slice of old-fashioned beach life, where it's all about cozy, family-owned guesthouses and great seafood at cute local restaurants, then you've come to the right place.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Oued Laou

12. Saidia

Saidia Beach

Rubbing up against Morocco's Algerian border, taking over the last swath of sand on the country's slice of Mediterranean coast, Saidia is a five-kilometer stretch of shoreline devoted to summer vacation fun. Much of the seafront's trailing length has been snapped up by holiday villa and apartment developments aimed at local vacationers who return annually, but at the western end of the resort is the Saidia Med district, which caters to more casual vacationers.

At Saidia Med, you'll find a handful of five-star resorts along the shorefront, catering to a chic crowd that pack out the long golden-sand beach every July and August. Very much aimed at an upscale clientele, Saidia Med also hosts a golf course and a yacht marina.

The beach offers good facilities, with sunshades and loungers for hire and water sports operators where you can hire kayaks and Jet Skis. Do be aware that outside of summer, Saidia can be like a ghost town. It only really springs alive from June to September.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Saidia

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