Morocco’s Best Kept Secret – Top 8 Northern Beaches
Morocco is blessed with two coastlines: The Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It is famous for the excellent surfing, kite surfing, and parasailing down in the south with Atlantic hotspots like Taghazoute and Sidi Kaouki where the vibe is laid back and the waves are sweet. There are hundreds of deserted beaches in between where you can often find yourself being the only person for kilometres. The Northern beaches are less well known by International visitors (although a firm favourite with the locals) and are also definitely worth a visit, the North has a very different feel to the South and is much more Spanish and Arabic than Berber influenced.
Here are some Epic suggestions on where to go, how to get there and what to see and do.
Epic can arrange a visit to any of these beaches as part of your Moroccan itinerary and are happy to chat to you about fitting it into a Northern tour.
Asfiha Beach, Al Hoceima
At the northern tip of Morocco, looking out over the Mediterranean with the Rif Mountains at its back, Al Hoceima was developed by the Spanish in the early 20th century and is now a great summer resort. You’ll notice that many houses here are distinctively painted in blue or white. The area is dotted with pretty little sandy coves. We would suggest you skip the main town beach and instead go south to Asfiha, or west to Tala Youssef, both of which are usually less crowded. Easily reached from Chefchaouen or Tetouan, Al Hoceima is also good for hiking, with many trails nearby where you will get stunning views of the coast.
Ba Kassem, Tangier
The famous Caves of Hercules are right next to Ba Kassem in Cape Spartel. Legend has it that Hercules slept in the cave during his 11th labour. For those of you who are a bit rusty on your Greek myths, the challenge was to find and bring back some golden apples belonging to Zeus the King of the Gods and bring them to Eurystheus. To complete his task, Hercules had to enlist the help of Atlas and take his place in
Morocco’s mountains temporarily holding up the sky. The cave appears to be bottomless and you can go in and have a tour by paying the guardian at the entrance. It is a great place to photograph your silhouette in the opening looking out over the sea where the shape looks like a map of Africa. After exploring the cave you can relax with some beach time back at Ba Kassem.
On the Atlantic just to the south of Tangier, Asilah is a compact, fortified seaside town. There is a pleasant, sleepy atmosphere here for most of the year and you can come and enjoy it in peace, including exploring the murals which are painted every year during the Asilah arts festival. In the summer months, Asilah comes alive with Moroccan families and the main town beach gets quite crowded, so you might want to make for Rmilat, also known as Paradise Beach, which because it can be quite tricky to access, usually sees far fewer visitors.
About a mile out of town, the best way of getting there is by shared taxi, but you can also enjoy a (slightly bumpy) horse-and-cart journey too. The journey takes around 40 minutes and most drivers are happy to stick around for the rest of the day until you’re ready to return. In summer there are plenty of lunch options, with shacks lining the beach where you can eat fish tagine and tasty grilled sardines.
Known locally as ‘the Blue Pearl’, Saïdia is one of Morocco’s longest beaches, and certainly ranks among the most beautiful. Situated within touching distance of the Algerian border, there is a wealth of attractions here. You might spend a day exploring the casbah, attend the traditional folk music festival held every August, or simply play a few rounds of golf at one of several nearby courses. The Blue Pearl is as magnificent as it sounds, a glorious stretch of golden Mediterranean sands that you reach by walking through a mangrove forest. Arrive early to get prime position under one of the ample umbrellas.
Just north of Tetouan, Martil is an easy day-trip from Tangier. We recommend you come out of season if you’re able, as during the summer months this picturesque spot gets to be really crowded. The vibe here is modern and cosmopolitan, and there is no shortage of accommodation and restaurants. This is one for you if you like a seaside town atmosphere rather than a wild, deserted expanse of sand.
Temara Plage, Rabat
Most of the beaches around the Moroccan capital do leave a lot to be desired however unfortunately, as they are are often crowded and poorly maintained. However, Temara Plage, about eight miles south of Rabat, is an exception to this. The beach is magnificent and lined with villas built by wealthy locals who appreciate a good view. In our honest opinion, Rabat is not going to be the first on the list if you’re interested in a Moroccan beach holiday, however, if you are visiting the city and want to spend some a day on the sands, Temara Plage is among the best in the area.
A great option for family beach holidays in Morocco, Tamuda Bay is on the less-visited eastern coast and has many luxury properties available, as well as more budget-friendly options. The beach slopes softly into the Mediterranean, so it’s perfect for younger children still learning to swim, while teenagers can have fun with watersports, or tackle the slides at the town’s water park.
Haouzia Beach, El Jadida
We are heading a little bit further south now but thing this still qualifies for our Northern listing. Around 70 miles to the south of Casablanca lies the port city of El Jadida, which was occupied for two centuries by the Portuguese. Much of the notable architecture here derives from that period, and it’s an interesting place to explore for a few hours. After you’ve done so, take a taxi out of town to Haouzia, a little gem of a beach that’s just remote enough to keep the crowds away but well-known enough that most drivers will know exactly where to go. During low tide, you’ll have a clear view of a shipwrecked Japanese vessel which makes for a novel seascape.
To book a Northern tour and explore some of the miles of sandy beaches, contact one of our travel planners at firstname.lastname@example.org