Imsouane Morocco is a tiny, laid back town on the Atlantic coast that has a burgeoning reputation as one of North Africa’s premier surf destinations.
Just a few decades ago it was a difficult to access, little known fishing commune. These days the famous Imsouane surf attracts in-the-know visitors from all over the world looking to ride what some claim is the continent’s longest wave.
While Imsouane has built its name on its awesome surfing, you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the breaks here. In fact one of the things that’s most attractive about the Imsouane surf is that it’s suitable for all levels, from never been on a board to seasoned pros.
But even though surfing is the main attraction here, it’s not just for salty skin seekers. If you’re looking for a friendly laid back vibe, incredible views of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and awesome seafood, then Imsouane is a great destination to enjoy a relaxing break.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Imsouane then there are lots of great options to suit all budgets. You’ll find everything from chilled hostels to awesome apartments overlooking the bay. Here’s a rundown of some of the top Imsouane accommodation.
Imsouane Surf Paradise | This hotel has unbeatable location just a few steps from the beach. There’s a range of comfortable rooms available so there’s something to suit every budget.
Imsouane Magic House | These apartments not only have breathtaking views over the bay, but also a year round outdoor swimming pool. Plus fully equipped kitchens to boot.
Imsouane Dream Surf Camp | There’s both dorm rooms and private rooms available at this hostel. There’s a shared kitchen and lounge but the icing on the cake is the roof top terrace.
There’s plenty of free street parking in Insouame and a large designated area for motorhomes and campervans to stay overnight. In our opinion, the best Imsouane camping spots are the ones directly overlooking Cathedral Bay.
And whilst there aren’t any official services, you can get water and empty waste in the public toilets for a small fee, just ask the helpful attendants. There’s also decent public showers.
There is also an actual campsite in Imsouane but the many of the reviews mention that it is expensive compared to the standard of facilities and service.
How to Get to Imsouane Morocco
Whilst access continues to improve all the time, it’s still essentially a small fishing village on the coast.
This means that unlike many of the better known destinations in Morocco, there aren’t large tour buses or trains or frequent public transport links to get to Imsouane. And this is perhaps the main reason it remains one of Morocco’s best kept secrets.
That said, there are various excellent options for how to get to Imsouane to suit every budget and requirement.
Now the first thing to know is that Imsouane doesn’t have its own airport. It’s tiny, remember! So if you’re coming from overseas you’ll likely need to make your way here from an airport.
The closest ones to Imsouane are Essaouira (ESU) which is 63.4 km away, Agadir (AGA) which is 69.1 km and Marrakech (RAK) at 190.3 km. Check out which will be the most convenient for you here.
Hiring a Car
If you’re planning a bit of a road trip beyond Imsouane or or just want your independence and to be on your own schedule, then hiring a car is a good option. Check out prices here.
But you really don’t need your own wheels to get around Imsouane, your feet can take you literally everywhere you need to go here (tiny, remember). So you may well be better off exploring one of the other options available.
Shuttle Bus to Imsouane
A company called Souk to Surf offers a couple of fantastic services that cater specifically to people wanting to reach Morocco’s West Coast.
They run shuttle buses from all of the main destinations as well as the airports that are extremely reasonably priced and really quick. These include shuttles between Marrakech, Essaouira, Taghazout, Tamraght, Agadir, Anza and, of course, Imsouane, and there are no other direct connections between these towns.
Getting a Taxi to Imsouane
Alternatively you can get a taxi, these are also possible to book via Souk to Surf. This will definitely be the best option to get to Imsouane if you’re in a group or the shuttles aren’t running at the times you need.
Booking through Souk to Surf is a sensible choice because it cuts out any haggling or potential scams. You can pay a fixed price that you know up front, and you can also book online in advance to give yourself some much needed peace of mind.
Just so you know, we have no affiliation with Souk to Surf. We just think it’s a cool service they offer and easier and more convenient than many alternatives.
Famous the world over, you’ve probably heard plenty of great things about the Imsouane surf. Like that it boasts the longest wave in North Africa (some claim 1km) and that you can ride it for up to 3 minutes.
But you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the famous Imsouane surf. In fact it’s a fun and exciting location for all levels, with something for everyone.
Here’s a little run down of what makes the Imsouane surf such a great place to learn, hone, or test your skills.
The Best Imsouane Surf Spots
The first thing to know is that while Imsouane is best known for its long wave, there are actually two distinct surf locations here.
This is the Imsouane surf spot that originally made it famous and the one that you have likely seen pictures or videos of.
The right hander waves are consistent, smooth, and extremely long. The Bay is also very shallow making it super easy to paddle out. In fact you can pretty much just walk.
The harbour’s jetty protects it from any bigger waves which is one of the other reasons it’s so great for beginner and younger surfers.
This is where the surf schools base themselves and it does get pretty busy at peak times. So if you’re more advanced then you’ll either want to head out early to get the run on the noobs or head to one of the other, quieter Imsouane surf spots instead.
Here’s where you’ll find your bigger, more powerful waves more suited to intermediate to advanced surfers.
Cathedral Point is still consistent and normally pretty mellow, but definitely more technical than The Bay offering both right and left-hander waves.
It’s always less congested than The Bay, and especially when the waves are big.
The Imsouane Surf Season
Amazingly, the Imsouane surf season is pretty much year round and the waters are never empty. That said, the winter is definitely the preferred time to catch a wave here and when you’ll find the best atmosphere in the town.
November through to April are the months that produce the best conditions for surfing thanks to calm winds and cooler temperatures.
Depending on where you’re coming from, winters in Imsouane are still pretty hot though. While the temperatures drop at night, the days are sunny and dry meaning when you’re not in the water, you can definitely crack those board shorts out.
Choosing an Imsouane Surf Camp
There are lots of Imsouane surf camps to choose from, each with a different vibe and catering to different requirements. To help you choose the best Imsouane surf camp for you, here’s a rundown of a couple of the best rated ones.
Combining surf, yoga and an awesome social scene, Sandy Camps is one of the best loved Imsouane surf camps.
Their best selling package is their “Sandypack” all inclusive surf & yoga package which entitles you to all the yoga and surfing your body can take as well as 3 meals per day.
Spread across a 7 day stay, you’ll get five, two and a half hour surf lessons, a surfing theory lesson and a photo analysis session. Good quality surfboards and wetsuits are also included in the price and you can use both whenever you want outside of your lesson times.
There are also two, 1 hour yoga sessions each day led by certified teachers. All yoga equipment is also provided.
The Sandy Camps facilities are also really cool and make it the perfect place to chill out and make new friends. It’s actually based in the Auberge Tasra hotel meaning you get access to a swimming pool, a bar which serves alcohol (a rarity here in Imsouane), and even a ping pong table.
There are also regular activities like games nights, movie nights, karaoke and live music, so it’s a whole social scene, making it perfect whether you come alone, as a couple or in a group.
There are also packages to cater for experienced surfers that skip the surf lessons meaning people of all abilities will be happy here. Prices start from €595, check out full package details here.
This Imsouane surf camp offers packages in surf guiding, surf coaching, and also surf and yoga.
Able to accommodate up to 20 surfers, there’s a focus on community at the Mubaradise surf villa, prioritising meeting people and having a good time out of the water and in.
There are private and shared rooms available and ocean and mountain view rooms. Stays are completely customisable so you can choose to have meals included or not.
As with Sandy Camps, all equipment is provided for both surfing and yoga.
Check photos, reviews, availability & prices here.
Where to Eat in Imsouane
Imsouane has a whole host of great places to grab a bite to eat, from quick casual eats to the delicious seafood that’s the staple up and down Morocco’s coast. Here are just a few of the top places to get your munch on.
This isn’t actually a single restaurant, more a restaurant area. And that’s because on the jetty there is a line of very similar seafood joints which are hard to choose between.
They all serve pretty much the same thing, and that’s whatever freshly caught fish has been brought in by the dozens of little boats that head out to sea each morning. It’s prepared, grilled over coals in front of the restaurant and served up with salad, fries and bread.
On any given day you’ll find lobster, shrimp, tuna, seabass, dorado, squid, sardines, and many more to choose from.
If the restaurant doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for, then just before the jetty there is a small seafood market. You can buy whatever you want there and the restaurants will cook that up for you instead.
You can also get other stuff besides seafood such as tagines or Moroccan soups, so a wide range of dietary requirements are catered for.
Besides the food, the views are just sensational. The Bay is directly in front, providing front row seats of the boarders enjoying the famous Imsouane surf. Beyond that is the long stretch of golden sand beach that disappears into the mountains behind.
It’s a little more pricey here, but well worth it.
For an easy-going atmosphere, speedy service and flavourful fast food, The Brothers is your place. It’s a simple menu of burgers, sandwiches and tacos (burritos) at very decent prices with friendly service.
If you’re after a healthy but filling meal with plenty of good veggie and vegan options then you should definitely give Anzar a try.
Think Bali-style bowls packed to the brim with goodies like falafel, fresh veggies and salad. They also serve wraps, sandwiches and more, all to be washed down with a delicious smoothie.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional Moroccan then give this place a go. Serving up local dishes like couscous, tagines, soups and salads in a cozy and friendly atmosphere, Restaurant Azul is a local favourite in Imsouane.
Day Trips From Imsouane
If you need a break from the Imsouane surf then there are plenty of cool excursions you can take from here. There are various companies that offer these day trips in Imsouane so we would recommend shopping around for prices.
Here’s a selection of the best day trips from Imsouane.
Located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains is the incredible Paradise Valley, an awesome day trip from Imsouane.
You can swim, relax in the shade of the lush green vegetation, or enjoy some of the challenging hikes of the surrounding areas. This oasis of natural pools, waterfalls, rock slides and cliff jumps is hard to believe without setting your eyes on it.
Sandboarding in the Tamri Dunes
One of the best ways to experience the amazing Moroccan dunes is to strap on a board and fling yourself down them. These beachfront dunes are the ideal setting for a spot of sandboarding and make an awesome and exciting day trip from Imsouane.
Lying about an hour and a half north of Imsouane, Essaouira is deservedly becoming one of Morocco’s top visited destinations.
Much larger than Imsouane, the main attraction here is the beautiful medina with its maze of cobbled streets, gorgeous white buildings and cannon lined ramparts. It’s one of the most striking medinas in Morocco.
In fact you may recognise Essaouira’s walled medina from Game of Thrones where it doubled as the town of Astapor.
In addition to the medina you can spend some time relaxing on the 2km long stretch of golden sand beach. You can take a camel ride, go quad biking along the dunes, or if you’re not already surfed-out then you can surf, windsurf or kite surf here too.
Another great thing to do in Essaouira is to visit a traditional hammam, particularly if you’ve got aching limbs from all the surfing and yoga you’ve been partaking in.
A day trip from Imsouane to Essaouira is perfect if you want to shop til you drop, enjoy fantastic local food and experience some of the famous Moroccan hustle and bustle.
An hour south of Imsouane is another famous Moroccan surf town, Taghazout. This is actually a popular day trip from Imsouane for surfers wanting to go and sample some different waves.
But fear not, if you’re in need of a break from the ocean, there is more to do here than just surf.
There’s lots of great hiking with some awesome viewpoints over Taghazout, if you’re a skateboarder there’s a cool skate park that overlooks the ocean, or you can go horseback or camel riding along the beach.
You’ll also find some really great restaurants in Taghazout where you can tuck into traditional Moroccan fare. This is a worthy day trip whether you want a break from the waves or to experience some different surf.
Some Helpful Information About Imsouane Morocco
- There are no ATMs, cash machines and no banks in Imsouane and the closest ones are a decent hour drive away. Take as much cash as you think you’ll need and a little extra just in case.
- Just to emphasise that point, whilst there are actually a couple of restaurants in Imsouane which, unusually for Morocco, do accept cards, most places deal only in cash.
- There are four or five well stocked mini markets in Imsouane where you can buy pretty much anything you might want food-wise here. You’ll find delicious fruit and vegetables, freshly baked bread, ice creams, store cupboard staples like rice and couscous and generally everything you’d expect in a supermarket. Apart from alcohol.
- Which leads to our next point – you can not purchase alcohol in Imsouane. Certainly not easily. In fact there is only one bar in Imsouane, and this is the Auberge Tasra which is the same hotel that Sandycamps is based in. There are supermarkets in Essaouira and Agadir that sell alcohol should you want to stock up before your visit.
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Travel lover, professional writer and football (soccer) obsessive, James loves nothing more than getting outside and exploring little known corners of the globe. He’s also very partial to a drop of Guinness.
Hello, Great informational clips about Morocco. I am an American of 65 years of age retired college professor. My ancestors were Moroccan Jews who left to France in 1959 (I was then 4 years old and I do not remember the move to France). I immigrated to the US in 1975. I visited Morocco in 1996.
I want to go back this time to visit the Southern part of the Anti-Atlas mountains places like Oufrane and Goulmine. It is the region of my father grandparents that I have never visited. This time I am very interested in renting a van. You mentioned that you’ll have a link about renting a van in Morocco, however I could not find it. Could you please provide some information or contact data regarding a rental service of a van (like yours or smaller) in Morocco. Thank you very much and all the best to you and your family.
Hi Ismael, so glad you are enjoying our Morocco stuff! That sounds like a really fantastic trip you are planning. We’ve heard good things about http://www.zigzagcamper.com – although we can’t personally vouch for them as we obviously have our campervan. Hope you have the best time.