With more than 1,000 miles of coastline spanning both its Atlantic and Mediterranean shores, Morocco has countless fine beaches.
The Atlantic coast in particular is noted for its excellent surfing. It is thought that American GIs introduced surfing to Morocco in the 1950s, and the country is now a hotspot for the sport in Africa.
Even if you are not a surfer, you’ll enjoy the waves and lively beach culture. The sea and its breezes are a welcome respite from Morocco’s year-round hot weather, too.
Here are 11 of Morocco’s best beaches to explore on your next visit.
Achakkar Beach, Tangier
Only 20 minutes from the center of Tangiers, Achakkar Beach borders the Cape Spartel Reserve. With about two miles of sand, it stands overlooking the spot where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean.
Those two bodies of water meet at Cape Spartel, to the north of Achakkar, which marks the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The Cap Spartel lighthouse dates to 1864, and was built by an international coalition that included the United States.
The sands of Achakkar extend through tiny Plage Ba Kacem and Plage Sol to reach Cape Spartel. However, these other two beaches are not as easy to access as Achakkar.
At the southern end of Achakkar are the Caves of Hercules. Legend has it there is a long-lost underground connection to Gibraltar on the Spanish side of the straits.
This stretch of coast below Tangiers is an exclusive one. The other side of the Caves of Hercules is Plage Jbila, where the King of Saudi Arabia has a luxurious, 75-acre vacation compound.
The sandy sea floor on Achakkar makes for clear, blue water. Popular with swimmers, it has a Blue Flag award for cleanliness. There are several restaurants, and all the usual beach facilities. These include rental sunshades, changing rooms, and lifeguards in summer.
Plage Sidi Kacem, Tangier
South of the beach of Achakkar, and Jbila, Plage Sidi Kacem shares their Atlantic-facing splendor. Sidi Kacem is a bit more exposed and wild, though.
That wildness makes it an unsafe place to go swimming, especially as there is no lifeguard. Most visitors content themselves with paddling in the shallows, or sunbathing.
The rockier parts of the beach are also fun for those interested in tidal pools, crabs, and other sea life. You can also find Berbers selling snacks, or offering donkey and camel rides.
The Berber people were responsible for quarrying the Caves of Hercules. The cave opening, facing the sea, resembles the map of Africa, and is a popular photo opportunity.
Merkala Beach, Tangier
Only a few miles out of Tangier, Merkala Beach is in a sheltered bay. It’s a deep, V-shaped beach of flat sand, with sunshades but few other facilities.
This makes it a quiet, relaxing place for sunbathing. It gets busy in summer, but the beach is a different experience for the rest of the year. In fact, the best time to visit is in winter, from November through January. This coincides with the best season for surfing. Temperatures are cooler, and the surf is at its highest, yet most predictable.
Merkala is at the end of a corniche that makes for a pleasant 40-minute walk from central Tangier. The sea wall protecting the corniche is a popular spot for fishing, but swimming there is not allowed—or advised.
On the beach itself, you’ll find a sandy sea floor and turquoise water. With the hills behind, you can feel a million miles away from the bustle of Tangier.
Plage Municipale, Tangier
Tangier’s municipal beach is a very large urban beach, popular for everything from soccer to kite-surfing. It’s backed by a promenade, and a corniche lined with restaurants, bars, and cafés.
This isn’t the best beach in Morocco for swimming, although that thought doesn’t stop the crowds of young men who plunge in to cool off. Either way, it’s a good place to feel the ocean breeze on a walk, and cool down on warm days.
The authorities—and voluntary local clean-up groups—take good care of the beach when it’s not busy with visitors. Most of those visitors tend to be young men, and any women would normally be in groups or with their families—and well covered up.
Playa Blanca, Tangier
This beach some 20 minutes north-east of Tangier is surprisingly remote. There is a small holiday development immediately behind the beach, but beyond that are hills and undeveloped countryside.
Well protected inside a small cove, the fine sand and warm water are idyllic. The beach is popular with weekenders from Tangier, but much quieter during the week.
Facing north-west, the beach is famous for its sunsets. It’s named for its white sand, which also makes for very clear blue water. Playa Blanca is also famous for its past as a haven for smugglers, because of its isolated setting. It’s more respectable now, but still retains a romantic outlaw air.
This is a place to slow down, bodyboard, explore rock pools, and generally disconnect from the larger world. That will be helped by the difficulty in getting a phone signal, or internet connection.
There are two distinctive large palm trees on the beach but most of the shade comes from sunshades. These are available for rental, and are well-used at weekends.
Dalia Beach, Tangier
About one hour from Tangier, Dalia is a popular beach with lovely white sand and turquoise water. It faces the Strait of Gibraltar, and is about half a mile long.
The water here tends to be calmer than on beaches further south-west. There is a lifeguard, and facilities to help the physically challenged to get into the water.
Around the headland of Pointe de Cire on the western side of the beach is the busy cargo and ferry port of Tanger-Med. Pointe de Cire lighthouse is a picturesque sight, drawing in any keen photographer.
Near the lighthouse is Café Dalia, whose wide terrace overlooks the beach, and the strait. On a clear day, you can see across the Mediterranean to Spain, and Gibraltar.
Plage Des Coves, Tangier
An hour from Tangier, Plage Des Coves is a long, undeveloped beach that is easily one of the best beaches in Morocco. The coast here is open and exposed, so swimmers must be wary.
However, it’s a lovely beach for sunbathing, and there are plenty of umbrellas and sun loungers for hire. The clear water is attractive, and the fine sand makes for good paddling.
In summer, lifeguards are on duty but it is a very different beach in winter. That’s when you can enjoy a long walk without any crowds.
Plage Des Coves is the best beach of Asilah, an old port that is now a resort town. Many people from Casablanca have holiday homes here, and there is also a strong Spanish influence.
The old medina is well preserved, and the town’s protective walls date back to Portuguese occupation in the 15th century. Asilah is famous for its annual culture festival, which features local artists.
Plage Aïn Diab, Casablanca
Ain Diab is one of Casablanca’s most fashionable districts. Its waterfront Corniche is lined with stylish hotels and exclusive restaurants.
The beach itself is more than a mile long, but still gets busy in summer. Soccer is popular, as are camel or horse-rides. Outside peak season, though, the beach is big enough to absorb a lot of people. In winter, it’s a good place for a walk to escape the bustle of the city.
Surfing and bodyboarding are popular enough here to support a number of surf schools. You’re also never far from an ice cream parlor or café.
Sights such as the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Cathedral, Souq Habous, and the Medina are all within easy reach. Taking a walk down the Corniche is one of the best things to do in Morocco.
Plage de Bouznika, Casablanca
Just under an hour to the east of central Casablanca, Plage de Bouznika is a wide, gently shelving beach. Its golden sand is protected in a deep bay that makes it popular with swimmers and windsurfers.
The north-eastern side of the bay has a rocky promontory with a picturesque, Sahara-style development which includes a few restaurants. Nearby is the resort town of Bouznika, which is also well supplied with good restaurants and cafés.
Beginner surfers will find that the Atlantic waves here are reliable all year round. There is also a surf shop that can provide everything you might need to go surfing, or paddle-boarding.
There is a sandy bottom, but look out for rocks, sea urchins, and rip currents. In the south-western part of the beach, pools filled with urchins, crabs, and some corals are a treat for beachcombers.
Behind the beach are a number of upmarket holiday developments. There is also a pleasant, nine-hole golf course, Bouznika Bay, which is floodlit so play can be extended into the evening.
Dahomey Plage, Casablanca
Next door to Bouznika, Dahomey beach shares its reliable Atlantic surf and golden sands. Quieter than its neighbor, it’s popular with families for a tidal pool of quiet water.
It’s also frequented by surfers, who love its reliable waves, such consistency being a rarity on this stretch of coastline. Many leading Moroccan surfers have honed their skills on Dahomey.
The best time for surfing is winter, when the Atlantic sends in lovely sets of waves. In summer, high winds tend to disrupt the surf, although the conditions often suit beginners and kitesurfers.Surf schools, and surf shops abound, while there is a strong community of surfers here.
For non-surfers, Dahomey’s deep, golden sand is, of course, the main attraction. The water itself is often not of the best quality, but this is a good beach for sunbathing and relaxation.
Plage Sablettes, Casablanca
This lovely beach sits on a small bay about 30 minutes north of Casablanca. It’s above the much larger Plage Monica, and Plage Miramar.
The three beaches form the waterfront of Mohammedia, a seaside resort with a busy port. That means you’ll find every possible facility nearby, from restaurants to hypermarkets.
Many residents of Casablanca have holiday apartments here. There is a thriving nightlife scene, a boardwalk, and courts for basketball, soccer, and tennis.
Plage Sablettes is well sheltered, and draws in waves that make it a magnet for surfers. As with the other beaches on this coast, the surf is at its best in winter, particularly in January.
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