Taghazout and Paradise Valley in Morocco are two beautiful destinations on the southern Morocco coast. These were the final stops of our three week adventure around the country and were definitely two of the places I enjoyed the most.
As a lover of the outdoors and the beach, I was very excited to hang out in the hippy surfers town of Taghazout. I had visions of a super low-key, friendly surf town with a real vibe. However, it wasn’t quite like that. Taghazout wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really have the vibe that I expected. It didn’t match others’ description of the town, that’s for sure.
I know some travellers have even described Taghazout as Morocco’s best kept secret, but maybe times have changed.
The biggest issue in Taghazout was all of the building and construction work going on everywhere. Hotels are cropping up left, right and centre along the beach nearer the town. And unfortunately, at the time of our visit, it meant dust everywhere and lots of noise.
To be honest, I feel a bit sad that I hadn’t visited Tagahzout earlier. These huge hotels along the beach will change the hippy surf town forever. However, that being said, the main area of Taghazout is still quaint and ultra chilled. We still enjoyed a wonderful few days there, so read on for my guide to Taghazout, including where to stay, where to eat and what to do, including visiting Paradise Valley.
Paradise Valley is a 45 minute drive from the village Taghazout and therefore makes for a lovely day trip from Taghazout. So I thought it made sense to include in this blog post guide, although you could visit Paradise Valley as a day trip from Agadir too.
Taghazout Travel Guide
How to get to Taghazout
The nearest main town and airport to Taghazout is Agadir. The easiest option is to charter a taxi for the 40 min – 1hr drive to Taghazout from Agadir. It should cost about 200 dirham (£16) and is by far the most convenient transport method. There are no trains in this area, and buses are irregular.
However, you can also travel south from Essaouira, a beautiful and colourful town further up the coast. It’s around a 2.5 journey which we did by grand-taxi. Another option is to drive from Marrakech to Taghazout, which takes around 3.5 hours.
Where to stay in Taghazout
There’s no shortage of cool surf retreats and hostels in the town to stay in whilst in Taghazout. There are also some really cool Airbnbs. We loved staying at the awesome World of Waves. This was also our favourite place to eat in Taghazout – its beachside restaurant is definitely one of the best spots for lunch or dinner.
We then then upgraded our stay to Sol House Taghazout for our last few nights. This stylish hotel is just a 15 minute walk along the beach from the main town area of Taghazout. Sol House has a fantastic swimming pool and awesome surf cabanas overlooking the sea.
Sol House Taghazout is (for now) one of the two main brand hotels around, and we had a pretty nice stay here. However, with all the construction work we saw going on – there will a lot more hotels to choose from in Taghazout soon!
Other accommodation options in Taghazout include:
What to see and do in Taghazout
The main attraction of Taghazout is its huge beach. A giant curve of golden sand with reliable waves and tons of space. Surfers come from across the world to catch waves in this Moroccan surf town.
So of course, the most popular thing to do in Taghazout is surfing! The waves in front of the main beach stretch are great for beginners, and you’ll see plenty of lessons taking place here.
For more experienced surfers, the coastline offers a huge range of breaks and surfing conditions. Many of the surf schools in Taghazout are connected to the surf hostels so you can book accommodation and surf lessons in one. Many offer ‘surfaris’ involving a full day outing of surfing and multiple stops within an hour or so of Taghazout.
Most of the surf instructors are local guys, meaning they know the waves here inside and out, with many of them having grown up in Taghazout.
Don’t worry if you’re not a surfer, there are several other things to do in Taghazout otherwise.
The next most popular thing to do in Taghazout is yoga. There are many retreats in the area offering various sessions, nearly all with amazing views!
Taghazout is really small, but has a great selection of cafes and bars, as well as surf stores. A wander around the town gives a wonderful glimpse into the locals’ lives.
Another popular activity in Taghazout is horse trekking. This is a great way to explore the surrounding area and scenery, and your accommodation is likely to be able to organise this for you.
Catch a sunset
Obviously you can see a sunset anywhere in the world, but there was something about the sunset in Taghazout. It sets directly over the water and the hues were just beautiful.
Paradise Valley Travel Guide
One of the most popular day trips to do from Taghazout (or Agadir) is visiting Paradise Valley. The turquoise pools and lush vegetation are unique. It’s essentially an oasis in the desert and a great alternative to the beaches of Taghazout.
How to get there
Paradise Valley is a 45 minute drive from Taghazout. The route winds along hilly roads and through small Berber villages. All of a sudden the beautiful scenery brings you to Paradise Valley.
If you’re driving yourself then it is worth noting that parking is a bit ad-hoc.
There are several excursions offering transport to Paradise Valley. One great suggested tour is this one – a full day Paradise Valley day trip.
What time to go
Paradise Valley is extremely popular with local Moroccan families, especially at weekends. We found that by 10am it was packed with local Moroccans, who all come with picnics in huge groups to spend the day by the water.
I recommend arriving before 9am to enjoy it to yourself for a bit.
As of 2019, there is no entry fee! This could change in the future.
What to take to Paradise Valley
It is a bit of a precarious walk/climb/scramble to get the main pool area. Therefore I recommend trying to not carry too much. We edged our way along 15cm wide ledges, and if you do stumble, it’s not high up – but you’d get wet feet (or belongings!).
We watched huge Moroccan families passing by carrying huge cooler boxes and small babies. They weren’t worried at all about the climb to the pools!
Unfortunately, we found the sheer amount of grafitti everywhere a little disappointing. There was also a lot of litter which was sad to see.
We enjoyed jumping into the pools and exploring for about an hour, until the crowds descended. It got so busy that we decided to head off but we really loved exploring this area. It was so different to anything else we saw in Morocco!
Visiting Taghazout and Paradise Valley
This completes my guide to Taghazout and Paradise Valley, a beautiful corner of Morocco, but one best visited sooner rather than later. Despite all of the hotel construction going on, this is the best place to surf in Morocco and definitely worth including on a Morocco itinerary.
If you are planning a longer trip around Morocco, then you might find some of my other blog posts on the country useful. I’ve written detailed guides to Rabat, Chefchaouen, Fes, spending 3 days in Marrakech, exploring the Sahara desert and visiting Essaouira from Marrakech. I’ve also written some more specific blog posts for Morocco such as visiting La Mamounia in Marrakech as a day visitor, and visiting Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. And of course, a guide to some of the best places to eat in Marrakech.
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Disclaimer: This visit to Taghazout and Paradise Valley was entirely paid for by myself and there was no involvement from a hotel or a tourism board. This is an independent guide.
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