Imsouane travel guide: Since we decided to find a new destination to land and surf for our next trip, Imsouane, a small isolated fishing village located along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, was in a corner of my head.
Imsouane, this little surfing paradise, long-kept “secret” (for its waves and unique spots), a thousand miles from the seaside resorts of Agadir, Essaouira, or Taghazout, was the ideal destination, let’s discover the ultimate Imsouane travel guide.
And I confirm if you dream of a quiet place, where your life is punctuated by the ocean, the waves and the tides, the bay of Imsouane may please you very much.
This article aims to be a comprehensive, useful, and practical guide to Imsouane. You will learn when and how to get to Imsouane, where to stay, where to eat, and above all, we will talk about the season and surf spots, not to mention the budget issue!
Located 100 kilometers north of Agadir, about 60 from Taghazout and about 100 south of Essaouira, this small fishing village is not so easy to reach.
Note: I was quite hesitant to write this article. The charm of Imsouane lies in its atmosphere and its “raw” /little touristy side. And we all know the consequences of mass tourism. But having found no “guide” on Imsouane in English, I decided. (And, I don’t think my blog will upset Imsouane’s tourism).
When to get to Imsouane? Weather, climate and surfing season
Yes, you have to distinguish between the best time to go to the Atlantic coast of Morocco from a “purely” weather point of view and the best time to surf.
General climate and weather in Imsouane
we should confirm that we are in Morocco, a popular destination for Europeans, so it’s not for nothing, the climate, and the weather much more pleasant and mild throughout the year.
That’s how it looks. To give you an idea, the “freshest” month is January, with an average of 14.1 degrees. We’ve been through worse. Summer can be hot or even very hot, but the huge advantage of being on the waterfront, with views of the Atlantic Ocean, is that you have the wind and fresh air.
Where, in places like Marrakech, you are quickly suffocated by the heat, however, contrary to what the table suggests, summer is not necessarily the best time to get there, quite the contrary. Because in general, when you go to Imsouane, it’s to surf or at least discover surfing!
The surfing season in Imsouane
Although the Moroccan coast enjoys a large and constant swell most of the year, the surfing season is even longer than Taghazout for example.
Imsouane’s surfing season runs from October to May/June.
We were there in September, and we still had plenty to surf. Some days, good big swells brought super waves, which heralded the arrival of the real season. Others were calmer.
The locals still told us that there was enough to surf throughout the year. But in practical terms, if you want to be sure to have constant swells and good waves almost every day, it’s better to come in winter (November to March), where the surfing season is in full swing!
More information about Magicseaweed (the reference for surf forecasts).
However, which says high season also says that all travelers/surfers come back, we were told of 2000 people when there are the best swells in the middle of winter. And given the size of the village, it must be hell both outside and in the water.
In September, it was perfect for us, in the end quite few travelers and waves that allowed us to surf almost every day, and except when the surf schools of Taghazout went up to Imsouane (lack of waves there), the number of people in the water was really not a problem.
How do I get to Imsouane?
To make this Imsouane travel guide a very useful one, here is how to get to Imsouane: Well, the first step is to go to Morocco. You don’t need a visa, you’re entitled to three months of tourist visa. Quiet.
The nearest popular airport in Imsouane is Agadir Al-Massira. There are often flights at very interesting prices (in the 30-40 by taking you early!)
…Flight to Agadir..
We paid 80 euros round trip with a plane ticket to Agadir and a return flight from Marrakech, to give you an idea.
There is also Essaouira airport not too far to the north, but I think Agadir airport was the 3rd most popular airport in the country (behind Casablanca and Marrakech), it is much better served.
Route Agadir airport to Imsouane
I think there are three options for arriving in Imsouane from Agadir airport:
1. Book a rental car
1. Book a private taxi
1. Take group taxis and buses
1. Rent a car for Imsouane
For his stay in Morocco has become a popular practice. Many tourists see it as an ideal solution to explore the entire Moroccan Atlantic coast from Agadir to Casablanca (or part of it, because it’s been a long time!).
It is also possible to pick up your vehicle from Agadir airport directly by booking via Rentalcars. You enter your date and your arrival city (or airport), when and where you want to drop off the vehicle and compare.
2. Book a taxi from Agadir Airport
The quick, simple and more expensive version is to take a taxi to make Agadir airport – Taghazout and which costs between 300 and 400 MAD (dirhams, or 28 to 38)
3. Use group taxis and buses to get to Imsouane
I’m going to divide this trip into two steps.
- Route Agadir – Taghazout
I detail how to make this same journey more economically (especially via collective taxis) in the article intended for Taghazout.
But basically, you have to get out of the airport, walk to the roundabout, cross and wait for a collective taxi to arrive. You have to go to the Salam district (Abattoir) west of Agadir, the locals will help you, it’s a small adventure!
- Taghazout – Imsouane Route
There is, of course, the simple option of private taxis. I think Taghazout – Imsouane in taxi varies between 300-400 MAD.
This is obviously not the method we have chosen. We like to make complicated (but especially cheaper).
So, from Taghazout, take the bus line 33 to the north (bus stop just past the mosque – 9 MAD/pers). No timetable, it’s lucky. You’re in Morocco or you’re not.
The bus terminal is in Tamri (which is also a fairly famous surf spot in the Agadir/Taghazout area).
"Important information, Tamri is where the last ATM (silver dispenser) is on the way to Imsouane. So think about taking out enough for your entire stay in Imsouane, the distributors closest to Imsouane, however, are to the north, in Tamanar."
On the other hand, this is where it gets fun, because there are no buses going to Imsouane from Tamri. No public transport goes to Imsouane, for that matter.
So we looked for a collective taxi, but nothing. So our only solution was to negotiate a taxi. We will eventually give in for 120 MAD for two to make Tamri – Imsouane village.
Total cost of the Taghazout -Imsouane village route: 138 MAD for two (12 and 2 good hours).
Surfing in Imsouane: the guide
Well, it’s nice to know when and how to get to this secluded little surfing paradise, but why Imsouane?
The question of “what to do in Imsouane?” is almost nothing to be said for.
To be realistic in this Imsouane travel guide, When you know that Imsouane is the place where the longest wave in Africa is located, 6 to 800 meters, in good season, just that! Can you imagine surfing for more than three minutes? Imsouane, and especially the spot “The Bay“, is a paradise for intermediaries and those who want to learn or progress to surf with a longboard. It’s a completely different style of surfing, which we quickly loved.
To see some, it’s an art. Walking to the front of their board, turning around, it’s almost poetic. It’s almost like a dance, but it obviously requires a lot of practice and mastery.
I wrote some kind of little surf guide for Imsouane. The explanations of the spots are meant to be “accessible” to all. If you’ve never been interested in surfing and I tell you, it’s a “right break for longboard, best swell at low-mid tide” spot, it’s not going to help the masses.
We had already surfed a bit in Asia and especially in Sri Lanka, but it was almost a year ago, so we were quite rusty despite our small level of intermediary, and Imsouane proved perfect to resume.
“I just allow myself to give 2 very important rules when you surf; because a lot of beginners don’t respect them and it’s sometimes very frustrating.
Do not take the wave if someone is about to take it before you, or if someone is already surfing it in your direction. It’s called priority.Priority to premises; it’s their spot first and foremost. We’re just guests, they’re at home.Take waves of its level.
Imsouane is mainly 3 surf spots:
1. “The Bay” – Africa’s Longest Right
Also called “Magic Bay” or simply “the bay.” This spot has long remained secret because it is unique.Ideal to start (most surf camps/schools go there), perfect for progressing, and perfect for longboarding. Long waves, easy to take that take you up to 700 meters down, the dream.
Be careful that in the middle of the season, there can be quite waves, even at The Bay (hence the “take waves of its level”).
Even in September, we were able to enjoy the first good swells of the season. Check MagicSeaWeed regularly even if the best way to know the conditions is always to go and see for yourself the spot and check the weather conditions, and especially the wind.
Best tide to surf The Bay: from low tide to mid-tide (up in general it’s better, but even descending it works well sometimes). But on good days, the spot works at any time. (But inevitably you take the shorter waves at high tide (secret beach – 2nd beach))Way to surf 2 sessions a day. Depending on the times of the tides that change every day necessarily.
2. Surfing at “The Reef”
The spot for beginners and intermediates who want to practice more shortboard. Shorter waves, which break faster and drier (depending on the conditions necessarily).When The Bay wasn’t working, sometimes The Reef worked well for us.
Overall 90% of the time we overrated the bay, but it was a matter of taste. We had some really cool sessions on the reef too.
Best tide for The reef: high tide (rising tide). But as usual, it will depend on the wind and the conditions.
The Reef can extend to Cathedral Point on good days, so there’s plenty for everyone, no worries!
3. Experienced surfer only:
Cathedral points the spot that it is better not to tackle when you do not have the required experience. It worked a few times when we were there, and frankly, I will not venture there unless I am a confirmed surfer (which is far from the case, haha).
That said, just seeing the locals feasting at Cathedral Point is already a real sight.
I put you a link to a guide to surfing in Imsouane more complete and detailed, and written by Hafid, a local surfer with whom we stayed for a few days, who runs a guesthouse that I’ll tell you about below!
Rent surfboards in Imsouane
You’ll see that in the center of the village of Imsouane, there are loads of surf shops. After negotiations, we will be able to rent our boards – wetsuits for 70 MAD/day/person (or less than 7 euros/day/person) at “Reef point surfshop”.
3 big advantages: Ideally located between The Bay and The ReefYou could surf as much as you wanted, from sunrise to sunset, bring the boards back, go back, etc.
You could change boards as many times as you wanted; Every day. Wide choice of shorts and longboards, it was great to adapt to the conditions.And the owners were really cool. I broke an end, he didn’t charge me anything, sometimes we paid a little less if we surfed less, we could pay the next day if we didn’t have enough on us. In short, Berber, simple and relaxed!
Where to stay in Imsouane?
Now that you are convinced that the waves and beaches of Imsouane are worth it, you have to find accommodation in Imsouane, my good friend.
The popularity and quality of surfing in Imsouane is bound to attract. A lot of hostels, guesthouses, surf house apartments/studio for rent have emerged. And there’s something for every budget. Fortunately, not yet “hotels” per se.
There are however a few villas, I will try to make recommendations for all budgets, indicating only accommodations that we tested or with very good marks on booking. Starting by describing our own experience and where we stayed.
Our week at Olo surf – Nature
Hostels in Imsouane
1. A week at Olo surf – Nature – Surf Camp
ImsouaneSomething we really wanted to test was a week in surf camp. So, we did not experience it 100%, because we did not take group surf lessons, renting boards was more than enough for us!
So we had the opportunity to spend a week in the #OloFamily! And especially in their surf hostel “Tayourt” (which reminds a little of a medina of surfing, if it means anything?) to the unique atmosphere.
But hey, our week in Olo was the best in Imsouane, because when your room overlooks this view (spot “the bay”), hard to do better.
We had a really good week. A good part of the staff is made up of travelers who work in exchange for accommodation and access to surfboards, so it’s very easy to exchange.
Olo regularly organizes activities around Imsouane, garbage drives on the beaches (in which we participated), and the place as such is really “chill” with an ideal setting to land, read, always with good music in the background, etc.
There are also yoga classes every morning and late afternoon, and other more punctual events!
Staying in the Tayourt house?
The Tayourt Lodge has private double rooms and a 4-bed dorm (which is far from the classic dorm, it is a large room with 4 “real beds”).
A double room, with bathroom to share, direct view of the spot, with plenty of space to land, and wifi (not very common in Imsouane) costs 120 euros per person per week (Tayourt House).
Regarding the dormitory, I think it costs about 90 euros per week, you can see more photos, check availability, and book here for Tayourt House!
It’s not the cheapest in Imsouane, but it’s still very reasonable for the comfort, the view, and the atmosphere of the place.
Finally, Tayourt is one of the 4 types of accommodation offered by Olo Surf – Nature, there are more private guesthouses and the luxurious Dar Zitoun, you can find all the accommodations here.
2. Hostels in Imsouane
Ideal for those who want to meet people quickly. In Morocco, and especially in Imsouane, there is really a family spirit that emanates from hostels. It is not always the great luxury, but the interest is mostly in the spirit and above all, the waves of the area.
Imsouane Ocean Surfhouse Apartment
The Little SurferImsouane Soul Lodge
3. Guesthouses / apartments / Double rooms
Well, let’s face it, once you start traveling together, hostel dorms aren’t really the types of accommodation you prefer anymore. Especially since you can sometimes even find double rooms (especially in Asia) that cost less than 2 beds in a dormitory.
Small mention to Hafid, where we are almost a week too. He manages several rooms in a house that looks directly onto the beach, you hear the waves from the bed, and he will obviously advise you on the spots, because it is he who wrote the guide that I quote above!
Double rooms – apartments in Imsouane:
At Hafid (double rooms)
Wind House (apartment for rent for 4 people)
Aloha Imsouane (for those with the budget and want to have fun)
I explained it in the article on Taghazout, but we had been surprised to find lots of Airbnb in Morocco (we stayed at Khalid’s during our week there, found via Airbnb).
Many premises do not have the means to open hostels or hostels and therefore adapt their accommodation to make rooms dedicated to welcoming travelers.
If you’re interested, going through my sponsorship link, you’ll get 30 euros off a reservation of more than 65 euros (excluding charge), it’s a gift!
What to do in and around Imsouane?
If you stay at Olo, you can take part in (paying) trips to the area. They invited us to the “The Source” trip; you visit a cooperative in Argan where you learn how Argan products are made (oil, soaps, etc.)
And then they take you to a place 20 min from Imsouane called “The Source” for the sunset. With an incredible sunset and a real Moroccan tea shared among all, believe me you are well.
But probably other guesthouses and accommodations organize activities, surf trips and excursions around Imsouane.
The village was isolated, there is necessarily no way to book activities remotely; you can still take a look at the excursions around Taghazout and the activities around Essaouira (to the north).
There are many animal-related activities in Morocco (on camels, horses, etc.). Everyone does what they want, but these are activities that I advise 20%. To become docile, the animals probably had to be forced and trained for many months. I’ve seen behaviors of the owners of these animals that I’ll never condone there (but it’s the same everywhere else, with elephants in Asia, etc.).
To sum up, don’t be that tourist willing to fund this to get his photo on the back of a camel.
Where to eat in Imsouane?
Aaaaah, After a good surfing session, that’s all it is!
However, this is the small concern of Imsouane, it is not so easy to eat well for “cheap”.
The vegetarian options of many of the small restaurants are far from ideal. That’s why we ended up looking for a place where we could cook on our own, buying from the small shops in the village.
We expected to eat tagines and couscous with a shovel and for cheap, bah no.
We will find a restaurant that will make us big vegetarian tagines. But hey, you can’t eat that every night.
HOWEVER, some nice addresses:
La Cre-pierre: the most profitable breakfast in the village! 30 MAD per person for all-you-can-eat bread (jam, butter, honey) – omelette (or sugar pancake) – Hot drink – fresh orange juice. Enough to fill up after a good session. Whether it was in the morning or in the afternoon, it had become our post-surfing ritual the last week. A good plan to squat a good wifi connection by the way!
Coffee House: a little off-center and secluded, but their vegetarian tacos are amazing and for only 25 MAD! Their margarita and veggie pizzas pass just as well. But the tacos you take and you tag me on IG, please! And they have wifi that works great too! We usually managed to eat for 30-35 MAD per person max, although after two weeks we decided to find a place to cook for ourselves, and our stomachs were clearly better last week!
The black spot of Imsouane Only black spot I have to mention for Imsouane (and especially for the spot The Bay), is that some of the wastewater, unfortunately, ends up in the spot. You’ll soon see where.
Basically, Imsouane is a tiny fishing/surfer village with less than 8,000 inhabitants, and with the development due to surfing, guesthouses/surf house etc. have emerged, and the infrastructure (including evacuation) is not able to “follow”.
We quickly had stomach problems (nothing serious, just bah I’m not going to draw you a picture), and the locals confirmed that it’s because of the time spent in the spot The Bay.
Again, nothing dramatic, it’s just not top, but you live with it. The proof is, we still went surfing at The Bay for 3 weeks and a half.
And quite frankly, if you pay attention to what you eat, it’s viable. The junk food mix – The Bay is not top top.
Not a very glorious party or “dream travel blog”, but it’s part of reality and my willingness to share destinations as they are.
Telling you everything is perfect go for it is not my style; and I would have liked to have had this information directly when I arrived, believe me.
Edacious February 2020: we return soon (haste!), I will update this section according to the evolution of things, I know that he was already working there during our first stay there!
Stay in Imsouane: The budget
The article being long, to summarize the budget and give an idea, I detail the costs for a week:
Accommodation: varies between 200 and 400 MAD per night (depending on what you are looking for): So it can range from 120 to 240 (or even much more) per week for two.
Food: It will depend on whether you eat outside for each meal: we were doing well for -120 MAD for two a day, on average. That’s 840 MAD per week for two
Rental (surfboard-combi): 140 MAD/day for two: 5/6 times a week700 MAD per week for two Total per week for two: 2800 MAD (or 140 euros per person per week).
It is actually very little for a week in Morocco. And even in Imsouane, it can quickly be much more if you want an apartment, eat well without cooking, etc., but it’s to give an idea of our budget.
Surfer to stay in Imsouane, Morocco: my opinion
beach sunset Imsouane MoroccoLive at the rhythm of the tides, the waves, it’s a really crazy feeling.
I had forgotten how surfing is a state of mind, a way of life. The ocean dictates your days. And you respect nature much more, it’s the nature that decides. If she says, “You don’t surf, buddy, ” well, you’re doing something else.
On the other hand, when it is in a good mood (we may not have been able to surf 5 days on almost 1 month), you grab your board and run into the water and you enjoy an incredible spot, a view, sunsets …
For a budget like this, a spot like this, I think it’s hard to say it’s not worth it!
I hope you liked/helped/interested this article/guide on the small Moroccan village of Imsouane!
Do not hesitate to recommend this guide or this blog if the opportunity arises, word of mouth and sharing help me enormously to make it known. 🙂