The man-made lake of Lalla Takerkoust was built with the intentions to provide water to nearby Marrakech (about 45 minutes) in the early 20th century. Though today restaurants dot the lake, providing laid-back lunch options as well as a waterhole for city-dwellers looking for respite from the heat in the hot summer months. And for those wanting a bit more activity, various companies, both registered and non-registered, rent jet-skis for a bit of fun on the water. Pedal boats are also available for those who want something less adventurous.
A gentle private boat ride around the calm, crescent-shaped lagoon of Oualidia is an ideal way to spend an hour or two. Admire the views, watch out for flocks of flamingos, or head out at sunset for dramatic skies and stunning colours. Or, hop on a paddle board for a bit of SUP on the calm waters. Further afield, fishermen catch oysters, a local specialty, which are served up at unassuming restaurants dotting the sandy beach. Surfing is also an optional activity here on this Atlantic coastal town.
Hard-core surfers head to Taghazout, which is just a short coastal drive from Agadir, where international flights arrive regularly. With a few locations around the bay, the waves here are high and the seas rough. Given its location on the bay, Taghazout enjoys comfortable temperatures, averaging +25’C year-round, perfect for entering the chilly Atlantic waters. The beach-side town is rather laid-back with a few surf schools available and highly advised, given their local knowledge of any dangerous water conditions.
Known as Africa’s windy city, Essaouira, perched on the Atlantic Ocean, is the go-to destination for kite surfing in Morocco. In the winter months, kite surfers dot the seafront, flipping and turning through the clear blue skies when the wind picks up, making the city rather unpleasant to those who want a laid-back break. Kitesurfing schools and shops provide lessons and equipment rentals along with transport to areas further afield where conditions may be more ideal on any given day.
Home to the Merdja Zerga National Park (meaning blue lake), 73 kilometers of wetlands and marshlands, this is the place to go for bird-watching in Morocco. Though the town itself is merely a few simple restaurants and cafés, bird-watching guides can be arranged to spot the flocks of flamingos, the marsh owl, egrets, Barbary partridges, and more that are known to habitat here. In the area surrounding the wetlands, shepherds graze their herds while waders occupy the calm waters and succulent agave plants dot the landscape.