MOROCCAN MAGIC

I love to travel.  Sometimes, you think you've found your spots, the places that set your soul on fire the most, somewhere you might keep returning too.  I love being surprised, finding a new love for a place I first visit, and falling completely head over heels for it.

Morocco is a close neighbour to us in Europe, and whilst I have been to Marrakesh, I'm not quite sure how the coast of Morocco, a staple surf destination for most European surfers, has somehow evaded my visit.  Setting off for the dreamy,  spice-scented shores of Taghazout, with my good friend Victoria along for the ride, we pitched up at Amouage, the new boutique hotel concept from long-time Taghazout surf-trip experts, Surf Maroc.  

I was interested to discover more about this metamorphosis of surf-trip offerings, with surfing having entered the public consciousness in a big way, and so many people around the world now surfing, the choice in surf trip and accommodation has expanded dramatically.  Enter Amouage, a luxe offering, newly opened at the closing of 2016.  

A new concept with a premium edge, Amouage, the new flagship hotel from surf Maroc, sits atop Anchor Point, one of Taghazout's most infamous breaks, and is a distinctly more premium offering than other spots in the town.  Perched on the edge of the ocean, the woozy, hazy, golden glow of Agadir quickly enveloped me into it's arms, and as they say it was love at first sight.  Sitting down to huge communal tables with the other guests, feasting over heaped plates of fresh vegetables, fruit-soaked tagines, colourful beetroot grains and fresh fish, fast bonds and easy conversation are quickly made.

There's something beautiful about a place which manages to embrace surf culture and also stay true to it's own heritage and roots.  With Amouage taking the heat of searching spots yourself, every day our guide would take us to the best wave, enabling us to see much of the coast, from the infamous Devils Rock, to a right-hand break of dreams which I'll keep my lips sealed on, but had me going until my arms couldn't paddle anymore.  With wandering camels, the scent of grilled fish and the smiles of locals every day, the charm of this unbelievable nook of North Africa is unparalleled.  There is an authenticity to it, to the people and it's locals which is genuine and enveloping.  

Our surf guides Yacine, Elias and Tariq were always on hand with any coaching advice and answers to questions about the breaks.   The guides at Amouage and staff on hand are second to none, and the whole vibe of the hotel allows for you to make friends as soon as you pull a rug and cushion up to a table of strangers, or else stay secluded and enjoy downtime, in one of the many hidden chill zones of the hotel.

Zenning out to yoga on the roof every evening, overlooking the navy hued ocean and saluting the days surf with varied-themed yoga sessions, I found a special calmness in this unique spot of Africa, feeling both totally at peace and free.

MAD TO LIVE TIPS: AGADIR, MOROCCO

FITNESS

-SURF!!! (This will always be number one on my lists, ha!) Amouage make it super easy, you select what level you are at and are put in the according group, where they provide lessons and take you to suitable breaks

-Yoga:  Surf and yoga go hand in hand in Agadir, and with yoga and surf inclusive retreat packages at Amouage, you can choose whether you drop in at the morning or evening classes, or both if you're a real brother for yoga

-Paddle boarding across the clear waters on a day with smaller swell, you might be lucky and spot a dolphin

HEALTHY HOT SPOTS

-A trip to Paradise Valley, with it's rock pools and waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains

-Indulge in a hammam, where you will be steamed, scrubbed, masked, doused and cleaned to within an inch of your life.  I swear my skin reverted to back of that of a 12 year old after this! πŸ˜‚

-Browse the Wednesday weekly souk market and pick up local spices, jewellery, goodies and more

Check out my full video edit of my trip to Morocco below !

With thanks to Surf Maroc and Amouage