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On the Water

Protected by the Mogador Islands and known as the Windy City, you’ll find plenty of space on the water in Essaouira with six miles of beach just waiting to be explored. There’s everything from flat water and cross-shore winds to cross-on wave riding conditions and everyone from beginners to experts will find something to keep them busy.

The best kiting is found away from town and downwind towards the left side of the bay where the beach is less crowded and the wind is steadier. There’s even some cross-on wave riding there, too. You can score some flat water if you tuck in close to the medina and there’s standard bump and jump conditions in the open water out in the middle of the bay.

There are a couple more flatwater spots that work depending on the season too; one in the river mouth that can be ridden in winter and another at ‘second beach’, which works in the summer.

This stretch of coastline is well known to surfers and, if waves are your thing, then there’s plenty to choose from around Essaouira. Advanced wave riders will love Maulay Bouzarktoune and Sidi Kaoki and you can even kite down to them on one of the weekly down winders organised by Explora Morocco.

Wind, Weather and Water

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The season runs from April until September and the 15-25 knot North/North-easterly trade winds are ramped up by the temperature differences between the land and sea.

It can hit 40 knots in July and August, making the town worthy of it’s ‘Windy City’ moniker and last season it was windy on 100% of the days in July. Water temperatures stay at a comfortable 17-20 degrees Celsius while the air temperatures are very warm when you’re out of the wind.

The northerly winds can be chilly though, so it’s always worth bringing at least a spring suit during the season and, if you’re here in winter, you can score some awesome wave riding as the swell really increases then, but you may want to bring a thicker suit. The wind is a little less consistent around then though, and switches to a southerly direction, but it’s good around 60% of the time.

Off The Water


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There’s everything from raids inside the medina where you can have authentic Moroccan experience, to hotels, guesthouses and apartments outside of it. Tourism and traditional life mesh seamlessly in Essaouira and the main focal point of the town is still the bustling harbour which was Morocco’s first ever seaport back in the 19th century.

Eating out is pretty cheap and there’s a great selection of restaurants in the old town serving international cuisine as well as more local fare, like freshly caught seafood and tagines. There are supermarkets too if you’re staying in self-catered accommodation. Morocco is a Muslim country but Essaouira has adapted to tourism and many of the restaurants serve alcohol while there are also bars and a couple of clubs offering some fun, but chilled, nightlife options.

Beach bars and cafes dot the main beach and there’s plenty to do on windless days from SUP and surfing to mountain biking, quad biking, horse riding and more. You can also check out the incredible shops and stalls in the xmedina, which sell beautiful, locally crafted pots, earthenware, rugs, clothing and jewellery.

Useful Information

Airport: You can fly directly to Essaouira from Luton in the UK with Easyjet on a Tuesday or Saturday. You can also sly directly from Brussels or Paris once a week. Marrakesh airport is a 2-hour drive/taxi and Agadir is a little further. Most kite school or accommodation agents can organise a transfer for you.

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