Taghazout seems to be the new kid on the block – as an emerging home for digital nomads. So I went to see what this Moroccan surf spot was all about.
In 4 months of living here, I tried out the co-working & co-living spot SunDesk, I worked from cafes, and I found my own apartment. I was massively ripped off by some sneaky locals. And I have experienced the real Taghazout internet, and Moroccan power cuts.
So if you’re thinking of heading to this small surf town, here’s all you need to know…
If you’re looking for long term accommodation, you have pretty much 4 options:
- SunDesk co-working & co-living space
- Rent your own apartment – through Airbnb
- Rent your own apartment – through locals
- Stay in hostels
Here’s each of the options broken down, a bit more…
SunDesk co-working & co-living space
This is the only co-working space in Taghazout – and it’s probably the easiest option in terms of comfort, Internet, and a community with other digital nomads.
They put on a massive buffet breakfast every day, as well as once (sometimes twice) weekly tagines for lunch.
The wifi was the best I experienced in Taghazout (although see below in the Internet section).
SunDesk could be good option for you, if…
- You aren’t too bothered about costs: It’s not expensive compared to Western countries, but you can certainly rent a house for MUCH cheaper.
- Cost?: The cheapest room is €17 a night – but that’s a shared twin, for 2 months. For a private room, you’re looking at €32 a night.
- You’re organised: It gets booked up months in advance, and there are only 14 rooms available.
- You want to stay with other digital nomads. (For me, I prefer experiencing the culture a bit more authentically)
Rent your own place – through Airbnb
Airbnb’s are pretty expensive in Taghazout. I didn’t find any for less than €1000 a month.
This might be because it’s a more backward area that isn’t as Internet-savvy – and a lot of houses are owned by locals who don’t have computers or can’t speak English.
So if you’re looking to rent an apartment, I’d recommend renting through word of mouth…
Rent your own place – through word of mouth from locals
By far, the cheapest option… if you don’t get ripped off.
I’m embarrassed to admit that, when I first arrived, I paid 3x more than I should have.
I was fooled by the locals I made “friends” with – and their chat about how I was getting a good deal, there are no apartments available at this time, it’s nice that I’m helping the landlord out who has a sick son (all lies).
You should pay €200-350 per month, for a 1 bedroom apartment. As long as you stick to your guns and don’t pay more than this – you won’t get ripped off.
After the initial rip off, my second apartment was €250 per month – and it was on the sea, with this ocean view…
There is a ridiculous amount of hostels in Taghazout.
If you’re spending a long period of time here, I’d definitely recommend finding an apartment as it’ll be cheaper than hostels – but some recommended hostels are:
- Salt Surf – fairly new hostel with super nice interior, owned by a lovely German & Moroccan couple
- The Surf Hostel – for just £10 a night, this was the cheapest place I heard about – and some of my friends stayed here, happily. As with pretty much everywhere in Taghazout, there’s a rooftop terrace here too.
As Taghazout has been scoring so highly on the Nomad Lists, I assumed the Internet would be totally fine.
It’s really not great.
It did work well at SunDesk – and as cafes go, World of Waves & Mouja definitely had the strongest connection.
But you gotta remember – Taghazout is a small surf town in Africa. There are a lot of power cuts. And this means all the wifi goes down.
In 4 months, I had 4 power cuts. The longest power cut lasted 2 hours.
However on the positive side – data is super cheap, so I often hotspot my laptop to my mobile. 1GB is 10 Moroccan Dirhams (roughly 1 Euro) – so even when the wifi is patchy, it doesn’t get in the way of work.
The currency in Morocco is the Dirham – and there’s about 10 Dirhams to the Euro. So 10 Dirhams is about 80p.
There are no ATM’s in Taghazout! And barely anywhere accepts cards.
So if you’re flying into Agadir, it might be handy to get some cash out the ATM in the airport.
How to get cash in Taghazout: Just hop in one of the many shared taxis from the centre of Taghazout and say ‘Banana Village’. There are a few different ATMs here, as well as a Western Union. And, to go back – just stroll to the other side of the road and catch another shared taxi back.
The cost? 5 Dirham each way (50 cents).
Food & Drink
There are no supermarkets in Taghazout! Only small corner-shops. Prices here are slightly marked up, compared to the supermarket in Agadir or the souk in Banana Village.
The cheapest place for grocery shopping is the souk – either the Wednesday souk in Aourir, or the souk in Agadir which is open every day except Mondays (the latter is a bit more of a trek to get to, if you don’t have a car).
Wednesday souk in Banana Village: Here, you can find fruit, veg and spices along with most things for the home (toiletries, kitchen stuff etc). Basically everything except meat, cheese or booze is sold here. It’s way cheaper than the little shops in town.
How to get here? Same as with the ATM – Just hop in one of the many shared taxis from the centre of Taghazout (by the mosque) and say ‘Banana Village’. It will drop you on the main road. You then need to carry on walking towards the big roundabout, and turn right at the roundabout. There, you have the souk.
Cafes & Restaurants
If you’re looking for coffee shops to work in, check out my post here.
Or if you’re looking for restaurants to eat out, my favourite places are…
For cheap lunches:
- La Paix – my go-to lunch because it’s SO cheap. I always get the veggie omelette which costs just 15 dirhams (1.5 euros)
- The tagine shop – right by the mosque, this is popular spot with the locals. Small tagines are 25 dirham, and the large ones for sharing are 45.
- L’Auberge: Their 4-cheese pizza with goats cheese & roquefort is AMAZING. 70 dirhams (7 euros). And they boldly claim to do “the best brownies in Taghazout” . They are pretty good…
- Sunset Burger: For the best burgers in town. For the veggies out there, they got a banging vegan burger, with goats cheese, pesto & avocado. 50 dirhams (5 euros).
- Munga Guest House: For a swankier meal, try the Italian restaurant in the guest house. Their calzone is super impressive – and it’s the only place I’ve seen gnocchi served in Taghazout. Most mains cost around 50-90 dirhams (5-9 euros).
- Mr Sardine Sandwich Man: This guy BBQs freshly caught sardines on the main road (just between the taxi rank & Le Spot) and packs them in local bread, with caramelised onions and yummy sauce. Plus it’s only 5 dirhams which is 50 cents!
Morocco is Muslim culture – so alcohol is pretty hard to find in Taghazout.
No shops sell it in Taghazout! If you want to buy beers to drink at home, you’ll have to go to the supermarket in Agadir. (About 30 min drive away)
A few hotels like Dfrost, Amouage, and Sol House have an alcohol license – so you can buy it here, but you can’t take any alcohol outside these premises, so you’ve gotta drink it here.
Instead, they drink a LOT of tea. Not the British type – this is Moroccan mint tea. They always throw a lot of sugar in – in one teapot, they usually chuck in 6-8 large sugar cubes. (they say it’s “less sweet” than British sugar, but I’m not sure I believe this!)
The nightlife is a bit strange. It’s fun – but because Taghazout is so small, and mostly full of people on holiday, the party every week is the same.
There are a couple of weekly parties: Tuesday Paradis Plage & Thursday Sol House. Both of these venues are spenny hotels – which open up their doors for a party every week.
Entry to both are free, although drinks are so expensive, it’s like being back in London! (Beers are around 60 dirham- around 6 euros a pop)
- Paradis Plage: More chilled, quiet, beach vibes where people often huddle round fire pits. Surf videos on repeat.
- Sol House: More of a crazy techno party that’s full of locals gurning their faces off while their heads are as far into the sub woofer speakers as possible. The music starts techy, then turns classic hip-hop/rnb around 11pm…then it closes at midnight. (Lots of tourists go too)
Culture & Clothing
While Taghazout is a bit of a tourist bubble (and British magnet), all the locals are still Muslim and it does still feel pretty African.
Many believe in no-sex-before-marriage & don’t drink. However, many treat girls pretty badly and completely exploit the female tourists coming here.
I’ve heard of a few different tourist girls, all falling in love with Moroccan surf instructors – and then getting completely fucked over. A common tactic from these boys is getting the girls to come back to Taghazout, with items like board shorts or surf boards with them – as the variety is apparently “better” in Europe or Bali – and the guys promise to pay them when they come. Then, they take the thing – and never pay them back.
(Not all locals are like this – but a surprising amount are.)
And all my local friends say they don’t trust anyone – not even their friends – because they have all had such bad experiences in the past. Gives the town a slightly disconcerting undertone…
With women: You don’t see many local women walking round the town, and when they are out – they wear long, cover-up clothes.
As tourists, it’s fine to wear shorts and t-shirts – but you will, most likely, get chatted up by locals, and invited into shops for tea. (But this happens regardless of what you wear!)
Things to do
There’s heaps of surf spots around Taghazout, but you do (mostly) need a car. For me as a beginner, I struggled to know where to go.
In Taghazout itself, there are two surf spots: Panorama & Hash Point.
Then you can venture a little further towards Agadir – and surf Banana Point, K17, K12, K11, Anza. Or go the opposite direction – to spots like Anchor Point, Killer Point, Camel Beach, Mystery, La Source, Boilers, or Tamri.
Surf Lessons:The cost of surf lessons totally varies on where you go. They range from 300 dirhams (30 euros) – 900 dirhams (90 euros). The latter obviously the much more expensive ones!
Tip: Some surf schools are more expensive because they teach ‘full days’ (9am-4pm). But this often ends up being 2 hours of a morning surf lesson – followed by 2 hours free surf in the afternoon. Personally I think this is a rip off. Book the half day (for half the price) and surf on your own in the afternoon.
Cost to rent a board & wetsuit:
All the surf shops rent boards for between 50 and 100 dirhams. Ask for 50, and they should give it to you for that.
There’s quite a few places you can do yoga in Taghazout – but my two favourite spots are Amouage & WOW.
- Amouage is indoors in a beaut, rooftop room overlooking the ocean. Sunrise (I think it’s at 7am although I never made it this early) & sunset (6pm).
- WOW is on the terrace outside, with my favourite instructor. Every day at 5pm.
Both cost 100 dirham (10 euros) per session. I usually choose which one depending on how cold & windy it is – and if I want to be indoors or not!
Visit Paradise Valley
About 1 hour away from Taghazout – Paradise Valley is nestled up in the mountains, and an amazing walk with pools to explore.
How to get there?
- Easiest way: Take a taxi – a return journey will cost around 400 dirhams (40 euros) where the driver will wait for you.
- Cheapest way: Take one of the shared taxis to Aourir Village (5 Dirhams). When you get out at Aourir, walk towards the roundabout, take a left and then on the right of the road there should be touristy large green vans (55 Dirhams each way). Total cost = 60 Dirhams (6 Euros).
The only downfall with this option is that the bus waits to fill up with people. I waited about 1.5 hours in Aourir – so if you’re in a hurry or aren’t so bothered about cash, I’d suggest just going by yourself.
- Most fun way: Rent a motorbike (the views driving through the valleys are insane). The cost is around 300 dirham (30 euro)
Go to the hammam
If your muscles ache after surfing, or you just want a typical Moroccan massage – head to the hammam.
What is it? 1 hour in a sauna where you get scrubbed down from head-to-toe (literally) by a Moroccan local – followed by an all-body massage.
It’s pretty full-on (they don’t miss a spot in their washing or massaging – and you are 100% naked)… but if you’re not too self conscious, it is still super relaxing.
And you get mint tea and biscuits at the end.
The cost? As with all tourist activities, here the hammam is another one where the price massively varies. Some tourists get charged 350 dirham – others get charged 600 dirham. If you book through SunDesk, you can get a hammam for 350 dirham. This includes an hour long scrub down followed by an hour long massage.
So, in summary…
I do love Taghazout. It’s so cute and small, that it felt like home immediately to me. I’ve made some great friends with both tourists and locals, and the weather is dreamy 95% of the time.
However, there isn’t a big community of digital nomads, as the only co-working space is SunDesk. The general motto in the town is pretty much ‘work sucks, go surf’ – so if you’re looking for somewhere you can get your head down, be productive and work alongside inspiring entrepreneurs – it may not be what you’re after.
If your work relies on super fast Internet, you may find it a bit infuriating at times – but if you can cope by hotspotting mobile data, then the African internet shouldn’t be too problematic.
And if you’re looking to surf – and want somewhere chilled, cheap, and warm – it might be exactly what you’re after.
Let me know how you find it 🙂