Essaouira is a kitesurfer’s dream. A cultural hub located about 3 hours from Marrakesh, it’s one of Morocco’s oldest and most well-known port cities. Located in the middle of the Moroccan coastline and behind a large island called Mogador, Essaouira has always been a prosperous city due to it’s safe harbor and rich culture. Now-a-days, this place is home to one of the biggest kitesurfing industries in the world.
Kitesurfing Conditions in Essaouira:
Best Season: All year round
Working wind directions: N, NW, NNW
Water Conditions: Choppy, Waves
Level of Riding: All levels
Due to the convergence of offshore winds and downshore winds, along with the shape of the beach and proximity to the Northeast trade winds, this special place receives reliable year-round winds and large swells which makes kitesurfing quite exciting. The wind quality in Essaouira is consistent and steady. There is about at 70-80% wind reliability all-year round.
The best time for beginners is between 9 and 11 in the mornings, since the winds have just started kicking up and the ocean is calmer. After 11, the wind usually picks up speed and this can be a good time for intermediate kitesurfers. After 12 o’clock, the winds are usually quite strong and keep up their speed until sundown.
Average Temperature and Percentage of Windy Days x Month
Green bars show the percentage of days for each month with more than 4Bft (11-16knots):
Pros for Kitesurfing in Essaouira:
+ Good infrastructure to travel with your Family
+ Possibility to surf if there’s no wind
+ Just a short flight from Europe
+ Very cheap
+ Different culture
+ Very reliable wind statistics
+ Good for both freestyle and kitewave
Cons for Kitesurfing in Essaouira:
– Violent gusts during summer season
Closest Airport to Essaouira:
How to Get to Essaouira:
Direct Flights from Brussels (BRU), London (STN), Paris (ORY), Lyon (LYS), Casablanca (CMN), Marseille (MRS) and Bordeaux (BOD).
From Agadir (AGA)
Drive: 180km – 2h36min - Approximate fuel cost: 14€ to 22€
Bus Ride: 3 times a day – 180km – 3h30min - 5€ to 8€ - Operator: CTM
Shuttle – Twice a day - 180km – 3h42min - 20€ - Operator: Souk to Surf
From Marrakesh (RAK):
Drive: 183km – 2h21min - Approximate fuel cost: 15€ to 23€
Shuttle – On demand - 180km – 2h38min - 60€ to 80€ - Operator: Challa Transport
How to get around Essaouira:
The beach is only 10 minutes away from the old town, where most hotels are. Moreover, local kiteschools organise transport and daily trips to further spots, so that’s pretty handy and in case you need to go anywhere else, there are also the local blue taxis.
If you book accommodation on Essaouira Bay make sure it’s close to the beach, so you can walk to the spot.
But if you want to search for the perfect waves on the coast, it is better to have a car. Just try to be careful not to leave anything in it when it is parked.
Renting a car in Essaouira is not expensive – it starts from 137€ for a week (Mini or Economic).
Kite Spots in Essaouira:
The spot of Essaouira is a bay of 3kms of sand. A wind side blowing all year round, and offshore, the island of Mogador. This island is 1 km from the coast, protects the bay from the swell and filters the waves and the current of the Atlantic. It mostly hosts easy freeride conditions. Near Fort Portugais in the south there’s a modest beach-break, but it rarely exceeds head-high – a great bolt-hole when the rest of the area’s too hardcore. The only drawback being that the prevailing northerly’s very gusty. But the local infrastructure makes up for this with kite and windsurf outfits offering kit and lessons, there are also beach cafés, camel rides.
This spot is about a 20-minute drive away to the north. Quite a small sandy beach, but a great kitespot with the perfect waves. From March to June, perfect spot for the surfers and kitesurfers with the waves around 1.5 up to 3 meters high. Until the early ’90s, Moulay Bouzerktoun was a blank spot on the map. No electricity or water, but loads of wind and perfect waves ridden by just a few adventurers. These days it’s one of the most renowned summer spots for European waveriders, sporting two waves over the reef plate. One breaks at the foot of the cliffs, the other further south at the actual 'beach’, which also serves as base-camp for campervans. The waves are best on a push tide, but don’t be too eager as towards low water there’s precious little depth and waist-deep holes in the reef lurking at the launch.
This spot is a great summertime hide-away as it blows less than Moulay. With cross-onshore wind, the waves even get a bit bigger – but no cleaner. The rocky backdrop doesn’t really endear it to kiters. Below the little fishing village of Bibah a small, partially standing-depth lagoon opens up behind a few rocks, offering freestyle conditions. To the left of the lagoon there’s access to open ocean.
Sidi Kaouki is a wave spot located at the south of Essaouira. It’s a large open sandy beach with pretty reliable, but offshore winds blowing from the south. You may need to be extra careful here with the rocks. It works best in smaller swell as bigger waves often close-out, especially at low tide – packing a spare mast isn’t a bad idea at high either.
With swell on a flood tide, Taguinza has the area’s cleanest wave. It’s also where the wind starts first, and it blows up to 10 knots stronger than Moulay or Sidi Kaouki in the afternoon. The wind blows cross-off with ideal conditions for riding waves and boosting aerials, even if it is always a bit gusty.
No Wind Activities in Essaouira:
Exploring the Medina (Old Town)
Tasting Moroccan Food
Getting a professional massage
Camel and Horse Riding
Keep in mind that Morocco is a muslim country, and, as such, there are certain rules you should respect. Rude behaviour, titting out on the beach and especially drinking around, especially during Ramadan is simply (and understandably) unacceptable.
KSH Partners in Essaouira:
Essaouira Kite Paradise & Miramar Hotel – Kitesurf packages from 490€
Essaouira Kite Paradise & Riad Souiri – Nightly from 25€
Surf House – Nightly from 45€
Ananas Kitesurfing - Kitesurf packages from 580€