a guide to sidi kaouki | morocco's wonderfully sleepy surf town

Looking for where to stay or things to do in Sidi Kaouki, Morocco? Keep reading! 


"Excusez-moi, monsieur, d'où part le bus pour sidi kaouki?", we asked the wating taxi driver.

Free from the narrow streets of the medina, we stood in the centre of Essaouira's large square, and its make-shift bus station. Placards in windows with un-pronouncable destinations but none appeared to be heading to Sidi Kaouki. 

"You speak English? The bus next bus leaves at 3 p.m., but I take you for 150Dh."

As it happens, our bus was to found 150 metres away, and was leaving in 5 minutes. (Yeah, we know, never trust a taxi driver.)

Packed in tight between chattering older women in colourful head scarves, we hung on to the frayed rope above and turned our heads toward the breeze. Understanding little of what was said, our eyes instead fell instead to the changing landscape outside the window, where towns gave way to the country, and argan trees enveloped the land, always searching for the goats that call this part of Morocco home. A young baby gazed up, a smile spreading across his round, full face and the young mother in broken French asks where it is that we are headed. As we announce Sidi Kaouki, the ocean came into sight, and wind-worn signs in faded colours announced that we had arrived.  

We were told of Sidi Kaouki on our arrival to Essaouira, a town of white-washed walls, a strong wind and a delightful bohemian vibe. For many that visit the town made famous by Jimi Hendrix, the Morocco they long for is one of surf and solitude - a far cry from the hectic medina of Marrakech. It is perhaps of little surprise then, that the most natural spot to visit next is Sidi Kaouki; a wonderfully sleepy little village just thirty minutes away.

Here, European influence is clear. In fact, we spoke more Spanish than French. And yet it sits so perfectly alongside what is clearly an African backdrop. Camels chew nonchalantly on the beach, and old men sell hand-woven rugs on the road - and whilst those that venture into the cool water in search of virgin waves do so in swimwear, holidaying Moroccans sit upon warm sand in full islamic dress. 

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Things to do in Sidi Kaouki

All the surfing! 

No, seriously, there's a major benefit to being on the windy Atlantic coast - the waves are awesome! Whether you're into kite-surfing, wind-surfing, SUP-ing or just plain old surfing, there are few better places to spend a few days. Many hostels/hotels can source equipment for single or multi-day rentals, with surf boards available from the kiosks in the centre of the village for as little as 100 Dh per day.

 

Horse and Camel Riding.

Let's preface this with saying that we care a lot about animal welfare, and would never suggest an activity with sickly or over-worked animals - thankfully, the horses and camels that we saw in Sidi Kaouki looked incredibly well cared for. Whilst most people opt for an hour long ride along the beach (horses cost 120 Dh per hour, whereas camels cost only 80 Dh), there is the possibility to rent for the day.

 

Spot Flamingoes in the wild.

Yep, yet another reason to visit Morocco in the winter months - the chance to spot wild flamingoes in the local river. It also happens to be a lovely walk from the village.

 

Quad bike rental

Dunes, dirt roads and rugged landscapes - Sidi Kaouki is kind of perfect for days quad bike rental. Best arranged through your accommodation provider once you arrive into the village, expect to pay around £50 for three hour rental of one quad.

 

Relax!

Sure, there's plenty of things to do in this magical little village, but there's a good reason why many people visit and end up doing very little - Sidi Kaouki is the sort of place you go for a night, stay for a week and barely leave your hammock. And, quite frankly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, that's what Sidi Kaouki's beach is made for!

Where to stay in Sidi Kaouki

For a small town, Sidi Kaouki has an amazing choice of accommodation, where even the 'expensive options' really aren't that expansive! Looking for hotel in Sidi Kaouki, a hostel or the fanciest riad, here are our picks.

Sidi Kaouki Beach Hostel. Run by a wonderfully friendly and helpful couple, this hostel is clean, with a well-equipped kitchen and a fantastic terrace. It's also amazing value with dorms from just £8.

Sidi Kaouki Al Vent. We only stopped in here for a quick bite to eat, but were so distracted by their amazing terrace and covert wine, that hours passed before we could drag ourselves away. They also happen to have great value doubles that we would have been more than happy to bed down in for a couple of nights.

Auberge De La Plage. If having proper outdoors space (think beautiful gardens and several hammocks) is important to you, then consider this spot. Large and airy open plan communal rooms and tidy bedrooms - and of course, the ubiquitous, but ever wonderful, roof terrace. It's also only £29 for a double!

How to get to Sidi Kaouki

How you choose to get here depends very much upon how long you intend to stay, and how much energy you feel like exerting! However, put simply, you have three options: bike, bus or taxi from Essaouira to Sidi Kaouki. For a full breakdown with costs and times, please see this article.


 

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Whether you live to surf or love a quiet pace of life, if you're travelling along Morocco's Atlantic Coast, you need to visit Sidi Kaouki!