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Banish those winter blues and discover Morocco’s sea resorts

26th November 2012 Print

With more than 3,500 kilometres of coast on two seafronts, all year round warm temperatures and long hours of sunshine, Morocco is a first rate destination for sea lovers any month of the year.

Perfect for those winter months the beautiful emerald green waters and long stretches of golden sand as well as the vibrant and bustling cities, Morocco’s coastal roads are paved with gems starting in Saïdia, in the northeast, going through to Tangier , Rabat and Casablanca, to El Jadida/Mazagan and Essaouira, to Agadir and continuing due south to Dakhla.

Mediterrania Saidia, for the perfect family getaway

On the northern coast of the eastern border of Morocco, Saïdia is a next generation resort which brilliantly caters to enthusiasts of relaxation and wide-open spaces. Saïdia, with its beautifully-maintained beaches, protected natural environment and shaded parks, offers everything needed and more to ensure an unforgettable family holiday. The long sandy beach and rich turquoise sea are hard to resist and compel visitors to try an array of exciting water sports. Beautiful scenic strolls can be taken along expansive coastal tracks, in the new marina with its 850 moorings, or at the mouth of the Moulouya river, a biological and ecological site of interest and home to several hundred bird species. Sixty kilometres south of Saïdia, Oudja is a wonderful destination for a leisurely walk with its Kasbah's lofty fortifications and picturesque medina.

Tangier/Tetouan, the charm of the northern coast

Further west along the coast, Tangier appears majestically above the Strait of Gibraltar. Once a popular hangout among artists and writers, from Paul Bowles to Allen Ginsberg and Matisse, the laid back and chic city centre is a mere thirty minute drive from beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean to the east. Below the protruding Cap Spartel, beaches stretch as far as the eye can see beyond the Mirage hotel, where fleets of surfers can be seen enjoying the reliably impressive waves. On the Mediterranean side, on the Al-Hoceima road, after the Cap Malabata, crystal clear inlets and tranquil beaches alternate. A few kilometres away, the long beaches of Tetouan adequately match the beauty of those of Tangier. Small traditional boats sit on the Oued Laou beach, while the Cabo Negro is deservedly renowned for scenic horseback rides.

Rabat, a capital city open to the ocean

Located 280 kilometres south of Tangier at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, the kingdom's capital is an elegant and sophisticated city. The city centre is pleasantly green and open to the ocean and its dynamism and modernity rival its cultural and historic heritage. Twenty kilometres south of Rabat on the sea front, the splendid Skhirat beach enjoys a wonderful microclimate all year round. This small gem is renowned for its beautiful lagoon and vast stretches of sand. Closer to town, the Oudayas' beach, at the foot of the kasbah, is Rabat's largest sand beach and a safe spot for surfers of all levels.

Casablanca, between business and relaxation

One hundred kilometres further, "Casa" personifies modern Morocco. The city, renowned for its glorious Art Deco buildings, is Morocco's largest and the capital of the Grand Casablanca region. A particular highlight is the Boulevard d'Anfa, a palm-lined avenue studded with pavement cafes, whilst the Aïn-Diab Corniche provides the ideal meeting point where locals and visitors alike come to stroll and soak up the atmosphere in one of the many cafe terraces. Further north along the coast, Mohammedia, known as the city of flowers, offers pristine golf courses, luxury hotels, and a yachting resort. Another twenty kilometres north, Bouznika and its splendid beaches is considered to be one the finest sea resorts of the Atlantic coast.

El Jadida/Mazagan, for customised holidays

Ninety kilometres from Casablanca, Mazagan is the new luxury ocean resort and its vibrancy and diversity will be sure to capture the imagination. Kerzner International, developer of prestigious sea resorts, designed Mazagan in an exceptional environment, at the edge of a green eucalyptus forest overlooking the magnificent beach of El Haouzia. Just a stone's throw away, El Jadida and Azemmour, two beautiful 16th century fortified port cities, are sure to delight visitors with their rich historic and cultural heritage. Half-way between El Jadida and Safi, Oualidia is well known for its amazing 12-kilometre long lagoon, and delicious fresh oysters.

Essaouira Mogador, a preserved gem

Two hours further south, the new resort of Essaouira Mogador offers luxury and authenticity. Essaouira's remarkable seaside citadel and its medina, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, are sure to seduce lovers of history and culture. Three kilometres away, nested in a 600-hectare forest estate and protected by a spectacular natural dune, the high-end Mogador resort serves as the perfect setting for visitors to relax and daydream. The entire resort has been designed to respect the environment, and embodies the sustainable development position set out in the Vision 2020 programme.

Agadir, sun, well-being and beauty

Further along the Atlantic coast, the sun-kissed city of Agadir is the main sea resort in Morocco with a truly miraculous climate. Visitors are treated to a wide 10-kilometre long beach of fine sand, basked in sun for 300 days of the year. Average temperatures range from 35°C in July and August to a perfect 20°C in the winter months. Also known as "the pearl of southern Morocco", it is a member of the very select club of "The Most Beautiful Bays in the World". Agadir also knows how to combine the benefits of the ocean and the Moroccan art de vivre with world-renowned thalassotherapy, balneotherapy, spa, hammam and argan oil treatments. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday, cultural discovery, or an active adventure, Agadir suits every taste.

Dakhla, active holidays and wide open spaces

Due south, the bay of Dakhla remains one of Morocco's best kept secrets. In the midst of breath-taking scenery, this little-known fishing port is on the edge of a sublime blue lagoon. Its beaches, framed by immense sand dunes, provide the ideal observation posts to watch an amazing fauna of migratory birds, seals and dolphins. To protect endangered species, the region will soon become a national park. Dakhla is also a paradise for wind- and kite-surfers: the water is always 25°C, the wind is consistent, and the waves break as perfect long right-handers.

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