The View from Fez has just visited Sidi Kaouki, a small village some 25km south of Essaouira, on a 5km-long sandy beach.
If you like long walks on the beach, horseriding or camel riding, this is a great place for a few days. The exposed beach gets plenty of wind, though - there's even a wind farm a couple of kilometres north of the village.
Sidi Kaouki himself, after whom the village is named, is buried in a marabout on the rocks (pictured above). He was a saint who lived in the late 19th century and was known for his healing powers. Pilgrims like to visit his shrine. Behind the village are forests of argane, mimosa and juniper.
Surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are all hugely popular. There's an exposed beach break that has quite reliable surf and can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds blow from the south. It tends to receive a mix of groundswells and windswells and the ideal swell direction is from the northwest. The beach breaks offer lefts and rights. The quality of the surf isn't affected by the tide. Even when there are waves, it's not likely to be crowded and it's good for experienced surfers as well as beginners, though you should watch out for rocks.
The Auberge de la Plage was recommended as a good place to stay, and that it certainly was. Delightfully rustic with a terrace ideal for watching the sun set as well as a shady garden, it was perfect as a quiet getaway. Fishermen bring their catch to the door, so the fish is always fresh and well-cooked. At the nearby Surfcenter, you can rent boards and equipment, and opt for lessons from qualified instructors. There's also a restaurant and bar.
Now we're so laid back, we're in danger of falling off our surfboards.
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