Windsurfing courses in Essaouira – which club to choose?
Morocco, and in particular Essaouira and its surroundings, reveals many spots for surfing enthusiasts. It is difficult to get bored after surfing, kiting or windsurfing as the city, formerly called Mogador, a fortified city on the Atlantic coast, is a must visit due to its atypical fishing port and blue fishing boats. The medina – the old town and historical centre – which abounds in 18th century architecture, is also a great experience, with its souk and tasty traditional restaurants.
How to get to Essaouira
Essaouira is a treasure for water sports enthusiasts! The airport is only 30 minutes away from the city, and welcomes several airlines, some with direct flights, and from various European cities. Another option is to land in Marrakech or Agadir where the onward journey time is about 2h45 from either city. There are cheap shuttles between the airports and the centre of Essaouira, as well as taxis, but at a much higher price. It might be better to rent a car, which will allow you to discover other windsurfing spots and various places around Essaouira, such as Sidi Kaouki and Moulay.
The best time to windsurf in Essaouira
The wind blows all year round in Essaouira, which is why the ION CLUB centre remains open from January to December. Those who like strong winds should go there between May and August for the best chance to have winds of at least 30 knots in the afternoons. The mornings are less windy, which is a good time for beginner and intermediate windsurfing lessons. The wind blows side-shore on the starboard side all year round, less so in the winter season and with less regularity. However, the waves are more present than in the summer, which leaves the choice between windsurfing or surfing, both very popular in Essaouira and its surroundings.
The best windsurfing spots in Essaouira
Essaouira Bay is 5 km wide, and is the ideal spot for all types of windsurfing, from beginners to those who like to play and jump in the waves. The ION CLUB centre is located here, and has been for almost 30 years, for those wanting to rent windsurfing equipment or take lessons at any level. Windsurfing in Essaouira is part of the history of the city, but also of surfing holidays in general, as it is indeed one of the first windsurfing destinations which became known outside of Europe.
For the wave and surf enthusiasts, Moulay is a must! A small village located 25 minutes drive from Essaouira where the wind statistics are incredible, and with a side-shore wind all year round. Sidi Kaouki is also a spot to try, with often stronger wind blowing side-onshore.
Which ION Club windsurfing courses should I choose?
A wide range of windsurfing courses is offered by the ION CLUB centre in Essaouira. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, lessons can cover riding in the harness and footstraps, planing, the jibe or even the speed loop … everything is possible! In order to guarantee a quality course, new windsurfers will learn windsurfing in private lessons, and this is also the case for those who are progressing. For advanced riders, semi-private and private lessons are set up to learn how to waveride, or even to leave Morocco knowing what a shaka or a willy skipper is (freestyle windsurfing tricks).
Where to stay in Essaouira?
You will find rooms in luxury or standard hotels, or better still in a Riad (with patio or inner garden), flats, guest houses and villas …it really is quite easy to find accommodation to suit your needs in beautiful Essaouira and its surroundings. In the medina, near the beach or near the ION CLUB centre, there is ample accommodation for windsurfers and their families throughout the year. Early booking is highly recommended for the summer holidays, but it is rare to find no accommodation in Essaouira.
The biggest hotel near the windsurfing spot in Essaouira is probably the Atlas Essaouira and Spa, located halfway between ION CLUB and the old town. Perhaps some would prefer something smaller and more authentic or even more family friendly like Vent des Dunes. Most hotel rooms offer breakfast, and half-board is often an option. Many tourists like to head to the medina to find a local, typically Moroccan restaurant to get their taste buds tingling. For those a little further out from the city centre, it is very easy to find a taxi which is not expensive.
Things to do in and around Essaouira
Surfing, walking, riding a camel or a horse, or even mountain biking, there is ample to do. The beaches of the Essaouira region are definitely worth a visit, as is the small fishing village of Moulay for its tranquility and natural beauty, and to meet the locals. After you have enjoyed your non-windsurfing programme, why not choose to relax in one of the many spas in the city, after all, relaxation is part of Moroccan culture.
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