Adventures in Morocco
Kitesurfing, sandboarding and mountian climbing, oh my! We'll take you for a walk on the wild side of this African jewel.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Chadner Navarro
Contrary to what you see in the movies, Morocco is more than just the exotic land of camels, royalty and snake charmers. The country — boasting incredibly diverse topography that includes a sea coast, a mountain range and desert — is in fact packed with adventure opportunities that will not only test your fitness and endurance but also afford the kind of experience rarely affiliated with this North African culture powerhouse.
1 Kitesurfing in Essaouira
Considered the wind capital of Africa, Essaouira (on the Atlantic coast two hours west of Marrakech) is a popular destination for all sorts of kite-related water sports. In fact, the city plays host to the Essaouira Kiteboard World Cup every year. Thus, a visit here won’t be complete unless you’re strapped to a board and holding on to a massive kite that’ll guide your way. A beginner? No worries. There’s no shortage of kitesurfing schools here.FIND IT >
2 Highlining at the Todra Gorges
Todra is probably the most well-known rock-climbing destination in all of Morocco (and shouldn’t be missed for its beauty), but recently, traveling adventure group Somewhere Else Land bolted the country's first highlines on the area's gorges and then dared to cross them. According to Somewhere Else Land’s Jordan Tybon, locals are thrilled that travelers are enjoying their landscapes in a new way. To see for yourself, click the link below to watch the video.FIND IT >
3 Sandboarding in the Sahara
Morocco has snowcapped mountains, so skiing or boarding in the winter is easy enough to do, but for a more unusual activity, try shredding on the sand dunes of the Sahara. The desert heat can make it notably more exhausting and energy-sapping than doing it on snow, but it’s exhilaratingly fun, and falling here can be a lot less painful.Find it >
4 Surfing in Dakhla
Located on the western edge of the Sahara on the Atlantic, this bohemian oasis’s super laidback vibe has attracted surfer types from all over. For less gnarly affairs, Dakhla also offers a wealth of fishing opportunities with the local community.Find it >
5 Mountain Climbing in the Atlas
Mount Toubkal is the second highest peak in all of Africa (after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania) so trekkers (with or without muled guides) have made it a point to tackle its terrain, which includes everything from crossing plateaus and streams to steep uphill climbs. Just 63 kilometers south of Marrakech, heading to Mount Toubkal is the perfect outdoorsy respite from the city’s bustling medina and non-stop party outposts, like satellites of famed clubs Pacha and Nikki Beach.FIND IT >
6 Marathon du Sables
Held since 1986, this ultra marathon is a six-day, 251-kilometer footrace across southern Morocco’s stretch of the Sahara desert. Widely considered the toughest marathon in the world (temperatures can reach up to 125 degrees Farenheit), Marathon du Sables (Marathon of the Sand) attracts roughly 1,000 participants – who must each carry all the food and personal belongings they would need for the entire event (organizers provide the tents and water) – each year.FIND IT >