After an action-packed Sahara desert road trip (read here and here), I was ready to slow things down. My favorite way to unwind and get zen is to be by the ocean, do some yoga and go for a hike. Magic Surf Morocco was the perfect host for my wellness retreat. I spent 4 days doing exactly what I wanted to do: go surfing, doing yoga, eating homemade Moroccan meals, getting scrubbed in a hammam and being in nature. I always need this kind of trip after a busy and packed one. Jordyn and I took the bus from Marrakech to Agadir, which was only a 3-hour bus ride. Sabine, the manager, and owner of Magic Surf picked us up and whisked us away to the villa.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience in life but it’s when you meet someone for the first time but you feel like you’ve known them for your whole life. Meeting Sabine was like that for me. We instantly clicked and I knew this would be a great trip. When we arrived at the villa, Sabine warned us that it wasn’t ready yet because the entire villa was being renovated and to excuse the appearance. I didn’t even notice because we arrived to a candle-lit dinner with the entire staff and a home-cooked meal. I can sum up my entire experience with Magic Surf like a family bonding experience; a family you love to hang out with. After only one day together, we were sharing stories, singing, and hanging out with each other like we’ve known each other for years.
Magic Surf Morocco in Aourir is a small town between Agadir and Taghazout. The mornings started off by finding the best surf spot with Rachid, our surfing instructor. The first thing I noticed was that the beaches were virtually empty. I’ve been to some of best surfing destinations in the world: Bali, Costa Rica and Southern California but none of them were as desolated as Morocco. I asked Sabine if this was normal and she said that the area is still virtually unknown except for pro-surfers. As I was riding the waves, I couldn’t help but think…it’s December and I’m surfing! I was having so much fun that I didn’t realize I was surfing for 3 hours straight. I’m just an ocean person and anytime I spend there, I immediately feel healed and at peace. What is it about the ocean that does that? Another wild thing about this beach is you will see camels and men selling tea. At Rockaway Beach in New York City, you get the “nutcrackers” which consists of island rum and juice and pigeons.
Yoga is just so much better at the beach. The soft sand underneath you and the rhythmic sounds of the waves to calm you; it’s all majestic! Surfing and yoga go hand-in-hand because you end up doing a lot of yoga moves on the surfboard. There’s something so zen about surfing and yoga that just gets you centered immediately.
When I travel, my go-to workouts are running, yoga and hiking. Hiking is the best way to get a work out in and to be immersed in nature. Sabine suggested we hike through Paradise Valley to the natural watering hole. It was an easy 30-minute hike through a gorge to the watering hole. It was too cold to swim in the water so we just chilled on the rocks. What I love about this part of Morocco is that you can eat fish tagines which soon became my favorite kind. Sabine and Rachid know all the best local spots because they are locals themselves.
On our last day, Sabine took us to the Agadir souk for lunch; a fresh seafood lunch to be exact. What I love about souks in Morocco is that you can literally buy everything and anything in one place-Leather bags, food, furniture, and argan oil. The food was good, fresh and affordable. The souks in Morocco are always chaotic, rich with smells and noises, and a destination; quite like New York City.
I believe with anything in life, it’s the experience that matters but it’s also the people. There are tons of surf and yoga retreats in Agadir but I’m confident that none of them have the people like Magic Surf. Sabine, Rachid and the staff-they treat you like you’re family. They really take care of you. This is the only experience I’ve had in Morocco. When people ask me if Morocco is safe, I tell them that I’ve only experienced the friendliness and the warmest hospitality. The surfing, yoga, hiking, eating fresh food, and more importantly the friendships I’ve made on this trip, made my heart so full! Book your Moroccan wellness retreat with Magic Surf yoga for 2018!