Welcome back to ESL Gypsy. Before we get into this week’s post, a big ‘thank you’ goes out to the beautiful and talented Sabrina Leskovsek for sharing her insights on Moroccan travel. This week, we’re going to take you back out on the road to the beautiful town of Taghazout in southern Morocco. Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America have been hotspots for digital nomads because of the awesome quality of life and low cost of living. Parts of Europe are becoming more and more popular too as digital nomads seek to set up camp in places like Spain, Portugal, or Italy. Africa is an often-overlooked part of the world for digital nomads seeking adventure and a low cost of living.
Taghazout is a small fishing village with a population of roughly 35,000 people. It’s a super chilled out town that was part of the North African ‘hippie trail’ throughout the 1960s and 70s. Today, it has been transformed into a popular tourist destination, with lots of hostels, hotels, and guesthouses. With plenty of surf camps and yoga retreats, Taghazout retains that same Bohemian vibe that it had 50 years earlier.
What to Do
Surf. Morocco is famous for offering some of the best righthand pointbreaks on the planet. Killer Point, Anchor Point, Hash Point, and Panorama are some of the most famous pointbreaks in Taghazout. Other great surfing spots include La Source and Mysteries. One of the best things about Taghazout is that it offers a range of spots from beginners who want to give surfing a try to more advanced surfers looking for world-class waves.
Many of the surf schools and accommodation in Morocco are based around a surf/yoga retreat package. Many of these, including SurfMaroc and Waters Edge, can be a bit pricey. But if it’s an all-inclusive package that you’re looking for, then they do meet all your needs and provide a great travel experience. My concern as a digital nomad is the quality and stability of internet in these camps. If you’re interested in going to Morocco for the yoga, then perhaps look to schedule your classes after you arrive as you may save a bit of money off the all-inclusive packages and you can focus on being in an area that will allow you to teach.
In addition to all that Taghazout offers, Agadir is only a short trip to the south (23 km). It offers beautiful beaches, great surf, and fantastic shopping in old bazaars. It’s definitely something to plan for a day!
Working from Morocco
Internet can be spotty in remote parts of Morocco, particularly in the mountains. However, the 3G and 4G internet toggles are sufficient for online work from bigger cities and coastal resort areas. For those interested in staying in Taghazout for a short stay of only a few months, accommodation at SunDesk may represent the easiest and most convenient option. SunDesk is a modern coworking space that offers private Skype rooms. It doubles as a co-living space that allows location independent workers to live right on sight. Prices are reasonable, with a shared twin room going for 20.50€ per person per day for a one month stay (including access to office space with internet and daily breakfast). For those staying two months or longer, the price drops to 18€ per person per day.
SunDesk also organizes surfing, yoga, and running activities. Unlike the pricier all-inclusive yoga packages at some resorts, SunDesk allows you to pay per class (10€), so you can practice when you feel it’s most convenient for you. Renting surfing equipment is also far more affordable than many spots in Europe, with daily equipment rentals starting at 7.70€ per day. If you’re staying for a bit, ask them about long-term rental options.
Things move a bit more slowly in Morocco, but that’s not to say things are inefficient or impossible. For those wishing to stay for 90 days or less, no visa is required. However, there are visa options for those who want to stay longer. If you intend to be in Morocco for more than 90 days, apply for a residence card prior to your departure. This takes a few months, but once you have the card in hand, you will be able to bank in Morocco. The card is good for one year and can be renewed. For more info on the specifics of obtaining your residency card, check out the terrific article by Brooke Cobb on the Escape Artist.
The world is definitely shrinking. I can remember going to Ubud in Bali twenty years ago and seeing nothing but rice fields. Now, villas and Eat, Pray, Love tours make it difficult to steal a moment’s peace. While North Africa is gaining traction as a destination for location independent workers- even as a hotbed for start-ups, it still remains a more off-the-beaten-path location when compared with places like Bali and Thailand.