From the palatial riads of Marrakech to the sparkling shores of Agadir, Morocco is a yoga paradise, combining mountains, dunes and sea. Here are five of the best retreats, with plenty of opportunities to trade your yoga mat for a surfboard.
Sun-kissed mountains and golden beaches are the backdrop for most yoga treats in Morocco, where the landscape and culture align perfectly with yogic values. A subtropical climate ensures ten months of outdoor practice throughout the year. With nourishing and flavorful local cuisine, each meal is a feast for body and soul, while even the most rustic accommodations have a touch of luxury thanks to artisanal decor, natural materials and plush Berber rugs. Nothing compares to a traditional hammam to soothe chaturanga muscles in a steamy cloud of zen, and an infinity pool is never much farther than you can throw your yoga mat.
Depending on proximity to the ocean, surfing may be an optional extra or a significant part of your retreat. Morocco is the surfing Mecca of North Africa, particularly along the coastal strip of Tamraght, Taghazout and Imsouane, with pointbreaks that offers waves for all surf levels. Yoga certainly offers the ideal flexibility and balance training for both beginners and more advanced surfers gliding the waves. Whether you prefer to experience some of the bustle of Fez and Marrakech, breathe the cleansing mountain air in the Atlas ranges, or opt for beachside bliss in Essaouira, here are five retreats in Morocco that will leave you on a yoga high.
7-Day Yoga, Meditation, and Nature Retreat in Taghazout
La Vida Surf’s weeklong retreat takes place in the Villa Dar Shajara, tucked away in the hills a UNESCO biosphere reserve, surrounded by argan trees. With daily sunrise and sunset yoga sessions, your sun salutations will take place on a rooftop shala with 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Atlas Mountains. Healthy organic meals and smoothes are served by the pool or garden, and evenings may be spent getting to know the other yogis at the retreat around the fireplace. Wake up to authentic Moroccan mint tea and a session of meditation and journaling; afternoons will include free time for hammam relaxation or surfing lessons. From US$666 / 7 days
5-Day Morocco Yoga Retreat: Souk, Desert, and Mountain Adventure Near Marrakech
In this 5-day retreat in a quiet Berber village on the outskirts of Marrakech, you will practice yoga on the rooftop with invigorating mountain views or in the light-filled indoor studio. The groudns feature two pools, secret terraces, gardens, and a spa and hammam in situ for all your pampering needs. Jenny, founder of The Wild Times yoga retreat, leads daily vinyasa, yin and meditation sessions for all levels of yoga experience. Activities for the group include an outing to the souk bazaar, three-course sunset dinner in the desert, hammam steam bath and scrub, and a hiking picnic in the Atlas mountains. From US$1,127 / 5 days
8-Day Yoga & Fitness Retreat in Boho Surf Villa, Morocco
Templeshape’s fitness-oriented yoga retreat takes place in a beautiful private surf house in Imsouane, a picturesque beach town in southwestern Morocco. The stylish Dar Zitoun villa is indeed just four minutes from the surf bay, which you can glimpse from bedrooms with an ocean view. It’s not all relaxation, though: morning yoga sessions by the pool include a bootcamp fitness element to invigorate you throughout the day, while afternoons will alternate between fitness, yoga and surfing. A dedicated kitchen team ensures that active yogis support their training with healthy lunches and high-protein dinners. From US$1,459 / 8 days
8-Day Yoga & Marrakech Oasis Retreat in Morocco
Teachers Perumal Koshy and Ines Stephan take a holistic approach to this 8-day retreat near Marrakech. Three hours of yoga practice daily are spread across a morning and afternoon session, tailored to the experience level and needs of the group. The three vegetarian meals are fragrant, hearty Moroccan cuisine with a hint of Italian influence, the personal touch of riad host Marco Bonvicini. Lodgings are spacious, tastefully and authentically decorated, with suites featuring romantic terraces and fireplaces – the perfect place to chill after an afternoon vinyasa session. Free time may be spent exploring the Medina and other sites in the capital, enjoying a massage at extra cost, or simply lounging by the blue-tiled pool. From US$1,297 / 8 days
3-Day Surf and Yoga Holiday in Sidi Kaouki, Essaouira
This short retreat in the serene surfing village of Sidi Kaouki is the perfect getaway for yogis wanting to try surfing in safe conditions. Daily rooftop yoga with a panoramic view of the ocean will prepare you to be one with the board. Boards, wetsuits and all other quality equipment is provided in surf lessons for all levels, given by Federal Brevet (BF1) qualified instructors and local guides who grew up reading the Essaouira waves. And if you do manage to pick up some groundswell, the team will be there to take photos. Villa Zina offers a cosy and relaxing base, where the in-house chef Naima will prepare healthy Moroccan dishes. From US$361 / 3 days