Guest review: Holly wants you all to try a surf and yoga holiday right now
Holly chose a surf and yoga holiday in Tamraght, Morocco, for something more exotic and a price that couldn’t be beat.
In a very strange turn of events in the travel industry, she basically convinced me that I need to do this holiday – while normally I’m telling people why they should take the plunge.
Holly really put a new challenging holiday into perspective, and even suggests that we all have a go on our own. Need any convincing? Here’s what she had to say…
Who did you travel with?
I travelled alone, and of course, my lovely, paranoid father was a nervous wreck about it the entire time leading up to the holiday. But sometimes, you need to take time for yourself, and just be who you want to be and do what you want to do.
There is no point trying to convince friends to do an activity holiday with you that they aren’t really into, when the whole group already there is doing exactly what they want to be doing – just like you.
And how was the holiday as a solo traveller?
This holiday was effortless. It is so much easier on your own! When you’re by yourself, others gravitate towards you, as they don’t feel they are interrupting as perhaps they would if approaching a couple or small group. It was non stop introductions and invites.
When you’re a solo traveller meeting people, you have the luxury of declining, or joining in with people at the last minute. There is no pressure to do anything (unlike when you travel with someone else). No one is relying on you, and it is all laid back.
Who else was on the holiday?
The group of people there on the week I attended were very mixed; and if I had to guess, I would say mostly in their 20-30s, along with 50/50 men and women.
You find that there’s tons of surf schools on the same beach and everyone interacts and mingles. Just as all the different surf instructors from other schools know each other, you’ll start finding the same people on the beach and in the water to interact with. It is in no way limited to the people at your surf camp!
One of my best nights out was with a friend I had met from another camp on the beach, and we hit the local market. When you’re not surfing, there’s volleyball, football, and picnicking, all right on the beach, and everyone is always encouraged to join in. This may done as subtle as having a ball kicked to you, or in a huge arm wave with shouts of “come on over, we need more players”.
It is without doubt a very communal beach vibe – so much in fact, that if you’re introvert, it may not be great for you – unless you’re great at saying no!
What was a typical day like?
Days do have a real schedule to them. At 7:30am, there is yoga, which honestly, I thought I would hate. However, once I got up and finished it, I realised it is a great way to wake up, feel better, and welcome the day.
Afterwards, begins the food of the day – and there is A LOT of it. Breakfast can start with pancakes, eggs, and fresh juice; lunch may be pasta, sweets and fruits, then guys on the beach are literally giving out free snacks like sugar nuts to keep your energy up – you are forever grazing.
After surf, you have some free time to just play in the water or sunbathe on the beach; or of course join in on any game happening on the beach if you’re feeling up to it. Back at the camp, you may have some tea and cakes before hitting another yoga session.
Later comes the daily wind down with a huge, homemade Moroccan dinner on the roof terrace (let us not forget dessert!). It is an epic amount of daily food. Imagine my shock when I still lost weight on holiday! For the first time ever, I lost a dress size on a holiday while eating non stop. If that doesn’t inspire you, not sure what will!
How did you spend your evenings?
Evenings are up to you. You can add on extra yoga lessons after surfing, which is a great added bonus. Again, every night is a beautiful Moroccan spread by Chef Omar with communal dinners, and music, and everyone gets to relax and chill out.
You normally spend the evening hanging on the terrace, watching the sunset, playing some drums, or unwinding with a few drinks. Although alcohol can’t be purchased at the surf camp, it can be purchased locally. The hosts will send you a pre-arrival email on how to get around to get your fix of beers, wine, or anything else you may crave after a day in the sun.
There are some local restaurants and shops, within walking distance. But overall it is somewhat secluded and quiet. There is a local surf town about a 10 minute drive away with more of a nightlife (if you have the energy!), and your hosts are willing to drop off and pick up free of charge, as you should get a sense of a local night out in a surfer’s paradise at least once.
Was this your first time surfing? Didn’t you feel nervous?
This was absolutely my first time surfing. Everyone around you are of all levels, shapes and sizes, and once you’re zipped into that wetsuit you don’t even think about it; you’re all a mass of black bobbing in a vast sea. This was was not a beach packed with babes (let go of any Baywatch misconceptions), just normal people; some up, some down, some face first, some bobbing along. Everyone is equal on the beach!
Here’s how it went for me (being a beginner):
Day 1: Practice on the beach with others who are newbies. Joke around a lot and fall, swallow a never ending supply of salt water. Many people got up in the water on the board! I was not one of them.
Day 2: More of that free saltwater. I got up! I also learned to bite it with more grace (less saltwater).
Day 3: Bit it with grace. Minimal saltwater.
Day 4: I got this shit.
Some days I didn’t feel like surfing (as it can wear you out), and instead, decided to be a tourist. I went to Agadir and visited the biggest market in Africa, as well as to see some history – the hosts wonderfully filled my day with other alternatives – they cannot do enough for you. Want some culture, need a shop? They are happy to help you find options for you and even give you a lift, just give them some money towards petrol. What an unexpected bonus!
The hosts at this venue genuinely care and will do what they can so you get the most out of your week there. I heard about the local spas, so on my last day, I had a full spa day after surfing – full body scrub, massage, and facial, that was 3.5 hours of bliss, for £50.00, followed by tea! The perfect ending to a week of sun, sand and exercise.
How was the accommodation?
I don’t mind sharing, but didn’t really want a typical crowded hostel; which this surf house was not. My room was lovely, ensuite, and Moroccan themed, with an amazing mattress and double bed, very clean, and plenty of wardrobe space – much more than I had expected.
The roof terrace is an essential part of offering a large communal space with plenty of opportunity to meet others. It just has so much space – even if the surf house is fully booked, you’d be able to find your own space in the sun on the terrace, filled with cosy couches, and very high quality. It was just a delightful, mellow place to end the day.
What advice would you give to other travelers?
This is outstanding value for money; I can’t express it enough. Perfect private rooms if you need your own space, great areas to mingle when you crave it. After meeting people from other surf houses on the beach, I realized that I had one of the best deals in the area; people were paying more and having less comforts to show for it.
Food is constant; delicious, local, and more than enough. Definitely do opt for yoga and surf – people who don’t join the yoga get very sore muscles, and get stiff quickly after being in the water often.
Also, forget about time, no one is every really on time; welcome to beach life! Aside from yoga, mind you… for some reason, the morning yoga really does start at 7:30am. Haven’t quite figured out how they seem so prompt about that!
My final advice is take 3 bottles of water to the beach, not one (all water provided by the surf house) as saltwater isn’t the nicest.
Has Holly convinced you? Read more about her surf and yoga holiday in Morocco here.
Or feel free to browse our full collection of surf and yoga holidays here.