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Sidi Kaouki travel guide: everything you need to know

Sidi Kaouki travel guide: everything you need to know

The sleepy surf town of Sidi Kaouki is one of the easiest day trips from Essaouira. It’s only a 25 minute drive south and also accessible by public bus. And whilst it’s popular with surfers looking for bigger waves than Essaouira beach offers, it also offers a much more local and low key vibe compared to Essaouira

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On first impressions, Sidi Kaouki can look rather unkept and messy. Indeed the entrance to the beach from the car park is not very appealing with rubbish strewn by the wall amongst rocks. But walk further along the beach to the left and the beach opens up.

A large abandoned building, crumbling away and neglected, stands at the northern end of the beach, which has become Sidi Kaouki’s signature sight. This is actually the shrine and pilgrimage site of Sidi Kaouki, a 19th-century marabout (a Muslim religious leader and teacher), and who this Berber village is named after. You can only get around to the other side at low tide, and if you look behind any doorways, there are old mattresses laid out as some locals sleep here.

To the north of this building are rock pools to explore, and to the south is the long sandy swathe of beach.

At the main entrance to the beach there are a couple of surf shops and a handful of basic cafes serving the standard Moroccan and Western dishes, as well as seafood specialities. So it’s worthwhile combining your Sidi Kaouki beach time with lunch, and making a day of it.

But what are the things do in Sidi Kaouki? How do you get to Sidi Kaouki from Essaouira? And where to stay in Sidi Kaouki if you want to experience the beach after day trippers have left? For answers to all these questions, read on as we’ve put together this Sidi Kaouki travel guide just for you.

Things to do in Sidi Kaouki

The main reason anyone comes to Sidi Kaouki is the beach. A long sandy crescent (with a few pebbly sections) welcomes you. Most visitors tend to stay close to the main beach entrance by the car park and restaurants. If you need to escape weekend or high season crowds, just take a stroll further along the beach; it’s easy enough to find a quiet spot to yourself.

As for the actual village of Sidi Kaouki itself, in all honesty there’s not much to lure you away from the beach. There are a couple of accommodations should you wish to stay overnight in Sidi Kaouki, but it really is a rather dusty, once you leave the beach.  

Ride the waves

Surfing is the main activity here, and even though this is where the pros descend, there are a couple of surf schools on hand if you are looking for beginner lessons or feeling a bit rusty.

Depending on the weather conditions, there is also kite-surfing and SUP-ing available. But if you just want to keep things fun and easy, hire a boogie board for the afternoon from one of the surf shops.

The surf shops are also open all year round, but likely to have limited opening hours or be closed during Ramadan

Do note that the water is a little on the chilly side; this is the Atlantic Ocean, not the Mediterranean Sea after all.

Ride the beach

Tourism entrepreneurs in Sidi Kaouki have caught on to the success of the Essaouria activities further north along the coastline. So when you first arrive at Sidi Kaouki beach you are likely to be approached by locals offering you a camel ride, horse ride, and even quad biking. Initial prices quoted are likely to be inflated; polite and friendly haggling may be required. But it’s a really fun way to explore further south along the coastline. These activities operate all year round. 

Enjoy lunch

Next to the main entrance to the beach is a row of basic cafes. All offer the standard Moroccan and Western menu and the same view, but seafood is a speciality here. There’s nothing really to differentiate one from the other, so take your pick according to you personal table preference.

Sidi Kaouki cafes

There are no toilets at these restaurants. Instead you have to use the public toilets, which are behind the surf shops (2DH).

Also, there is no WIFI at these restaurants.

Sidi Kaouki public toilets
Public toilets at Sidi Kaouki


On the other side of the shrine (the big white building) there are rockpools to explore. A nice free activity for the kids if they need something to do. However, you can only get around the other side of the large white building at low tide.


Now who can blame you for wanting to come to a beach and just relax? If my boys allowed me a moments peace, I would grab a book and find a spot on the sand. No judgement.

There are sun loungers and parasol on the beach to hire (50DH for a pair of sun loungers with parasol, which have seen better days). But if you want to lay your towel out on the sand, it’s free. If you need to find a quieter spot, just keep walking away from the car park.

How to get to Sidi Kaouki

If you have your own wheels, it’s an easy 25 minute drive passing through Diabat and Ghazoua to get to Sidi Kaouki. The roads aren’t busy at all. Once you arrive at Sidi Kaouki there is a car park right next to the beach (click here for Google maps location).

Sidi Kaouki car park entrance and bus stop
Sidi Kaouki car park entrance and bus stop

The next easiest way to get to Sidi Kaouki from Essaouira is to take a Grand Taxi. You will need to get to the Grand Taxi station, which is next to the main bus station in Essaouira. Click here for the Google Map point. There is a flat fee of 15DH per person, or 90DH for the whole taxi (i.e. 6 people), to Sidi Kaouki. To get back to Sidi Kaouki, arrange a collection time with your driver (he’ll be very happy for the fare). 

Alternatively, you can take a public bus from just outside Bab Doukkala. Head to the blue ‘Lima Bus, Essaouira‘ sign on the right as you exit Bab Doukkala and take the Lima bus, Line 2  (7DH per person). Departure are loosely 6:00, 7:45., 9:30, 11:15, 12:45, 14:45, 16:30. and 18:30.

Return to Essaouira from Sid Kaouki is 2pm, 5pm, and 7pm. Expect the bus to be at least thirty minutes late. 

Where to stay in Sidi Kaouki

Dar Iziki

Click here to check rates and book

Set back from the beach in the village, but with superb rooftop terrace view, this bright and breezy hostel receives great reviews from travellers, and rightly so.

Auberge De La Plage

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With family rooms and a playground, this beachfront Sidi Kaouki hotel is a good option for families. A lovely atmosphere and hammocks in the garden beckon you for an afternoon nap.

Perla Kaouki Hotel

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Direct beach access and rustic charm make this accommodation the perfect choice for beach lovers.

DAV MAHAL Eco lodge

Click here to check rates and book

This may be 4km away from Sidi Kaouki’s main beach, but worthy of a mention in this Sidi Kaouki guide as it’s pretty special, if only for the awesome views. There’s even a hammam and hot tub onsite. This really is the place to get away from it all.

Camping Soleil Kaouki

For those travelling Morocco in a campervan or motorhome, you’ll be interested to hear that there are campsites in Sidi Kaouki. Camping Soleil Kaouki comes recommended as a spacious campsite, only 100 metres walk from the beach, plus there are hot showers. Reviewers on Campercontact comment how friendly the owners are.

However, free camping is currently permitted at the main car park at Sidi Kaouki beach.

Explore Essaouira ebook

Updated for 2024, the Explore Essaouira ebook is the only travel guide you need for exploring Essaouira. It is jam packed with inspiration on what to do, where to eat, where to stay, and also includes a step-by-step self-guided walking tour (with photos). 

This is a PDF download for use offline and on the go (and ad-free!). Save it to read on the plane to Morocco, download to your phone to follow the self-guided walking tour around the medina, or print it off at home before you leave on your adventures and highlight all the bits you want to remember for your visit.

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