Located in Northern Morocco along the Mediterranean Coast, Oued Laou is a charming fishing village, and you’ll have little to do but relax on the beach and watch the fisherman cast their nets. Oued Laou’s remoteness and long empty beaches draw backpackers and budget travelers looking for some peace and a break from the more populated areas of Morocco. The beach around Oued Laou stretches for many kilometers so visitors can always find a place all to themselves even during the busier summer months.
The town of just over 8,000 inhabitants gets its name from the Oued Laou River, which flows into the ocean from its source up in the Rif Mountains near Chefchaouen. The drive to Oued Laou from either Tetouan or Chefchaouen takes you over rolling hills with views of the dramatic coastline. If you’re coming from Chefchaouen stop off at the huge hydroelectric dam and at the windy Laou Gorges for photos.
Lodging options are limited in Oued Laou, but there are a few budget hotels to choose from. Located right on the beach with views of the sea, the Hotel Oued Laou caters to the backpacker crowd. There is also a campground next to the town’s municipal building with hot showers and a few bungalows available for rent. The Mare Nostrum is the more upscale option with large cliff side bungalows overlooking the sea, a pool, luxurious lounge and private beach.
Sample the catches of the day at Rais Restaurant where you can literally taste sardines fresh off the boat. The fish is about the freshest you can get since it is caught a mere 50 meters from door to the restaurant. The owner of Cafe Picasso cooks up tagines on the beach. This traditional Moroccan dish combines slow-cooked meats like lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients and an aromatic blend of spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and paprika. Tangine is named after the unique earthenware pot in which it is cooked and is often served in a traditional ceramic dish called a Tagra.
Nightlife is limited in Oued Laou to a few coffee shops and informal gatherings on the beach where you can easily converse with the locals. The people of Oued Laou are very friendly and welcome to visitors so consider supporting the local culture by purchasing ceramics and fabrics made by the village women.
Written by Amiee Maxwell.
Photo by amateur_photo_bore.