The places we love to ride!
Here is where you are going to find our regular blog posts about all the wind spots that we love, and the reasons we keep coming to back to visit them! Girls, looking for your next kite trip? Here’s some female perspective advice from us to you!
Dakhla is effectively my second home. After first learning to kiteboard in Tarifa, Spain, over 10 years ago, I got frustrated with the whole kite thing, bored, and found it hard to learn any new tricks or progress at all. My kite sessions would mainly be spent riding back and forth and avoiding the other 500 people out on the water at the same time as me.. if I managed to get out of the water unscathed, it seemed like a good session. It was pretty much always too busy on the water to have any space to really let go and try new things… and then, I moved to Dakhla…. this little Gem of a spot, where the winds seem to blow tirelessly, and where having space on the water was certainly not an issue.
A 45 kilometre lagoon, flat water as far as the eye can see, and no crowds, it was like heaven to me! A real chance to reconnect with the whole kite thing, have fun and try whatever I wanted without having to worry about the crowds or any obstacles.. I was in the desert, after all! I had finally found the spot where I could try whatever I wanted, and not worry about it.. great wind, great water, great space. Trust me, if you are stuck in a kiting rut and want to really get back into it and learn new stuff.. then this is the place for you!
I no longer live in Dakhla permanently, but visit it regularly throughout the year.. its a great escape that is close to Europe , so an ideal destination to hop on a quick flight and escape the European winters!
Dakhla in an immense flat water lagoon on the edge of the Moroccan Sahara. The city itself is located on a peninsula, meaning you can find the perfect lagoon on one side, and some sick wave spots on the other side. Everything is located relatively close by, so you don’t have to move too much to get where you want. The city is home to some 60,000 people, mainly a military city and also with a strong fishing industry.
Driving out of the city, you need to drive about 25 minutes to arrive at the camps that are scattered on the edge of the lagoon. Staying at the lagoon camps is generally the easiest option. You will find simple yet cute wooden bungalows, so you can stargaze out of your window in the evenings and enjoy the whole desert experience. You can ride all day long directly in front of your lagoon, super easy and convenient.
The wind generally blows from the north-east, which means it will blow side-on if you stay at Dakhla Spirit. Strength can really vary depending on what time of year you visit, so best to come prepared for all conditions. If you are similar to me, a girl, weighing around 50 kilos, you should bring a 5m and 7m for the summer months of July and August,. This is when the wind is strongest and can blow up to 30 knots (not usually any stronger) The rest of the year is lighter, but you can expect around 15 to 25 knots , lighter in the mornings and peaking at around 3pm. My general size recommendations for girl similar in weight to me would be 5m, 7m, and 9m. I rarely use anything larger here. The kite centre offers a full selection of RRD kites for anyone that needs rental.
What about the water?
Well, I wish I could say its warm enough to kite in a bikini, but unfortunately it’s normally not! (although I do try sometimes!) A shorty or a spring suit should be fine, and I normally use a lycra and board shorts and don’t feel cold.. during the winter months maybe a long summer wetsuit.. The water is not cold, but if the wind is strong, you will feel a chill. If you plan on visiting the wave spots, bring a long wetsuit, the atlantic side is definitely cooler!
So, where can we kite in Dakhla?
Lagoon spot- Directly in front of the camps, can sometimes get a little busy, but if you ride slightly downwind you can find plenty of space, so it no longer becomes an issue!
Speed Spot – The name given to this awesome little spot over on the other side of the lagoon.You can ride over fairly easily, but be prepared for the upwind ride to get back after! The wind here blows totally offshore, and make sure you come when the tide is lowest so that you can really enjoy the butter-flat water! With an incoming or high tide, this spot is NOT the same at all!
Duna Blanca- For sure you’ve come across videos of guys jumping off the top of the famous white dune! Make sure you come to this spot with the HIGHEST tide, when the water will fully surround the white dune. This is a very beautiful and remote spot, definitely worth a visit! You can enjoy the downwinder all the way down, and arrange a 4×4 pick up once you get there!
Where to eat:
If you stay at the camps, you will have all your meals included. A good mix of fresh fish, salads, cous cous and pasta. If you are feeling a little more adventurous then head to Dakhla city and try CASA LUIS for some local seafood, or VILLA DAKHLA for something a little more special. Make sure to check out HASSAN FRUITS for an amazing fruit smoothie! A true Dakhla Classic!
Take a shower at LA SOURCE… Don’t be expecting a 5 star luxury spa… More like a large hose pipe in the middle of the desert! But good fun none the less! The water comes from a deep well, and is naturally hot and sulphur water.. great for your skin, but you will smell pretty bad for the rest of the evening.. still, hot shower in the middle of the desert as you watch the sun go down? Has to be done.
How to get here:
You can fly from most european airports to Casablanca, and then on to Dakhla with Royal Air Maroc Once you arrive at Dakhla, a driver will come to collect you at the airport. Be prepared to have to stay a night in Casablanca on your return journey.. normally not too complicated if you stay at the ATLAS airport hotel, which has a free shuttle bus.
Alternatively, fly to Gran Canaria, and then get a small plane to Dakhla which takes only 1 hour, and flies on both Mondays and Fridays. This can be booked with Canary Fly.
Girls travelling alone?
NOT a problem! Dakhla is a very female friendly spot! You are collected at the airport by a driver, and at the camps you will meet tons of people of all nationalities and ages.. many solo travellers also! So it’s a great place to socialise and meet people, as well as kiting a ton! If you prefer to travel as a group, we also organise great Girls Coaching Weeks in Dakhla twice per year with kiteboarding camps
So girls, give the desert a go! It might just become your second home also 😉