The two coastlines that fringe Morocco are very different in topography, tides and weather. The northern coast, just 8 miles across the Strait of Gibraltar at its closest aspect, enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate whereas the Atlantic coast becomes hotter and more arid the further south one travels.

The Rif mountains border the Mediterranean coast and the Atlas mountain ranges dominate the Atlantic coast. Both coasts are virtually untouched by tourism and the majority of ports that can be visited are small fishing communities. Many ports have been in use for thousands of years, evidence of which is reflected in the varied styles of infrastructure and fortifications put in place by the occupying powers down the ages and in particular along the northern stretch of the Atlantic coast. Others are larger new commercial harbours, providing good shelter, though not especially equipped for yachts. There are also a few excellent marinas along both the Mediterranean coastline and the Atlantic coast. See the Introduction on page 1 and the country introduction on page 35 for helpful insights on planning your cruise, formalities and socio-cultural guidelines and our online updates. Check also with your embassy for security updates or

44 The Atlantic coast of Morocco stretches from Tanger in the NW down to the Mauritanian border in the south, providing access to the fascinating interior of the country, which has the most impressive Islamic monuments in the Maghreb. Virtually the whole coastline as far as the port of Agadir, can be transited by day–hopping. However, continuing south to the Mauritanian border it is mainly edged by desert with no bays or safe anchorages, and facilities are sparse. Additionally, there are also political issues to contend with, making it unwise to visit south of Agadir. The weather is usually stable from June to October with light winds. The humidity increases as you travel south. Tides are referenced from Gibraltar and Casablanca respectively.

87 The Mediterranean (northern) coast stretches eastwards just north of Tanger to Saidia and the Algerian border and includes the ancient Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Day-hopping is also possible along this coast. Generally, east or west winds alternate during the summer and often there is no wind at all between weather systems. In the winter, westerly winds predominate. Strong winds can blow up suddenly but are often short lived. An east-going current sets along the coast from Gibraltar, though often it is reversed in the area between Al Hoceima and Marina Smir. The tidal range is just 1m at the eastern end of the Strait, becoming negligible once 10M into the Med.

CAUTION: The information above is selective and reflects conditions at the time of visiting. It is not definitive and may be changed or revised without notice. To the extent permitted by law, the RCC Pilotage Foundation and contributors do not accept any liability for any loss and/or damage howsoever caused that may arise from reliance on information in this Cruising Note and any attached files. The RCC Pilotage Foundation would welcome additional information or corrections to the information in this note. Please click here if you want to provide feedback on this or any other notice.