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Adventure holiday: sail & explore the coast of Morocco

Adventure holiday: sail & explore the coast of Morocco

TRIP TYPE:
Coastal

NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

SINGLE BERTHS AVAILABLE

Clear

One of our most unusual but also most popular routes as we sail down Morocco's Atlantic coast. Far off the beaten track of most other yachts, this is real adventure sailing, with wonderful towns to explore and a huge dose of the unexpected every year. Starting in Cadiz and finishing with an exciting 24-hour sail to the Canaries, you can visit Tangier, Rabat, El Jadida, Safi amongst other options. There is more time ashore to explore on this route.

Sailing location image
Route Map Image

These are the available dates and routes. To book your place, please select the dates from the drop-down above the ‘Add to Cart’ button.

TRIP CODE: CTA11012022

  • Start date / place: January 11 2022. Cadiz, Spain
  • End date / place: January 22 2021. Arecife, Lanzarote
  • Full price: £2,199
  • Deposit: £880

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Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.

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PLEASE NOTE

Deposit
This is 40% of the trip price and is non-refundable. On making payment, your berth is guaranteed.

Paying the balance
The balance of the invoice can be paid at any time. It must be received by Rubicon 3 90 days before the trip start date or your place will automatically be cancelled. We will remind you of the date nearer the time.

Cancellations and moving trips
Our expedition sailing yachts only have between 7 and 10 berths on them. When you book, you are committing to take one of these places. Due to these very limited numbers, we will often have turned away someone else who would have liked the berth. Unlike many other holidays, please understand this gives us little if any flexibility to make changes or to move trips. We will always endeavour to assist you (& the earlier you tell us the better), but unless we can find someone else to take your place, we usually cannot move your booking.

This is a typical sailing itinerary for the coast of Morocco expedition. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.

Joining day

Join the boat and get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. After lunch, we’ll start to show you the boat, issue lifejackets and oilskins and teach you the most important skills when on board.

Briefings and training

Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly qualified instructors to guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. By lunchtime, we should be casting off the lines, and it’s time to learn the ropes. You’ll be hoisting the sails and working through all the critical sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day, everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We may anchor overnight.

Day sail to Tangier, Morocco

Today we will sail the 50nm or so to Tangier. It’s a lovely sail, and we get to see these yachts at their very best. Entry into Tangier is always a baffling mix of guesswork, bartering and bloody-mindedness. They are not used to yachts here, and it can take a little working out! We will hopefully get to spend a full day here exploring its souks and medinas. It’s a crazy, fascinating city. The city is a jumbled mix of North Africa, Spain, Portugal and France, and is known as the gateway to Africa from Europe. While you’re here, make sure you visit Cafe Hafa, a Tangier institution since 1921 and a must-see. There are also ancient Phoenician tombs, the beautiful Kasbah Museum, the American Legation and the Grand Socco.

Overnight sail to explore Rabat

We now leave Tangier behind, and it’s about 120nm south to Rabat, so we will likely leave after dinner for a beautiful sail in the warm Moroccan winds, with the exotic smells and sounds of North Africa wafting across the water as we sail under the stars. The Atlas mountain range will be visible on the horizon. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and is a special place to spend the day. You can explore the Kasbah of the Udayas, the royal fort from the Berber era and its beautiful gardens that overlook the ocean. You will also be able to visit the city’s iconic Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret, that soars above the ruins of a mosque. Nearby is the tomb of King Mohammad V. On the edges of the city you can find Chellah, an old medieval fortified town on the banks of the Bou Regreg River. It’s an old Roman city that was abandoned in the 12th century before being rebuilt by a local Sultan. Strange though it sounds, a visit to the ancient cemetery is also very special. It is beautiful and covered in flowers. With the sea on one side, it is a lovely and unique place.

Day sail to explore El Jadida

50nm or so further south is the town of El Jadida. It was built by the Portuguese as a fortified colony on the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century and taken over by the Moroccans in 1769. It is a beautiful town and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is another city that seamlessly mixes cultures and countries, with old churches and synagogues can be found right next to mosques. The fortress of Mazagan is another must-see. If discovering new and exciting places is the essence of adventure travel, then you will struggle to better this.

Passage to explore Safi

Now it’s another lovely 60nm sail down to Safi, our last possible stop on the Moroccan coast unless we make it to Essaouira. Quite a large town, nearly a quarter of it is dedicated to pottery and just about every green glazed tile you see in the rest of the region comes from here. Called the Collines des Potiers, the potters’ quarter, it is a fascinating area with old wood-burning kilns smoking away.  The Portuguese occupied Safi in the early 16th century and built a citadel, called the Kechla, that is still intact today. Dar Al Bahar is another fortress built by the Portuguese that is well worth a visit. Located right on the coast, it has spectacular views out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, don’t miss the ruins of Cathedrale Portugaise. We’ve sailed the full way down the coast, and by now you will know now just why a Morocco holiday is so special.

Overnight sail to the Canary Islands

For the final leg of our adventure, we have to leave the much loved Morocco behind and head west into the Atlantic Ocean. We are bound for the island of Lanzarote in the Canaries! How long this takes will depend on where on the Moroccan coast we set sail from, but you can expect 24-36 hours of exhilarating open ocean sailing. Still warm and usually with good wind, we will sail west into the setting sun, and spend a full night at sea, with the moon and stars for company. It’s fun, exciting and a complete change of gear after our wanderings down the Moroccan coast. It’s great to have the wind in the hair, salt spray and be out on the open ocean. As dawn breaks, we’ll see the Canaries appear over the horizon, and before we know it we will arrive in Puerto Calero in time for a good old end of trip party!

Debrief, clean up and goodbyes

It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends, and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs.

JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT

  • You should join the boat at 0900hrs on the start day. It is important you are not late.
  • You will disembark at 1200hrs on the end day.
  • For exact start and end locations, please see the ‘Dates & Prices’ tab

    INFORMATION TO HELP GET TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS

    CADIZ, SPAIN

    • You can fly into Jerez (IATA code: XRY). Ryanair, British Airways and Iberia all fly there. From the airport, a taxi takes about 30 to 40 minutes and costs about €55 to Cádiz. There are also frequent trains from Jerez to Cádiz which arrive at the station inside the old town (see below).
    • You also fly into Seville (IATA code: SVQ) which can often be easier

    ARECIFE, LANZAROTE

    • Arecife airport (IATA code: ACE) is well served by many airlines and is close to the marina

    TRAINS

    AGE & EXPERIENCE

    These adventure sailing holidays are open to anyone aged 18 – 70 years. No previous sailing experience is required for this route

    CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

    We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.

    See more information and the full kit list here

    FITNESS TO SAIL

    We believe that as many people as possible should be able to head out to sea and have a great adventure. However, it is essential for everyone’s safety that you are in a fit enough state to be on board. Ability to complete the five exercises below is a pre-requisite for joining as a crew member. They are not designed to be physically taxing and almost everyone should be able to complete them. Rather they are in place to check that you have the stability and basic physical condition to be on-board. If when you join the vessel the skipper believes you are not capable of completing these exercises, you will probably not be allowed to embark. If you have any doubts at all about your ability to complete these exercises safely, you must contact your doctor before attempting them.

    Fitness to sail

    MEDICAL DECLARATION

    Four weeks before your trip start date, you will be sent final joining instructions. At this time you will be asked to complete our medical declaration. At the time of booking, it is your responsibility to be sure that you will be able to pass all the criteria at the start date of your trip. If you cannot pass the criteria you will probably be refused permission to board.

    See the Medical Declaration here

    TRAVEL INSURANCE

    • All crew must have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
    • We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance as soon as you book. This ideally will cover you for any mishaps, medical or otherwise, in the build-up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
    • Please note we will not refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues that disqualify you from joining your trip.
    • For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.

    TRIP CATEGORY: COASTAL SAILING

    For a full explanation of what to expect with the various trip ratings please click here.

    INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY

    • Oilskins
    • Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
    • Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
    • All on-board food and snacks.
    • Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
    • RYA sailing qualifications can be earned where applicable.

    WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

    • Your travel to and from the start and end points.
    • Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
    • Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
    • Any meals you eat ashore.

    IN SUMMARY

    Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.

    • These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
    • These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
    • When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
    • Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and Trip Notes before booking.