Legzira Beach. A day trip to another planet.
Legzira beach: see the terracotta arches

Legzira Beach. A day trip to another planet.

You can see Mars without flying into space in Morocco, at the unusual beach of Lagzira. The scarlet-colored sand arches are washed by the steep waves of the blue ocean at sunset and create an alien landscape.

The secluded beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast in the province of Sidi Ifni. It is famous for its orange-red cliffs — arches created by nature and the tides of the ocean.

Legzira is little known among tourists. Sometimes excursion groups from Agadir are brought in the afternoon. In the morning and evening is deserted, there are only fishermen, surfers and independent travelers.

The arch in the sunset
The arch in the sunset

The arches of Legzira Beach

There are no expensive hotels, tourist infrastructure, beach umbrellas, stores and Michelin restaurants in this area. But there is a lack of Wi-Fi, problems with mobile operator networks and unattractive interior of hotel rooms.

All this is offset by a fantastic 360 degree natural panorama. Legzira beach is among the most picturesque in Morocco. It is often foggy in the morning and the best time to walk along the beach is at sunset, when the sun sets into the ocean and colors the rocks bright red.

The Atlas Mountains on the north side
The Atlas Mountains on the north side

The golden-colored sandy beach is bounded on the south side by terracotta arches and on the north by the impregnable Atlas Mountains. Locals do not know the exact number of arches, there are versions that there are little known hard-to-reach sandy ledges on the way to Sidi Ifni.

Legzira is not the best option for beach vacations and swimming: even in summer, the ocean does not get warmer than 21 Celsius. Here all year round there is cold wind, high waves, large rocks on the bottom and on the beach itself. People come here only for the rocks and scenery, which is hard to believe.

Opposite the sandy beach of Legzira, a small island is visible. Desperate travelers reach it on foot at low tide, while locals come with buckets to collect octopus, mussels and sea urchins. You have to be careful not to get cut off from land by the ocean current.

The island at low tide
The island at low tide

The first arch

The distance to the first arch from the northern cliffs is about a kilometer. It is easily reached on foot along the ocean shore. The opening is approximately 30 meters wide. It is possible to pass through it dry during low tides. If you get there at high tide, the walk is limited to viewing one arch. You will not be able to get to the next marvelous rock protrusions.

A magical location for a photo
A magical location for a photo
The path to the third arch
The path to the third arch

The Ivory Foot Arch

The most famous and beautiful was the second arch, Elephant Foot. It was the one that was on all the photos of the beach until 2016. But nature creates and destroys: in 2016 the arch was destroyed by the current. A mountain of stones and sand fragments reminds about the natural miracle. After the incident, tourists became much less, because it is more difficult to reach the other arches, except for the first one.

However, behind the ruined arch, there is a grotto in the rock that may become another arch in the future.

The site of the ruined arch
The site of the ruined arch
A grotto with access to the ocean
A grotto with access to the ocean

Third arch

At high tide, the passage behind the grotto is blocked by the ocean. At low tide you can walk around the rock and see the largest arch. The distance to it from the nearest hotels is 5 km.

The shore beyond the arch is surrounded on three sides by cliffs. If the tide catches you by surprise, you can take the path up the slope and walk around the dangerous ocean on the high ground. You can also drive up to the upper observation deck and take photos of the scenery from above.

In addition to the magical scenery, along this stretch of coastline we saw mountains of plastic trash that the ocean brings ashore. In places where people rarely visit, you realize that all this was brought from other parts of the planet.

The arch in the rock is huge
The arch in the rock is huge
Garbage mixed with rocks
Garbage mixed with rocks

Legzira was created by nature for romantic walks along the ocean shore, meeting sunsets and sunrises, for thousands of magical photos. Swimming is allowed on this beach, but strong waves and underwater rocks are not safe. The water does not warm up due to cold currents. But you can ride quad bikes, surf, fly on a paraglider. ATV rentals and a surf station are available on the coast, and paragliders launch from Sidi Ifni.

Where to stay in Legzira

There are several small hotels with panoramic terraces on the beach. We stayed at Hotel Beach Club Lezgira, here in low season a room costs from 25 €.

The hotel has a paid parking lot, access to the beach. The room is modest, there is no TV, Wi-Fi and heating, problems with hot water. In October it was cool, I advise in off season to choose a room with small windows. On request they give a blanket, one for two people — not enough for all visitors.

But one does not go to Legzira for the conditions of five-star hotels, but for the atmosphere. The hotel has friendly, warm-hearted staff. We had arranged breakfast and dinner in advance. The French cook taught us how to communicate using a calculator and cooked delicious grilled dorade.

More comfortable and modern facilities can be found in hotels 60 € — already with breakfast.

We opted to live on the beach, listening to the sound of the surf until late at night, gazing at the stars and welcoming the sunrise near the famous sand arches.

Cottage buildings of hotels and restaurants on the beach
Cottage buildings of hotels and restaurants on the beach
Tea on the hotel terrace overlooking the ocean
Tea on the hotel terrace overlooking the ocean
Sunset on the hotel terrace
Sunset on the hotel terrace

How to get to Legzira

The beach is located in a hard-to-reach place, at the exit from the main highway. It can be reached by car, passing bus and cab from the nearest towns.

By rental car

The most convenient way to get to Legzira is by car. The roads in Morocco are in excellent condition, and along the way you can see incredible mountain scenery and ocean panoramas. At the turn off the main road, there is a sign that says Lagzira plage.

The distance to Legzira village from Agadir is more than 156 km, from Sidi Ifni 13 km and from Marrakech 385 km.

You can rent a car from Rental Cars, with prices starting from 20 € per day.

We traveled by rental car from Marrakech. We left early in the morning and spent about 6 hours on the road. The road passes through Agadir, which is considered one of the best resort towns in Morocco. If time permits, it is better to stay late in Agadir and drive out of it. After Legzira, you can walk around the town of Sidi Ifni for a few hours.

The road from Marrakech to Agadir is partly on the expressway. This highway is tolled, with a speed limit of 120 km/hour. When you enter the toll section, you get a ticket and pay at the end of the road.

Toll highway checkpoint
Toll highway checkpoint

By bus

Legzira is not easy to reach by public transportation — the beach is considered difficult to access, and after the fall of the most famous arch the flow of tourists has been greatly reduced.

You can get to Legzira by bus by buying a ticket Agadir — Sidi Ifni. Ask the driver to stop at the turn where the side road to the beach starts — just say «Legzira» and he will understand. From the stop you have to walk about a kilometer and go down a steep slope to the beach.

STM has two flights between Agadir and Sidi Ifni: morning and evening. The ticket is 80 Dh.

An even cheaper way to get from Agadir is to take Lux Transport’s city bus #18. The fare is cheaper, but the comfort is lower. The schedule of return buses should be found out in advance to avoid spending an unexpectedly long time at the roadside.

There are direct buses to Legzira from the Moroccan surfing mecca of Taghazout. For more information, check with local surf companies that organize trips to the red beach for surfers.

With a tour from Agadir

The beach is remote from Morocco’s popular cities. If traveling on your own, plan an overnight stop in Agadir, Sidi Ifni or Legzira Beach itself.

It is possible to see the arches in one day on an organized tour from Agadir. The program usually includes lunch at a restaurant on the coast, a walk under the first arch and visits to nearby towns.

A day trip from Agadir and back with a visit to Tiznit costs 72—99 € per person.

Legzira Beach at sunset
Legzira Beach at sunset

Tips and tricks

  • It is cool near the ocean, especially in the evening. In the low season, long sleeve clothing comes in handy. If you come to Legzira not in the summer, the hotel without no heating is cold at night. We slept under a blanket with our clothes on.
  • Even in winter, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin before a long walk along the coast. The sun’s active rays can be harmful.
  • I suggest taking food and water for snacks on your trip — there are no stores on the beach.
  • Look up the tide times in advance. This will help you plan your walk and save you from trouble. In October, the low tide was during the day and the water would arrive in the evening. We looked up the water travel times before we went because internet is a problem in Legzira. On Android and Ios you can track tide times on the Nautide app.
  • On Legzira beach, behind the grotto there are small holes in the sand. In them live large ants that bite. It is not deadly and not dangerous, but unpleasant. I advise you to wear comfortable closed shoes for long walks to the far arches.