Guide to Nid d’Aigle, Morocco

  • Easy soaring in a warm sea breeze
  • Clock up plenty of winter airtime
  • Spring and autumn are the best times
  • See if you can glide to the beach for a swim in the ocean
Morocco is perfect for a winter getaway. Photo: Melanie Boisselier

Morocco is perfect for a winter getaway. Photo: Melanie Boisselier

WHY GO?
Relaxed coastal flying, with accommodation and food yards away.

WHERE IS IT?

WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The Atlantic coast of southern Morocco is peppered with flying sites. South of the Atlas from Agadir to Sidi Ifni there are at least eight. Nid d’Aigle and Nigel’s Place are way down south near the walled city of Tiznit. Mirleft is the closest village. The landmass rises to 280m, and warm breezes blow in from the Canaries allowing coastal soaring all day.

The two take=offs have been reclaimed from rampaging cacti, and Nid d’Aigle and Nigel both run accommodation on-site. The take-offs are reachable by car on rough tracks from Mirleft, reportedly the favoured haunt of 1960s pop stars, and where you can go for a beer. The ridge is two kilometres from the sea, so there are plenty of landing options on the plateau; watch out for the cacti.

Nid d’Aigle is private – you can only use the launch if you stay in its accommodation – but anyone can fly Nigel’s Place, the site next-door, for a daily fee of 30 dirhams (€3).

FLYING CONDITIONS
Coastal sea breezes with thermals in the middle of the day. People have flown to 900m, but this is exceptional; 20-150m is the norm. The main sites can get blown out in the heat of the day, but then you can head to the dunes below for a play.

WHEN TO GO
The best seasons are autumn (October and November) and spring (February to May). In summer it’s generally considered too hot and too stable.

ALTITUDE
Launch: 251m
Landing: 61m

HANG GLIDER ACCESS
Easy access for hang gliders.

MUST BE FLOWN
Coastal soaring is the mainstay of this site, which is a five-kilometre ridge. There are thermals, so it is possible to make forays, but the lack of roads limits cross country potential for all but the hardiest of adventure-seekers. In the morning, before the sea breeze starts, see if you can glide all the way to the beach for a swim.

DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES
Dangerous if the wind goes too far north or south, and it can go katabatic as the sun sets. Please don’t land in cropped fields, and if you get to the site and no one is flying, there’s probably a good reason for it. Remember the nearest medical facilities are a long way away, so check before you launch.

 ACCOMMODATION
Stay on take-off at either Nid d’Aigle or Nigel’s place
Hotels in Mirleft or Legzira cost around 200-350 dirhams (€18-32) half-board.
Hotel Resto Abertih:

TAKE THE FAMILY
Camel trekking is available locally, so you can explore the area in true Berber style. Or go surfing, then relax with a mint tea on the beach at Legzira or Agadir. Head into Agadir itself to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the souks and Medina. Mirhleft, with its Spanish fort, and the fine art deco military town of Sidi Ifni should be on your list too, along with the city of Tiznit. The Massa lagoon is part of the Sous-Massa National Park and one of the best places in Morocco for bird watching.

WEATHER INFO
The warm and balmy climate changes little throughout the months, with 26C maximums quoted between July and September, and the coolest months of January and February still enjoying 18C highs and 9C lows. Rainfall is low, but most likely in December and January.  Check www.windguru.cz for the wind.

GETTING THERE
The closest international airports are at Agadir (two hours) or Marrakech (four hours). Coaches run from Agadir to Tiznit, from where you can get a “grand taxi” to your final destination. These big old Mercs have a few hundred thousand kilometres on the clock, and can be shared with strangers or friends. Nid d’Aigle and Paraglide Morocco (Nigel’s Place) both run shuttles to launch.

LOCAL SCHOOLS, TANDEM OPERATIONS + GUIDES
Passion Paragliding
Cumulus Parapente (FR)  and Sunsoar Paragliding (UK)  run guided trips to this area.

USEFUL CONTACTS
Nid d’Aigle
Nigel’s Place


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