Beach + Island

Hidden Beaches

by Bob Payne

Dune bug

Spread Your Towel: Plage Blanche, Morocco

Shore lines: Few beaches take more effort to get to than Plage Blanche, where the Sahara meets the sea. But following hours and hours of dusty, unmarked track that starts in the middle of nowhere is worth it for anyone who wants to get in ahead of the coming mega-resort that will reportedly include 28 hotels, the first of them to open in 2012. Backed by rolling dunes, the beach is 25 miles long, and for now about the only thing you'll see on it is an occasional fisherman, a couple of hard-core surfers, or a bogged-down Land Rover (hopefully not yours). Best to arrive at the little Fort Bou-Jerif hotel, near the desert town of Guelmin, where you can hire a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a driver who knows the way. Of course how easy it is to find the Fort Bou-Jerif can be summed up by pointing out that the hotel considers it useful to include GPS coordinates with its directions.

Best Bunk: The Fort Bou-Jerif, the creation of a French couple who clearly march to the beat of their own drum, is modeled after an abandoned Moroccan fort the authorities wouldn't let them convert to a hotel. A stone structure with turrets, it has 15 double rooms, although the couple says they can set up nomad tents so they never have to turn anyone away.

Fort Bou-Jerif
Tel: 212 (0) 72 13 00 17
Doubles from $130, including breakfast

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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