Morocco’s Agadir, located in the south of the country, is a popular holiday destination for foreign and domestic tourists alike. It sits on the Atlantic Coast and at the bottom of the Atlas Mountains. Whilst a devastating earthquake in 1960 destroyed much of the ancient city, Agadir has been rebuilt with plenty of fun attractions and activities for all. Six highlights of Agadir include:
1. Agadir Beach
Agadir’s sandy beach stretches for several kilometres along the sheltered Atlantic Coast. It is the main reason that most people visit Agadir, and it is a popular winter sun destination for large numbers of Europeans. A well developed area, perhaps too over-developed for some, there are many accommodation options, shops, restaurants, and bars lining the beachfront. Several exclusive hotels provide sun loungers and parasols for guests on reserved sections of the beach, and it is possible for non guests to rent facilities at many parts. Prices are generally reasonable, but they do vary between the establishments. Alternatively, you can lay out your towel and sunbathe for free.
The water is generally warm enough for swimming, though some may find it rather chilly between October and February. Various beach and water activities are available from hotels and vendors directly on the beach, including jet-skiing, kayaking, and renting inflatable equipment, especially popular with children.
2. Nightlife in Agadir
Second to the beach, Agadir is popular for its lively nightlife. One of the country’s most active places after dark, alcohol is widely available and there are plenty of bars and clubs that play an assortment of music. Traditional music and dancing are offered in some.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a laid-back glass of the local beer, Flag, sip on a fruity cocktail, or dance the night away, Agadir certainly won’t disappoint. Do make sure that you check the prices of drinks before ordering though to prevent any nasty surprises when the bill comes. Another top tip is to check whether bar snacks are included. It is quite common for servers to bring plates of fruit, bowls of olives or nuts, or other nibbles to your table; these often attract an additional, sometimes hefty, price tag.
Camel’s Restaurant is a nice chilled-out spot next to the beach, a restaurant during the day and a bar by night. The atmosphere becomes more and more lively with each passing hour. For drinking, dancing and heaps of fun, check out So Lounge or Flamingo Oriental Night Club.
3. Agadir Marina
Surrounded by classy boutique shops and high-end eateries, Agadir Marina is a nice place for a quick stroll. Unless you plan on sitting down with a meal, drink, or ice cream you probably don’t need to spend more than 20 minutes at the marina.
A hotspot for local posers, young men drive flashy cars alongside the marina. A variety of boats, including luxury yachts and traditional fishing vessels, bob on the waters and Agadir’s hill, with its distinctive lettering carved into its face, makes a nice backdrop.
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4. Agadir Oufella
The hilltop Agadir Oufella is the only part of old Agadir that (partially) survived the huge earthquake. All that remains of the historic kasbah (also sometimes spelt as casbah) is a long stretch of stone wall. Although you can’t really get a sense of the city’s history, it is well worth making the trip up the hill to enjoy the terrific views of Agadir’s curved beach and the multitude of buildings below. Camel rides are available (prices vary according to season, number of people, and your haggling skills) and a handful of vendors try to sell traditional items, such as rugs and leather goods, artwork, and handicrafts.
5. Souk El Had
Whilst Agadir’s souks (markets) are perhaps less impressive than those in other parts of the country, for example Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fes, Souk El Had is the best place to pick up local and traditional souvenirs if you don’t plan to visit other parts of Morocco. It’s a large market with many goods. Items on sale include woven carpets, shisha pipes, ornate lamps, leather goods, like belts, bags, and wallets, traditional clothing, spices, and diverse trinkets. Haggling is the norm, though you can find some hassle-free fixed price stalls and shops. The market operates daily except Mondays, opening early in the morning and continuing into the late evening.
6. Vallee des Oiseaux
Vallee des Oiseaux is a favourite attraction for families. Despite being called a bird park, it is more like a mini zoo. Located in the heart of Agadir, it is home to many species of birds, like flamingoes, parrots, and finches, as well as larger creatures like monkeys, goats, llamas, gazelles, and wallabies. There’s a children’s play area too, and the park is free to enter. It is open each day from 11 am to 6 pm.
Daytrips from Agadir
There are plenty of side trips that you can take from Agadir. A variety of tour operators can be found in the city, or many places can easily be reached by public transport or private vehicle. Paradise Valley is a stunning spot, with a beautiful nature-surrounded waterfall and pool that is suitable for swimming. Home to many various species of crocodile and boasting lush landscaped grounds, Crocoparc is especially popular with families. Interesting nearby towns and villages include Taghazout, known for surfing, and the red mountains and oasis of Tafraoute. If you’re looking for beach life, nightlife, and a variety of experiences within easy reach, don’t miss Morocco’s Agadir.
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