Holidays in Agadir
Travelers whose eyes fall on the African kingdom of Morocco, the first thing they think of visiting the most famous tourist cities – Casablanca or Marrakech. However, in the south of the country is located another city that can reasonably compete with these popular destinations. The city of Agadir is the capital of surfing and beach holidays in the country.
Getting to know the city
Agadir is a beautiful ancient city on the Atlantic coast. Its name means “wall” or “fort” in Berber. Now the city is often called the “city of white” for the snow-white shade of sand. Agadir is the most popular beach resort on the Atlantic coast of Morocco and the tourist center of the country.
People come here to go surfing, enjoy the warm sea and sun on the best and largest beach on the Atlantic coast, and immerse themselves in the local culture. Although it is a Muslim city, but thanks to the abundance of tourists, it is rapidly acquiring some European features: women instead of hijabs wear beautiful modern clothes, you can also meet many foreigners on the streets.
For many Europeans it will be a surprise to learn that in Morocco the symbol of love is not a heart, but a liver.
Agadir is located in the southern part of Morocco, on the Atlantic Ocean, near the mouth of the river Sousse. The busiest and most popular city in the country Casablanca is about 500 km away. It is the seventh largest city in Morocco with a population of 750 thousand people. Agadir and its neighboring towns of Inezgan and Ait-Melloul form an agglomeration.
Map of Agadir
How to get there
Agadir International Airport is 22km from Agadir. There are no direct flights from Kiev, you can get with one transfer (Kiev-Belgium-Agadir), the average ticket price is 7-8 thousand UAH, travel time – about 10 hours. Also, there are very inexpensive flights from Kiev (3-4 thousand UAH), but in this case, the travel time is about 15-17 hours (Kiev-Varshava-Agadir).
From Moscow there are flights of different price category, so they have different travel time and number of transfers. There are no direct flights. The best way is to fly with one connection (Moscow-Belgium-Agadir) by Aeroflot and then by TUI Airlines Belgium. The trip will take about 14 hours; the ticket price is 16 thousand rubles.
From the airport you can get to the city by public transport, cab or by transfer arranged by the tour operator. There is a cab stand and a bus stop right outside the terminal. A cab to the city center can take about 20 minutes, the cost of a trip is 150 Moroccan dirhams by day and 200 dirhams at night (10 dirhams equal to $ 1).
Cab prices from the airport to the city are fixed and listed on the airport website, so it is important to clarify them in advance, so as not to run into fraudulent cab drivers.
There is no direct bus connection from the airport to the city: first you have to get to the village Inezgane. It is a 15-minute walk from the terminal, but to reduce the time, you can take bus number 22. Then you need to take City Bus #20, #24, #37. The fare will be within 3 – 4 dirhams. For the more comfortable ride you can go on the more expensive, new and comfortable buses of STM (the fare is about 20 dirhams).
Climate and weather
Agadir has a predominantly warm and sunny weather all year round. The winter months are traditionally the coolest: temperatures during the day rise to +20 ° C, night drops to +8-10 ° C and the water heats up to +15-17 ° C. Summer heat is quite easy to overcome because of the cold ocean currents, the temperature at night and during the day is at +18 ° C and +29 ° C, respectively. During the transitional seasons, the daytime temperature is within +22-26 ° C, while at night it drops to +12-15 ° C.
You should choose the time to visit the city depending on your goals: if you prefer a more passive beach vacation, it is advisable to go in summer, when the water temperature and air allow swimming and doing water sports. Away from the water will be difficult, so to overpower a large-scale excursion program will not be under everyone’s power. However, in winter and in the transitional seasons, you can easily get around all the sights and go on the desired excursions.
Sightseeing and Entertainment
Since Agadir is mostly a beach resort, it cannot boast outstanding sights. In addition, most of the historic buildings were destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1960. However, in between sunbathing, swimming, and water activities, it is worth visiting these places in the city:
The Kasbah of Agadir. The kasbah is the Arabic name for the citadel. It is essentially a fortress, the oldest historic part of the city. The Kasbah is located on an elevated site in the northern part of the city with a spectacular view of the ocean and Agadir. The citadel was built in the 16th century and has an inscription over the entrance, “Fear God and Honour the King. In the middle of last century, an earthquake destroyed a large part of the fortress, so now it remains only the wall and entrance gate. However, this does not detract from its popularity among tourists.
You can not take pictures of administrative buildings and government employees. Be sure to ask permission before taking a photo of the locals.
For active tourists, Agadir has a lot to offer a variety of entertainment. The windy weather promotes a variety of water sports: sailing, surfing, kite surfing, paragliding, water skiing. It is also possible to go fishing by boat or play golf (at the Golf du Soleil or Golf Club Med Les Dunes, for example).
Sand dune tours, organised by Okey Tours, Agadir Tours and Tawab Tours, and camel rides will be a memorable experience: Agadir Dromadaire, Agadir Horse & Camel.
Lovers of relaxation should try an authentic Moroccan hammam. For those who like speed there is a possibility to try themselves in karting on a professional racing track (Maroc Racing Kart). Have a good time at the nightclubs Atlas Club, Papagayo, Flamingo.
The main purpose of a summer trip to the city is to visit the beach and water activities. The beach in Agadir is amazing in its size: 10 kilometers of arc-shaped shoreline with crumbly golden sand of fine fraction, shallow entrance to the sea and eucalyptus plantations around the beach area. The tides can shift the shoreline by 150-200 meters, so sometimes you have to walk to the water and then take a long time to get to the depths.
The beach in Agadir runs the length of the city and there is plenty of space to accommodate all the tourists, but it is most crowded from May to September. In addition to tourists, locals with children come to the beach in the evenings. Its territory belongs to the city, so the entrance is free. In the early 2000s, the area near the beach was redeveloped, after which it appeared Boulevard Mohammed V with many cafes, restaurants and stores.
Due to the fact that this is not a sea beach, but an ocean beach, its water is always a little cool, and because of the constant winds there are always waves, which contributes to surfing and other sports. Walking along the beach, you should definitely go to the port and admire the new marina with many slender, beautiful boats and see the real life of the locals.
Backpackers can find overnight accommodations in campsites near the main beach.
After death, relatives of the deceased must wear white clothing for 40 days, as white is the country’s mourning color.
Hotels in Agadir
There are relatively few hotels directly by the sea: some are located on the second line, the rest are even farther from the sea. Where to stay in the city:
- Al Moggar Garden Beach Club. This is a four-star private hotel across the street from the ocean. The close location to the city center – it is only 0.6 km away – also pleases. The hotel has a private beach, you can choose rooms with ocean or garden views.
- Beach Albatros Resort & Spa. Another comfortable and chic four-star hotel complex, located on the first line of the sea. It is ideal for both active and relaxing holidays with children.
- Les Almohades Ramada Resort. Also a four-star hotel, located in close proximity to the sea and walking distance from the tourist center of the city.
Restaurants and Cafes
When visiting Agadir, be sure to get to know the Moroccan cuisine, because it is a unique mix of European, Mediterranean, Berber and Arabic cuisines. Spices, which the Moroccans sparingly add to the dishes, make the dishes spicy. The main dishes to try:
- Soups – ebaba (bread soup), harira (lamb soup with beans), chorba (chicken broth with spices and herbs);
- meat dishes are prepared in many ways from different types of meat – pastilla, tajin (stewed meat with quince), meshua (lamb with spices);
- Vegetable dishes – sheogi (rice and vegetable salad), roast with Moroccan vegetables, salads with oranges;
- Bakery, desserts and sweets are also in great demand among the locals – xra (Moroccan bread), bastia and rgaif (pancakes simple and with stuffing), beshkito (classic cookie).
As for drinks, you should definitely try the famous Moroccan tea with mint and spices and coffee with cardamom. If possible, try the local wines, as Morocco is considered the producer of the best wines in all of northern Africa.
Popular places to eat in Agadir:
- Restaurants with Moroccan cuisine – Mimi La Brochette, Rotisserie Ennahda, Restaurant Camel’s, Le Tapis Rouge Restaurant.
- Budget establishments: Babakoul, Restaurant Daffy, Restaurant Bab Agadir, Cafe Restaurant Ibtissam, Restaurant Rafiq.
- Specializing in seafood: El Toro, Pure Passion Restaurant, Little Norway, Le 20′ Restaurant, La Scala.
Moroccan thuja wood, which grows exclusively in this country, is used to make panels of the most expensive cars in the world: Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and BMW.
Transportation and communications
To get around the city you can use public transport, cabs or rent a car. The latter option is especially convenient if you intend to travel outside the city. The roads in the country are in good condition, but most signs and signs in Arabic or French, in English you can rarely find. The average cost of a car: $ 30-50 dollars a day. In Morocco, there are many companies that offer car rental services, but to be sure of the quality of service and full package, it is better to go to a proven and well-known companies, such as Eurocar.
To move around the city tourists use the services of petit-taxi (small cars for up to three people, the average cost of a trip through the city of 30 dirhams). For long-distance travel book a grand cab (loads six people and more). Also in the city are buses.
To stay in touch, you can buy a SIM card from one of the Moroccan mobile operators: Maroc Telecom, Meditel or INWI. The cost of cards is $ 5. To call home is optimal to use the street phone machines that are easy to find in the tourist areas of the city. For regular use of the Internet you can buy a special Internet card Maroc Telecom for 30 days or use the services of Internet cafes (1 hour will cost $ 1), but it may be a significant difficulty in using the French-Arabic keyboard.
What to bring.
A trip to such a colorful Arab country can not do without buying unique souvenirs and products. The first place to shop is the market, but not the central one, which is designed just for tourists, but El Ahad (Souk El Had), located closer to the beach. In this market you can find absolutely everything, from spices and sweets to unique handmade goods.
At L’Echappee Belle Etape Berbere you can find unusual souvenirs and handmade goods, including shoes and clothes, and for quality local cosmetics based on argan oil stop by the Argan Shop.
Moroccans are very fond of bargaining and will be happy to wait for this from buyers, even if the purchase is very small amount. When haggling, it is worth determining for yourself the amount you are willing to give for the goods. You should not be aggressive and hasty, instead you should do everything good-naturedly, with a smile and with confidence.
Souvenirs you can bring from Morocco:
- Argan oil. It can be edible (distinguished by its dark color) and cosmetic. The main thing is to beware of fakes, which are much cheaper than the real product.
- Carpets. They come in different sizes, and in spite of the high cost, it is a very striking and memorable souvenir of Morocco. You should buy them in less popular tourist destinations, as the price can vary several times.
- Teapots. Usually made of copper, they can be just a souvenir or used for their intended purpose.
- Ceramics. You can buy utensils, containers for storing spices and seasonings or decorations. When purchasing, calculate the weight.
- Leather lamps. Will be an original addition to the interior. Souvenir of leather in a metal frame looks original, and does not cost much.
- Copper luminaires. Unlike the previous souvenirs, the cost of lighting fixtures made of openwork copper is several times higher, but they look very impressive.
- African statuettes and masks.
- Items of Moroccan thuja. It can be anything: statuettes, caskets, trays, pens.
- Gastronomic souvenirs. There can be a huge selection of purchases: herbs and spices, tea, coffee, sweets, olives, fruits, nuts and dried fruits. It is very important to buy them in specialized shops.
Memories of vacationing in this fabulous Arab country will remain forever in your heart. Agadir, not being the most popular tourist city, will surprise you. It is a great place for a relaxing seaside vacation and water sports, especially surfing.