A stroll around Agadir: What to see in Morocco’s most famous resort city
Morocco, like the intricate patterns of its mosaic, consists of hundreds and even thousands of details. Each element is important here, every piece is different and at the same time harmoniously complements the overall picture. So among the Moroccan cities it would seem that Agadir, the modern resort capital of the country, stands apart. But without it the palette of impressions of the country could not be complete.
If you are in Agadir just for the beach, it would be a big mistake to limit yourself to the hotel area. We tell you where to start exploring the city, what to visit in the surrounding area, what to entertain the kids and where to look for the best views.
The ocean and the promenade
The ocean is the city’s main attraction. Nothing can compare to it. No matter how many times you encounter its rumbling power, it’s impossible to get tired of watching the waves. All of the 6 kilometers of beach in Agadir can be walked on the sand or along the promenade along the shoreline.
On the coast is the Ferris wheel of Agadir, La Grande Roue Agadir. Its booths offer an impressive view of the city itself, the beach, boats and yachts in the port. The best time to visit is in the evening to watch the sunset. With the onset of darkness the lights turn on and the wheel becomes the dominant feature of the whole embankment.
Almost any time of year and in any weather, you’ll meet local residents on the beach, for whom the ocean is the same place of attraction. Some come to work out, play soccer, or go jogging. And they can also build a shelter from the weather and … just contemplate.
For hundreds of fishermen, the ocean is both fun and a way to get fresh fish, and for some, it’s their main job.
And if the water element meets with wind and you with a lack of adrenaline, you’re welcome for some daring entertainment.
Port for 300 yachts
The Marina Agadir is a prestigious area to visit for those who plan to get dopamine from shopping in addition to aesthetic pleasure. This is where the local beauties spend time, and millionaires buy property by the water, so it is not far to go down to the parked yacht.
The marina is located near the foot of Mount Agadir, one of the slopes of which, from almost anywhere in the city, you can see the inscription: “God. Fatherland. King.” At nightfall, the words are illuminated.
If you are not planning to leave Agadir, you have at least two opportunities to get at least a little touch of “that” authentic Morocco. These are to visit the market and the Lubnan Mosque. The mosque is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Agadir, and it is located in the center of the city, near the park Ollian. Despite the fact that the building was completely rebuilt after the 1960 earthquake, it looks very traditional. Tourists can not get inside, but even near the walls there is an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
The main entrance is closed by a massive cedar door with carved paintings.
Until the 1980s the minaret of the mosque was just white, then it was richly decorated with geometric mosaics of ceramics. Thus it became even more beautiful.
Agadir does not have the ancient medina for which tourists go to Marrakech or Fez, but there is the usual market of Moroccan cities – Souk el-Had. Moreover, this is the largest market in the region, the third largest in North Africa. There are about 6 thousand market stalls. The market is surrounded by high terracotta colored battlements and has as many as 12 entrances and exits. It is open every day except Monday from 7 am to 7 pm.
The market area resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle of ceramics, colorful carpets, copper tableware, souvenirs and spices.
The local color is the fruit of the opuntia cactus.
Tagin – originally shaped pots for cooking the national dish of the same name.
If you are already a parent and traveling with children, then, in addition to acquaintance with the monuments of history and culture, they will probably have to be entertained with more familiar and spectacular shows.
One such place is the new Agadir Dolphin World, opened in 2018 with the participation of a company from Russia. It is located in the suburbs and is designed mainly not for tourists, but for locals.
A larger and more exotic place of entertainment near Agadir is Crocopark. And if you have probably visited the dolphinarium in your country, then we definitely recommend visiting the crocodile farm. All information about this place you can find in our separate article.
If that wasn’t enough – visit the Vallee des Oiseaux, located in the center of the resort. It’s a 2.5-hectare reserve with herons and magnificent peacocks, colorful parrots and other exotic bird species. For the youngest visitors, there are playgrounds with sandpits, slides and swings.
Agadir Casbah, Old City
The Agadir kasbah is an elevated urban fortification typical of Arab cities. It was built in 1540 and later rebuilt in the mid-18th century. At that time it was an imposing fortification with about 300 inhabitants.
To this day, above the entrance to the fortress is an original inscription in Arabic and Dutch: “Fear God and honor the King. These words appeared here in 1746, when a mission of Dutch merchants arrived in town.
The 1960 earthquake that ravaged Agadir did not spare much of the old fortress. A gate and a long wall were left of it, which has been restored. Most of it has been plastered over, but in some places you can still see the original masonry.
The fortress is worth a climb if only for the views of the promenade of Agadir.
If the panoramic photos are not enough, the locals are happy to offer you to decorate the frame with a camel, a snake and monkeys. Don’t leave without one.
The beach city of Agadir is well suited for long walks. If you decide to visit it this year, there’s a great opportunity to go on a trip straight from Minsk. October 22 flight of tour operator “Intercity” on board “Belavia” will bring you straight to the coast of the ocean, where you will have 10 days to get acquainted with North Africa. Do not miss.
We share the top news and great deals from tour operators. We break down the resorts, beaches, new excursions.
Agadir is known as the best resort in Morocco. The city was once a tranquil trading port through which sugar and cotton from the Sous Valley were exported.
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Today, many vacationers here are unaware that Agadir is the scene of one of the greatest tragedies in the country’s history. At the height of the night of February 29, 1960, a terrible earthquake struck the area, killing 15,000 inhabitants in just 15 seconds, and wiping the city off the map. While rescuers were still trying to retrieve bodies from the ruins, a cholera epidemic broke out and it was decided to bury the city and its dead and rebuild everything. According to Mohammed V, New Agadir is a testament to the “faith and determination” of the citizens and the entire Moroccan people. The city is located 273 km southwest of Marrakech, 511 km south of Casablanca.
There are few attractions here. The main reason for visiting Agadir is to relax on the beach. This city is said to bring half of the country’s income from tourism. It has a modern look, with a string of elegant hotels and residential buildings (all earthquake-proof) along the beach. All that remains of the old Agadir is the casbah to the north of the port. From here, you have a beautiful view of the bay, the industrial area to the north and the new royal palace to the south.
As you walk along the rue de la Corniche, you’ll see a tree-lined hill on your right. This is the 1960s burial ground, a strange, faceless memorial to the dead. Past that is the port and a chain of open stalls where you can buy fish brought straight from the trawlers; if you want to try some on the pier, they will grill it for you. Agadir is the world’s biggest sardine processing center, but the range of local seafood is much wider, from squid to shark.
In the city itself, the Amazighhe Heritage Museum (Berber name for the city), on Avenue Hassan II, exhibits Moroccan art and crafts.
The center of city life is the sandy beach. You can go boating, water skiing, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing, and even ride a camel. Just soak up the sun, which is all over Agadir 300 days a year.
Tourist office: Immeuble Ig-nouan, Avenue Mohammed V. Tel: (088) 84-63-77.
Amazigh Heritage Museum: avenue Hassan II. Open: every day from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Entrance fee.
Surroundings of Agadir
Dusty gateway to the desert, Guelmime was once the last stop for Saharan caravans on their way from Mali and Ghana to the Atlantic coast. In the 8th century, there was already a large bazaar here where West African gold was exchanged for Saharan salt. As early as the 1920s, slaves from Mali and Upper Volta were bought here for shipment to Europe.
Today Helmim is an unremarkable administrative center, enlivened only by the Saturday camel bazaar. It used to be a fascinating sight. Long caravans of camels lined the streets at dawn to the singing of the mahouts. The camels are sold for meat and not for desert conquest. The show is orchestrated by “blue men” – desert nomadic Berbers dressed in blue robes that leave traces of blue dye on their skin. In fact, most of them are locals who dress in blue to keep the tradition alive. The market is not open in summer. 199 km south of Agadir.
When the Spanish left the enclave in 1969, they left behind a ghost town of Art Deco houses, an Andalusian garden, a Catholic church, and a consulate building that still reminds us of former colonial luxury. A light sea haze intensifies this sense of unreality, ghostliness. Meanwhile, the city is alive, and the epicenter of its life is the port. 165km south of Agadir. Bazaar day is Sunday.
A chain of mud-brick villages winds along the oasis valley under the shadow of strange, twisted rock formations. To the east of Tafraoute stretches a barren area of sparse oases. The center of this uniquely beautiful region is the town of Tata. Drive 62km south to Akka and you can see some of the most spectacular prehistoric cave paintings in North Africa, but be warned, you need a local guide.
Tafraut: 144km southeast of Agadir; market day Wed. Tata: 242km southeast of Taroudant. Bazaar days Thu, Sat.
Taliouine and Tazenakht
Intermediate points on the route from Agadir to Ouarzazate, these two villages are often overlooked by tourists. Taliouine extends over a deep valley with scattered villages and almond orchards; here you will also find the dilapidated kasbah of the Glaoui clan, a palace guarded as if by guards from four square towers. From Taliouin you can take a five-day hike to Jebel Sirois (3304m), a volcanic cone that rises above the Anti-Atlas Range.
Farther east, Tazenacht is the center of the Uzgita carpet weaving. A small local cooperative is ready to open its doors to the curious, so you can see how these bright geometric designs are woven if you wish.
Taliouine: 200km east of Agadir. Tazenaht: 285km east of Agadir.
Taroudant (literally, “city of towers”) is famous for its red toothed walls. Once capital of the Saadite dynasty, Taroudant is now famous for its souks. 80km east of Agadir.
In the 1880s, Sultan Moulay Hasan decided to enclose the scattered kasbahs with a 5 km long pink wall. The local leader, El-Hiba, proclaimed himself sultan in 1912 and marched off with his own army to meet the French, who had just occupied Fez. The Blue Sultan, so nicknamed because of his exotic “desert” dress, was defeated at Marrakech and was sent into exile where he met his end.
Tiznit has long been famous for its jewelry. It was once home to Jewish goldsmiths who started a tradition of silver craftsmanship that is still upheld today. To the north of the city bazaars are the Great Mosque and the Lalla Tiznit Spring, a shrine in honor of a local repentant harlot who sacrificed herself to Islam. A spring still exists today at the site where she fell.
West of Tiznit, in Aglou, lies a beautiful beach. 91km south of Agdir. Bazaar day reads.