Agadir is not a typical city of traditional Morocco. Completely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake, it became a modern place with an airport and 360 sunny days a year. No wonder why, Agadir has built its reputation as a destination primary for a package tour holidaymakers.
Agadir can suit less to independent travellers, who are looking for the real vibes of Morocco. Even more, with its modern buildings, European-style cafes, flowered avenues and boulevards, Agadir looks more like a Mediterranean resort town. Or, as my American friend noticed, as a beach resort in California.
How to reach Agadir from Marrakech? There are several bus companies: Supratours (they have a website with the timetable and prices) is located just next to the Marrakech train station. The ticket cost 110 Dh, including free wifi. Another bus company is called CTM and is 5 min walk from the Supratours. Bus tickets are sold out fast, especially on weekends, better buy one in advance. Alternatively, you can take a taxi that will cost roughly 1000 Dh (around 100 eur), depends on your haggling skills.
Do not sleep on the bus! Seriously, the scenery on the road to Agadir is a breathtaking and the 4 hour bus trip (with a stop at a restaurant) will pass fast. The bus station in Agadir is located 5 km from the beach, the local taxi will cost around 15 dh.
As I already mentioned, Agadir was newly built after the devastating earthquake in 1960. In just a few moments of the earthquake, about a third of the city’s population (around 12,000 people) were killed and almost 80 per cent of the buildings were wrecked. The current city was rebuilt 2 km further south of the earthquake epicentre.
Although Agadir is modern, there are still sights worth seeing like the old part of the city, the port, the souk and the kasbah. People usually do day trips from Agadir to Tiznit, Sidi Ifne, Tagazouth or Atlas mountains. What I really love about Agadir, is the relaxing atmosphere. After a hectic life in Marrakech, sometimes I need to escape to a place, where everything is white and clean; where you are not disturbed by never stopping haggling. The beach is certainly a highlight of a stay in Agadir. There are showers just outside the beach and guards.
A few min walk from the beach, there is a little walk-through zoo called Vallee des Oiseaux. Even thought it is translated as a ‘Bird Valley’, the zoo as well has wallabies, monkeys, turtles, deer, goats, etc. Some conditions of animals are doubtful, but overall it is a good place for kids to explore the nature.
I a less than 10 min ride by taxi, you can visit a Crocopark, the first crocodile park in Morocco. The entrance cost 70 Dh, more information here.
On the way to the bus station, I accidentally discovered a “Cinema Sahara” that was built in the 1960’s after the earthquake. For only 6 Dh (0,50 euro) you can watch a movie and even smokes cigarettes inside.
Overall, is Agadir worth a visit? Definitely yes, but a short one. This city is a perfect for a day trip before heading to the other amazing Atlantic coast towns.