With an airport and 360 sunny days a year, Agadir has built its reputation as a primary destination for tour holidaymakers. However, Agadir is not a typical representation of how you imagine Morocco.
Completely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake, Agadir became a modern city. With its modern buildings, European-style cafes, avenues and boulevards, Agadir looks more like a Mediterranean resort town. Or, as my American friend noticed, like a beach resort in California. As a result, Agadir can be a perfect first-time introduction to Morocco for those travellers who don’t like to travel independently but still want to feel some Moroccan vibes.
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What I 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.
Agadir Morocco – History
As mentioned, Agadir was newly built after the devastating earthquake in 1960. About a third of the city’s population (around 12,000 people) were killed; almost 80 per cent of the buildings were wrecked. The current town was rebuilt 2 km further south of the earthquake epicentre.
Hot to get to/out Agadir?
The bus station in Agadir is located 5 km from the beach; the local taxi will cost around 15 DH. Inside the 3 floors of the building, you will find many different bus companies selling tickets. I use modern Supratours or CTM companies; they are slightly more expensive but always come on time, busses are comfortable. After entering the bus station, you will probably encounter some guys selling tickets for other local companies’ busses. If you need to reach some smaller town or village, you might need to buy a ticket from them as the Supratour and CTM busses don’t go everywhere in Morocco.
How to reach Agadir from Marrakech? In Marrakech, there are several bus companies: Supratours (they have a website with the timetable and prices) is located next to the Marrakech train station. The ticket cost 110 Dh, including free wifi. Another bus company, CTM, is a 5 min walk from the Supratours. Bus tickets sold out fast, especially on weekends; you better buy one in advance. The scenery on the road to Agadir is breathtaking and the 4-hour bus trip (with a stop at a restaurant) will pass fast.
What to see in Agadir?
The beach in Agadir city is clean, with showers (outside) and guards. Many hotels have their own secured zones. However, the beach often crowded, so if you prefer a more authentic experience, try to get to the beaches outside Agadir city (my favourite ones are in the nearby Taghazout village).
Agadir’s Marina is the most modern between the beach and the commercial port. This small harbour has holiday apartments, cafes, restaurants and group boat trips, and well-known clothes shops and brands. Marina is a trendy place for a walk and reminds me so much of Europe.
A few min walk from the beach, you will find a little walk-through zoo called Vallee des Oiseaux (‘Bird Valley’). The zoo as well as wallabies, monkeys, turtles, deer, goats, etc. Some conditions of animals are doubtful, but it is the right place for kids to explore nature.
Market Souk El Had
Souk El Had (Sunday market) is the biggest city souk (marketplace) in Morocco, with around 6,000 stores. This Souk contains everything from skincare to clothing, leather, rugs and spices. The whole Souk visit experience is extraordinarily colourful, and I would highly recommend visiting regardless of whether you plan on buying anything. You can visit the market yourself or book a city tour that includes a visit to this market (contact me to book the tour).
The Medina Coco Polizzi
As you already know, Agadir was utterly ruined in a devastating earthquake in 1960. As a result, the original medina (old town) of Agadir was lost; only small ruins of the old Kasbah remain on top of the hill overlooking the city. Therefore, many people get confused searching for the “Agadir Medina” and ending up at the Medina Coco Polizzi, as well called the “New Medina”.
In 1992, the Italian architect Coco Polizzi reconstructed a Berber-style medina on a farm about five kilometres from Agadir. It was built using traditional building techniques and local materials. Today, visitors can stroll the alleys and shop in the many small boutiques, all while taking in the colours, aromas and bustle of the market.
It’s a great place to relax walking around and chilling at the restaurant (the best couscous in Agadir). The restaurant is compact with a beautiful area for children to play in, a family of peacocks wandering around. There is not much to see, but still, a pleasant memory of how the Medina of Agadir looked like before. The entrance fee is 40 MAD; you can get to the Medina Coco Polizzi by taxi, bargaining the price.
Agadir Oufella Ruins or Agadir Kasbah
The old ruined Kasbah, also known as Agadir Oufella, is located on top of the mountain marked “God, Country and King” writing on the hillside. It’s rising 236 meters above sea level. You will notice these writing even from the beach of Agadir; they are also shining in the dar.
The Kasbah of Agadir was built in 1540 by the Saadian Sultan Mohammed in the 16th century. In 1752 the Kasbah was restored by the Alawite Sultan Moulay Abdallah, but it was destroyed after the earthquake in 1960; only the ramparts were partially rebuilt. The Kasbah is located on the top of a mountain rising 236 meters above sea level.
Up the Kasbah, you will enjoy the breathtaking panorama of Agadir. The Kasbah is closed, but you can walk around. Be warned that vendors here want your money for a dromedary ride or a picture with their goat. There are plenty of vendors selling all kind of goods and camel rides (I must agree, it’s an annoying part of this experience). You can get up the Kasbah walking ( fairly steep walk and takes an hour and a half), or by taxi (around 100 DH both ways), or booking a private city tour (contact me).
What to see around Agadir?
For almost 5 years I have been working with a reliable travel company in Agadirether we offer traveller fantastic day trips. So contact me if you want to book a day tour in/outside Agadir, hire a driver or a car.
Crocopark is located within the community of Drarga, on the outskirts of Agadir, along National Highway 8 (the Marrakech-Agadir motorway). You can reach CrocoPark by their own arranged transfer (fixed times, check on their website), taxi (around 300 DH), or book a private transfer (contact me to book). The entrance cost 70 Dh, more information here.
National Park of Souss Massa
The National Park of Souss Massa is a hidden gem of Agadir surroundings. Located around 60 km from Agadir, it’s a 33,800-hectare national park created in 1991. This park aims to restore the Saharan Fauna in the South of Morocco; it shelters 250 Species of Birds, 30 Mammals, 35 amphibians and reptilAlthough, the. The park is vast, you can just rent a car and explore yourself, although I would highly recommend hiring a local guide that can help you to spot the rare species.
I would recommend visiting the fenced and supervised Rokein Game Reserve (2,000 ha) managed by the Souss Massa National Park. The reserve was created for the acclimatization of the Saharan Antelopes (mhorr Dama Gazelle, Dorcas Gazelle, Addax and Oryx) and the African ostrich (Struthio camelus), before their reintroduction into their original habitats in the deep south of Morocco. The Rokein Game Reserve is a pleasant few hours walk watching animals. The entrance is around 45 DH; there is a local guide who shortly explains about the park (in French or Darija) and leaves to walk alone. To find this pedestrian trail, follow the coordinates here (this place don’t have any official page yet).
The Paradise Valley is located 58 km from Agadir (towards Taghazout village) and is the most popular day trip. Paradise Valley is a small oasis surrounded by the High Atlas mountains and filled with natural pools, palm trees; perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, free fish spa and lunch at the river restaurants and cliff jumping. You can reach Paradise Valley with a rented car, taxi or with a tour (contact me). Recently, Paradise Valley became a popular spot, so if you want to avoid crowds, don’t go there on the weekend or in the morning (tours are leaving around 1 pm).
Cascade Imouzzer (waterfall)
If you visit Paradise Valley and have time to explore further, continue up the road to the Cascade (waterfall) Imouzzer. Imouzzer is a small Berber town located around 30 min drive from Paradise Valley, passing a beautiful mountain road. Before going there, make sure there is enough water for the Cascade to be visible and don’t expect something like the famous Ouzoud waterfall that is 110-meter high.
Imouzzer waterfall is small, and my favourite part was the clear pool down and above the hill. Indeed, don’t forget to climb up the mountain to see the waterfall from above.
Taghazout is a small fishing village 19 km north of Agadir. Taghazout and its neighbour Tamraght are popular places for surfing activities, every year attracting many surfers. Taghazout and its surroundings attract a lot of tourists looking for calm and tranquillity, an escape from the crowded Agadir.
In the last couple of years, Taghazout became a trendy destination for young travellers, a bunch of hipster vibes hostels, boutiques hotels and restaurants were opened. If you stay in Agadir, definitely visit Taghazout for great and cheap fish, calm beaches and more authentic than Agadir vibes. From Agadir, you can reach Taghazout by hired car, local bus (7DH), private or shared taxi (15 DH). Or, book a private drive trip to discover Paradise valley, Taghazout and its surroundings in one day.
Sand dunes of Taboga
A little piece of Sahara by the ocean, Taboga dunes are located around a 1-hour drive north of Agadir, taking the beautiful coastline road to Essaouira (15 km to Imsouane from Agadir’s side). It’s an impressive place where the ocean meets the rocks and the vast dunes, making a fantastic panoramic view. You will see the sign on the road, turn there and park your car for a breathtaking walk in the dunes, or surf the dunes, enjoy the sunset. You will find the GPS location here. This place is located in Region Souss Massa protected area 900 ha, and is called “The Site of Biological and Ecological Interest of Tamri”, you will be a welcome board on the turn.
p.s. Taboga dunes are very famous for sandboarding, if you don’t have a rented car or sandboard, contact me, and I will arrange this experience with my trustful partners from Agadir.