Things to Do in Agadir
Agadir Beach (Plage d'Agadir), for all its fame, doesn’t really feel like Morocco. Depending on what you’re looking for this can either be good or bad, and if it’s a break from Moroccan food and tea the Western influence is welcome. If, on the other hand, you’re lusting for authentic experiences and rich doses of culture— you might want to just give Agadir a pass or accept it for what it is. As Morocco’s largest and most popular beach resort, Agadir caters to pre-packaged tourists much more than the independent traveler. Resorts and restaurants line the sand that stretches for nearly six miles, and cabanas, cocktails, and crashing surf round out the coastal scene.
The temperature here is surprisingly mild during every month of the year, where the sun continues to shine through winter but stays relatively cool through summer. Though Agadir was rocked in 1960 by a hugely destructive earthquake, the old Casbah on the hill above town has walls dating back to the 1500s and inscriptions in Arabic and Dutch. More importantly, the view looking out over Agadir Bay is arguably the best in the city, with a Casbah sunset offering a view you’re sure to never forget.
With a prime location on Morocco’s windswept Atlantic coast, just north of Agadir, Taghazout beach has made a name for itself as one of the country’s top surfing destinations. Running for just under four miles (six kilometers), the sandy beach south of Taghazout town is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and surf shops, with ample opportunities to rent boards, learn to surf or join a beachside yoga class. Numerous surfing outfitters dot the sand, teaching visitors a thing or two about hanging ten.
The best time to catch a wave is between October and April, but surfing and windsurfing are possible all year-round. There are surf spots for all levels, including gentle waves for beginners and some more challenging breaks for seasoned surfers; Hash Point, Panorama, Anchor Point and Killer Point are among the most popular. When you’re ready to spend some time on land, head into the fishing village for a bite at a makeshift cafe on a warm summer night.
Just southeast of Agadir, Crocoparc is one of Morocco’s most unusual and popular attractions—a botanical park that’s home to more than 300 Nile crocodiles. After entering the park through a huge, artificial crocodile mouth, visitors roam the five thematic gardens to see the crocodiles in pools and admire the park’s flora.
With around 6,000 shops and stalls crammed into a walled compound in the old medina, Agadir’s rambling market is one of the biggest in all of northern Africa. Visiting Souk el Had is an experience in itself, with a maze of colorful goods on sale, from Moroccan lamps to handcarved bowls.
Join the crowds of locals and tourists to haggle over handicrafts and authentic souvenirs; watch local craftsmen at work; or browse the rows of bargain clothing, cosmetics and household goods. The market is also the best place to shop for fresh foods, with huge piles of vegetables, flowers and exotic fruits, plus a rainbow of pungent spices, dried fruits and candies. Don’t forget to sample the argan oil!
Though today’s Agadir is concentrated along its long beach dotted byumbrellas, ancient Agadir once used to be an altogether different place — and located in a different place, too. Situated on a hilltop, above giant, hard-to-miss Arabic lettering (which translates as "God, Country, King"), sits that former town - the Agadir Kasbah - or, at least, what remains of it.
Also called Agadir Oufella, this historic area was constructed in the 1500s, but much of it was ultimately destroyed during the region’s great earthquake in 1960. What now exists is its still-intact and very visible-from-afar wall, which once protected the old town and its some 300 residents, and that now surrounds unmaintained ruins and rubble. What most people come for, though? Unparalleled views that stretch along the entire city and coastline, making the journey an impressive one whether you’re keen to see a historic site or to simply gape at the Moroccan landscape before you.
Learning more about the Amazigh people and their past is a key part of understanding Morocco and its culture. Often called Berbers, the ethnic group is native to North Africa and has a diverse history in Morocco that can be explored at Agadir's Museum of Amazigh Culture (Musée Municipal du Patrimoine Amazighe d’Agadir), which sits just steps away from the city’s sandy coastline.
Although it’s not a very large space, the museum displays a wide range of Amazighe items from the 18th and 19th centuries. While there, explore exhibits featuring everything from pottery to carpets, art, traditional costumes, and cooking utensils. The highlight for many are the collections of jewelry, which include exquisite pieces worn during wedding ceremonies.
Those looking to be pampered Moroccan-style will find everything they need at the Argan Palace, one of Agadir’s most luxurious spas. As well as enjoying a steam, scrub and soap massage in the traditional hammam, a range of massages and treatments are available, from a typical Berber massage to relaxing oil massages and reflexology.
Alongside the spa and hammam, the Argan Palace runs a shop selling its top quality, organic cosmetics and perfumes, enriched with the region’s famous argan oil.
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