Agadir holidays

Experience Agadir

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Agadir beach is frankly spectacular; a broad six-mile strip of sand that curves like a scimitar along this section of the Atlantic coastline. It's spacious enough never to feel crowded, and popular with families, as well as water sports enthusiasts who head to the beach to go parascending or to surf on the rolling swell of the Atlantic Ocean. Spend a day here and relax as the sun sets over the horizon - the westerly outlook means you should get to watch it sink like a golden disc into the ocean. Finish your evening at one of the top-quality restaurants that line the coast, interspersed between five-star hotels.

Trekking is a popular pastime for holidays in Agadir, thanks to the scenic coastline and rocky inland surroundings. Many visitors opt for a relatively simple beach trek, taking in the sights of the land and sea alongside one another, and there are tour guides available who can help you to discover some of the smaller details you might otherwise miss. Head inland for a landscape that could easily be Martian, were it not for the green splashes of foliage dotted around in the form of hardy shrubs and trees on the otherwise parched earth. Save your feet if you're weary by opting for a 4x4 excursion, or a cowboy-esque horseback trek.

If you have a car at your disposal, there are a couple more options that make for great family-friendly days out, including Atlantica Parc to the north. This is an aquapark, and is often referred to as being in Agadir, although it is some 27km outside of the city. Its brightly coloured flumes include twisting tube slides, along with straight slides perfect for racing against friends or family. Relax by the pool and the restaurant staff will be there to provide you with food throughout the day, or drinks to rehydrate after spending time in the sun.

Drive in the opposite direction and you'll come to Souss-Massa National Park, a coastal reserve created in 1991 and spanning some 33,800 hectares. The Park has benefited from Agadir's relative proximity to the Canary Islands, with support given in its early years from Teide National Park, found on Tenerife. Ongoing efforts to maintain the natural beauty of the area have seen planned construction projects put on hold, including a major coastal hotel development, although an increasing number of summer chalets are adding to the human population on a smaller scale.

Top Landmarks

Agadir's dramatic and quite tragic history (it was utterly devastated by an earthquake in 1960) means many of its landmarks are only around half a century old, or even younger. Old architectural sights won’t be found within this city, however, that doesn't mean that there's no history to be seen. The Musee du Patrimoine Amazigh d'Agadir is a good first stop if you want to find out more about the area before the earthquake struck - long before, in fact, as the museum is focused on the area's Berber culture before the Europeans began to arrive.

The Medina - or simply 'La Medina' in the local language - is another must-see landmark, even though it only dates as far back as 1992. Despite being relatively young as an architectural sight, a visit to this landmark is a chance to see some modern-day design in its own right - in this case the work of the Italian artist Coco Polizzi. To get there, you'll need to head about 4.5km from Agadir city centre to the district of Ben Sergao. The structure itself mixes old with new - a modern construction that used traditional Berber building methods - and the five-hectare site houses several artisan workshops and a museum, while serving as a kind of open-air museum in its entirety too.

Entertainment

Although sightseeing may not be considered a form of entertainment in its own right, it's worth heading out around Agadir just to see the city. It is in the almost unique situation of being built on a wealth of history and heritage, yet having been reconstructed almost from a blank canvas since the 1960s. This gives it architectural value all of its own: a slice of late 20th century Moroccan design that is largely free from competing influences.

For a rather unusual celebration, visit Agadir in May and make the short journey to nearby Argana. This village is home to what some people say is the oldest collective beehive in the world - it's also one of Morocco's biggest producers of honey. Each May, the Honey Festival takes place in Argana, celebrating the sweet ingredient and its various uses, as well as the industrious bees that produce it.

And if your visit to Morocco wouldn't be complete without seeing some camels, there are several opportunities to do so in June and July. First is the Sahraoui Festival in June, featuring camel racing, singing and dancing, and performances of the Laayoune warrior dance. If you miss this, then in July there's another chance to see some camels at the Moussem of Tan Tan in Goulimine. Here is where Tuareg Nomads come to meet, allowing them to trade in various goods and foods, celebrate their shared culture and hold a number of contests between their horses and camels.

Dining Out

Agadir has the usual Moroccan cuisine to offer, along with international tastes too. Most tourists will try an authentic kebab, consisting of minced meat formed around a skewer, or solid cubes threaded on to the spike and marinated for rich flavour. Also popular is the slow-cooked tagine, a kind of stew named after the distinctive tall conical cooking pot in which it is prepared, the shape of which helps to retain moisture, returning evaporated liquid to the centre of the pot so that the food inside does not dry out even during long cooking times.

For a uniquely Agadir experience, head towards the fish market on Avenue du Port and look out for the small restaurants located in the vicinity. These are hugely popular among local residents and visitors to the city alike, and serve up dishes made with the catch of the day. While a wide variety of seafood is likely to feature, you might particularly want to try sardines, as Agadir's fishing port is one of the most important in the world for this particular fish. Stalls located close to the port itself sell them prepared quite simply, either grilled or barbecued, and these will typically be cooked to order for maximum freshness.

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

The main official language of Morocco is Arabic, spoken by 80-90% of people, but there is ever-growing support of international languages not just for tourism, but in business and as a mandatory part of schooling. A third of residents speak French, making it a good European language to use if you understand it well enough. Only about a seventh of people speak English; however, these are mainly in the tourist areas as you might expect, and more are learning the language as time goes on too.

Currency

You can take as much cash in sterling with you as you want, but only up to 1,000 Moroccan dirhams. Do not take Scottish banknotes - they are almost impossible to spend or exchange. Travellers' cheques are not easily exchanged, so are perhaps not the easy 'safe' option as in some other destinations. Major credit cards are widely accepted though, and larger towns and cities have plenty of ATMs for you to obtain more cash when you need it - be aware of any transaction fees for credit card cash advances.

Visas

Tourists are allowed to enter Morocco for up to three months at a time, without the need for a visa. You should make sure you get your passport stamped on arrival, as some people have experienced problems trying to leave the country without a stamped passport. Of course, your passport needs to be valid for the full duration of your visit, but you usually won't need the extra six months after your planned departure date, which is a requirement in many other countries.

Climate

Agadir's coastal location helps to keep its temperatures moderate during the hottest months of the summer - the Atlantic Ocean provides a cooling breeze that is common to Morocco's coastal towns and cities, making them a little cooler on the hottest days, and this should also help to make Agadir a desirable destination if you don't like your summers too extreme. During the winter, the temperatures typically remain quite mild, although the weather in general may be less pleasant.

Main Airports

Agadir is on the coast, about as far south of Marrakesh as Casablanca and Rabat are to the north, and relatively quite close to the Canary Islands.

Flight Options

While it's easy to think of Casablanca as the gateway to Morocco, it's actually possible to fly direct to Agadir from both Manchester and London in the UK, along with a good number of other European cities. Flights arrive into Agadir Al Massia Airport, located a short distance from the city centre, leaving you with a transfer of about 12-13 miles to make by bus or taxi, or by hiring a car from the airport.

Travel Advice

From the UK, the easiest way to get to Agadir is direct via one of the many major airlines that operate across the country. The quickest route is from London, with only a three hour flight time. An alternative route is to fly into Casablanca and then on to Agadir. Before you land you’ll be given a landing card to fill out allowing you entry to the country.

Other Transport Options

If you feel like extending your adventure, there's always the option of visiting other destinations on your way to Agadir. You could fly into beautiful Marrakech, for example, before moving on to Agadir itself.

Getting Around

Agadir is a great city to explore on foot, but there are also plenty of public transport options for those looking to explore further.

Bus

If you opt for the budget-friendly bus from the airport, you need local route number 22, which departs from the main road outside the airport terminal. Don't be put off by the fact that this route does not go into central Agadir - this is perfectly normal. Instead, it takes you to the suburb of Inezgane, which acts as a kind of transport hub to switch to another local route into Agadir itself. To get into the centre of Agadir, you'll need route 20, 24 or 28, and both buses should cost just a few dirhams each.

Car

Hiring a car is another option on your trip, but it can be expensive and often confusing. Many travellers opt for a petit taxi, or for longer trips a grand taxi. Taxi drivers like to barter the price for your journey, so be aware when hopping in.

Air

There are a few options when flying to Agadir with flights going directly from larger airports such as Manchester and London. As an alternative, some tourists chose to fly into Marrakech and travel by train or other methods to reach the city of Agadir.

MAP

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FACTS

  1. If Agadir looks quite modern, that is because much of it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960; its buildings have been subject to minimum seismic standards ever since.
  2. The 5.7 magnitude quake was the strongest ever recorded in Morocco, and occurred just before midnight on Monday, February 29th, 1960 - even more unusual as this date in February is only possible in a leap year.
  3. You may see other towns in Morocco called Agadir - the name simply means 'fort' or 'citadel' - and technically this particular destination's full name is Agadir n Yighir, or Fortress of the Cape.

FACTS

  1. If Agadir looks quite modern, that is because much of it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960; its buildings have been subject to minimum seismic standards ever since.
  2. The 5.7 magnitude quake was the strongest ever recorded in Morocco, and occurred just before midnight on Monday, February 29th, 1960 - even more unusual as this date in February is only possible in a leap year.
  3. You may see other towns in Morocco called Agadir - the name simply means 'fort' or 'citadel' - and technically this particular destination's full name is Agadir n Yighir, or Fortress of the Cape.

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