With its sunny beaches of fine sand, Agadir has become a flourishing tourist destination. This city lacks a medina and the hustle and bustle of Moroccan life. With about 100.000 inhabitants, it is a very modern city that sometimes even makes us forget that we are in Morocco.
The name of Agadir, in Morocco, has a Berber origin and means fortified town. It is a city located in the southern part of the country. Its interest lies in its location, as it is surrounded by the Anti Atlas, the Sahara desert, natural parks and isolated beaches of high quality, easily accessible from the city.
This important tourist city has more than 10 km of wide beaches of fine sand, protected from the north wind. This, along with its more than 300 days of sunshine a year, are its main attractions that make the city one of the most visited and renowned tourist destinations in the country.
On February 29, 1960, a devastating earthquake that caused more than 15,000 deaths destroyed Agadir. Morocco rebuilt the city, making it an important and attractive tourist destination, providing it with modern facilities and infrastructure.
How to get to Agadir from Morocco and abroad
By plane: the airport of Agadir al-Massira, located 25 km south of the city, has many international flights.
By bus: Several companies travel from Agadir to Essaouira, Safi, Marrakech, Casablanca, El Yadida, Trafraut, Tiznit, Tan tan or El Ayoun. The CTM bus station in Agadir is located on Boulevard M. Cheikh Saâdi.
By car: Agadir is about 3 or 4 hours away from Essaouira by taking the N1 road and crossing the largest argan forest found in Morocco. In about 4 or 5 hours you can reach Marrakech, from which you have multiple possibilities.
Car rental: you will find the main car rental agencies at Agadir airport.
What to see in Agadir
This is a list of what to see in Agadir:
- Bert Flint Municipal Museum, located on Boulevard Mohammed V
- Open air theatre, 100 metres from the museum
- Valley of the birds (zoo)
- The courthouse near the Valley of the Birds
- Garden of Portugal and its Memorial Museum
- Ibn Zaydoun Garden, between Prince Moulay Abdellah Avenue and 18 November Street
- Central Post Office, between Avenue Mohammed VI and Prince Moulay Abdellah Avenue
- Loubnane Mosque, between Avenue des FARS and Avenue de Prince Moulay Abdellah
- Mohammed V Mosque, on President Kennedy Boulevard
- Medina, an artisan space created by Beato Salvatore Polizzi using traditional Berber construction techniques
- Zoco alhad (Sunday souk)
Kasbah of Agadir
Located on the top of the hill, overlooking the port and the city, it is the most beautiful site in Agadir. The citadel has a magnificent view of the ocean and the city from a height of 236 meters, an ideal place to admire the sunset over the bay.
It was built in 1540 by Mohamed Ech-Cheikh (founder of the Saadi dynasty) as a base for his besieging army and later served to protect the city against Portuguese attack. Two centuries later, in 1752, the site was reinforced by Moulay Abdallah. Fearing a new offensive by the Portuguese, he rebuilt it in 1752 and left a garrison of 2,000 renegades and Turks here.
After the earthquake of 1960, only the wall and the entrance gate remained standing, on which we can read an inscription in Dutch dated 1746 that says “Fear God and respect the King”. In memory of a factory that the Dutch had here on that date.
The modern city
The center of Agadir is crossed by the avenues General-Ketani, Hassan II, F.A.R, Prince Moulay Abdallah and Prince Sidi Mohamed. These arteries, between which are interspersed pedestrian areas full of restaurants, shops and craft stores, form the heart of the city.
After the earthquake Agadir emerged from its ruins with beautiful modern neighborhoods, which are characterized by their concrete architecture, with green spaces and long avenues. Just behind the beach we find the boulevard Mohamed V, where most of the tourism is concentrated and where we can find a huge set of shops, restaurants, banks and establishments.
The main contemporary buildings to see in Agadir are the Post Office Building, the Fire Station and the Primary School.
Avenue des FAR
During a holiday in Agadir or in Morocco in general, it is always a pleasure to take a walk along the promenades. In this case, it is one of the liveliest in the city, where you will find many restaurants and shops.
Boulevard Hassan II
This magnificent promenade, with its pedestrian streets and numerous restaurants, boutiques and shops, divides the city centre. It constitutes, together with the Avenue du General Kettani, the Avenue des FAR and the Avenue Mohamed VI, the living centre of the modern city of Agadir.
Around its charming and immense beach, the city of Agadir has a very attractive promenade, a kind of long avenue full of restaurants, shops and entertainment. It is a wonderful place to take a walk by night and day, and attracts a large number of visitors.
The Central Market
In Agadir and Morocco, the central markets are surprising places where you can get to know the local gastronomy a little better. This is famous for the infinite variety of spices on offer, most of which are produced in the region.
The Port of Agadir
Since its reconstruction, Agadir has the most important fishing port in Morocco and the first sardine port in the world. It is surrounded by numerous factories of frozen and canned food. Citrus, canned products and minerals are among the main export products handled here. Agadir in Morocco has overtaken its rival Safi to become one of the most important sardine ports in the world and fish auctions are held at the fish market every afternoon. It is interesting to visit it because of the animation that it concentrates.
Museum of Agadir
Founded in 1992 on the premises of the Municipal Theatre, the Agadir Museum is mainly dedicated to the arts and popular traditions of the Souss Valley and the Saharan regions. It houses an important collection of traditional objects gathered by Bert Flint, a Dutch expert in local crafts who settled in Morocco in 1957. The museum is also worth a visit to compare its exhibits with the handicraft products sold today.
20 Août Boulevard
Situated between Boulevard 20 Août and Boulevard Mohammed V, the shining Vallée des Oiseaux (Valley of the Birds) is a very well located and cared for park where you can get to know everything about the native fauna, while in the playground the children will be trained for hours.
The Boulevard Mohammed V
Drawing a dividing line between the modern city and the tourist area, Mohamed V Boulevard is different from the other roads because of its architecture and the excellent hotels it houses.
The theatre of Agadir
Both its exterior and interior design, with its semicircular amphitheatre, are reminiscent of ancient Roman theatres. The stage, crowned by a kind of hanging garden, is a place for concerts and shows that take place all year round.
Where to eat in Agadir
There are three main areas of your choice:
New Talbourjt: The cheapest restaurants in Agadir and Morocco are in this area, also frequented by tourists.
The beach: next to the beach, there are many restaurants. You can find fast food places, international restaurants, good fish restaurants, etc. It is the most expensive and most touristic area.
Around the Uniprix: it is a medium price area. There are tourist restaurants and some restaurants for the local people.
Best Restaurants in Agadir
Expensive and moderate
Pure Passion Restaurant: with a pleasant terrace in the marina of Agadir, this restaurant serves international dishes, with a good seasonal product and a very varied menu of European cuisine with a French style. Approximate price 20 – 30 euros / person.
Le Jardin d’Eau: specialising in a wide variety of fish, it has a pleasant terrace. It has live music every night except Sundays. Price approximately 10 – 20 euros / person.
Azyam restaurant in Agadir: this restaurant specialises in seafood, as well as a variety of dishes. Price approximately 7 – 15 euros / person.
Havana Restaurant: Picturesque restaurant located in the marina of Agadir with excellent views and beautiful decoration, with old American cars parked at the door.
Buen Gusto: Italian home cooking restaurant in Agadir, with all kinds of pasta dishes at a very affordable price. Specialties in wood-fired oven pizzas. Price approximately 3 – 6 euros / person.
Portugalia: family restaurant serving Portuguese and European food at good prices (between 6 – 11 euros / person).
Agadir is a tourist site prepared for Europeans, so you can find bars in the tourist areas. Alcohol can be found in all tourist areas.
If you are looking for a place to talk and to drink something during the afternoon, you can go to the cafes that are in the avenue of Hassan II, like La Fontaine, Mirador del La, Le Dome , etc.
What to see near Agadir
Near Agadir, the beaches of Tamrhakht and Taghzout, lined with banana plantations and restaurants, are frequented by the Gadiris (local inhabitants). Cape Ghir is a promontory where the ocean waves come to break against the rocks. After Tamri, the coastal road continues towards the beautiful Portuguese city of Essaouira, whose charm justifies the 180 km trip north.
Beaches of Agadir
19 km north of Agadir towards Cape Rhir, Taghazout enjoys a mild climate all year round. Its superb 7 km beach is a world famous surfing centre
Imouzzer Ida Outanane
The country of the Ida Outanane, northwest of Agadir, this area is known as the ‘Valley of Paradise’. It is accessed by a winding road that allows you to admire the landscape: steep-walled canyons dominate the river lined with palm trees and pink laurels.
The Tifrit valley, one of the most beautiful in Morocco, was named ‘Valley of Paradise’ by the hippies in the 1970s. Situated at an altitude of 1160m, the tourist region of Imouzzer Ida Outanane (60km from Agadir) dominates a valley of palm trees. The region is also famous for its waterfalls and streams. This excursion, some of which can be done on foot or by mountain bike, 4×4, on horseback or on a donkey, will make your holiday in Agadir and Morocco more enjoyable and complete a great finale.
The best time to visit is in winter. At the end of May, the Ida Utanane tribe celebrates the honey festival.
At 78 km from Agadir, Tiznit begins to reveal itself to the visitor by showing its crenellated pink walls. The walk along the walls gives the impression of being part of a film set.
The interior of the medina hides real silver treasures: fibulas, front decorations, rings, daggers for men. In an arcaded courtyard, you can still see craftsmen working with silver according to traditional symbols and techniques. The large Mechouares square is a good place to savour the city’s nightlife.
Excursions to the surroundings are numerous and varied: Aglou-plage, the fishing village and troglodyte, the palm grove of Bad Targua at 60 km on the road to Tafraoute, etc.
From Tiznit to Tafraoute (110 km) begins the ascent of the Kerdous pass, the many curves warn us to be cautious, but do not let you miss anything of the admirable landscapes: Near Tafraoute, the landscape changes and the road enters a valley where a chaos of huge pink granite blocks make an overwhelming decoration. Palm trees and pink cubic houses are embedded in it.
In the heart of this fantastic landscape that at sunset takes on colours ranging from yellow to orange and dark violet, Tafraoute reveals itself to visitors as a place full of splendour.