Agadir, an important commercial center and largest seaside resort in Morocco, is nestled at the Atlantic shore. Flanked by Atlas Mountains on one edge, is essentially a Berber dwelling where inhabitants speak Tashelhit Berber. Moroccan Arabic and French are other two languages used by the inhabitants.
Since “Agadir” means “fortified building or citadel” there are many other towns in the kingdom that are called by this name. The locals of the city of Agadir call it by its full name, which is Agadir n Yighir, meaning “the fortress of the cape” (denoting to Cape Rhir, a nearby promontory).
Though the city was hit by an earthquake in 1960, it has completely been restored with improved seismic standards.
The city has a mild year-round climate which attracts a lot of Moroccan holiday-makers as well as tourists who come here to relax, sun bathe, and have delicious pizzas. The sandy beach of Agadir offers 300 days of sun a year.
The city mostly caters to the package-tour vacationers. If you are an independent traveler or a couple without kids, you might want to steer to another port city of Morocco to make the most of your visit.
Tourist Attractions in Agadir
The main attraction of the city is its sandy beach. Holiday-makers flock from all over Europe to unwind under the soothing sun and indulge in the water activities such as boating and yachting. Sunshades and deckchairs are available on rent, while the marina brims with cafés and restaurants serving delicious sea food and dishes centered around Moroccan, European, and Mediterranean cuisines.
Besides the sunny and sandy beach, the city has much more to offer. Here is a list of some of the main tourist attractions in Agadir which you must add to your list.
Kasbah – A Historical Site in Agadir
This beautiful historical building is a rare survivor of the 1960 earthquake. Its high terrace acts as a view point from where you can admire the spectacular landscape which will include the shore and the rest of the city. Built in 1541 and restored in 1740s, the kasbah was originally a vast place that once housed three hundred inhabitants. Now what remains of it is the high wall that fortified the kasbah. If you go inside and look closely, you will be able to trace the houses. It is a beautiful example of medieval Arabic architecture.
The most exciting part of the kasbah is the main entry gate which is inscribed in Dutch and Arabic language, marking the beginning of trade with the Low Countries. The inscription on the gate reads “Believe in God and Respect the King”.
While the kasbah is just 7km northwest from the city center, walking there can be a tedious task due to hot climate. The distance is easy and quick to cover via a taxi which will cost around 30Dhm.
Hammam – The Place to Go After Tiring Day
There quite some hammams or Turkish baths in the city. The best ones and most sought-for are in the Argan Palace.
Hammam is an Arabic word for hot water bath and was adopted by all when only cold water was known. Today, even after years of modernization, hammam remains an integral part of Morocco. These hammams pamper you with massages and exfoliation, leaving you relaxed and your skin feeling soft as that of a baby.
What makes the experience very calming are the unique soaps, oils, and fragrances used.
You can opt for collective hammam or a private one, depending on your comfort zone and likeness.
Located 14 kilometers east of Agadir is the newly opened crocopark. It is a home to more than 300 Nile Crocodiles, which were endemic in Morocco up to early 20th century but have been hunted to the point of getting wiped out of the kingdom. The park is created to mimic the natural habitat of these wild predators.
The park is enclosed with many verdant gardens hosting a wide variety of trees and blossoming flowers. You can opt for a guided tour inside the park and get interesting insights about the crocodiles as well as plants.
The wheel on the beachside affords some spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city. The rides are available in the day as well as in the evening. If you are vacationing with little kids, there are kid-friendly rides available near the Ferris Wheel.
Mohammed V Mosque
Constructed in a modern style, this Grand Mosque is city’s favorite and most important place of worship. While the mosque is closed to non-Muslims, its grand main entrance is worth visiting for a closer look. Ornate woodwork, plaster, and stunning facades make for a striking background for your photographs.
Its modern architecture stands unique among Morocco’s other mosques.
Like every other Moroccan city, Agadir also has a fortified quarter known as the New Medina. It was planned and created by Moroccan-born Italian artist named Coco Pollizi. The place is located a bit out of the city and showcases a modern-day reconstruction of the old original medina.
A stroll through the old quarters of medina will take you back in time. In addition to the traditional Moroccan architecture, you will find handicraft shops and small eateries to taste the native dishes.
Memoire d’Agadir (Memoire of Agadir)
If you are interested to know what the city looked like before the earthquake of 1960, then head to this museum. The history is exhibited with the help of old photographs, newspaper cuttings, and manuscripts. The museum is also a memorial for the lives that were lost in that natural disaster.
Tourist Spots Surrounding Agadir
Apart from these, there are significant tourist attractions dotting the surroundings of the port city. Located near Agadir are,
- Souss-Massa National Park
- Taroudant or Mini Marrakech
- Imsouane, a coastal city
Located at a short distance from the main city is this picturesque valley. It is a top place to go swimming, sunbathing, hiking, or picnicking. Its scenic beauty consists of sparkling emerald-color water reflecting the ochre rocks of towering hills.