The Allure of Agadir

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El Had Souk Agadir
El Had Souk Agadir
Home » Travel Blog » Holidays » Agadir, Morocco

When good friends seek advice about a destination I’ve yet to visit, my inquisitive nature takes centre stage. I have that desire to discover more and become intrigued as to why, when there are so many popular Winter Sun choices, you would choose Agadir – a Moroccan city that is, to my knowledge, not really at the forefront of people’s minds.

My pals Christian and Sara were in search of a value-for-a-money all-inclusive hotel along with a short(ish) flight, guaranteed sunshine, a great beach, a relaxing pool and water sports to satisfy Christian’s love of paddleboarding. Now I would have suggested the Canaries, Cyprus, Egypt, Tunisia, Gambia or even Cape Verde but they, to my delight, were set upon Agadir!

The next time we spoke they had booked the four-hour flight on easyJet Airlines from London Gatwick Airport to the city of Agadir in Morocco. I subsequently discovered that travel companies including Jet2holidays, Tui and Easyjet Holidays offer flights and holidays to Agadir from a choice of UK airports including Gatwick, Bournemouth, Birmingham, Luton, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Having seriously questioned my travel knowledge after a lifetime in the industry, I promptly wished them a good time while asking for updates and photos as I was genuinely interested to know what Agadir had to offer. Let’s find out!

So Why Agadir?

Travellers are drawn to Agadir, a coastal treasure in southwest Morocco, by its value for money, its sandy beaches, lively culture, and the nearby Atlas Mountains that offer both adventure and cultural attractions.

I find it strange that Agadir, particularly as a Winter Sun destination, doesn’t receive more space on the pages of travel websites and newspapers. These days people like Christian, Sara and myself, are looking for somewhere a little different, non-commercial and, dare I say it, far away from the stereotypical British Holidaymaker that has changed or should that be tainted many a holiday resort. Agadir would, on the face of it, tick the box!  

Sun-Kissed Beaches

Unquestionably, Agadir’s most alluring feature is its nearly six-mile stretch of immaculate beaches along the Atlantic coast. The golden, silky beaches are ideal for taking leisurely walks, tanning, or engaging in a variety of water sports including paddleboarding (Christian was happy), surfing, or just lounging in the Moroccan sun.

On the beach there are camel and horse rides and for those looking for a bit more of a thrill then how about Quad Bikes and Dune Buggies? I have heard mixed reviews about the care of the camels and horses but as this is second-hand, all I would say is make sure you thoroughly check it out before handing over any money!

Another tip is to make sure your insurance covers these types of activities.

The Historic Kasbah of Agadir

Perched atop a hill overlooking Agadir, the Kasbah of Agadir Oufla stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Originally built in the 16th century by the Saadian dynasty, this fortress served as a strategic stronghold, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Despite its storied past, much of the Kasbah was destroyed during a devastating earthquake in 1960, leaving behind only remnants of its former glory.

Today, visitors like Christian and Sara can explore the ruins of the Kasbah, wandering through the crumbling walls and remnants of towers that once guarded the city. While the site may be in a state of disrepair, its commanding position provides an ideal vantage point for capturing sweeping views of Agadir’s modern skyline, bustling port, and sun-drenched beaches below. The journey to the Kasbah is an adventure in itself, with winding pathways leading up the hillside and offering glimpses of traditional Moroccan architecture along the way.

Despite its dilapidated state, the Kasbah of Agadir Oufla remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, drawing visitors who are eager to delve into Agadir’s past and admire its stunning vistas. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the city below, a visit to the Kasbah promises a memorable experience that captures the essence of Agadir.

Souk El Had

I could not help but smile at the name of this souk. Let’s hope after the haggling you have not been “had”.

Jokes aside you need to take in the colourful local culture at Souk El Had, one of Morocco’s biggest markets. The vibrant textiles, loud conversation of the locals, and scents of spices combine to create a sensory feast at this busy marketplace.

Wander around its lanes, bargain for trinkets, and, as Sara is doing in the image below, enjoy some of the Moroccan street food flavours.

Agadir Marina

The Agadir Marina offers a taste of contemporary luxury. This chic waterfront neighbourhood serves up fine restaurants, designer shopping, and a bustling nightlife.

Enjoy a stroll around the marina, take in the yachts, and take your pick from a variety of hip cafés and eateries serving both regional and global fare.

Valley Of The Birds

I was surprised to hear that in Agadir away from the bustling city life, there is the Valley of the Birds. This serene retreat invites visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s tranquillity and discover an array of bird species.

Dating back several decades, the Valley of the Birds has been a cherished attraction in Agadir, enchanting generations of visitors with its natural beauty and diverse bird population. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or simply seeking a stroll in picturesque surroundings, the valley’s winding pathways offer ample opportunities to spot a variety of feathered friends in their natural habitat.

Visitors can expect to encounter a wide range of bird species, including colourful parrots, majestic peacocks, and graceful swans, among others. Admission to the Valley of the Birds is typically affordable, making it an accessible and budget-friendly attraction for visitors of all ages.

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley, nestled in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, Morocco, is a breathtaking natural wonder renowned for its stunning scenery, lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear natural pools.

The journey to Paradise Valley is an adventure in itself, as travellers navigate winding mountain roads bordered by rugged cliffs and verdant landscapes. One of the highlights of Paradise Valley is its series of natural rock pools, where you can take a refreshing dip in the cool, turquoise waters or simply relax on the sun-warmed rocks.

For the more adventurous traveller, Paradise Valley also offers opportunities for hiking and exploration. Guided treks through the surrounding mountains reveal hidden trails, panoramic viewpoints, and stunning vistas, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Atlas Mountains.

Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains

Traditional Moroccan Cuisine

One of the many delights from a visit to Morocco is to sample the diverse range of culinary delights. In Agadir, you can enjoy some of the finest Moroccan cuisine, including iconic dishes such as tagine, couscous, and pastilla. Explore local eateries to experience the variety of spices that characterize these mouthwatering dishes.

In Agadir, indulging in a traditional Moroccan tea experience is a must-do for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. Head to one of the city’s charming cafes or tea houses, where you can savour the rich flavours of mint tea, a beloved beverage enjoyed throughout Morocco. Sit back, relax, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere as you sip on this sweet and refreshing drink, served in ornate tea glasses and accompanied by sweet pastries or savoury snacks.

Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely afternoon break or a post-dinner treat, sharing a cup of tea with friends or locals is a delightful way to embrace the warmth and hospitality of Agadir.

Agadir Nightlife

In Agadir, the nightlife scene offers a vibrant and diverse array of entertainment options for tourists looking to unwind after a day of exploration. Whether you’re seeking a laid-back evening sipping cocktails by the beach or a lively night of dancing until dawn, Agadir has something for everyone in a safe, fun and welcoming environment.

One of the highlights of Agadir’s nightlife is its beachfront bars and clubs, where visitors can enjoy stunning ocean views while savouring refreshing drinks and soaking up the lively atmosphere. Beachside lounges like La Cantina and Sunset Beach Club offer a relaxed ambience and often feature live music or DJs spinning tunes into the night. For those looking to dance the night away, popular nightclubs such as Papagayo Beach Club and So Night Lounge provide an energetic setting with top-notch sound systems and vibrant crowds.

In addition to beachfront venues, Agadir boasts a variety of bars, pubs, and discos scattered throughout the city centre such as Bodeguita. Visitors can explore the bustling streets of Agadir’s downtown area, where they’ll find an eclectic mix of bars offering everything from traditional Moroccan cocktails to international beers and spirits.

Whether you’re in the mood for a casual drink with friends or a lively night of dancing, Agadir’s nightlife scene promises an unforgettable experience for tourists seeking excitement and entertainment after dark.

Top 10 Things To Do in Agadir, Morocco

These attractions offer an excellent range of experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and beauty of Agadir, Morocco.

  1. Agadir Beach: Relax on the city’s beautiful sandy beach, known for its calm waters and stunning sunsets.
  2. Kasbah Agadir Oufella: Visit the historic Kasbah ruins for panoramic views of the city and the bay.
  3. Souk El Had d’Agadir: Explore this bustling market to experience Moroccan culture, shop for souvenirs, and sample local delicacies.
  4. Crocoparc Agadir: Discover a variety of plant species and learn about crocodile conservation at this unique botanical garden and crocodile park.
  5. Agadir Marina: Take a stroll along the marina, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and enjoy views of the yachts and boats.
  6. Valley of the Birds: Enjoy a peaceful walk amidst lush greenery and a variety of bird species in this picturesque park.
  7. La Medina d’Agadir: Explore this reconstructed traditional Moroccan marketplace, featuring shops, artisan workshops, and cultural performances.
  8. Agadir Argan Factory: Learn about the production of argan oil, a Moroccan speciality, and shop for high-quality skincare products.
  9. Amazighe Heritage Museum: Discover the rich history and culture of the Amazigh people of Morocco through exhibits and artefacts.
  10. Taghazout Beach: Experience the laid-back vibe of this charming fishing village, known for its excellent surfing conditions and bohemian atmosphere.

Where To Stay in Agadir, Morocco

Christian and Sara enjoyed their stay at The Hotel Riu Tikada Beach Resort citing the beach, pool and breakfast as the best features!

This adult-only, four-star, all-inclusive hotel has 254 rooms and is situated on the Agadir beach. There are three outdoor swimming pools available, all perfect for soaking up the sun amid the mild southern Moroccan weather.

In addition to its classic Hamman and gym, the hotel has an excellent thalassotherapy facility where you can get massages, beauty treatments, and hairdressing services. For dining, the main restaurant serves traditional Moroccan fare for lunch and evening, in addition to buffet breakfasts with live cooking stations.

Here are some other accommodation options in Agadir to consider:

Luxury:

  1. Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort: A luxurious beachfront resort offering elegant rooms, multiple dining options, a spa, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. Robinson Club Agadir: An upscale resort offering modern rooms, various sports facilities, entertainment programs, and a serene beachfront location.
  3. Hyatt Place Taghazout Bay: A luxurious hotel with contemporary rooms, a rooftop terrace, an infinity pool, a fitness centre, and access to the Taghazout Bay Golf Course.
  4. Royal Atlas & Spa: A deluxe beachfront hotel boasting stylish accommodations, several restaurants, a spa, outdoor pools, and easy access to Agadir’s attractions.

Mid-Range Boutique:

  1. Hotel Timoulay & Spa Agadir: A stylish boutique hotel offering comfortable rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, and a tranquil ambience near Agadir’s attractions.
  2. Labranda Les Dunes d’Or: A charming boutique hotel featuring cosy rooms, a swimming pool, gardens, and close to the beach.
  3. Allegro Agadir by Barcelo Hotel Group: A contemporary hotel offering well-appointed rooms, a pool, dining options, and a convenient location for exploring Agadir.

Budget:

  1. Hotel Timoulay & Spa Agadir: A budget-friendly option with comfortable rooms, a spa, and convenient amenities for a pleasant stay.
  2. Labranda Les Dunes d’Or: Affordable accommodation with cosy rooms, a swimming pool, and a relaxed atmosphere near the beach.
  3. Allegro Agadir by Barcelo Hotel Group: A wallet-friendly hotel offering simple rooms, basic amenities, and a convenient location for exploring Agadir’s attractions.

Contact Information

Agadir is a year-round destination and offers a wonderful fusion of natural beauty, rich culture, and sun-kissed beaches. Whether you’re looking for adventure in the mountains, rest on the beaches, or cultural exploration in the busy markets, this is a destination worth considering for your next Winter Sun holiday.

My thanks to Christian and Sara for introducing me to this destination and for supplying all the photos you see. They had a great time and are now busy considering where next…. I am secretly hoping it’s another off-the-beaten-track gem.

Normally I would suggest contacting the Morocco National Tourist Office which I did through their website contact as well as their social media but got no response – maybe you will have better luck! You can also try Visit Agadir and of course, you can always speak to your local travel agent or specialist tour operator.

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