Agadir, located along Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast, has a history marked by diverse influences. In 1505, the Portuguese established a trading post, followed by the Saadians in the 16th century. Agadir thrived as a bustling port city until it faced a devastating event in 1960 – the Agadir earthquake, which resulted in widespread destruction and significant loss of life.
Following the earthquake, around half of the population perished and Agadir was rebuilt with modern infrastructure and urban planning. Today, it is a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, souks, and vibrant culture, blending the remnants of its historic past with contemporary developments.
How to get there?
You can fly into Al Massira Airport (AGA) or take a bus or grand taxi from other cities in Morocco. Check your connections at 12go.com.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Agadir is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summer can be quite hot, while winter brings cooler but still enjoyable temperatures. Choosing spring or fall ensures a comfortable climate for enjoying the beach but also exploring the city and its surroundings.
Where to stay?
During my 2 months trip around Morocco, I visited Agadir twice. I didn’t stay in a resort as these kinds of places aren’t my style, so I picked reasonably rated hotels a bit further from the beach, but still within walking distance.
The first time I stayed at Hotel Kamal City Center. The room was old-fashioned and without air conditioning so it was getting really hot during the day and it was already autumn. I can’t imagine staying there in the summer! On the positive side, I asked for a room with fast internet and I got one. The price was reasonable and the location was excellent.
The second time I checked in to Hotel Lynx and it was excellent. Very friendly receptionist, spacious room and bathroom, air-conditioning, fast internet, small balcony and plenty of restaurants around. The location is a bit further from the beach but still, it’s a 25 minutes walk or less than 10 minutes taxi ride, so very acceptable.
How long to stay there?
The typical visit could range from 3 to 7 days, allowing time to explore the city, relax on the beaches, and possibly take a day trip to some nearby attraction. Though it’s really up to personal preferences, I know people who like going for a typical resort-style holiday and staying in Agadir for 2 weeks. If you want to laze around, then it will be a place for you. If you are an adventure seeker, pack your things and get around southern Morocco and the Sahara.
What to see in town?
It was built in 1541 and luckily survived the 1960 earthquake. Unfortunately, today only the outer walls remain and the interior can’t be visited. There are amazing views from the hilltop and it’s highly recommended to visit in the late afternoon and wait for sunset.
You have 3 options to get there: cable car, taxi and walking. The first one is certainly the most fun. A shared car costs 120 MAD for foreigners and the whole construction looks very modern and safe. If you travel in a group, you may consider taking a private car.
Jardin de Olhao
A nice little oasis in the busy centre of Agadir. Great to escape the afternoon heat and read a book on a bench or play with the children. In the southwest corner, there is a small museum, dedicated to the 1960 earthquake. Information boards aren’t in English but you can see the photos of the town before the tragedy.
Museum of Amazigh Culture
I expected more about the Berber and Amazigh cultures but only found a few carpets and jewellery. The rest was contemporary art which I am personally not a big fan of. The entrance ticket for foreigners costs 40 MAD.
Modern port with plenty of holiday apartments, shops, cafes and restaurants, located at the northern end of the promenade.
Beach and promenade
Clean and well-maintained beach, patrolled by lifeguards and the police so it feels very safe. Deckchairs and umbrellas can be hired and if you need more fun, camel riding, windsurfing, jet skis or surfing can be easily organized.
The promenade is about 4 kilometres long and it’s an excellent place for an evening stroll and a drink in one of the many restaurants and bars along it.
Mohamed V Mosque
The biggest mosque in Agadir. Tourists can`t go inside but it’s still worth a stop to admire the marvellous architecture.
Souk El Had
Huge place where you can expect to find a wide variety of products, including traditional Moroccan handicrafts, leather goods, textiles, spices, fresh produce, and much more. Unfortunately, there are also lots of cheap fakes, so be careful what you are buying and don’t forget to haggle.
The recreation of the old Medina which was destroyed by the earthquake in 1960. Quite a few craft shops, artisans and restaurants. Unfortunately, it all feels a bit fake so I wouldn’t waste time coming here if you plan to visit another Moroccan city with real stuff. The entrance ticket costs 40 MAD and it’s a bit out of the way so you need to take a taxi to get there.
What to see out of town?
Taghazout and Tamraght
The fishing villages of Taghazout and Tamraght are located north of Agadir. They are among the most popular beach destinations in the country, well-known for famous surfing spots that are suitable for advanced as well as beginners.
Read more in a separate post HERE.
One of the most popular places to visit from Agadir, also easily accessible from Taghazout or Tamraght. It’s a small oasis with pools scattered all along the river, all in the middle of breathtaking mountains. Instead of swimming, you can do cliff jumping to boost your adrenaline level. Needless to say, be careful as there have been some accidents in the past. For less adventurous, there are a few stands at the beginning of the valley where you can get a table and cool your feet in the water. The easiest to get there is with an organized half-day trip.
Impressive dunes with stunning views. You can rent equipment and do some sandboarding or simply walk around. The best way to get there is by car and the day trip can be easily connected with a visit to Imsouane which is described below.
Imsouane is a small fishing village located on Morocco’s southwestern coast, about 1 hour 15 minutes drive to the north of Taghazout. Due to its location at the mouth of a large bay, it’s another ideal surfing spot.
Souss-Massa National Park
The Souss Massa National Park has been a natural reserve since 1991 and it covers an area of 33,800 hectares. It is located between Agadir to the north and Sidi Ifni to the south, including the landscape of the coastline, dunes, marshes and the steppes.
Over 300 plant species and over 30 fauna species can be found there, including the Oryx antelope and the Dorcas gazelle, as well as foxes and wild cats. Moreover, the Souss Massa Natural Park is home to the world’s largest colony of Bald Ibis and the wetlands act as a stopover for many other migratory birds.
Agadir is a different city than all the others I visited in Morocco. Don’t come here to experience the real vibe and culture of that beautiful northern African country. Tourists are attracted mainly because of the beachfront promenade, great weather and the comfort of staying in the resorts. It’s a typical destination for package-tour holidaymakers, but independent travellers who look after adventure and authentic experience should treat it more like a transit spot rather than a base for a longer stay. Or at least organize some trips out of town 🙂