Of all the cities in Morocco, Agadir is undoubtedly the best suited for tourists. This is Morocco’s premier seaside resort, where you will find the same facilities that meet you on the European Mediterranean coast, also known as the South.
Unlike the rest of Morocco and North Africa, it is teeming with bars and clubs here. A long, wide and shallow sandy beach is Agadir’s foremost attraction, and the area is rightly popular with windsurfers and surfers.
If you are going to Morocco with your family and take a tour then Agadir can make sense as a western break and as a contrast to the country otherwise. The alternative is to just relax for a week on the beach, then clearly Agadir will be a good option. And for those who are a windsurfing enthusiast or for that matter like to kite, just take the trip here.
Get to know Agadir
Agadir is located on the Atlantic coast of southern Morocco and has a population of around 200,000 within the city limits. The town started its life as a small fishing village, until the Portuguese built a harbor here in the early 16th century. Later that century, the city came under the control of the Wattisid dynasty, and it was they who built the fortress on the hilltop across the bay.
In 1960, Agadir was nearly leveled to the ground by a powerful earthquake that killed over 15,000 people and made most of the other homeless. Agadir was rebuilt almost from the ground three kilometers further south, and this is the reason why Agadir does not have many sights or exciting and old architecture in its city center. In contrast, Agadir Morocco is perhaps the most modern metropolis, with a clear European appearance.
Agadir for tourists
The center of Agadir is designed to accommodate tourists. Here, new resorts and hotels are constantly being built, the long boardwalk and parallel streets above are flanked by cafes and restaurants with Menus Turisticos, where you can rent water sports equipment, English pubs and karaoke bars, Pizza Hut and McDonalds, kiosks selling English and German newspapers. For the benefit of the many who come here to relax on the beach with the family, and to the annoyance of those who thought they should experience Morocco and get the feeling that they are actually in Africa.
Admittedly, Agadir does not only live by tourism, although one can easily get the impression. There are also many fishermen here, and Agadir is central to Morocco’s large sardine exports. Outside of Zona Turistico are the traditional souks that you will find all over Morocco, where locals buy fruits, spices and vegetables from hundreds of makeshift stalls.
Agadir does not have the major cultural attractions or sights, but you will not be able to notice the fortress (kasbah) that hovers over the city from the hilltop north of the city center. Built in the 1570s, the fortress is a great place for a great view of Agadir and the Atlantic Ocean. If you have a panic-snake phobia, pay close attention to the guys who are guaranteed to come running towards you the moment you get off the sightseeing bus. These will hang on you like glue throughout your stay here, insisting that you look at their jewelry, ride their camel or take a picture of yourself with their goat kitten or snake at the highest possible price. If you are broke to the bone, it is fine to go up here, but it can get very hot in the summer, so bring sunscreen, hat and drink!
The coast around Agadir is excellent for water sports fanatics, and surfers in particular can look forward to some very challenging waves. Taghazout, located a few miles north of Agadir, has a fine beach, and has become the focal point for the serious surfers, who, for example, enjoy the place with the mighty name Killer Point. If you prefer a relaxing round of golf, you have several great courses nearby, such as Royal Golf or Golf Les Dunes.