Top Things to Do in Agadir
Far from being a purely traditional Moroccan city, Agadir is widely known for its beach and fine sand and for being one of the most important seaside resorts in Morocco. Behind the whiteness of its city, Agadir welcomes many tourists each year and deploys its charm through its gardens and its very flowery spaces.
History of Agadir
The name Agadir comes from the Amazigh word, of Phoenician origin, which means “collective granary or fortified village“. Indeed, the region of Souss is full of fortified granaries that the villagers built in order not to be looted during invasions. History is practically silent on Agadir before the 12th century, when the historian Polybius mentioned the existence of a cape “Rhyssadir”, in the north of Africa near the Atlantic. This locality could have been located not far from Agadir. Moreover, the oldest attestation that we find about Agadir appears on a map in 1325. The latter indicates a place called Porto Mesegina, taken from the name of a Berber tribe, Mesguina, already mentioned in 12th century.
The beginning of the 16th century marks the arrival of the Portuguese in Agadir. They then founded a trading post and a fortress dedicated to the rapid development of fishing activities. To ensure the safety of the place, the Portuguese king, Manue l 1st, enlarged the port, established a garrison while subjecting the region to Portuguese authority, in 1513. Agadir then became an active trading post through which products from the south passed. Moroccan and also a meeting point for European merchants of all nationalities. In 1541, Sharif Saadien Mohammed ech Cheikh seized this fortress and the daughter of the Portuguese governor and this will contribute to the withdrawal of the Portuguese from Moroccan territory.
Events follow one another: the prestige of the Saadian dynasty and the birth of the kasbah, the decline and the first destruction of the kasbah, the protectorate… before an earthquake devastated Agadir on February 29, 1960. This natural phenomenon destroyed or seriously damaged almost 95% of Agadir’s infrastructure, not to mention the significant loss of life … To restore the originality of the city, French architects took the initiative to rebuild the Kasbah and the port of Agadir while preserving their authenticity.
The Moroccan city of Agadir has about 600,000 inhabitants and is located in the southwest of Morocco. Nestled on the Atlantic coast in the Souss region, Agadir is one of Morocco’s main urban centers. With its 300 days of sunshine per year, Agadir is one of the Moroccan cities which charms with the extent of its beach which extends over about 6 km. Despite an earthquake that devastated the city in 1960, Agadir has been almost completely rebuilt. Thanks to its agriculture and its coastal position, the Moroccan city has been able to develop an exceptional port. Thanks to this, Agadir is the first fishing port of Morocco in addition to being an important economic center. It nevertheless has several ports, a large port with its recently redeveloped marina and a large commercial port. In addition, thanks to the mild climate that reigns all year round, its beaches and its exceptional bay, Agadir is one of the most welcoming and touristy Moroccan cities.
However, Agadir, a little far from the typical Moroccan culture, does not allow ordinary tourist activities to be carried out. Indeed, thanks to these magnificent bays, it is possible to make beautiful excursions under the sweetness of the sun or even water skiing, diving or tasting fresh fish in the many restaurants of the port of Agadir. The city center of Agadir allows you to observe several places such as the Place de l’Esperance or the Place des Deux Fontaines which extend towards a large green space developed by the municipality. Regarding the seaside, Agadir has many amenities that today allow you to enjoy the seafront over an area of about five kilometers.
In addition, the oldest district of Agadir, La Casbah, perched on a hill, allows you to enjoy a formidable view of the fishing port. The old Moroccan quarter charms with its very lively narrow streets but also with its typical architecture and the scents that emerge from typical Moroccan dishes and their spicy nature.
What to do in Agadir?
Those who want to relax under the Agadir sun will not miss the magnificent beaches. The city is also the most beautiful seaside destination in Morocco. To spice up this getaway, you can even organize a camel ride on the beaches.
The region also offers nautical activities. You will have the choice between the windsurfing course or the jet ski session. Surfing enthusiasts will just have to join the beaches of Taghazoute.
The ornithologists will be satisfied by crossing the valley of the birds where they will observe several species of unknown birds such as: rheas or Numidian damsels. Apart from being an animal reserve, this corner will also immerse you in a superb exotic setting, among banana trees, magnolias, bougainvilleas and many other typical trees.
For a cultural discovery, do not miss the emblematic museums of the city where traditional Moroccan objects are found side by side. Specializing in Moroccan art, the Tiskiwin Museum unveils a large collection of ancient Moroccan utensils from the Saharan region and the Souss valley. In addition, the Amazigh Heritage Museum will seduce you with its sumptuous collections of jewelry, talismans, carpets, pottery and many other objects relating to the life of the Berbers.
To discover traditional Moroccan architecture, do not miss the kasbah which is located in altitude, at 236 meters. This site first offers a breathtaking view of the entire city and the ports of Agadir. It is a fortress, built in 1560, to protect the city against Portuguese attacks.
Finally, to meet the local population, do not miss the medina, the old town of Agadir in which there is a building also representative of traditional Moroccan architecture. The district recreates all the characteristics of Moroccan medinas with its winding streets and effervescent souks. The El Had souk is also the ideal place to buy some souvenir items.
In Agadir, the rains can be heavy and cause flooding depending on the year. According to experts, its annual cumulative precipitation is 250 millimeters. Usually, the few days of downpours occur between November and March. That’s why it’s said that the sun is over 340 days a year. However, this does not prevent the existence of mist and morning dew in summer. The temperatures there are strongly influenced by the trade wind front, but the rising Saharan air, Chergui, can cause the heat to rise above 40 ° C. With its desert climate, Agadir can be visited throughout the year.
How to get there ?
Agadir is very close to Europe, barely 14 kilometers separating it from Spain via the Strait of Gibraltar. In this case, travelers can look for the most original ways to reach this magnificent seaside destination. Travel first to Spain and then take a car ferry to Agadir. Otherwise, the city has an international airport: Agadir Al-Massira, served by all major international airlines from all major capitals.
Tourists who are already in Morocco can only opt for internal flights to reach Agadir. The city is accessible from Marrakech, Casa and many other large Moroccan cities. All Moroccan regions are also linked by national roads which facilitate travel to the heart of this North African country.
How to get around Agadir?
The bus :
It is the means of transportation most used by the general public in Agadir. A company manages the urban network in the city. Tickets are taken on board and costs vary depending on your destination. The minimum price for a trip to the city center is 3 dhs.
The taxi :
There are two categories of taxi in Agadir, as in all of Morocco:
– The small taxis, which only travel in urban areas, all have a meter. At the pick-up, the latter must display the 2.00dhs per day. However, an increase of 50% is to be added during night races.
– Large taxis can travel regardless of the requested trip. They don’t have a meter, so you have to agree on the price before you go. You will find this kind of taxi at the bus station, at the airport or on order.
Two wheels :
Those traveling alone can rent a bicycle or scooter. You will find, for example, a few rental agencies on Avenue Mohamed V.