Agadir might be the gateway to the Sahara desert but it is also a beautiful holiday destination in its own right. With tranquil beaches and historic sites, golf courses, pleasure parks and wildlife, this underexplored corner of Morocco is well worth visiting. Largely re-built after an earthquake that destroyed it in the 1960’s, Agadir has risen from its ruins to reclaim its title of exotic and alluring holiday destination.
Agadir’s breath-taking mountains produce some incredible honey. In the nearby mountain village of Argana, it can be sampled while admiring the sight of the largest collective beehive in the world! After this sight, a lie down on beautiful Taghazout Beach may be in order with its hippy vibe, its sweeping stretch of white sand, excellent surf and surrounding yoga schools.
Avid wildlife fans must visit Massa Lagoon. This is the largest bird sanctuary in Morocco boasting a dizzyingly diverse array of birdlife including pink flamingos, spoonbills, osprey and the rare bald ibis that all make their homes along its banks. Alternatively head to Souss Massa National Park where it is possible to bird-watch from the laidback luxury of a soft sandy beach. Children will adore visiting the Valley of the Birds zoo-park with its cute llamas, wallabies and monkeys.
Lunch time means one thing; seafood, and there is no better place to find it than at the Port. Food stalls are simply groaning with the various catches of the day served hot with local flatbreads. After replenishing the body, a spot of haggling in the wonderfully huge, walled Souk al Had market is a must. From spices and antiques to jewel encrusted hats, silks, copper, cottons and carpets, this place is a feast for the eyes. In Agadir, Municipal Museum visitors can learn about the fascinating Berber peoples of the Souss Valley while a stroll around the ancient walled city of Taroudant reveals an Aladdin’s cave of alleyways and artefacts.
Take in a belly dancing show in an elegant boulevard bar, or relax with a round of golf in one of Agadir’s three world-class resorts. Discover the hippy trail of Paradise Valley where hills and gorges showcase the lush greenery of the region and don’t miss the stunning hilltop Kasbah that survived the devastating earthquake and that boasts breath-taking views across this masterfully medieval and modern city.
The following information is correct as of February 2015 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Agadir Al Massira Airport is located 13 miles east of Agadir. It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the city centre by car. A five minute walk from the terminal building is located local bus service 22 that drops visitors to the outskirts of the city, linking up with other local services that travel to the city centre. Taxis are also available for hire from directly outside the terminal building.
What you need to know
Currency: The Moroccan Dirham
Visas: UK nationals do not require a visa to enter Morocco however a passport valid for three months beyond the date of departure is required. Nationals of other countries may require a visa. More information can be obtained from a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: Morocco is a Muslim country and therefore follows Islamic laws and customs. It is important to respect local traditions at all times, particularly during holy days such as Ramadan. Avoid public displays of affection. Women should dress modestly especially when visiting religious monuments and buildings. Alcohol is available in bars, restaurants and hotels but drinking in the street is an offence and can lead to arrest. The legal drinking age in Morocco is 18 and there is a ban on smoking in all indoor public places.
Best Time to Visit
Agadir is a hot year round destination, making any time a good time to visit. Winter sees colder weather particularly in the mountain regions but is quieter than most of the other seasons. The coast has a Mediterranean climate with temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees while inland can be even hotter and drier. December and January are the best months to visit for cheaper flights and fewer tourists but bring a jumper for the chilly nights.
May is a great month to visit because of the famous Honey Festival that takes place – showing off the largest collective beehive in the world and the chance to taste some truly spectacular honey. The Camel Festival in July is another major draw for those who liked our hunchbacked furry friends. The Agadir Festival in December is the highlight of the year and another wonderful reason to visit in winter. With music from desert chants to the latest in local hip-hop, this festival is hard to beat.
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