Hotels in Agadir (Souss-Massa-Draâ, Morocco)
Hotels in Agadir
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There’s More Than the Beach in Agadir
Let spellbinding Morocco dazzle you with a stop in Agadir, the perfect introduction to this exhilarating country. There’s a reason why Agadir is one of Morocco’s most-visited city and whether you’re walking the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, or gazing up to the Atlas Mountains, it’s easy to see the appeal. A much-loved holiday destination for the all inclusive crowd, you’ll soon find that there is more to the city than its crescent beach and seaside promenade. Ride a camel, do some kite surfing, hit the golf course, or make it a mission to find your favourite tagine – whatever you do, you won’t soon forget it.
To Sunbathe or Not to Sunbathe, That is the Question
While it might be tempting to slather on the sunscreen and park it at the beach, Agadir begs to be discovered. You’d be missing out if you don’t do some exploring, and a good place to start is the Souk El Had d’Agadir. There’s nothing like throwing yourself right into the middle of the action, and as long as you have a moment to get your bearings and prepare for a sensory overload, this lively market should prove to be a delight. There are over 2,000 shops and stalls, making this one of the largest markets in the country. Getting lost in the maze of vendors wouldn’t be unheard of, but it would be a small trade-off for experiencing the real Morocco. When it’s time to bring your one-of-a-kind finds back to the hotel, do as the locals do and stop for a refreshing cup of mint tea and a slice of bread with amlou, a sweet dip of ground almonds, honey and argan oil.
For the remainder of the day, a good bet for a decidedly slower pace is the charming Memoire d’Agadir. This museum offers a simple glimpse of the devastating 1960 earthquake that killed thousands. Photos and newspaper clippings tell the story of the magnitude 5.7 quake, and provide a good background of this catastrophic event. An added bonus is that the museum is in a corner of the Jardin de Olhão, a pleasant garden that provides a shady respite from the afternoon heat.
Stay Out of the Sun at the Shops
If you’re in need of another break from the hot Moroccan sun, consider spending a few hours at the centrally located Vallée des Oiseaux. Enjoy the greenery and the accompanying shade while you check out a few feathered friends, take the kids to the playground, or stop into the small zoo. From here, it is a quick and scenic walk to the beach, but if you are looking for more than sand and surf and still want to beat the heat, hitting the shops could be a good idea. Bring home something unique from Ensemble Artisanal which offers some of the best handiwork in the area, but be warned that you might find yourself buying more than you planned. For Berber jewelry, leather goods and crafts of all kinds, the touristy Tafoukt Souq is a great place for souvenirs. Marché Central is also worth a visit for unique gift ideas, and the concrete building it’s housed in provides some shelter when the thermometer rises. Book lovers will be happy to know that Al Mouggar Bookshop is a one stop shop for French and English books, and the perfect beach read might just be waiting here.
Excursions That Are Worth Leaving the Beach For
Agadir provides some excellent options for day trips, with one of the most popular being Paradise Valley. This picturesque swimming hole has it all – a mountain setting, beautiful waterfalls, natural swimming pools, cliff jumping and slides on the rocks. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from the city, making it possible to spend some time splashing around and still be back for dinner. Clocking in at about an hour from Agadir is Souss-Massa National Park, where tourists can feast their eyes on an impressive variety of birds at the estuary, and take in 330 km of cliffs, forest, farmland, and sand dunes in this breathtaking natural space. Closer to the city, Crocoparc is located on the outskirts of Agadir, and is home to generations of Nile crocodiles, some as long as six feet. But no trip outside of the city would be complete without visiting La Medina d’Agadir. Equal parts museum, architectural marvel and marketplace, this medina replaces the original bazaar that was destroyed in the 1960 earthquake. It’s well worth the short drive south of the city to Ben Sergao to behold this 13 acre site on the southern Atlantic coast. With a busy day of sightseeing under your belt, even those staying in hotels near the thumping music of the discos have a good chance of sleeping well. Goodnight magical Morocco, goodnight.