Agadir Morocco

gdrOn the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, near the foothills of the mighty Atlas Mountains in Morocco, lies the province and city of Agadir.

Its sub-tropical climate and attractive beaches have made it a destination that is primarily popular with Europeans seeking an affordable stay near the sea. Agadir-Al Massira Airport gets busy with budget airline planes hurtling in from all over Europe. As well, the Casablanca-Agadir Expressway makes travel to other parts of Morocco easier and quicker.

The region is popular because it experiences about 300 days of sunshine per year, almost guaranteeing those sun seekers the warm days they anticipate. With a beach that stretches ten kilometres in a wide arc along the shore, there is enough room to make visitors feel that it does not become overcrowded.

Due to the many resorts that have been built in the area, Agadir can sometimes feel very un-Moroccan, and pretty much like any beach anywhere in the world. However, for that true Arabic experience, a visitor doesn’t have to venture very far.

A major earthquake in 1960 destroyed many of the true heritage buildings within the city, with many of these being rebuilt in recent years, but retaining the architectural style that we best associate with a true Moroccan style.

You can still see the remains of the 16th century Kasbah, and from the ramparts you can enjoy magnificent sunsets and great views of the bay.

The locals in Agadir are mainly Berbers, and many still speak the Berber language. To get a better understanding of Berber traditions, a visit to the Amazigh Heritage Museum is worthwhile. On display is a rich collection of silver jewellery which is comprised of necklaces, rings and finely crafted brooches.

For those who wish to purchase goods the best place is the Souk El Had. With over 3,000 stalls crammed inside this bustling environment there is an amazing array of goods to purchase. Handcrafts, souvenirs, clothing, household goods, leatherwear and even fruit, vegetables and spices are available. Most stalls will expect you to haggle, but some offer fixed prices only. Because the Souk is so large and complex, and perhaps a little overwhelming for first timers, you will often find that guides will approach you to show you around. Bear in mind if you accept such an offer that they will only take you to stalls from which they get a commission on the sale.

If you wish to see more of the countryside, the Soussa-Massa River National Park is just 40kms south of the city, and there are more excellent, and less patronised, beaches just outside of the main tourist area.

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