About Agadir beaches
Morocco’s premier coastal resort is a city of broad, palm-shaded promenades and international class hotels arranged along a magnificent bay of golden sand. Remodelled in the late 20th century after it was all but destroyed by the devastating earthquake which hit the region in 1960, Agadir is now a thoroughly modern city, made prosperous by tourism. As a showcase of progressive Moroccan urban style, it’s impressive; for most visitors its biggest attractions are its holiday facilities and its glorious year-round sunshine.
Life in Agadir revolves around the beach, which is huge and, unlike other parts of the North African Atlantic, reasonably well sheltered from the ocean winds. The city authorities keep it both clean and safe; sunbathers can generally relax in peace thanks to conspicuous but unintimidating police patrols, which minimise hassle from hustlers and hawkers. As well as cafés and sunloungers to mooch about in, there’s plenty of fun stuff on offer, including jet-skis, quad bikes, dune buggies, horse and camel rides, and a little tourist train. The only downside is the undertow which can make ocean swimming dangerous.
Beyond the beach:
As a modern, purpose-built resort, Agadir has relatively few sights of interest, but the markets, fishing port and brand new marina are worth a look and golfers have three courses to choose from. The principal reminder of the past is Ancienne Talborjt, a grassy mound where the medina once stood, preserved as a chilling memorial of the 1960 earthquake: many bodies were trapped here and never recovered.
The beaches to the north and south are relatively undeveloped and interesting to explore. Taghazout, 15km (9 miles) north of Agadir, has awesome waves that attract surfers from far and wide, while the Souss-Massa National Park, 35km (22 miles) south of town, offers excellent bird-watching: the Massa lagoon and nearby dunes are visited by sandgrouse, cranes and flamingos in huge numbers. Inland, Paradise Valley makes a great day trip: this beautiful palm-lined gorge leads to mountain trails to Berber villages and the seasonal waterfalls of Immouzer des Ida Outanane (at their best in spring).
Kids love Agadir’s sandy beach, but it’s important to be wary of the undertow – for swimming, it’s best to stick to hotel pools. There are also a couple of pleasant, child-friendly parks right in the centre of town: the Vallée des Oiseaux (near place de l’Espérance), which has a small aviary, and the landscaped gardens of Jardim de Olhão (avenue du Président Kennedy) Both have children’s playgrounds.
Several beautiful, historic towns are within easy reach. The closest, Taroudannt, is a delightful, elegant walled town, with lively souks and good hotels. Tafraoute, 100km (62 miles) southwest of Agadir, makes a good base from which to explore the Anti-Atlas Mountains; it’s particularly lovely in spring when the almond trees are in blossom. The laidback, arty port of Essaouira and the bustling souks and squares of Marrakech are a manageable road journey away.
For a memorable evening out, book at a table at one of Agadir’s swishest restaurants. Le Miramar at the Hôtel Miramar (boulevard Mohammed V) serves superb seafood in a chic, glamorous atmosphere, while La Tour de Paris (avenue Hassan II) serves some of the best, and most imaginative, tajines in town.