Agadir, Morocco | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Agadir, Morocco

Agadir is a major modern city in the southern part of Morocco. It is of interest primarily because of its location, as it is surrounded by the Anti Atlas, the Sahara Desert on the Atlantic coast with many national parks, and secluded beaches which are all easily accessible.

In 1960 the city was hit by an earthquake that destroyed the city including the ancient kasbah. An estimated 15,000 were killed, 12,000 injured and some 35,000 people left homeless. On seeing the devastation the late King Mohammed V said: "If Destiny decided the destruction of Agadir, its rebuilding depends on our Faith and Will." In 1961 the city began reconstruction two miles south of the epicenter. The city center was based on a grid system, similar to New York, making it simple to get your bearings and move around. There are wide avenues and boulevards lined with cafes. The architecture is somewhat unusual with... Read more

Agadir, Morocco

Destination:
Agadir is a major modern city in the southern part of Morocco. It is of interest primarily because of its location, as it is surrounded by the Anti Atlas, the Sahara Desert on the Atlantic coast with many national parks, and secluded beaches which are all easily accessible.

In 1960 the city was hit by an earthquake that destroyed the city including the ancient kasbah. An estimated 15,000 were killed, 12,000 injured and some 35,000 people left homeless. On seeing the devastation the late King Mohammed V said: "If Destiny decided the destruction of Agadir, its rebuilding depends on our Faith and Will." In 1961 the city began reconstruction two miles south of the epicenter. The city center was based on a grid system, similar to New York, making it simple to get your bearings and move around. There are wide avenues and boulevards lined with cafes. The architecture is somewhat unusual with lots of low rise concrete buildings in the 1960's futuristic design with classic Moroccan styles. Back in the late 1960s and 1970s, it was an ultra-modern tourist resort, today some may argue that it looks slightly dated, others would say that this makes it absolutely unique and it really stands out from

Casablanca

,

Rabat

, Fez or Marrakech. The city continues to grow at a rapid pace with new developments throughout the edges of the center.

Most locals speak Berber as their first language with Arabic as the second language followed by French, though English is widely spoken in the city.

Agadir is a very tolerant city. The local Berber community are proud of their heritage and culture and are very welcoming to visitors. In a Muslim country where a bar or a casino can be footsteps away from a mosque, a country where homosexuality remains a crime, yet there is an obvious gay community, made up of many older Europeans. Everyone just seems to live and let live in this incredible resort.

Whilst tourism plays a vital role in the city's economy it remains a major port with a thriving fishing industry, exporting produce and natural resources. If you head north of the city towards the beaches around Tamraght you will pass a small town called Anza where there is a fish processing factory, the smell on hot days can be quite unreal! Having said that the seafood is excellent.
Today the city center itself is primarily a tourist resort popular with Europeans. It has excellent clean beaches, first-class golf courses, health and beauty spas and all the other facilities that European travelers demand.

Climate

The weather in Agadir is subtropical, yet very dry since rainfall is scarce and fog is the most common type of moisture. The temperature in summer is 80°F/27°C, with nights cooling off to around 65°F/18°C. Spring and fall experience nights from 57°F/13°C-60°F/15°C, and days around 75°F/24°C. Winter temperatures see nights around 47°F/8°C, with occasional frost, and days around 70°F/21°C. Water temperatures stay relatively mild all year long, with winter water temperatures around 60°F/15°C, spring water temperatures around 65°F/18°C, summer water temperatures around 70°F/21°C, and fall water temperatures of 67°F/19°C. Due to the sea breeze summer temperatures are more comfortable than Marrakech.

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Agadir, Morocco: Port Information


Cruise terminal is within 10-min taxi ride. Usually, cruise companies provide shuttle service.
There are no tourist facilities.

Get around Agadir, Morocco


The city center is flat with large attractive, clean avenues and boulevards making it easy to get around on foot. It is generally safe to walk around although women may need to fend off unwanted attention from local men.

Agadir's petit taxi is orange most are quite legal and use the taximeter (you can ask the driver to do it without any problems).
The petit taxi is only allowed with the city limits, for travel outside the town you will need a grand taxi, which is shared with six passengers, or you can pay extra and hire the whole taxi, but you will need to discuss prices beforehand.

The main depot for taxis is an area known as Batoir. Here you will find petit and grand taxis as well as lots of inexpensive places to eat.

Buses are cheap and plentiful; they are handy for reaching beaches such as Tamraght and Taghazout. They can get very crowded, can be slow, but fares are cheap. Always make sure you have the correct coins and be mindful that pickpockets operate on buses. For bus timetables and maps, visit the Tourist Office which is along the Boulevard Mohammed V near the Miramar Hotel.

What to see in Agadir, Morocco


Visit Agadir Museum Municipal du Patrimoine Amazigh which exhibits a small collection of Berber objects from 18th and 19th century including old Berber music instruments, Berber jewelry, traditional clothing and old manuscripts.
Another Museum is located on the corner of the Avenue des F.A.R. and Avenue President Kennedy; unfortunately, the sign is missing but you go through iron gates on the corner. Mostly photographic exhibits that concentrate on the Agadir earthquake on 29th February 1960. There is a guide who speaks Arabic, French, and English. After you have browsed you can walk around the super Jardin Olhao, where there is a cafe, toilets and children's playground.
Ensemble Artisanal situated on the corner of Rue Yacoub Al Mansour et Avenue du 29 Fevrier downstairs is a shop selling all the co-operatives wares, up a few steps you can see artisan's working, painted furniture, ironwork, embroidery, ceramics, etc.
Coco Polizzi's Medina. A labor of love, Coco Polizzi has been recreating a traditional Moroccan Medina on route N1 in Bensergao. Out of town, you will need to take an orange Petit taxi and arrange a time for the taxi to return to collect you, but it's well worth the effort for the architecture alone. Amble along the cobbled alleys amongst artisans and chatty shop keepers and take a traditional souvenir or two home.

What to do in Agadir, Morocco


Agadir is primarily a resort; and as such has a limited number of attractions.
  • The main attraction is the beach, which is wide and stretches for miles.
  • Dress up for the evening and join locals and stroll along the corniche or promenade. There are lots of cafes and bars, live music and street entertainers.
  • Surfing, Imsouane bay, Devils rock, Anchor point, Cro-Cro, and many others.
There are a lot of surf schools and surf camps and surf shops. The best surf season is from November until March, but if you are just a beginner, you can surf every day all year long.
  • Part of the original fortress remains at the top of the hill beside the city, over the huge painting. It's possible to go there by taxi, bus or even small mopeds that are for rent around the Hotel Kenzi (they are expensive).
  • If you want designer label fashion then head to the marina which has a wide selection of international boutiques. Shops include Zara, Mango, Lacoste, Adidas.
  • There is a small zoo, called "Vallée des Oiseaux". Entrance is free of charge. Open daily 11 am - 6 pm. There is a very nice cage you can walk inside, many birds from all the world, some goat-like animals from the Atlas, and even exotic mammals. It is particularly good for children and is frequented by locals who take their children along to play in the playground inside. If you are an animal lover, you may not enjoy this attraction as some of the birds look to be in a state of distress. There are two entrances as it forms a passageway between Ave. Hassan II and Ave Mohammad V. To find it, go to the Uniprix, and the main gate is on the other side of the street on the right (Av. Hassan II).
  • Head to the fish market near the marina where you can buy fish, then take it to the guys who will prepare it for you.
  • Golf. With three top-notch golf courses, Agadir can rival most countries' golf facilities. Ask at any large hotel about the bus transport which collects visitors several times a day.
  • Visit Souk El Had (closed Mondays). With over 3000 stalls the Souk is a must-see. Everything from tourist souvenirs, clothes, leather goods, household items, to fruit and veg. If you are a tourist and enter via Gate 9 or 10 (the main gates) expect to be approached by someone offering to guide you. Which of course means he'll take you to all his friend's stalls. If you wish to avoid this, and explore on your own, enter through one of the lower-numbered gates where the Moroccan's go. Haggle hard and note some stores advertise Fixed Prices. Worth looking there first so you have an idea of the 'right' price to pay before trying your hand at haggling. Personal favorites and the olives and spices stalls. Generally, stallholders are happy to be in your photographs, but be respectful and ask permission first.

What to eat and drink in Agadir, Morocco


Eat

There are four main zones to eat in Agadir:
  • Nouveau Talbourjt: The cheapest restaurants can be found here. Bear in mind most restaurants in this area are aimed at locals and are dry (no alcohol).
  • The beach: Along the corniche or seafront there are many restaurants. You can find from international fast food (McDonald's & Pizza Hut), fish restaurants, fine dining, Japanese and Thai. Most restaurants serve alcohol and prices are top end.
  • Around the Uniprix: It's the mid-price zone and there is a real mix of restaurants aimed at tourists and those for locals. There is an excellent pizzeria.
  • Batoir: This is the taxi depot and transport hub for the city, around here you will find a good choice of really cheap grills, chicken shops, cafes. Depending on the time of day, vendors will be selling pancakes and bowls of soup, snails, grilled corn. If you want authentic and cheap and away from the tourists, head for this area, but do take care at night, as there are street kids on glue who can be quite aggressive with their begging.
If you're looking for a quick snack, keep an eye out for the pastry vendors who roam the beach carrying big plastic trays, selling sweet fried bread (a kind of African variant on the donut).
Beware, however, that these friendly hawkers will often approach you on the beach, strike up a conversation, and then thrust a pastry into your hand, whether you asked for one or not. Which, of course, you are then expected to pay for. If you don't want to buy, simply refuse the offer with a polite smile. They are delicious, though.

Drink

Although most locals abstain from drinking, some will frequent the seedier side of the Agadir nightlife scene. Although it is not uncommon to see prostitutes in bars and nightclubs, it is much better for tourists to use bars and clubs attached to hotels where prostitution is less common and locals in attendance are merely of the 'golddigger' variety! Alcohol is served in all these places. Good Nightclubs for tourists to visit are Actor's, Loft, and Papagayo.
For evening entertainment accessible to all, head to the Sofitel for a good atmosphere and drinks. The English Pub has a good range of entertainment and sports on and attracts an international crowd.
Try Moroccan Whisky, which is tea served in a ritual ceremony in small glasses. It is a blend of Chinese green gunpowder tea, mixed with sugar and fresh mint. It is delicious and refreshing.
If you are looking just to talk and drink, watch the world go by during the day or the evening, you can head to one of the big cafes that are at Ave. Hassan II, like La Fontaine, La Veranda, Le Dome, etc. It's a real ritual for many Agadir citizens. These stylish cafes have a very Parisian feel they serve coffees, teas, fresh orange juice, the delicious Moroccan avocado smoothie, which is incredible. You can also get cakes and ice cream at these cafes.

Shopping in Agadir, Morocco


Agadir is maybe the city with the least charm to buy the typical Moroccan handicraft goods. There is one main authentic Souk in Agadir - Souk El Had. (Corner of Ave Abderrahim Bouabid and Rue du 2 Mars). Open daily (excl Monday) from 9 am-8 pm. 3000+ stalls. Busiest on Weekends and best to visit by day to avoid any potential pickpocketing. Sells a very wide range of goods from "designer brands", to local Argan Oil products to tagines, clothing, shoes, handbags in addition to products more suited to residents of Agadir including home furnishings, cleaning products and an extensive fruit and vegetable market. You will find spices here to be of incredibly good value, particularly saffron. This souk is laid back and friendly and lacks the hassle that the souks of Tunisia and Egypt suffer - stallholders will approach, but a polite decline will yield you wishes of a good day. To avoid the usual taxi scams, request "Gate 2 of the Souk" and mention that you wish to buy fruits or vegetables, or; ask the taxi to take you to the neighboring Ibis hotel and walk 100m to the souk. Dress conservatively (cover shoulders and knees) to be treated respectfully, this souk is far from the beach area and swimwear, etc. have no place here.
There are several smaller souks in Agadir, which cater primarily to tourists. One is around the big square behind the Uniprix (Blvd. Hassan II with Ave. Sidi Mohammed). There is a concrete building called Marché Centrale with many shops inside. Is possible to get in also from Ave. Prince Moulay Abdallah. All the goods are made outside the Agadir region, and it's difficult to find them at a good price. The good thing of buying in Agadir is that there are many fixed-price shops, which is good if you don't know how to haggle well. In fact, you may find that the cheap things you bought in Marrakech are not so cheap!
In the Uniprix shop, it is possible to buy small typical pieces in maybe the least authentic shop in Morocco, but the prices are not so high and there is nobody pushing you to buy. Inside you can find a broad range of items: clothing, souvenirs, children's toys, food and drinks, and alcohol. Uniprix is open daily but closed during siesta time (1-3 pm).
The marina has shops such as Zara, Mango, Adidas, Geox and Lacoste, for those who are looking for genuine brands or warmer clothing you may wear again when you get home!
Further out of town there are several branches of Marjane hypermarket, great for toiletries, teapots, glasses, tagines, argan oil, traditional shoes, all are well priced. It is a great place to buy spices.

Safety in Agadir, Morocco


Overall, Morocco remains a safe place. However, you should be aware that homosexuality is illegal and is punishable.

Use your common sense like in any other place in our world. Avoid dark alleys. Travel in a group whenever possible. Keep money and passports in a safety wallet. Keep backpacks and purses with you at all times. Make sure there is nothing important in outside or back pockets. There is some intolerance for the public practice of non-Abrahamic religions and non-Sunni denominations.

Women especially will experience almost constant harassment if alone, but this is usually just cat-calls and (disturbingly) hisses. Don't feel the need to be polite — no Moroccan woman would put up with behavior like that. Dark sunglasses make it easier to avoid eye contact. If someone won't leave you alone, look for families, a busy shop, or a local woman and don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are so inclined, you could wear a hijab (headscarf), but this is not necessary. Morocco can be a liberal country and many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, women should always dress conservatively (no low-cut tops, midriffs, or shorts), out of respect for the local culture. In cities, women can wear more revealing clothing, but as a general rule, they should follow the lead from local women. Locals will also assume that Moroccan women venturing into ville nouvelle nightclubs or bars alone are prostitutes in search of clientèle. Foreign women entering such places will not be so considered but will be thought of as approachable.

Be careful about being drugged, especially as a solo traveler. The common and easy-to-make drug GHB only lasts 3 hours and is undetectable in the body after 7 hours, so if you are attacked take action immediately.

Hustlers can be a big problem for people traveling to Morocco. It's often difficult to walk down the street without being accosted by somebody offering to give you directions or sell you something. Your best bet is to politely refuse their services and keep walking, as all they are after is money. There are some legitimate tour guides, but your guide will receive a commission on anything you buy while you're with them, so don't let yourself be pressured into purchasing anything you don't want.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly illegal even if you took just one beer.

Language spoken in Agadir, Morocco


The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber. However, the local Moroccan Arabic, a dialect of Maghrebi Arabic (spoken in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria) is very divergent from standard Arabic, so even native Arabic speakers from outside the region would not understand the conversations of locals. However, all Moroccans learn standard Arabic in school, so speakers of standard Arabic should not have any problems communicating in the major cities. Officially about half the population cannot read or write so there are always translators around and people to assist filling in forms (for a small fee) around most places where such forms are required such as ports, etc.

Various dialects of Berber are spoken by Morocco's ethnic Berbers.

French is widely understood in Morocco due to its history as a French protectorate and is still taught in schools from relatively early grades, making it by far the most useful non-Arabic language to know. Most urban locals you meet will be trilingual in Moroccan Arabic, standard Arabic and French, but only speak French to foreigners and never among each other. In the north and southern part of the country, many people also speak Spanish instead or alongside French.

While knowledge of the English language is increasing amongst the younger generations, most Moroccans don't speak a word, and even those that do will most likely speak better French. Although you will find a few people who speak English among the most educated people. Some shop owners and hotel managers also speak English.

People are used to dealing with the communication barrier that comes with having various Berber dialects - pantomiming, smiling and using even the most broken French will get you a long way.

LOCAL TIME

7:17 pm
October 31, 2020
Africa/Casablanca

CURRENT WEATHER

21 °C / 69.8 °F
sky is clear
Sun

23.99 °C/75 °F
sky is clear
Mon

23.13 °C/74 °F
sky is clear
Tue

23.86 °C/75 °F
sky is clear
Wed

20.45 °C/69 °F
scattered clouds

LOCAL CURRENCY

MAD

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