There are plenty of ways to keep yourself amused in Morocco’s seaside city of Agadir, from lazy days on the beach and shopping in the souks, to relaxing in a spa or hammam and enjoying the lively nightlife. Although a top place to enjoy beach life, relax and have fun, Agadir is not known for being culturally rich compared to other destinations in Morocco. There are, however, several great day trips to take from Agadir to see different sides of Morocco. Here are some of the best.
A lush and scenic valley along the Tamraght River, Paradise Valley is an enchanting destination in the Atlas Mountains. Tall rocks stand either side of the river, with clear pools that are suitable for swimming. Several small waterfalls tumble over the smooth ledges too. A great place for hiking, you can also visit small Berber villages around the picturesque valley.
Souss Massa National Park
One of Morocco’s pretty national parks, Souss Massa National Park is especially known for its varied bird life. Falcons, kestrels, owls, eagles, harriers, and kits soar through the skies. Sparrows, finches, warblers, kingfishers, wagtails, martins, and tits are among the smaller species. There are also ducks, swans, gulls, cranes, petrels, and other water birds. Covering more than 300 square kilometres, the diverse terrain includes dramatic cliffs, rolling sand dunes, wetlands, forests, and coastal grasslands.
Often referred to as a mini Marrakech, Taroudant is a walled city with plenty of history. Located around 90 kilometres from Agadir, it’s a conveniently close destination to glimpse into the Morocco of old. The city served as the capital for a short period of time during the Saadian era. There’s a small leather tannery outside of the sand-coloured fortifications, and the city is known for its souks and crafts. Compare and contrast goods in the Arab souk and the Berber souk, and shop for traditional items like rugs, jewellery, spices, metalware, pottery, and clothing.
One of Morocco’s major surfing destinations, head to Taghazout to spend a day on the waves. There are several surf schools in the small fishing village, and you can also try body boarding and kayaking. Fishing is another popular activity and camel rides are offered along the sandy shores. Inject a little history into your day of activities with a visit to the ruins of Buyirdn.
Imsouane is another cool surfing destination within easy reach of Agadir. The fishing village has an attractive red lighthouse and there are plenty of seafood restaurants where you can sink your teeth into fresh and tasty fish straight from the ocean. There’s a strong local vibe here and it’s a top place to escape the crowds of Agadir for a few hours.
Located around a three-hour drive to the south of Agadir, Mirleft is a coastal town in Sidi Ifni. It boasts several beautiful beaches, including Legzira Beach. Completely different to the golden beaches of Agadir, Legzira Beach is known for its stunning red rocks and natural stone archway. It previously had two glorious arches but, unfortunately, one collapsed. Once a popular hippie hangout, the thriving town now attracts a fair amount of tourists. In addition to the beaches, the old kasbah and souk are worth a visit.
Situated on the Atlantic coast, 175 kilometres to the north of Agadir, Essaouira combines beach activities and historic sites. It was also used as a filming site for Game of Thrones, appearing as the fictional city of Astapor. Known for its strong winds that blow for most of the year, you won’t find many sunbathers here. You will, however, likely spot surfers, wind surfers, and kite surfers. The old medina’s alleyways are filled with enticing stalls, and there are several art galleries to enjoy as well as watching local life unfold at the fishing port.
One of Morocco’s premier tourist destinations, the highlights of historic Marrakech can be enjoyed on a day trip from Agadir. Browse in the enormous souks, experience the vibrant energy at Djemaa el Fna, stroll through the narrow lanes of the old medina, and visit historic sites such as palaces, tombs and a tannery. There are several interesting museums and art galleries as well as lush gardens and the newer colonial part of the city, Gueliz.
Add a couple of day trips to your Agadir travel itinerary to witness a little of Morocco’s incredible diversity.