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Due to a devastating earthquake in 1960, Agadir doesn’t have the same historic sites as many other places around Morocco. The original medina was ruined, along with the old souks and marketplaces. The small remains of the old kasbah can be seen on top of the hill overlooking the city. Primarily a beach and surfing destination, history-lovers will probably be sorely disappointed in Agadir. After reconstructions and replications, however, here are the best souks and medinas to visit in Agadir today.
La Medina d’Agadir was the brainchild of a Moroccan-Italian called Coco Polizzi. Located a short distance outside of the heart of Agador, the sprawling site was completed in the late 2000s. The goal was to recreate the ancient medina that perished in the earthquake. The result is a beautiful complex that utilised the skills of many master artisans from around the country.
Constructed using locally sourced materials, the stone and earthen buildings are striking, the narrow alleyways enchanting, and the market places tempting. Craftspeople demonstrate their skills in workshops throughout the medina, including henna tattoo artists, stonemasons, wood carvers, metalworkers, artists, and jewellery makers. The olde-worlde streets also contain a number of restaurants, cafes, and stores.
Agadir’s only authentic souk, Souk el Had is where locals go to shop and where tourists go to experience a little of local life. Although not as atmospheric as the souks of Fez, Tangier, Marrakech, and other old cities, it’s one of the best places around Agadir to pick up traditional Moroccan goods and see how local residents go about their daily affairs.
Various gates lead into the large souk, and it’s easy to get lost if you don’t pay attention. A vast variety of goods are sold on the stalls and in the stores. Browse fresh produce in the fruit and vegetable section, and inhale the heady aromas in the spice area. It’s often possible to get a good deal on saffron. Strike a deal on locally produced argan oil products and purchase diverse trinkets and souvenirs. Other goods include clothing, footwear, accessories, toys, household furnishings, jewellery, carpets, and more.
Souk Lakhmiss is a fairly small souk outside of the city centre, past the airport, and on the way towards Crocoparc. It mainly caters to the shopping needs of people from the surrounding neighbourhoods of Hay Zaytoune and Assaka. Prices are often slightly lower than in Souk el Had. In addition to foodstuffs, vendors sell household items, toiletries, clothing, and other day-to-day items. There are several eateries around the souk where visitors can enjoy a traditional meal at a reasonable cost.
A traditional souk in name only, Agadir Souk Success is, nonetheless, a good place for dedicated shoppers to take a peek. More of a shopping mall than a marketplace, the building is home to a number of artisans, craftspeople, and artists, all eager to show off their goods and make a sale. Items include leather shoes, pottery, spices, jewellery, clothes, and snacks.
Marché Charaf, located in the older part of the city and away from the large beach resorts, sells mainly food items and caters primarily to locals. Bakers sell assorted Moroccan breads and pastries, butchers have various cuts of meat hanging from their stalls, and fruits and vegetables are available in almost every colour imaginable.
While Agadir has plentiful shopping, mainly in modern shopping centres and stores, those seeking more of a traditional souk and medina experience may wish to take a day trip to somewhere like nearby Taroudant, or even Marrakech.