One of Morocco’s most popular coastal resorts, Agadir is known for its beach, seafood, nightlife, and European vibe. The city attracts a diverse crowd. With most of the city destroyed in 1960 by a huge earthquake, there aren’t really that many unique things to see and do in the city. That said, if you fancy a break from the norm, here are some ideas.
Perched on top of the hill overlooking Agadir, the ruined site of Agadir Oufella is all that remains of the city’s once grand and impressive kasbah. Several signboards provide information about the former kasbah and its destruction. The actual ruins are small though, with just foundations and some stretches of outer wall remaining. Nonetheless, this is something that you won’t find in other parts of the country: a kasbah ruined by an earthquake. The site also provides sweeping views over the coast and city.
While a highlight in many of Morocco’s cities and towns is visiting the ancient medinas, Agadir has something a lot more unique: a modern reconstruction of what the old medina was like before the earthquake. This is definitely something that you won’t find elsewhere around the nation. Built on private land by a Moroccan-Italian architect and designer, La Medina d’Agadir offers a creative look into the past. Local materials were used to create the sprawling medina, and craftspeople were employed from all around the country to try to recreate the site in the most authentic way possible. Although a lot more ordered and sanitized than many of Morocco’s medinas, its order and beauty adds to its charm. Workshops contain artisans practicing varied trades and there are many stores and stalls where you can purchase traditional Moroccan goods.
Held yearly each summer in Agadir, Timitar Festival is one of the largest festivals around Morocco. It is also one of the nation’s biggest celebrations of Amazigh heritage, and is widely recognised as being one of the best music festivals on the African continent. The event seeks to promote the local culture and it hosts more than 40 artists. Drawing huge crowds, performances are all free to enjoy. Though the focus is on preserving, showcasing, and celebrating Amazigh traditions, including music, other artists from around Morocco and international destinations also perform. Diverse musical genres are represented, with performances across several city venues. You’ll also find vendors selling traditional clothing, art, jewellery, carpets, and other handicrafts, as well as plentiful food options.
While not entirely unique to the Agadir region, the goats that climb argan trees are unique to the country’s fairly small argan growing area. Argan trees grow naturally around parts of the Souss Valley, the Anti Atlas Mountains, and western areas of the High Atlas Mountains. As a rough guide, the area stretches up the Atlantic coast, between Agadir and Essaourira, and across towards Taroudant in the east. The area is listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. Take a trip out of the city and you won’t have to travel far to reach patches of argan trees, famous for the rich oil that can be obtained from the nuts. If you are lucky you may spot goats climbing up the trees’ branches, eager to munch on the fruit.
Morocco’s long coastline has several great surfing spots, but the areas around Agadir and nearby Tagazout are often said to have some of the best surfing in the whole country. The surf vibe is very much alive in these areas, and visitors will find numerous surf shops and instructors. There are also a number of dedicated surf camps in the area for those who are really keen to surf as much as possible.
Agadir is home to the biggest collection of crocodiles in Morocco. Crocoparc, located a short distance out of the city centre, was the country’s first dedicated crocodile park. It has hundreds of crocodiles from various species that live in carefully reconstructed eco systems. A popular attraction for families in particular, the large park also has beautiful gardens, a gift shop, and food and beverage outlets. In the summer the park is open until 11pm, allowing people to observe the fearsome creatures in the dark.