North African winter sun in Agadir, Morocco

by kutereba

Take a short flight to Agadir from the UK or the rest of Europe and find yourself immersed in a unique culture. The beach is great too!

We wanted  cheap winter sun and thanks to Ryanair we managed to get it, very cheap. If you want culture, Morocco has it, if you want relaxation, Morocco has it and if you want a whole new cultural experience, Morocco has it!


First things first, make sure you bring a pen with you as if you are coming from the EU, (and probably lots of other countries too) you will need to fill out an immigration card. If you have put the trip together yourself (i.e. not a package deal) try and choose a flight that arrives before 1900 hours as this is when the taxi prices go up. The taxi rank is easy enough to find straight outside the arrivals area. Taxis into Agadir cost 150 dirham before 19.00 and 200 dirham after 19.00 and the taxi drivers charge around 10 dirham per suitcase in the boot (something we didn't realise at first) and the journey takes around 30 minutes.

A Place to Lay my Head

We stayed at the Hotel Aferni on Av. General Kettani, costing just 110 dirham (£8.50) per person per night including breakfast. The rooms were clean and each came with a balcony - as sea views were not available, I would recommend a mountain view over the back of the hotel.
Now on to the interesting stuff!!


As our flight arrived after 19.30 our first impression of Agadir was in darkness. We found our hotel (Hotel Aferni) and wandered down the Av. General Kettani. At the end of the road on the corner of Av. General Kettani we found a restaurant with an open air terrace, 'Chez Mamma' with stunning views of the illuminated Kasbah! Chez Mamma as we would soon learn sold huge T-bone steaks and they served alcohol which is one of the only things we struggled to find in Agadir. This place was really good quality and bargain prices too - we paid 390 dirham for a two course meal with drinks for four people which came as a welcome relief as we had been told food was expensive in Agadir.

It’s NOT!

On other nights we found many restaurants on the main beach front which offered a selection of set menus, usually three courses for around 150 dirhams or less which again was great value and most included salad starter, Tagine main (tradition Moroccan Stew cooked in a tall pot) and fruit or chocolate mousse for pudding. These tagines probably had been created to cater for the tourists but we loved them.


On our second day we decided to visit the Bird Sanctuary 'La Vallee des Oiseaux' which is on Boulevard Hassan 2. Entrance is free and gates open at 11am. As you enter there is a children’s play area for the families before you start walking around the sanctuary. In this sanctuary you are the caged bird! The pathway through the sanctuary is actually a mesh cage so you get to see the bids flying above your head too! Other animals here include lamas, orang-utans (in a very small cage, I hope they don’t live there permanently) and goats which for a small tip you can feed and have your pictures taken whilst doing so.

If this is your first visit to Morocco then a visit to the local souk (market) is a must. A taxi should cost between 10 and 20 dirhams depending on how good your bartering skills are. There are many gates (15+ all of them numbered) you can enter the souk through and they all look the same so if you are meeting people there make sure you agree on a gate number. Outside the souk are employees of the tourist authority. They approach you and show you around free of charge but I would recommend being very clear that you are not going to pay them for their services, so that everybody is clear. Our guide turned out to be a life saver as he was able to translate for us (my Arabic isn't the best!)

On our last day we decided to visit the top of the Kasbah! For those of you unfamiliar with Agadir the Kasbah is a huge mountain at the furthest part of the beach which is illuminated at night with the Arabic words for God, King and Country. On the top of it are the ruins of the earthquake which hit Agadir in the 1960's. We got a taxi up there and along with the ruins took in the breath taking views. A word of warning though many local men are waiting at the top to sell you more souvenirs or to charge you to have your picture taken with baby goats, snakes or camels. Unless you want to walk down the Kasbah make sure you ask your taxi driver to wait for you as otherwise there is no way down. The walk itself takes around 40 min and is on sealed path with benches to rest and pose for pictures on the way down.

The Best Bit - The Beach

The main reason for us visiting Agadir was the beach and it did not disappoint. Clean, wide and golden sands the beach is all we expected it to be. If like us you want to avoid the beach hawkers then pay 30 dirhams and purchase a wicker sun lounger, parasol, mattress and table at Soleil d'Agadir (Tel:067 19 02 60) for the day. Soleil d'Agadir is right on the beach and is the last set of sun lounger before you hit the marina. As the sun loungers are fenced off beach hawkers can not push their wears on you and if you get peckish they serve food and drinks from a local cafe across the street too! All the usual water activities are here if you want them jet skis, wind surfing, surfing or like us just sun worshipping
All things considered I would return to Agadir in a heartbeat. For winter sun and relaxation I can’t think of a better place. For anybody visiting soon my one piece of advice would be to practice your poker face before you get there, you will need it when you start to barter and if the prices are not going the way you want them to walk away - either you'll get followed with a lower price or you'll know at the next stall to increase how much you want to pay! That and spend all your dirhams before you go past passport control only Euros and US Dollars are accepted past passport control.