“White city by the sea” – Agadir has acquired a pretty middle name. However, in the language of the Berbers, who once founded a fishing village here, the name of the city can be translated as “granary”. Be that as it may – Agadir is now a Moroccan tourist stronghold on the Atlantic. And because the climate here is so pleasant and there is almost always a cool wind blowing from the sea, the Moroccan king also took a liking to this region in the south of his country and commissioned the construction of two palaces there.
The beach is nine kilometers long on the doorstep of the city, and it is lined with luxury hotels and a few resorts. However, the recent history of the city also knows black hours, because on March 1, 1960 the earth shook in this region. 15,000 people died and Agadir was almost completely destroyed. The historic old city on the Atlantic no longer existed, but reconstruction began very soon after the earthquake and seaquake.
In the following we present you the most exciting tours, most beautiful attractions and best sights in Agadir.
1. The ruins of the Kasbah
The Kasbah of Agadir is enthroned on a hill high above Agadir. It was so badly affected by the earthquake that only a ruin remains today. The Agadir Oufella was a huge structure, 240 meters above sea level and it was initially used to repel enemy forces from the sea. The kasbah was built more than four hundred years ago by the Moroccan Saadian dynasty.
From there, visitors have a very nice view of the harbor and the beach of Agadir. This is a trip back in time to an ancient city that lost everything in one day. In Arabic characters on the mountain of the Kasbah can be read: God – King – Fatherland! Numerous cannons secured this fortress from the earthquake. There was a mosque, a military hospital, the souk and a small theater here. Anyone who strolls through the ruins today will guess how big this complex once was. It also served as a communal granary.
2. Jardin de Olhao
Parks and gardens have been shining in a fresh shine since the city was rebuilt. The residents are particularly proud of their Jardin de Olhao. The garden sees itself as a symbol of the friendship between the Moroccan seaside resort and the Portuguese municipality of Olhao. There was already an intensive exchange of goods and ideas between the two countries at the beginning of the 16th century.
A small museum is now housed in what was once the main entrance to the park on Avenue des Forces Army Royales. It is supposed to keep the memory of that day alive when hardly a stone was left unturned in the city. Postage stamps and newspapers also remind of the earthquake in the museum. Jardin de Olhao closes in the dark. Admission is free and is one of the attractions of Agadir.
3. The new medina
The epicenter of the earthquake in 1960 was just below the historic medina. There are not even ruins left of it, and a tour by bus only shows tourists the location of this once lively center of Agadir. The so-called “New Medina” is the product of a Sicilian investor who has set himself the task of copying the historical buildings of the old Agadir.
The Italian Coco Polizzi, who was born in Rabat, Morocco, chose Ben Sergao, six kilometers from the outskirts of the city, as the location for this bold project. An artificial lake and a number of shops are to be built. Some things are not yet finished, but vacationers are invited to visit the narrow streets of the new medina.
4. Souss-Massa National Park
In the south-west of the country and on the doorstep of the city is one of the region’s greatest attractions, the Souss-Massa National Park. It has the stately size of 340 square kilometers and was founded in 1991. Two rivers, the Qued Souss and the Qued Massa, flow into the Atlantic there. This terrain is something of an Eldorado for ornithologists, because 275 different bird species have been identified in the park.
Antelopes, wild boars, jackals, mongooses and porcupines have also been found there. Most of the vegetation in the national park resembles a steppe and forms an interesting stretch of coastline over 65 kilometers. If you want to visit this interesting region, you should plan a whole day.
5. Fishing port with covered market
The fishing port with the market hall attracts many visitors to the Moroccan city almost magically. Life pulsates here, here you get very close to the everyday life of the inhabitants. The fishermen trade there daily with their fresh catches from the Atlantic Ocean. But in this “souk” you will find not only the products of the sea on offer but also every imaginable kind of fruit and vegetables.
The port is large and a little confusing. The modern marina, on the other hand, stands out from the area where the fishermen’s cutters anchor. An interesting new residential area with excellent restaurants has also emerged there.
6. Bird park
Many exotic birds are in the park between Boulevard Hassan II and Boulevard du 2o. Aout to see. This bird park is an interesting change from beach life and sunbathing. It is beautifully situated in a small valley in the middle of the city.
This park includes several playgrounds and, in addition to the aviaries for the colorful birds, also enclosures for mouflons, llamas and kangaroos. All of this is a green oasis in the city, which some hotels also take a small train to. The parks are well maintained and entry is free.
7. Souk El Had
Every Saturday and Sunday the Souk El Had opens its gates in the mornings. The residents of Agadir, who call themselves “Fadiri”, offer their goods here. These are mainly agricultural products from the nearby Souss plain as well as textiles, spices and handicrafts.
All of this is presented behind a six meter high wall lined with battlements. It is a lively market that is supplied by up to 2,000 dealers. If you want to visit him, you should inquire about the way to Rue Chaib Al Kamra Mohammed Ben Brahim.
8. Museum of Berber Art
The Berbers are still a pillar of Moroccan society, even if they find their center of life today in the vastness of the Sahara or in the oases and villages in the shadow of the High Atlas. In Agadir, for example, the Museum of Berber Art is one of the sights.
In addition to the city theater, a small but interesting collection of folk art was housed in the Ait Souss passage. These include traditional costumes, carpets and chests as well as everyday objects and inlaid doors.
9. Bert Flint Museum
The Dutch Bert Flint has dedicated himself to the culture of the North African countries for many years. He has his permanent residence in Marrakech, where he bequeathed his collection to a museum. A branch of this museum is located in Agadir on Avenue Mohammed V near the Salam Hotel. The exhibits from Bert Flint’s private collection mainly include handicrafts and old Berber equipment from southern Morocco.
10. Coastal road to Essaouira
One of the most beautiful coastal roads on the Atlantic leads from Agadir to Essaouira. Maritime Morocco presents itself from its most beautiful side over eighty kilometers. Long stretches of beach, secret bays and picturesque rock formations alternate on this route. Essaouira is a cosmopolitan melting pot. The “white city in the wind” has always been the destination of artists and surfers.