11 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Agadir
The fine, white sand that rims Agadir's shoreline makes it Morocco's best place to visit for vacations all about sun, sand, and sea.
For many visitors, the main thing to do here is relax on the beach.
If you want to mix up the sunbathing with some sightseeing, though, Agadir is also a good jumping-off point for day trips and longer journeys to the towns and tourist attractions of the Souss Valley and Anti Atlas regions.
Sticking to the coast, the seafront walled town of Essaouira is also an easy add-on to an Agadir holiday, and the surf village of Taghazout is within day-tripping distance, so there's plenty to tempt you away from the sun lounger.
For ideas on the best places to visit, see our list of the top attractions and things to do in Agadir.
See also: Where to Stay in Agadir
1. Relax on Agadir Beach
Agadir is all about the beach. This is one of Morocco's prime beach areas, and holidaymakers from across Europe flock here throughout the year to top up their tans.
Summer is high season, as domestic tourists decamp to the Atlantic Coast on holiday to escape the soaring temperatures inland. Many European package tourists also head here in spring and fall when there are still plentiful blue skies and sunny days.
The long strip of Agadir's beach is rimmed by some of Morocco's best beach resorts and a host of facilities, including plenty of cafés and restaurants, as well as sunshades and deckchairs for hire. Many beachfront hotels offer private strips of sand for guests.
2. Take in the View from the Kasbah
Agadir's massive earthquake in 1960 leveled much of the city's historic buildings, leaving the hilltop Agadir Kasbah as the only proper historic attraction in town.
The kasbah dates from the mid-16th century, when Agadir became an important center of trade. Today it is only the ramparts that have survived but inside, this walled area was once Agadir's fortified town built to defend this sea port against attack.
The walls themselves and the gateway are well preserved, and their hillside position provides excellent panoramic views across the sprawl of Agadir town below and the Atlantic coastline beyond.
Come in late afternoon for the best photography conditions.
3. Explore Agadir's City Center
The modern central core of Agadir has a few interesting monuments that make a nice diversion from sunbathing.
The Grand Mosque is a modernist-style structure and very unique among Morocco's mosques.
For museum sightseeing, the Amazigh Museum (Passage Ait Souss) displays some of Bert Flint's ethnographic collection, in conjunction with the Tiskiwin Museum in Marrakesh. The museum provides a good introduction to the culture and artistry of Morocco's Amazigh (Berber) cultures.
The Agadir Memorial Museum (Avenue President Kennedy) was erected as a memorial to Agadir's tragic 1960 earthquake, which leveled the town, and holds an interesting collection of black and white photographs of Agadir in the early 20th century.
4. Visit Crocopark
This wildlife reserve, 14 kilometers east of Agadir, is home to Nile Crocodiles, which up to the early 20th century were endemic in Morocco but have since been wiped out by hunting in the wild.
Here, in this park dedicated to safeguarding the crocodiles, you can see and learn about these much-feared beasts up close, in an environment that has been carefully created to mimic their natural habitat.
The park's gardens host a wide and varied range of flora, both local to the Agadir region and exotics, and staff (who give tours of the site) are highly knowledgeable about both the crocodiles and the plants.
Address: Highway RN8, Drarga
Official site: www.crocoparc.com
5. Add a Trip to Essaouira to Your Holiday
Essaouira, 173 kilometers north of Agadir, is one of Morocco's most popular seaside towns, and its preserved 18th-century seafront fortifications have been stamped with a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.
Inside the medina, it's all about aimless strolling while admiring the preserved architecture and browsing the many small art galleries and souq streets selling local handicrafts.
The medina's western wall looms up over the crashing waves of the Atlantic. For the best photos of the ramparts, head to the Skala du Port. This tower sits on the southern edge of the western wall, overlooking Essaouira's fishing harbor.
You come to Essaouira for the atmosphere more than for individual tourist sites, but the Museum of Sidi Mohamed ben Abdullah within the medina is an attraction that is definitely worth checking out.
Located in the former residence of a pasha, the museum houses regional art, a fascinating ethnographic collection, and a history of the local musical traditions.
6. Day Trip to Paradise Valley
This pretty gorge, about 60 kilometers north of Agadir, is a great destination to sample a taste of Moroccan rural life.
Day hikes here along marked hiking trails pass by orchards of almond trees and olive trees and small villages along the way, all backed by views of the western edge of the Atlas Mountain peaks rising up in the distance.
Locals come here on weekends to picnic, so for a quieter experience head to the valley during the weekdays.
It's also a great place to pick up local produce. Plenty of small stalls in villages along the way sell local honey and argan oil.
7. Stroll the Walled Medina of Taroudant
Inland from Agadir, an 88-kilometer drive east from town, Taroudant is one of the prime historic centers of the Souss Valley, which became a major trans-Saharan trade route town in the 16th century.
The town is enveloped by mammoth rammed-earth fortifications that stretch for over seven kilometers and are studded with impressive defensive gates.
After strolling, or taking a carriage ride, around the walls, many visitors are here to shop amid Taroudant's rambling souq streets. The town is particularly well known for silver jewelry. Souq Arabe is the main area for shoppers.
Taroudant's kasbah district is also worth a wander but expect to get lost amid the tangle of narrow lanes.
8. Learn to Surf at Taghazout
Morocco's main surfer hangout, Taghazout is all about the sea, surf, swimming, and sand.
The beach here is very popular with Moroccan tourists during the summer months and can get crammed during this time. Surfing is a year-round activity here but is at its best from October to March.
There are dedicated surf operators offering dedicated surf holiday packages, lessons, and surf board hire, so Taghazout has become a major destination for beginners wanting to learn how to surf.
The town itself is a small, laid-back place, 23 kilometers north of Agadir, so easily visited as a half-day or full-day trip from town.
9. Trek the Countryside around Tafraoute
Amid stunning mountain scenery of pink and orange rocks, Tafroute is the quintessential Moroccan mountain village and a haven for walkers, hikers, climbers, and nature lovers.
This peaceful town is about 166 kilometers southeast of Agadir, in the Ameln Valley of the Anti-Atlas region, surrounded by a landscape of orchards and palm groves bordered by rugged cliffs and mountains.
A visit here makes a great foil to bustling and modern Agadir and allows you to capture a sense of rural Moroccan life.
You can kick back and just enjoy the scenery, or there are endless trekking opportunities for more active travelers.
Don't miss the Gorges of Ait Mansour and the prehistoric rock art near Annameur.
10. Shop in the Souqs of Tiznit
Jewelry collectors, you're in luck. Tiznit is one of the best places in Morocco to purchase Berber jewelry, which makes a great and truly unique souvenir of your Moroccan travels.
Located at the end of the Anti-Atlas mountain range, about 97 kilometers south of Agadir, Tiznit is ringed by impressive fortifications that are actually quite young, only built in the 19th century.
Inside the walls, the medina (old town) is a labyrinth of dawdling lanes, with plenty of souq (market) streets selling Tiznit's traditional jewelry, as well as other handicrafts.
Come on a Thursday if you want to experience a slice of local life, as this is Tiznit's weekly market day.
11. Bird-Watch in Souss-Massa National Park
About 65 kilometers south of Agadir, this national park is one of the country's prime bird-watching areas, with plenty of wildlife for keen spotters.
The landscape of Souss-Massa National Park consists of a mix of sand dunes, beaches, and wetlands that trail along the Atlantic coast, stretching across 330 square kilometers.
Some of the birds common to the park area and regularly spotted include pink flamingos, ibis, ducks, doves, herons, cormorants, and sandgrouse.
Most nature lovers, though, come here specifically to try and spot the rare and endangered bald ibis, which is endemic here.
The best period to head here for bird spotting is spring and fall.
Where to Stay in Agadir for Sightseeing
- The Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa is a popular five-star resort with plenty of family-friendly contemporary appeal. There's a pretty slice of sand out front, loads of activities aimed specifically at kids, plenty of pools, and a spa.
- Away from the beach, Tikida Golf Palace is one of the most elegant resorts in the Agadir area with lush gardens, a golf course, multiple pools, and rooms exuding regal ambience.
- The well-priced Hotel Timoulay & Spa Agadir is a low-rise, small resort, centered around a palm-tree-shaded pool area, just a short walk to the beach. Spa treatments are available and there is a restaurant on-site.
- Another mid-range option close to the beach (a five-minute walk) is Tildi Hotel & Spa, known for its friendly staff; simple rooms with balconies overlooking the sea or mountains; and huge, lush garden with a massive pool area.
- Hotel Argana is a good budget resort choice, often offering excellent deals. Although it's 300 meters inland from the shore, there's a private beach for guests.
- If you don't mind being away from the beach, Ibis Budget Agadir has modern, minimalist decor; a 24-hour snack bar; off-road parking; and is in a quiet location outside of the town center.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Agadir
- Full-Day Sightseeing Tour: The Paradise Valley Guided Day Trip takes you on a full scenic day of travel through the rural vistas near Agadir, stopping at Paradise Valley for a hike and swim and at an Argan oil orchard to learn about the region's traditional farming techniques. A traditional Berber tagine lunch; a guide; and all transport, including pickup and drop-off from Agadir hotels, is included.
- Camel Ride: The Agadir Camel Ride is an easy activity to get you off the beach for a couple of hours. This two-hour ride along the Souss River and onto the hillside beyond is great for complete novice camel riders, and offers beautiful views over Agadir and the surrounding countryside. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com
Coastal Cities: Check out Casablanca with its long stretch of sand, modern bustling city vibes, and Hassan II Mosque then head up to Rabat, the country's capital, for great photos of the medina area right on the rocky coastline. Heading north, Tangier is a good base from which to begin a jaunt along Morocco's Mediterranean coast and has a long strip of beach and an atmospheric medina.
Into the Atlas: Head northeast to Marrakesh first for city sightseeing amid the pink- and red-toned medina walls. From here, strike out to explore Morocco's High Atlas region, with its crumbling mudbrick kasbahs, vast gorges, and tiny villages all backed by mighty mountains.