The California-esque town made the long flight 100% worth it.
This beach getaway in Southern Morocco is a local and European favorite but Agadir is relatively unknown elsewhere around the world. When my friend, who is a local, invited me to visit over summer vacation, how could I refuse an excuse to jet off to this exotic location? The California-esque town exceeded my expectations and made the long flight 100% worth it. When in Morocco, Agadir is a must-visit.
1. Buy (or at least try) argan oil.
This summer, argan oil, also known as Moroccan oil, is all the rage in beauty products and magazines in the West. I got my hands on the magical liquid right from its source – Agadir. Famed for its multifaceted usages, including strengthening brittle hair and protecting skin from UV rays (as told to me by local vendors), argan oil products here are pure, cheap, and yes I can testify that they do work miracles.
2. Hotel hopping.
Agadir is dotted with luxury hotels, each with its own unique flavor. My friend and I spent days hopping from one to another (hard life, right?) The distinct Moroccan-inspired designs and architecture in each one is reason enough to visit but impeccable service, mouthwatering Moroccan cuisine and hammam (spa) pampering sweeten the deal. My personal favorites were Riu Tikida Dunas (USD $40 for 6 hours of facility usage and all-you-can-eat food) and the stunning Sofitel Royal Bay resort, which houses my favorite nightspot in Agadir — lounge-y nightclub So.
3. Hippie town.
I took a drive up Agadir’s mountains to an area called Taghazout — Agadir’s surfer getaway. In true hippie fashion, the streets here are lined with surf shops and little cafes all sporting some variation of the words “peace” and “love” in their names. The beaches are public and therefore crowded, but are perfect to experience a taste of local life. The area is also known for its delicious organic bananas, which go for about a dollar a bunch. If the weather permits (and its usually sunny blue skies), the mountains also offer breathtaking views of Agadir from up top.
Agadir’s marina is the main social gathering point for its middle and upper class residents, which contributes to its upscale and very European atmosphere. I went multiple times to indulge in coffee and patisserie, which tastes on par with those found in the average café in France but costs a third of the price. We spent many blissful days eating gelato by the Marina, then hopping onto a friend’s boat and driving out into the Atlantic before going for a swim.
5. Souk shopping.
Wherever I travel, I always make it a habit to visit the destination’s markets or bazaars. I find that as long as they are not too touristy, it is one of the best ways to experience a genuine connection with a country’s culture and people. The souk (market) in Agadir has prices that are dramatically cheaper compared to that of the more well-known souks of Marrakech. My souvenir haul for the day included pieces of fragrant sandalwood and rose rocks, a small blue tagine (a pot used to make the signature Moroccan dish), a silver and pink traditional teapot, a keychain (cliché, but I collect them), a small painting of nomads in the Sahara from a young and gifted local painter and lipstick used by Berber women (indigenous Moroccans), a gift from a vendor who promised it would last for 24 hours.
Article by Natasha Weaver.