‘Should I stay or should I go’?
I’ve learnt that Agadir appears to definitely divide opinion between travellers and tourists.
‘Don’t go to Adagir, there’s nothing to do there’.
‘If you do go there, you won’t even need a night – just a day at most’.
Those two sentences I’d heard multiple times in Essaouira and now more recently in Taghazout. However, I’d also heard positive reports from two separate couples back home in the UK before I departed.
So who’s right? They can’t both be – can they? I thought I should spend several days finding out to be able to qualify this – so that’s what I’ve gone and done as shown in this beefy post.
Getting to Agadir
Agadir is 18KM further south than ‘surfville’, Taghazout. Needless to say 99% of taxi journeys from Taghazout will be to the next town Tamraght or on to Agadir. So costing between 60 and 80 dirhams (£4 to £5 GBP), I could reach Agadir and be transported to the front door of my new place of accommodation. What’s not to like at that price, right!?
Wrong. Instead I chose to catch a bus; a bus that kept me waiting 30 minutes for it to arrive. Oh, and I had absolutely no idea where it was going to drop me! I’d researched in advance that there was one main road into Agadir and so it was likely that the bus would take this route and I’m relived to say, this all worked out fairly well meaning I only had to walk ten minutes to my accommodation. BTW, that 25 minute bus journey cost me 7 dirhams – (50 pence)!
So do remember folks my ability to sustain this transient, wandering lifestyle does in part also come down to disciplined decisions that I continue (and will forever) hope to make.
A weekend in Agadir
This town was immediately noticeably different to anywhere else I’d been in Morocco. In the evening I saw bright lights, pubs, clubs, even a McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Fair to say then this appears as a more westernised town. Admittedly there doesn’t appear to be much to do or see here – as a double-check on trip advisor confirmed. Infact, two out of the ten things for the entire Agadir region were to head to Taghazout and to visit Paradise Valley. Tick. The other notable things were to visit a large Souk, climb a big hill, get some beach time in and enjoy a sunset or three. All sounded pretty good to me!
The next day first up was the Souk El Had; the largest by far in the region and supposedly consisting of literally thousands of small shops. Armed with shades and headphone, the marketeers couldn’t get near me – not that it stopped them trying.
I did however treat myself to some strawberries and I reference that as once again it highlights a notable differences back home; cost and the quality.
You can tell just by looking at these they were ‘quality strawbs’. I had half a kilo for 10 dirhams (standard price) – that’s like 70 pence! Remember that the next time you go to your local supermarket and spend a couple of pounds on a couple of hundred grams. I’m also willing to bet to strawberries looking and tasting like these, you’ll pay even more. Take note that even the ones imported from Morocco probably won’t look like this but I guess that’s just how the world appears to work, sadly.
After my rapid consumption of those from my hotel room, it was time to re-visit the promenade. It’s this which makes being in Agadir all very worth it. In fact, from the promenade (and just about everywhere else in Agadir), the unmistakable ‘writing on the hill’ is clearly visible.
An on top – an old citadel known as Kasbah in north Africa territories. Managed to grab a night photo for a friend back home.
Translated returns: GOD, KING, COUNTRY.
I found Agadir to be busy but not in chaotic way. Besides it was busy in the area you’d actually want it to be – the gloriously long promenade. For a couple of hours prior to sunset, individuals, couples, families, all-sorts would begin their leisurely stroll awaiting (and photographing) one of natures most spectacular events. If they weren’t strolling, they’d be sitting enjoying a smoothie or Moroccan mint tea. Just wonderful…
The next morning I was on route to the hill of the old Kasbah going back in the direction that I came from Taghazout. Almost as soon as you enter Agadir, you will see the entrance to the Marina and port.
During the hill ascent, I got up close and personal with some of local furry animals.
I reached the top of the hill in 30 minutes or so though I’d have been quicker if I took the more adventurous route; the very route I would take on the way back down halving the time. Something my once-black trainers would not thank me for!
Reaching the Kasbah offered great views over the city and its coastline. Wondrous to think this city has been rebuilt considering it suffered major earthquakes in the past; the last big one being in 1960 claiming tens of thousands of lives and resulting in many more injured and homeless.
So it would appear that in actual fact that both opinions from my opening gambit were accurate. It really depends on what type of traveller you are and what your objectives are for coming here. The main problem for backpackers is apparent: it’s the distinct lack of hostels. You see, as of now (2016), there are none! Nada.
Hostels, in addition to providing cheap accommodation, provide a lot of solo travellers social interaction that will enhance (and often make) their vacation/travels. As I am not restricted by a work-holiday deadline, I could afford (not in a monetary sense) for this be a boring three days as it would make no difference to me. Though I’m glad to say I wasn’t bored and then consider I was in solitude for three days with little or no conversation. Admittedly it’s amazing what luxuries such as a clean shower area, fresh towels and my own room can do. All that for £12 GBP per night.
For the regular holiday-maker, I can see the appeal in coming here – if ‘not doing a lot’ and generally relaxing is high on your agenda. You can get direct flights from the UK to Agadir and a short taxi ride later, you’ll be chillaxing at your hotel which will likely be on (or very close) to the sea. You’ll enjoy warmth from our natural source as well as warmth from the Moroccan people. In addition, you’ll have a sandy beach, a glorious promenade and an abundance of eateries serving cheap, but quality food. Comon folks, you’ve read the report, you’ve seen the images – what’s stopping you for just a few days!?
I hope I’ve manage to explain and depict that Agadir can cater for all holiday standards, just less so towards the average backpacker. Having been self-educated on the subject, when someone asks me about Agadir, I can now provide a more informed answer and not use the advice of ‘Don’t go to Adagir, there’s nothing to do there’, from someone who has heard that from someone else and not likely ever been there.
Thank you, Agadir – until the next time. Except hopefully then I’ll have a job, partner, and be earning so I can stay at a 5 star beach front resort! That’d be nice.
Apparently, you can take the boy away from luxury, but you can’t take luxury away from the boy.