This year was the first time I traveled to Africa in my life and oh my what an experience it was. It’s definitely a culture shock, the standard of living is much different and the climate is much more humid than what I had been used to.
Ever thought about traveling to Morocco? Here’s everything you need to know whilst traveling to Agadir, a holiday city in the south-west Morocco.
Currency in Morocco is Moroccan Dirham. You can pre-order it in most major banks in Ireland, I bank with Ulster Bank and I was able to pre-order enough to last me for first few days.
1 Euro = 11 Dirhams (Approximately)
We booked our flight with Air Arabia which we never used before and I have to say it is a very decent airline (plenty of leg room) 😉 Return flights cost us €200.00 per person and we traveled June/July of this year. We flew directly to Agadir from Dublin.
When you land and make your way to the passport control, nobody will tell you but you will need to fill out a form on which you state all your personal details, where you will be staying, how long, and what is the purpose of your stay. Without this document you will not be admitted to the country.
** TIP ** Bring a pen with you as the airport does not provide you with pens to complete this form.
On a separate note, brace yourself as the passport control is extremely thorough and we queued for approximately 2 hours.
Book only 5 Star accommodation. This is where I made a huge mistake and booked a “4 Star” Hotel which turned out to be a ruin, completely horrible and to this day I am fighting to get some money back. (I will not be naming this property, however trust me on this).
Who is Agadir for?
Funnily enough this is a place for 2 types of travelers:
- Those who love to be “out-out”: Agadir has one of the most exclusive night clubs I have ever seen and there’s one for every day of the week. They are all high end, exclusive with vast amount of security outside. You are guaranteed a good party till early hours of the night.
- Those who love peace & quiet: Agadir is a very very quiet town in general, with few cafes, a boardwalk, a beach and a little square where the locals have their summer fests and concerts.
** TIP ** You will not find your usual “strip” in Agadir, as you would in Spain or Portugal. Most places (bars/cafes) don’t serve alcohol, you will not find live music or comedy shows here at night. If a long strip of bars is what you’re after this is not for you.
Food & Drink
La Grilladiere – Lovely restaurant, with great food somewhat out of the way from the center. Here you will not be served alcohol, however food is tasty, you get exactly what’s promised on the menu and it’s affordable.
Le Maxwell – Here, you will get one of the loveliest Chicken Tagines I have tasted. Tagine is an original Moroccan dish and the way spices go through the meat throughout the cooking process is heaven! This is a great place for couples, as you will be served alcohol and they show all major sporting events on their TVs (I’d know being a footballer’s wife) 😉
Agadir offers plenty of local shops in the center, and if you are a fan of replicas of high end brands this is the place to go.
Food and drink is extremely cheap in the shops, however please note – you will not be able to purchase alcohol in the shop before 12.30pm or after 8.00pm daily.
Generally I try to bring some meaningful souvenirs back home, for when we finally get our own place we will be able to display it. This time my husband came across an incredible street seller named Elmghari who painted views of local beach, local area and Arabic accents. I fell in love with the below painting, however I knew there’d be no way I could transport it home safely, now I am totally regretting it. Instead we purchased, the painting of the beach below and within the price he included both mine & hubbys name in Arabic as a personal touch. If you are in Agadir, definitely look him up – he’s lovely, extremely affordable and I love the idea of supporting local people who love what they do.
Marrakesh: 1 Day trip to Marrakesh costs approximately 400 Dirhams (depending where you go to book) and it lasts a whole day. Don’t be fooled when they tell you it’s 1.5 hours. It is a 3 hour ride one way to Marrakesh. You have a guided tour of the Palace and you are given approximately 2 hours free time to eat and ramble around the Marrakesh Market. Marrakesh is nothing like I’ve ever seen before – full of beggars, snakes, monkeys, street performers. It’s quite overwhelming actually. Personally I wouldn’t book Marrakesh as a day trip – if you’re comfortable renting a car I’d do that instead and then you decide how you spend your own time. We found sightseeing in 43 Degree Heat a little too much.
Paradise Valley: Half Day Trip costs approximately 250 Dirhams. It’s a 1.5 hours drive (1 way) from Agadir to a valley where then you will hike for 30 minutes only to discover the most amazing oasis I’ve ever seen in my life. There you can avail of the “fish spa” au naturelle of course, you can jump of the cliffs into the valley and enjoy the waterfall. It’s truly the most magical place, the only pity it’s so commercialized due to volume of tourists its slowly losing it’s charm. Definitely wear comfortable shoes as the hike is 30 minutes one way up a hill.
Unfortunately I cannot recall what company we went with but please take everything they tell you with a pinch of salt, as they will tell you what you want to hear just to make money. Sad but it’s true. One thing for sure, I would not travel to Morocco as a single woman, I wouldn’t feel safe.
Locally in Agadir town there’s a huge hill from which you can see the coast, the whole town and the view is breathtaking. It’s quite a hike, however we have rented a taxi for 120 Dirhams and he waited on the top for us while we looked around and then brought us back to the hotel.
Lastly, the town has an enormous Souk (Market) and you will literally find anything you want there. From food, fruit to livestock, home goods – cleaning products, to curtains, carpets, clothing, washing machines. You name it it’s there! It’s a great opportunity for some authentic photographs. You will need some patience as the vendors will try to get you to buy their things immediately as you walk in.
I hope you found this post useful and it gives you a clearer picture of Agadir, if you are thinking of going. As always I will answer any further questions you might have in the comments below.