The interesting port of Agadir in Morocco appears to divide fellow cruiser’s opinions. I have read many a good thing about this port and also many negative reviews of people who have decided to avoid the port for fear of feeling unsafe. Mixed reviews always tempt us to places as we would really love to visit in order to see what it’s all about and make our own minds up!
Agadir is one of Morocco’s major cities and therefore is bustling, busy and has plenty to see and do to give you a true taste of Moroccan life. There’s a general feeling of relaxation in Agadir and it is popular with holidaymakers. The nearest beach to the port is about a 10-minute taxi ride away and is often visited by cruisers. Some cruisers choose to visit the souks to haggle some bargains and many chose cruise excursions to feel that little bit safer. We have heard that there are many taxi’s that offer tours and are available as soon as you dock and step off the ship. Taking a trip with a local taxi driver means you could customise your trip to wherever you wanted to visit – just be sure to agree on a price at the start! Below are a few of the local attractions and tours we like the sound of.
The city’s historic kasbah offers an incredible view over the city, the beach and the cruise port and can be reached by a 20-minute uphill walk from the port. Here visitors can marvel at the parts left behind of Agadir’s fortified town, with some parts dating back to the mid 16th century and soak in the atmosphere.
Agadir Camel Ride
For those not afraid to mount a camel then the opportunity is available here in Agadir! You can book a 2-hour camel ride and tour via Viator which will cost about £28 per person and take you on a ride along the Souss River an into the hillside beyond. This would certainly offer a different way to explore a port!
City Centre Mosque and Museums
If you decide to head into the city centre then you will be greeted with the Grand Mosque – a special and unique mosque which we’ve heard is a delight to photograph. Inside the city centre, there are a couple of museums too. The Amazigh Museum will give you the opportunity to learn more about the ethnography of Morocco, it’s artistry and culture, whilst the Agadir Memorial Museum will inform visitors of its tragic earthquake in 1960 and it impacts on the town. The memorial museum is 10 Dh to enter (roughly £2) which seems like a bargain to us!
For history and culture lovers, a visit to Taroudant might be an idea. Set in the Souss Valley, the small town of Taroudant provides a truly historic insight into Moroccan life and offers some fab sightseeing opportunities. Visitors here can wander around the mud-brink ramparts, defence gates and gaze at the surrounding views.
We know that many cruise lines will offer an escorted excursion to Taroudant but there are also lots of alternative trips and tours available online. One such tour is the half-day tour to Taroudant available from Get Your Guide, which includes a trip to Taroudant as well as shopping in the souks and a trip to a Soussi farm to see the orange and banana plantations. This trip costs £61 per person when booked online and lasts approximately 4 hours.
If you fancy heading to a lovely seaside town then Essaouria is worth checking out. The town has preserved much of its 18th-century seaport fortifications and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so is well worth the visit! It looks super pretty and photogenic with all the old buildings and the beautiful harbour area. Look out for cruise tours taking you to the area if you’d prefer a guided excursion.
Crocopark is a wildlife reserve which is home to a large number of native Nile crocodiles. Here visitors can learn about the crocodiles, see them in their natural habitat and enjoy the exotic gardens on display too.
Tours are also available at the park by knowledgeable guides who I am sure can tell you all sorts of things about these scary looking creatures. Crocopark is open from 10am to 7pm every day and an adult ticket costs 75 Dhs which roughly equates to about £16. A crocoparc ticket and transfer combo is available from Get Your Guide and costs from £36 per person. Crocopark is on the outskirts of Agadir and is reachable via public transport or the crocopark shuttle bus from the city centre; however, cruisers may prefer to take an organised tour with their cruise line to be sure of timings.
Souss-Massa National Park
Bird lovers might enjoy a visit to the Souss-Massa National Park which offers prime bird-watching and wildlife opportunities. Apparently, there are over 250 species of birds here! Look out for cruise line excursions to the park or other reputable companies offering tours.
Haggle at the Souks
A lot of people report that one of the best things about visiting Agadir and Morocco, in general, is the chance to visit the local souks and do a bit of Moroccon style retail therapy. At many souks, you will find fresh food, spices, carpets, lanterns and clothes, plus more to tempt you to loosen the purse strings. We have heard mixed reviews on how successful people are at haggling with the souk sellers and also how much people feel badgered by the locals to buy their wares. We think that as long as you keep your valuables out of sight and say a stern “no thank you” when offered items to buy then you should be ok!
If you want to get off the ship and simply have something to eat then we recommend trying some of the restaurants situated on the waterfront near the cruise terminal. Traditional foods eaten in Agadir are tagines, couscous and seafood – something a little bit different from what you might have been enjoying on the ship.
The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). We have heard that apparently it is illegal to export Morocooan money and so visitors are unable to exchange it on their return, so do make sure you only withdraw what you need and use it up before you leave – a visit to the souks might help you out with that!
Languages spoken in Agadir are commonly Arabic, Berber and French so bear that in mind when trying to converse with the locals.
When in port be sure to look out for the Argan tree which is only found in Morocco. They are well-known because goats tend to climb them which I can imagine is quite a sight to see!
Something useful to consider when visiting the souks is that there are multiple (over 20) entrances to the souk and so be sure to remember where you came in so you can find your way out again and don’t lose your bearings too much!
As always we have listed just a few of the main things on offer from the port of Agadir and we would love to hear what you would recommend to cruise-goers docking here. Please let us know your recommendations in the comments below!