Agadir : Fishing port and major beach resort

From a tourists perspective, Agadir is first and foremost a beach town, but the areas vibrant cultural attractions seal the deal and make it worth the trek.Agadir is not the Morocco of twisting alleys and crowded Medinas. After an earthquake destroyed the city in 1960, it was rebuilt with wide streets on a clear cut grid. Today, Agadir is very modern, less typically North African than other Moroccan cities its size. Its long, wide stretch of beach, sheltered from turbulent tides, is very popular. The steady breeze blowing off the Atlantic makes for a pleasant, comfortable experience any time of day.

However, if you would like a less popular, more tranquil beach, head north to the Berber village of Taghazout, where local fishing traditions and visiting hippies coexist. Other good beaches within a 50mile radius of Adagir include Aghroud, Sidi Rbat, Tifnit, and Imessouane. Of these, Sidi Rbats vast white sand beach is arguably the most enticing.

Beyond the beaches and the citys modern core, Agadirs Souk alHad, Moroccos largest public market, is great for a taste of local culture. Here you can buy everything from fruit (the local bananas are especially delicious) and spices to clothes and handicrafts from as many as 3000 different traders. Baskets and carpets are among the treasured local products and make excellent souvenirs. (Please note: Souk alHad is a short distance from the city center, not to be confused with Agadirs Central Market)

About 10 minutes from Agadirs city center lies the towns remarkable Medina. For many years after the 1960 earthquake, Agadir was something of a ghost town, as many of its structures, including the Medina, were destroyed. In the 1990s, however, after decades of planning, the city built a brand new, old style Medina out of traditional materials. Mostly true to traditional form, the gorgeous reconstruction is now complete, providing a fascinating and highly recommended break from the beach.

Agadirs Museum of Berber Art is another culturally significant spot. This small folk art museum showcases carpets, costumes, and other traditional 19thcentury Moroccan objects.

Kids will not want to miss Agadirs La Valle des Oiseaux, a small zoo with a great collection of birds, as well as goats and ostriches. The zoos largest birdcage has a latticed tunnel for close up viewing of flamingoes, ducks, and an assortment of other natural aviators.

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