Agadir, the Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean
Agadir is the second most visited city in Morocco. Its Berber name means “collective fortified granary.” It owes its development to the Portuguese who founded a trading post at the foot of a nearby hill.
The city remained for a long time a town of fewer than a thousand inhabitants until a port was built under the French Protectorate in the 1920s and the city developed especially from the 1930s onwards. The city saw a boost in its development in the 1950s especially in the agriculture, fishing and canning industries. The construction of luxurious hotels foreshadowed its opening to tourism, favored by its exceptional climate and its 300 days of sunshine per year.
But in 1960, the city was devastated by a terrible earthquake that killed 15,000 people. It was rebuilt a little further south and according to the strictest anti-seismic standards by renowned architects including Jean François Zevaco.
Agadir is today Morocco’s main seaside resort, which has recently been complemented with the gradual opening of the new tourist complex of Taghazout. Its 10 km long waterfront and its bay, one of the most beautiful in the world, have for decades been welcoming foreign tourists in winter and spring, mainly from Northern Europe (Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch), who have come to enjoy water sports, surfing in particular in Taghazout. For those who prefer dry land, the 27-hole golf course of the Golf des Dunes and the two courses of the Golf du Soleil are enough to delight the most demanding golf amateurs.
But the hinterland is not lacking attractions either; if you love nature, you can explore the Souss Massa National Park, which is home to 250 species of birds, antelopes and mongooses. In Tifnit you can also discover ancient troglodyte dwellings. Lovers of handicrafts and especially jewelry will enjoy earrings, necklaces and pendants of all kinds in the many shops of Tiznit, Inezgan or Taroudant. But Agadir would not be Agadir without the argan tree, whose oil is a prized treasure, widely used for its high-nutrition value and in cosmetics, and developed exclusively by the women’s cooperatives of the region.