Agadir is a coastal town in southwestern Morocco, lying south of Casablanca and situated between the Atlantic Ocean shore and the High Atlas Mountains. The city was completely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1960 and has since become an important tourist destination, especially for European vacationers.
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Agadir is well known for the local beaches, which are clean and relatively uncrowded. A string of beaches and seaside resorts lie north of the city. The beaches near the fishing village of Taghazout stretch for several miles and are renowned for surfers. On the more popular beaches visitors can try horseback riding or rent jet skis, bicycles, sailboats or pedalos.
Agadir is an enjoyable destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers. A zoo known as the Valley of the Birds offers a look at a variety of bird species. The Souss Massa Nature Reserve is home to ibis, storks, herons, flamingos and other water birds. The plateau of Talborjt lies west of the city and includes a memorial garden for the locals that were killed in the 1960 earthquake.
Journey on Camelback
Visitors can try a camel safari into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains or across the dunes and rocky plains of the Sahara Desert. Many small oasis towns can be reached in a few hours, as can the rock formations in the region of Tafraoute. There are also Berber villages, including Inezgane, to visit. The walled city of Taroudant, also known as the "mini Marrakesh," lies about 50 miles from Agadir and can be reached by local taxi. Closer to the city are the ruins of the ancient kasbah, or hilltop fortress, which was built in the 16th century and offers a sweeping view of the town and the seacoast.
There are several popular events and festivals on the calendar. During the first week of July, Agadir holds an annual festival of modern and traditional Berber music known as the Timitar Festival. The Agadir Festival takes place each December and hosts traditional, rock and jazz musicians from all over the world. A fish and seafood exhibition occurs in November, while the nearby town of Argana, famous as a beekeeping centre, holds a honey festival each May.
A traditional souk, El Had, a traditional closed market, offers shoppers a great variety of craft works, including jewellery, carpets, handbags, carpets, pottery, spices, aromatic oils and various art objects. The merchants enjoy haggling with experienced buyers, who never pay the marked price.
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