Agadir was, by all accounts, a characterful Atlantic port, prior to the terrible earthquake of1960 that completely destroyed it. Just four years into independence, the earthquake was an especially traumatic event, but its reconstruction showed modern Morocco at its best, and half a century on, the result is quite impressive.
On your cruise to Morocco you can admire swathes of park and garden that break up the hotel and residential zones, and the magnificent beach which is untrammelled by Spanish Costa-style high-rise building. Downtown Agadir is an exotic cruise excursion; it’s centred on the junction of Boulevard Hassan II and Avenue Prince Moulay Abdallah with Avenue du Prince Sidi Mohammed.
Rebuilt in 1960s “modernist”style, it has all the trappings of a town centre, with office blocks, a post office, town hall (Hôtel de Ville), municipal market and banks. Agadir’s beach is as good as they come: a wide expanse of fine sand, which extends an impressive distance to the south of the town, is swept each morning and patrolled by mounted police.
Along its course are a number of cafés which rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. The ocean – it should be stressed – has a very strong Atlantic undertow and is definitely not suitable for children unless closely supervised. Even adults are advised not to go out swimming alone.
As a break from the beach, and especially if you have kids to amuse, a cruise excursion can’t be complete without a wander into the Valley of the Birds, a narrow strip of parkland, with a little aviary of exotic birds, a small herd of Barbary sheep and some other mammals, a waterfall and a children’s playground. It’s all very pleasant, and the lush vegetation draws a rich variety of birds throughout the year, but inevitably, some of the animal enclosures are distressingly small.