This is the first post from series about our trip to Morocco in 2020. It was planned as a ten days long holiday, however we ended up with being under lockdown for almost three months due to COVID first wave restrictions. We could have stayed there even longer but fortunately British Embassy in Morocco helped us to get back to the UK on one of their organised rescue flights early in June.
Arrival to Morocco
We arrived at Agadir Al-Massira International airport just before midnight in the middle of March. Later on, it appeared to be the last international flight allowed to land there for quite a while, although nobody was expecting this at that time – we had booked return flight with EasyJet, which never happened after at least five cancellations we had patience to go for.
Agadir airport is located about 15 miles (20 kilometres) away from city centre; to get there we booked private taxi service in advance. Flight was slightly delayed, so we had to get in touch with company to arrange our pick-up. Here is the first advice – although we had O2 international sim cards in our phones, we had to ask friendly local people to call the company because we were not able to call from our mobiles – it just did not work in their network.
We spend about an hour more waiting for cab to arrive and reached our hotel in the city centre just after midnight. All, our taxi driver and receptionists were surprised that we came to Morocco at all because they new that the country is going under complete lockdown.
Odyssee Park Hotel
As we planned to move around the country, we had booked four-star Odyssee Park Hotel for a few nights to be spent in Agadir. As I wrote in my Google review earlier, hotel is in a very good location – near to the beach promenade and various shopping amenities. Rooms are large with a small individual terrace. Something might not really comply with four-star standards, however all hotel staff are kind and provide excellent service, making stay in the hotel really enjoyable. There is live music in pool area and the musician is very talented.
Unexpectedly, on the second day all guests were invited to the meeting for an announcement that hotel is closing. It came as a surprise, however it did not bother us much as we planned to leave on the next day anyway. Just keep in mind that to buy sim card you will be asked to present your passport.
I spent quite a long time to find reliable car rental agency. After reading many reviews about car rentals in Morocco I got it pretty clear that foreign tourists may have issues, although it may be not that bad – majority of Moroccans are nice people. We booked a car with local service provider Samicar, which appeared to be even better service than I was expecting; they were helpful and great in communication whenever we approached them during our unexpectedly extended trip. Second advice: as soon as we were able to, we bought Moroccan sim card with data allowance and were communicating with different service providers using WhatsUp application either by chatting or making voice calls – this is very widely used common practice in Morocco.
Agadir is relatively modern city with many amenities for tourists from western countries including bars, restaurants, nightclubs and supermarkets.
Agadir city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960 The earthquake damaged about one third of the city and killed about twelve thousand people.
Agadir had to be rebuilt after the earthquake. That is the reason why Agadir looks so new city, including brand new beach and harbour promenade. The architecture in Agadir is more modern thank in such Moroccan cities as Marrakech and Fez and there is even no old town medina. Fur that reason Agadir is sometimes called as the Miami of Morocco.
During our short stay in Agadir we were wandering around the city centre, along the beach, went to souk and Agadir Birds Valley, which is free of charge attraction with a nice walking path featuring different kind of birds. It was early spring and beautiful flowers were all around the city.
The main attraction on the second day in Morocco for us was visiting private hammam Argan Phyto House which we booked from home in advance. We had Neroli ritual and two hours Relaxing massage, which was worth of 1200dhs (around 110 euros) for two of us. After the whole procedure we had very relaxing time with tea on a balcony – absolutely perfect experience.
You may continue reading about this trip and our next destination Paradise Valley.