What to do in al hoceima, Beni Mellal, Asilah, Agadir
In the north of the wonderful country of Morocco is the small town of El Hoceima. It is one of the young resorts in the country, but it is also quite important because it is the liaison port of Morocco. The city of El Hoceima is bathed in sunshine almost all year round, so many beach lovers go there to relax on the sunny shore. By its size the city is small, but this is its advantage, because there is no crowdedness and bustle, and the vacation in it runs quietly and calmly.
El Hoceima weather
What to do in El Hoceima: Like the rest of Morocco, El Hoceima is always sunny and hot. July is considered the driest month in the city, on its days there is almost no rain, and the air temperature reaches +32 degrees Celsius. A large amount of precipitation in El Hoceima is observed in January when rainy weather drags on for three weeks and is accompanied by strong winds. In the fall and spring rains are more frequent than in other seasons, once a week exactly, and the average temperature reaches +24…26 degrees Celsius.
In summer in El Hoceima the air temperature rises to +30 degrees and it is very dangerous to stay under such a scorching sun for a long time. Therefore, we advise you to spend your vacation in the winter period, namely in December or February, when the thermometer is +26 and periodically there are short rains.
In El Hoceima go mainly for sunny, calm beaches, so the main entertainment for tourists and locals is vacationing on the local shores. In the city, there are only two of them.
Plage Sfiha – a small sandy beach in the center of the city;
Quemado Beach – a beach on the shore of the rocks on the outskirts of the city.
Here you won’t be able to find water amusement rentals, cafeterias, or showers. The central beach is more civilized because it has sunbeds with umbrellas, but the entrance to it is paid – 5 MAD. Rocky Beach is an absolutely wild beach, which will suit fans of extreme sports because you can dive into the water by jumping off the rock. On this beach, you can go snorkeling, but swimming with small children is a big danger because the bottom is covered with sharp rocky stones.
What to do in El Hoceima You’ve probably already guessed that El Hoceima doesn’t have many attractions due to its size and relatively short history. Of course, the most important city site is considered to be the seaport, which helps to significantly boost the economy of not only El Hoceima but also the whole of Morocco. You can visit its docks and watch the ships coming in or enjoy the beautiful sea panorama.
Not far from here is the small Spanish island of Alusemas with its beautiful white lighthouses and the remains of military fortifications. Getting to the island is not easy as it is part of Spanish territory, but with the help of local travel agents, you can take a tour of it.
The main attraction of El Hoceima is the National Park. In it, you can spend a wonderful day enjoying the natural scenery and fresh sea air.
Where to stay?
The city of El Hoceima can offer its guests several types of accommodation: hotels, guest houses, rental houses, or apartments. Of course, tourists most often prefer to stay in local hotels, and there are only 12 of them in the city the following are very popular among tourists:
Hotel La Perla is a three-star modern hotel near the port;
Suites Hotel Mohammed V by Accor 4* – a beautiful hotel on the shore of the city;
Complexe Touristique Chafarinas Beach 4* – a small cozy hotel near the central beach.
All of them are well-developed, clean, and cozy. They have staff speaking three languages of the world. There are restaurants, stores, swimming pools, etc. on the territory of the hotels. The cost of a daily stay in them is 60-70 dollars.
Where to eat?
Any tourist after a long walk around the city, of course, will want to have a good meal. In El Hoceima there are not so many good establishments, but because of the small size of the city, it seems that they are at every step. Indeed, on any street, you can find a small café, a fast food stand, or a good upmarket restaurant. All of El Hoceima’s establishments serve Moroccan or Mediterranean cuisine. Due to its location in the city, it is very easy to find fresh seafood, from which the main dishes are prepared. Based on the reviews of tourists, we can say that the best establishments in El Hoceima are:
Espace Mirimar – a cozy, elite restaurant in the center of the city;
Restaurant Sidi Bousaid – a wonderful place near the central beach.
How to get there?
You can get to El Hoceima by airplane or bus. If you want to take a flight, it is best to do it from Agadir. Air tickets should be bought a day or two before departure. Airplanes depart daily but with a limited number of passengers. The flight will take you no more than an hour. By bus, you can get to El Hoceima from Marrakech in about 4 hours.
El Hoceima has an underdeveloped transportation infrastructure. Locals move around the city mainly by bicycle or private car. Of course, there are a few running public transportation buses here, but waiting for them at the stop turns into hard labor.
When traveling to Moroccan resorts, don’t forget to visit the cozy town of Beni Mellal. The town is not rich in sights, but here you can walk in the shade of olive and orange groves, breathe fresh air, and drink pure water from the spring Ain Asserdoun.
History of the town
Beni Mellal is located at the foot of Mount Tassemit in the Tadla Valley, which provides excellent conditions for growing crops. The town was originally inhabited by Jews and Berbers, who gave it the name Kasbah Belkush. After Islamization, the town was called Dai and nowadays it is called Beni-Mellal.
The most tense time for the city of Beni-Mellal was the XIII century when it was fought over by the Almohamads and Merinids. Nowadays, it is happy with its peaceful environment, which allows tourists traveling in Morocco to relax in peace.
Attractions and entertainment of the city
There are no special sights in Beni Mellal, except for the fortress of Ras el Ain, which was erected by Moulay Ismail in 1680. Since then, the fortress has been restored several times. Locals prefer to relax in the central park, where the Ain Asserdoun spring flows. Local moms with children and pensioners walk here in the shade of branching trees under the murmur of numerous waterfalls.
If you stay in Beni Mellal, you should definitely take a walk around the neighborhood. The town has a good water supply due to its close proximity to the Bin el Widan Dam. This allows you to maintain olive and orange groves, and cultivate sugar beets and cane.
Fans of active recreation immediately go to the Aero Club, the only one in Morocco. Every year there are organized competitions for the title of the best parachutist. You can sign up for a ride on a Pilatus sports plane, as well as for group, sport, and tandem skydiving.
Hotels and restaurants
Beni Mellal, like other Moroccan cities, is characterized by a well-developed infrastructure. Here you can stay in three- and four-star hotels, which please with a high level of service and modern equipment. Some of them have swimming pools, gyms, and beauty salons.
So, you can book a room in one of the following hotels:
four-star Chems Le Tazarkount;
three-star Al Bassatine;
The local restaurants serve mainly Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. You can have lunch at the cozy restaurant Rim Atlas, and for dinner go to a respectable establishment with the long name Le Restaurant Du Goût International L’hôtel Jnane Ain Asserdoune.
How to get there.
Beni-Mellal is the administrative center of the Tadla-Azilal region. It can be reached by bus or car from Casablanca (160 km). Also, just 8 km from the city is the small Moroccan airport Mellal-Ole Yache. It has only 170 hectares of area and receives mainly domestic flights.
The town of Asilah is located 50 km south of Tangier, a major port city in Morocco. Asilah was then a Phoenician colony and then, at the height of the Roman Empire, a Carthaginian city called Zilis. It did not become a thriving center of trade until the 15th century when the Portuguese built a large fortress on the site.
Today Asila in Morocco is a popular summer resort. It is quiet and peaceful, the city is clean, pleasant, and civilized. The central streets are reserved for pedestrian walks, traffic is prohibited here. And also in Asil, unlike neighboring Tangier, there are practically no intrusive “hustlers” who offer unnecessary goods and services to tourists. In short, visiting this Moroccan city leaves only pleasant impressions.
Attractions and entertainment in Asilah
This ancient city is rich in attractions. Among the most favorite tourists, we note the following:
the famous Portuguese fortress of El Camra, surprisingly well-preserved;
the ancient medina, built in white and blue colors, the entrance to it is through the main gate of the city;
On the site of what once housed a Portuguese church lies the Moorish-style Rassouli Palace.;
the dam, from which you can see the bastions with cannons.
Every summer the city holds an international art festival of street art, whose participants transform the walls of the city beyond recognition, painting them with bright graffiti. In any travel agency in Asia, you can book a sightseeing tour of the city, a hike in the Reef Mountains, or a fascinating trip to the surrounding area.
Asila is located on the Atlantic coast, so the local flat beaches here are very popular with vacationers. The best beaches are considered to be the sand and pebble beaches of Rmilate, Paradise Beach. Here there are traditional water activities for vacationers.
Hotels and restaurants
The best hotels in the city are Al Alba, MIA Hostels Assilah, Hotel Zelis, Hotel Pasta Plaza, and Hotel AlKhaima. Small and inexpensive but cozy hotels can be called such accommodation options as Dar-el-Andalus, Christina`s House, Flat Asilah Marina Golf, and Riad Assilah.
Restaurants of Assilah treat their visitors with delicious dishes of both Moroccan cuisine and international cuisine. While here, be sure to try the fresh seafood. Visit one of the best-reviewed local establishments such as Restaurant Ba Driss, Casa Pepe, Chez Ba Driss, Chringuito Dos Mares Beach, Hacienda, and others.
How to get to Asilah in Morocco?
In addition to the traditional way to get to Asilah by an airline flight, this Moroccan city can also be reached from Europe by sea boat, taking only an hour to get there. From the nearest major city, Tangier, Asilah can be reached by bus or train. If you choose the latter option, get a 1st class ticket, otherwise, you risk spending the entire journey standing up.
Vacation on the Atlantic coast in Agadir, which is located at the foot of the picturesque Atlas Mountains near Marrakech, is very popular. Agadir is recognized as the best resort in Morocco, which attracts tourists with its huge sandy beaches, excellent conditions for surfing, and excellent temperatures.
To help you find the best time to visit Morocco, here is a table of the weather in Agadir by month, which shows all the average monthly temperatures.
The air temperature even in winter does not fall below +20, although the water is not the most suitable for swimming. In summer it is quite hot here, but thanks to the cool Canary Current, Agadir does not feel the heat at all.
Beaches of Agadir
Agadir has one, but a very large beach, which stretches for 13 kilometers! Here it will not be difficult to find a secluded place and stay alone with nature. Also, it will not be a problem to find a sun bed or umbrella if desired, you can use both paid facilities located in the fenced-off areas of hotels and simple public facilities.
For all resorts in Morocco, there is one beach law – the approach to the ocean is common, and the beaches here are for everyone!
What to see?
Unfortunately, due to a very strong earthquake in Agadir in 1960, there are almost no historical sights left. Only a couple of walls of the once powerful and majestic kasbah, which was located on the top of Agadir, have survived. But this does not mean that there is nothing to see in Agadir.
Nowadays there are several small but rather colorful mosques (the most popular one is Koutoubia), which were erected in memory of the victims of the local tragedy. I would also like to mention that in 1992 the famous architect Coco Polizzi managed to rebuild the destroyed old town from natural materials, which became an exact copy of it. Now this place is considered an inhabited open-air museum. In addition to the houses of ordinary residents, there are other urban elements in this city: workshops, stores, and ordinary trade stores.
There is also the Berber Museum in Agadir, where you can see the craftsmanship of the inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Morocco. It presents a large number of ceramic products, national Berber jewelry, hand-woven carpets, and other similar things. Tourists should also visit the local zoo, which is dedicated to rare exotic birds. Although, in addition to birds, the zoo has a couple of llamas, which are here in the company of mountain goats.
Agadir has its own peculiar symbol – a mountain, which is very well visible from almost any point in the city. On this mountain, there is an inscription that can be read both day and night. Three words written in Arabic are the main components in the life of the local population: “God, King, Country”. In addition to these attractions, there are many interesting excursions from Agadir, which will also diversify your vacation and increase your horizons.
Where to stay in Agadir?
People come to Agadir to relax on the golden sand under the rays of the gentle sun of Morocco. Therefore, the bulk of hotels stretch along the only, but huge beach. Rest with luxury service will offer you five-star hotels Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay, Hotel Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa, and Atlantic Palace Agadir Golf Thalasso & Casino Resort. The rooms here are state-of-the-art and the staff are happy to answer your questions in more than three languages. Golf courses, spas, swimming pools, luxurious restaurants at the hotel – all this is available here for a tourist with an above-average income.
A budget tourist will not be left without a roof over his head. In Agadir, there is a small and cozy Surf hostel in Morocco. It is near the city by a few kilometers and situated on the ocean. This place is very popular with surfers. Here you can also rent the necessary equipment for riding the waves. The city also has a huge number of three- and four-star hotels for middle-class tourists. These are Robinson Club Agadir, Royal Decameron Tafoukt, and Atlantic Hotel. Vacationers here can offer swimming pools, beauty services, and excellent service.
Restaurants and clubs in the city
Restaurants in Agadir abound. Traditional Moroccan dishes are served in every status establishment. The best restaurant in the city is Pure Passion Restaurant. Since it is quite a popular institution, it is worth booking a table in advance. Inside the restaurant is quite spacious, and from the window, there is a view of the embankment and the ocean. Prices are not overpriced, the food is very tasty and worth the money spent. For a moderate price, you can taste Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine in the restaurant Le Jardin d’Eau. This establishment’s key ingredients for a good evening are fantastic service, live music, and delectable food.
Characteristically, Agadir at a fairly high level is organized and has nightlife. Local clubs are not inferior to European clubs and are much superior to the establishments of Arabian resorts. At some discos, girls are given free admission. Most nightclubs are located at hotels. One of the most popular is the disco Le Central, in the very center of the resort zone, in the Tagadirt Hotel. Prostitution is not very common here and is suppressed by law, but it is present in high-class hotels and clubs.