Coastal Areas lifestyle
From boutiques to bazaars, Agadir boasts a wide selection of shops. At the 'Gran Souk' a hurly-burly mix of traditional market stalls sells everything from bight, aromatic spices and love potions to precious metals, handwoven rugs and leather slippers. Marrakech is home to perhaps the most colourful and fascinating souk markets in the Maghreb. Set within the protective ramparts of the old city, the souks are arranged according to the individual nature of the products they sell. Head to 'Souk Addadine', where blacksmiths hammer at metal to create iron lanterns, copper pots and brass platters. 'Souk Chouari' boasts stalls of basketware, while 'Souk Smata' is home to leather goods and covered galleries called 'kissarias' which overflow with clothing, fabrics and freshly dyed wool and silk. There's a myriad of avenues and alleyways - all home to souks selling everything from bright kaftans, antiques, carpets and leather to colourful fabrics, copper, sparkling trinkets, ornate hookahs, unusual lamps, musical instruments and a dazzling aromatic potions, purfumes and spices. Haggling is normal, so be prepared to barter with the locals to bag yourself a bargain or two. A good starting point is to halve the initial price and clinch a deal from there!
Fusing Berber, Arabic, French and Spanish cuisine, Moroccan food is a mix of rich, mouthwatering flavours. Herbs and spices are an essential part of Moroccan cooking, with most dishes featuring cumin, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cloves and cinnamon to bring out the flavours of meat, vegetables and pastries. Try steamed cous-cous, often served with 'tajine' (a stew made with lamb); skewered lamb cooked with onions, parsley and peppers and coated in aromatic spices; 'bstilla' - a dish made from either chicken or pigeon with eggs, almonds, onions and spices layered with sheets of filo pastry; or 'kaab ghzahl' - a pastry made from almonds, sugar, butter & orange flower water; and wash it all down with some mint tea. Agadir is a working fishing port with local & international cafes and restaurants. Marrakech's modern Gueliz Mohammed quarter still has echoes of French colonial rule, with its wide orange-tree lined boulevards dotted with pavement bistro-style cafes, snack bars & restaurants. Alternatively, Jema El Fna offers everything from cuisine in 5-star hotels to smoky grills and street vendors. For great sunset views visit Restaurant Argana & Cafe de France offers a superb views of the square.
Agadir nightlife tends to revolve around the hotel complexes, many offering their own nightclubs, cabaret evenings and live music. Most local bars have live music, folk dancing and singing. In Marrakech. most people head to the main square - the famous Place Jema El Fna. From sunset the area transforms into one of the greatest shows on earth, with snake charmers, dancers, tumblers, fortune tellers and fire eaters vying for the attention of the massive crowds. You'll also find stalls offering barbecued kebabs, boiled snails and mouthwatering stew-like 'tajines'. A visit here is not to be missed - you'll experience a memorable riot of colour, noise and tantaliaising smells. In Gueliz, head for a 'Fantasia'. These large, traditional parties are held in the open-air or in torch-lit tents and feature musicians, dancers, fireworks and displays by Arab horsemen.