"My First Moroccan Town" Inezgane by maykal
Inezgane Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 4 photos
Anyone who has been to Agadir will have passed through Inezgane, possibly without even realising it. Roughly halfway between Agadir and the airport, Inezgane is a normal working town with seemingly no big attractions, no reason to stop at all you might think. So why didn't I stay in the taxi all the way to the beach, head straight for the big showcase resort 10km further down the road? What brought me to Inezgane?
Well, first of all, Agadir didn't appeal. Pretty much levelled in an earthquake in 1960, it is a thoroughly modern city, with masses of hotels catering mainly to package tourists. The hotels in my guidebook were noticeably more expensive than elsewhere , and the list of restaurants, bars and nightclubs listed made it sound like a thousand other beach resorts around the world. I'm sure it is nice, but that wasn't what I came to Morocco for. Inezgane, by contrast, is rarely mentioned in guidebooks, and that was perhaps its biggest attraction. Secondly, my plan was to head south as soon as possible, only having two weeks to cover huge distances, and Inezgane has better transport links than Agadir.
Arrival at Agadir airport was not what I was expecting. As a major tourist destination, I was surprised that not one of the half a dozen banks in the airport had any money in them, something that had taken many others by surprise too, judging by the long queue for the single, and very slow, cash machine in the terminal building. ours was not the only flight to have landed at that time, so it was quite a while before I emerged with some dirhams in my pocket and braced myself for the mob of taxi drivers that would almost certainly be waiting to drag me into one of their vehicles and radically overcharge me for a 15 minute ride up the road...
But wait...what was this? the automatic doors swished open to reveal....nobody. No cars, no buses, no taxis, no touts. Just lots of confused looking Brits and Irish. Oh. An elderly porter was on hand to point out the prices to each local town, listed on a noticeboard propped up against a tree. All very organized, but where were the taxis? He looked at me as if I was stupid...why, over there of course? Across the empty four lane highway, through the shrubbery, down some steps to a taxi rank, hidden out of sight and unsignposted. Silly me.
Arriving in Inezgane late at night, I was not so sure I'd made the right decision, despite my taxi driver telling me that avoiding Agadir was a good idea. Late night arrivals in unknown cities is never fun, and walking the not-quite deserted but very dark streets looking for a hotel did make me feel a little uneasy, but within ten minutes I had found a room and was sipping my first glass of mint tea in reception.
In the morning, instead of rushing off on the first available transport south, I decided to have a poke around. Inezgane proved to be a busy bustling place, with a huge and fascinating market. It was quite a good introduction to Morocco, giving me chance to get my head around the currency, the difference between dirhams and riyals, how much basic items like coffee and bottles of water should cost, etc.. All the shopkeepers were intrigued and delighted to have a foreign customer, and chatting with them gave me a chance to learn a few essential phrases in Moroccan dialect.
For anyone flying into Agadir airport and intending to travel around the country a bit, I would certainly recommend spending the first day in Inezgane, just to get your bearings. It isn't the most exciting town in the world, and will never become a major tourist hotspot, but wandering around the markets and not seeing another foreigner, I found it hard to believe that busy Agadir was only just on the horizon.
- Pros:Lively city with huge souks, good transport links, friendly people and no hassle
- Cons:Not really any specific sights to see
- In a nutshell:A typical Moroccan city, serves as a great introduction to Morocco
Agadir Al Massira Airport is closer to Inezgane than Agadir, so if you're arriving late at night, it might be worth... more travel advice
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