Despite still being miffed with bmi for discontinuing their Glasgow to London service I decided to give in and try their Edinburgh to Heathrow service.
The driver arrived promptly at the ungodly hour of 3.45am to whisk me off to Edinburgh. The only positive about this was that it meant that the run through was relatively fast thanks to the fact that most sensible people were still tucked up in their beds. We arrived approximately at 5am. The lounge didn't open till 5.30am which meant I had half an hour to kill.
We arrived in Heathrow bang on time; I had two hours of relative peace and quiet to enjoy the business class lounge. Before I knew it was time to board our flight to Agadir.
If you've got a spare three hours and twenty minutes I suggest you use them wisely hop aboard a flight from Heathrow to Agadir. Rest assured it beats cutting the grass on a Saturday afternoon. When we touched down in Agadir we were greeted by local men bearing traditional Moroccan sweets and some fabulous steaming hot mint tea. Once we located our baggage and made our way outside we were delighted by the musical treat of a live Moroccan band welcoming us to Agadir.
Twenty minutes later and we had arrived at the Sofitel Royal Bay Hotel. It wasn't long before we located a hammock and settled by the pool taking in the lovely afternoon sun. Yes that's right folks it's almost end of October and it's scorching here in Agadir.
The beach in front of the hotel is populated with hammocks and daybeds, sun loungers and cute little armchairs. Settling into a daybed we take in the beautiful sight of the sun going down.
Time for dinner, and for our first night we head out to the recently opened restaurant at the Atlas Marina Beach. It's a lovely circular shaped restaurant over-looking the Agadir Marina, which looks beautiful all lit up in the evening. The head chef makes recommendations for our meal and I have to say the John Dory was an excellent choice. Cooked to perfection the fish tastes scrumptious! Too stuffed to do anything other than sleep we head back to the hotel. The beds are super-comfy!
Next day we decide to take in a souq. We have engaged the services of an excellent local guide. Take note the souqs aren't open on a Monday. And Sunday is probably the busiest day to visit a souq. I don't recommend attempting to visit a souq without a guide. We weren't as harassed as we thought we were going to be, but it's still best to take a local. The sights of the souq are colourful and numerous. The place is an absolute maze and you could lose your fellow travellers in a heartbeat. So stick together and try not to wander off.
For lunch, we visit La Gazelle D'or in Taroudant. Gazelle D'or is an uber-exclusive hotel. Lucky for us thanks to the wonderful Faical we are guests of the owner Rita Bennis. We have lunch poolside, and are treated to splendid, yet simple Moroccan fare. The restaurant is set in the most magnificent gardens, we are surrounded by orange trees, olive trees, fragrant roses, elegant palms, tumbling bougainvillea and citrus groves.
Today we have a yacht day planned! We head out to the marina, and set sail on the Federika. Lucky for us it's a superb day for sailing, the sea is relatively calm. After about an hour of sailing and taking in the wonderful sights of the Atlas Mountains, the boat is anchored, to allow us to get in some fishing time. It's relatively easier than it looks, but there's no way that I will be touching the bait! Between us we caught four fish, not bad for a bunch of first-timers. The fish was cooked on board by the crew and served up with rice and salad, so simple yet so delicious, nothing quite like a fresh catch.
In the evening we head out to a beautiful riad for dinner. The Riad Villa Blanche restaurant is discreet and intimate. The food is Moroccan with a French twist and they only use local seasonal produce. The service is superb and the staff are very attentive. Perfect dining experience for our last night in Agadir.
Tips for Agadir:
- Brush up on your French, locals appreciate it, even if it's not fluent
- Be prepared to bask in the glorious sunshine, its shines 300 days a year! Take a hat and sunscreen.
- Visit a souq it's a must see, it's advisable to take a guide, and not to venture in alone. Haggle
for the goods, start at 50% off the price and negotiate.
- You will encounter beggars, we preferred to give them food rather than cash.
- If you stop to take a photo of a camel or a grandly decorative water man be prepared to stump up some cash, they won't let you do this for free.
bmi, British Midland International flies between London Heathrow and Agadir every Tuesday and Saturday, with fares from £129 return including taxes and charges. For more information and to book visit www.flybmi.com
For information on Morocco and Agadir, please visit the Moroccan National Tourist Office Websites : www.visitmorocco.com and www.agadir.travel