When I got off the plane, warm heat was pressed against my face. It was a refreshing and calm feeling at once, something I hadn’t felt for three years.

He is now eager to leave Ireland. Many of my close friends have immigrated, and since the pandemic, the rest of us are keen to fit as many breaks as our budget allows. I went on our last overseas vacation, and when my time came, I wasn’t going to waste that moment. For three years I felt the sun on my skin and waited for a pure and complete escapism. Now we have landed, and I felt that enthusiasm, it was time to switch off and adopt the spirit of “absence.”

Agadir was my destination. Coastal cities and fishing ports are located at the foot of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, along the South Atlantic coast of Morocco. Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, it offers all of the culture, hospitality and traditions. It was my first time to come to Africa and I wanted to explore, but I was shocked to find it just a short flight away. In just three and a half hours, we reached the second largest continent in the world.

This trip was a truly unique experience, and I can’t put my finger on that reason altogether. Maybe I was excited like a child and finally went abroad, or maybe I’ve achieved some wisdom and maturity in the last three years. But I really embraced Moroccan heritage and wasn’t just relaxing by the pool.

Yes, I wanted the sun, but the sudden dash to secure a lounger in the dawn gap wasn’t at the top of the change priority list. Ultimately, I think this is due to our tour guide Mustafa and Sunway representative Laila. In Mustafa’s own words, he was “your free”, and I was certainly reassured by his local knowledge and expertise.

Enjoy traditional Moroccan mint tea, described by Mustafa as “a microcosm of hospitality.” I learned that the preparation itself is a ritual. Tea is poured from the height to create bubbles and pay homage to the guests. Serve warmly in an authentic Moroccan tea glass with fresh mint, sugar and honey.

You need to have your wisdom about you in Morocco, and this is solid advice when traveling to any destination, but it’s especially true when adventuring in the local market. In Agadir, we went to the bustling Souk El Had. There are nearly 6,000 food stalls and I went to buy a lot of things. There are various products such as clothing, pottery, fresh food, spices, floor coverings and furniture.

It can sometimes be quite chaotic and your hugging skills will be tested. I have found that moving away from a particular permanent vendor is the best and only option. The market is very crowded in the afternoon, so it’s best to visit before lunch time to avoid congestion.

Agadir has reformed itself since the great earthquake that killed nearly 15,000 people in 1960. The city also has big plans for the future. The new beachfront, first bus highway, improved infrastructure and public parks are all expected to complete the transformation by 2024. However, Moroccan tradition is at the heart of this place. And there is nothing more than that North African cuisine.

For example, tagine is a delicious staple served cooked in a ceramic dish with a conical lid. When I tried it at a restaurant on the market, it looked a lot like a rustic Irish stew with potatoes, chicken or lamb, parsnips, onions and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s full of flavor, and for me, I’ve put together everything that is unique to Morocco, from presentations to delicious local produce, an array of herbs and spices. While Agadir has restaurants to suit every taste, Lutopis Rouge is another hint known for its selection of anglerfish and tender beef, in addition to authentic French cuisine.

Mustafa and Laila also took us to the botanical gardens of the quaint village of Alma, 18 km from Agadir. Here, argan seeds are harvested, crushed, shelled and squeezed to make natural argan oil. The road is then lined with abandoned shells instead of typical stones in a clever and sustainable way so as not to waste anything. The scents of figs, pomegranates, lemons and olive trees and rosemary and aloe vera carry you. There are small shops selling garden produce such as argan oil, poppy flowers and lipsticks made from pomegranate.

Here we enjoyed a traditional amazigh breakfast that was washed away with mint tea. All flat breads soaked in argan oil, thyme honey, orange flower honey and amru (a thick paste of argan oil, almonds and honey, called “Berbernutella”) were served.

Next, we headed to Paradise Valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the heart of the palm grove. Known for its rocky pools and waterfalls, it is rich in plants such as banana trees and wild vines. Here you can hike, swim and relax in the natural environment, a quiet oasis away from the vibrant city of Agadir.

Between excursions, stay at Riu Palace Tikida, with several pools on the sandy beaches of Taghazout Bay, and at the Riu Tikida Beach Hotel, just off the beaches of Agadir, to get the sun, sea and sand. rice field. Not only within walking distance of various restaurants and nightlife. Both shouted for luxury and were able to quietly drift in the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

And just like that, my trip went around. My flight was before sunrise, so sadly there was no warm breeze as a farewell gift. But when the plane door closed, I leaned back on my chair and was happy to receive a Moroccan stamp in my passport. Traveling abroad for the first time in three years has rekindled the love of travel and opened the eyes to what different countries offer.

Do it

Seoirse was a guest on Sunway. A 7-night package to Agadir ranges from € 265pp at the 3-star Hotel Argana (B & B) to € 729pp at the 5-star Riu Palace Tikida (all-inclusive) this fall. sunway.ie

Ryanair is also flying from Dublin to Agadir.

More information

Travelers are required to complete a medical certificate and present a valid vaccine passport or negative PCR test results within 72 hours of travel.

look dfa.ie/travel When visitmorocco.com For updates.

Do not miss it

There are many places in Agadir where you can experience what it feels like to ride a camel. It may not be suitable for those who are afraid of height, but that was one of my things to do in Morocco …

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