Getting from Agadir to Essaouira?

Many low cost and charter flights from European hubs land in Agadir. Although slightly further from Essaouira than Marrakech by road, Agadir is a very viable airport for Essaouira and the drive (largely along the Atlantic coast) although windy and hilly, has great views of deserted beaches and Argan forests. Several such flights arrive late at night, so an overnight stay may be necessary (see below).

There is no rail network in southern Morocco, so the options for travelling from Agadir to Essaouira are hire car, private transfer, public bus or collective ‘grand’ taxi. Depending on the length of your stay and the location of your accommodation in Essaouira, you probably won’t need a car when you get here (see the FAQ on getting around Essaouira), so this post focuses on the other transport options between the two cities.

Buses

More and more buses are departing from Imezgane bus station, in a suburb of Agadir about 10km from the centre. I haven’t been, but apparently it’s busy and features all the worst aspects of bus stations and transient populations. Check which station is used by the company you will travel with.

Back in November 2012, we took a bus back to Essaouira from the Massira bus station (which used to be the main one). It’s nearer the centre of town, well-organised and has a decent cafe. Most buses start in Imezgane and then pass through Massira, but potentially not all. The most reliable, best organised companies are CTM, Supratours and Pullmann – all sell you a reserved seat. You can call them all for info and CTM offer online booking. There are many other bus companies used by locals; these companies tend to be cheaper and as a result may be over-crowded, poorly maintained and the ticket price seems to vary (ie tourists pay more). They also tend to take longer as anyone can hop off or on anywhere. I would definitely recommend CTM, Supratours or Pullmann. Our bus was with the Pullman company and left at 20:30. When we travelled (Nov 2012), that was the latest departure for Essaouira – most of the other companies have a morning departure. It was a good bus: comfy and well-driven. Note: each of those three companies above stops in a different location in Essaouira, but none is far from the medina.

Do not let anyone persuade you to take a bus via Marrakech to get to Essaouira – this will double your journey time and may mean a lengthy connection in Marrakech. The route from Agadir to Essaouira along the coast is direct and takes 3 hours (or maybe a bit more, depending on the length of the toilet/tea stop). Buses generally don’t have toilets and some people find the steep, winding coastal road disagrees with their stomach, so take travel sickness tablets if you are sensitive!

Grand taxis

You can get a grand taxi (big, often battered, old Mercedes) at any time of the day or night. This could be a good option for a group or if you have missed the buses.  It will probably cost you as much as the bus per place and there are 6 places in the taxi, so it won’t be comfortable (unless all the other passengers are really skinny!!) unless you book several places (you can always hire the whole thing). The grand taxis park up in a square called ‘Batouar’ or Place Salaam. It is surrounded by 24 hour cafes if you need to refuel before the journey. The rates are fixed, although drivers might neglect to show you their rate card. Find one which is heading for Essaouira and haggle hard!  Agadir grand taxis are white, Essaouira ones are blue. Either can take you once all places are sold, but an Essaouira taxi can only take you to Essaouira.

NB: It is cheaper to take a ‘grand taxi’ to Imezgane to the bus station than a small one, but you might find it difficult to flag down the big taxi.

Car Hire

Several major car hire companies (including Avis, Europcar and Hertz) have offices in Agadir and may offer airport pick-ups or drop-offs.

Private transfer

If the above sounds like hard work and you really want just to get on your way, a private transfer is a great option to take the haggling and the uncertainty out of your journey. You are on holiday, after all. If you are interested in a private transfer from Essaouira to Agadir, get in touch: info@maroc-o-phile.com

Late arrivals

If you arrive late in Agadir, my advice would be to get a good night’s sleep, and travel to Essaouira the next day. You can get good deals online in 3/4* package holiday hotels out of season.  If the timetables allow, one option would be to get up early the next day, get a petit taxi (orange coloured car, negotiate for the driver to use the meter or give you a fixed price – 10-15dh should do) to Massira to get a bus ticket and leave any luggage.  You should be able to reserve on the day of travel, but to be sure, you could reserve with CTM online in advance. You could then spend a morning admiring the beach in Agadir. A day in Agadir is enough in my opinion – the Souk El Had is also worth a visit and I’ve heard good things about the Berber/Amazigh museum.

Phone numbers and schedules (correct at April 2014):

Pullman du Sud: +212 (0) 5 28 84 60 40 (departs Agadir at 2030 for Essaouira)

CTM: +212 (0) 5 28 82 53 41 (website shows departures from Agadir at 0800 and 12:30 for Essaouira) – www.ctm.ma

Supratours: +212 (0) 5 28 84 12 07 or 05 28 22 40 10 (website shows one departure from Agadir at 0900 for Essaouira) – www.supratours.ma

* Please note: schedules *may* change during Ramadan. Read these notes on travelling during Ramadan.

6 thoughts on “Getting from Agadir to Essaouira?

  1. Roman

    Need to find out details about coach transport from Agadir to Essouira. No dates yet. How long is the journey and prices please.

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Roman,
      As I explain in the post above, the journey takes a bit more than three hours. The companies CTM and Supratours mentioned in the post both have comprehensive websites with timetables and prices.
      Have a great trip.
      Lynn

      Reply
  2. Maya

    Hi:) thanks for a comprehensive info on the topic. I’m planning to travel from Agadir to Essaouira by bus but I’d like to stop on the coast on the way up – in Taghzout and then Imsouane. I m quite sure it s possible to jump of the bus earlier but do you think it s possible to jump back on it again on the route? Does it has any fixed stops?
    Thanks,
    Maya

    Reply
    1. lynn Post author

      Hi Maya,
      Buses go up and down that route all day and night. You will have no problem jumping on and off. The better organised companies such as CTM have set stops. The others stop whether they can pick up or set down passengers. The age and quality of buses varies wildly, but there is no shortage of transport options!
      Enjoy!
      Lynn

      Reply
      1. Tabita

        Dear Lynn,

        could you please provide any more details about those buses – where to get them and what are the price estimates, please? So far I have only came across information that I would need to stay overnight in Agadir if I don´t catch the buses by CTM or Supratours. And I won´t, since I´m landing in Agadir after 4 pm (next week on 23rd).

        Many many thanks.

        Tabita

        Reply
        1. lynn Post author

          Hi Tabita,
          this is exactly the problem for late arrivals into Agadir, as I explain in the post. I’m afraid I don’t have any more information than is in the post. Your best bet is to get to the bus station in Agadir or Inzegane and see if there is a bus you can take. These buses are not as comfortable or reliable as CTM or Supratours and take longer because they stop more often. If there isn’t a bus, you can get a shared taxi from the bus station. I expect the price will be a good deal less than 200dh/€20 for the bus. My suggestion would be to speak to people on your flight – you might find others who want to go to Essaouira and then you can get a grand taxi to share between you straight from the airport.
          Good luck!
          Lynn

          Reply

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