There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of Dakhla, and if you have it’s not likely to be on your travel plans. Unofficially, Dakhla is the capital of the disputed territory of Western Sahara, although the Moroccans have a firm grip on it. The area is highly militarized, and beyond desolate. But still, somehow, I can’t help but feel that this dusty town has the potential to be a beach vacation destination, or at the very least a hideout for people trying to get away from the world. The drive into Dakhla shows off some tremendous beaches and the heavy winds have to tease at the heart of windsurfers, but still a wander through town and one can’t help but feel a long way from home here.
Things to Do in Dakhla
The truth is there is the potential for things to do in town. But the truth is that I’m guessing that the majority of tourists that find there way here are just overland towards Mauritania, or the other way around. Still, if you end up spending a day or two here as I did there are a couple things to do.
- Wind surfing or kite surfing: Based on the amount of wind around there should be no surprise that a couple of wind and kite surfing spots have opened up along the beach towards Dakhla. Rentals and lessons are available.
- The Lighthouse: There are some great views from the old Spanish lighthouse.
- The Beach: It’s not exactly a great beach to relax on since it’s usually quite windy. However, there’s plenty of activity from the kite surfing mentioned earlier to fishing and paragliding.
Where to Eat in Dakhla
There isn’t exactly a thriving restaurant scene in Dakhla, but there are some good places to get fast food and a couple more up-class spots. Here’s a couple I tried:
- Snack Pizziria Ikram: No, I didn’t spell Pizzeria wrong, that’s how they spell it! Anyways, they have good Moroccan dishes for about 25-40 dirhams, panini sandwiches for 20, and pizzas for 20-40.
- El-Bahja: This place was good for dinner and very cheap. I ate for about 40 dirhams and had a nice chunk of lamb.
Where to Stay in Dakhla
I tried to stay at a place called Hotel Aigue but they were booked up and sent me across to a place called Hotel Tira. The room was simple, but very clean. There was also free wifi although it was a bit slow. I paid only 60 dirhams a night for a room, I was told a double was 100 dirhams. Apparently, most of the overlanders prefer a place called Hotel Sahara which is right across the street from Tira and right beside Aigue. There is also the fancy Sahara Regency, but that’s way out of my price range.
Getting out of Town
Dakhla is connected to the north by bus. You can catch a somewhat direct bus to Marrakesh with Supratours (24 hours), or to split it up you can catch the bus to Laayoune (8 hours) or Tan Tan Plage (14 hours). If you’re making the overland journey to Mauritania, the best thing to do is to organize something with the front desk staff at the Hotel Sahara. There is generally one car leaving daily and best to organize at least a day in advance.
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