Travel to Atar – Adrar Market Town

Atar is one of the largest towns in northern Mauritania. It is also an important market centre attracting numerous nomads looking to sell their products and travellers passing through whilst exploring the dramatic Adrar region.

Although little of Atar’s traditional architecture remains following devastating floods and heavy rain in the early 1990’s, Atar does have an impressive irrigation system. With a French fort dating back to World War 2 and a ksar with narrow streets, Atar also has a few things to see.

As a base from which travellers can explore the surrounding Adrar region, there are many attractions close to town including stone circles which lie 10 km to the north, or Azougui, some 15 km to the northwest. Even Chinguetti could be visited on a day trip for travellers short on time (though it wouldn’t do it justice).

Camel trekking and walking in the Sahara are all popular activities from Atar. 4WD desert safaris through pristine and spectacular wilderness are the major draw. Hot air ballooning may be available locally.

Find a local café and watch local life go by in a typical Mauritanian desert town.

Atar can be explored on foot, though your own private transport is useful for getting around between accommodation and markets.

  • As the major commercial centre of the Adrar, virtually all travellers pass through town.
  • Stock up on supplies, food and refreshments from the colourful local markets.
  • Atar has a reasonable choice of accommodation and the stunning scenery of the Adrar is never far away.


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