Travel to Laayoune (El Aaiun, W. Sahara) – Western Saharan Capital
Thanks to its shining blue lakes in between splendid sand dunes and rich green vegetation and birdlife, Laayoune is a developing tourist destination in the Western Sahara. The town offers its visitors a wide range of nice hotels and a magnificent landscape that is just waiting to be discovered.
Laayoune is located in the Western Sahara region of Morocco lying on the left bank of the river Saguia El Hamra on the two neighbouring plateaus. The former Spanish colony is occupied by Morocco since 1976. Formerly an oasis, today Laayoune has become the main economic focus of Southern Morocco.
Laayoune’s importance came principally of being the administrative centre of the phosphate industry. In 1975 Morocco annexed Laayoune, and a second town centre grew up on the hills over old Laayoune.
For Laayoune attractions, there is the Place Mechouar, a sprawling main square characterised by the four towers flanking it and the Palais de Justice. The Flamingo lake, a birdwatchers’ paradise, is famous for its white flamingos.
Souk Djemal, a vibrant and colourful street is lined with stalls selling local foods and other products. The Spanish Cathedral has a unique domed structure and well-maintained lawns. The new Mosque with its pristine white tower, the Laayoune Port and the Bird Park (la Coline des Oiseaux) with its exotic species, are also worth a look.
- Enjoy watching white flamingos in the most beautiful spot around Laayoune, “the Flamingo Lake.”
- Discover urban Saharan architecture.
- Discover Souk Djemal, one of the liveliest places in Laayoune.