City of Western Sahara
It was in 1934 that Lieutenant Antonio de Oro set up a camp on the left bank of La Sequia el Amra for the Spanish colonial police, where the generous water table permitted a lasting settlement.
In less than a century, Laayoune, claimed as the capital of an independent Saharawi state, has grown rapidly, becoming the first economic and administrative pole of the Saharan Provinces.
Since the annexation by Morocco in 1979 of Western Sahara, the tax advantages granted to entrepreneurs and investors have allowed this momentum. The exploitation of the mines of phosphate of Bou Kra and its treatment are not foreign.
Phosphate is one of the main wealth of the kingdom. It is transported on a conveyor belt (the longest in the world about 100km) directly to the port of El Marsa, the third Moroccan port 25 km from Laayoune where it’s processed before being exported by boats.
These investments have also transformed the appearance of the city where still remains the old cathedral in Spanish concrete. Its center regroups around the vast place Mechouar all the administrations, banks and places of business.
These transformations were complemented by the creation of cultural and sports venues. Theater, cinema, stadium, youth center, schools, exhibition halls are also present to facilitate and better meet the needs of sedentarization of a population often still nomadic.
Laâyoune opens up to tourism
Responding to the wishes of the new tourist orientations planned on the south Atlantic coast of Morocco, beach activities, relaxation and discoveries of the hinterland have been put in place offering a wide range of leisure activities.
Besides the water sports that appreciate the constancy of the waves and the wind, the sport fishing welcomes more and more amateurs on the long beach lined with dunes of Foum El Oued. The hunters will not be left behind, two protected reserves have been created. Hares, gazelles, partridges, bustards are proposed to them …
Wild and varied landscapes
The hinterland lends itself readily to the expectations of travelers of all kinds, eager for wilderness. Excursions to the numerous salt lakes close to the coastal region, such as Tah 70 km north of the city, are indeed organized from this one. A beautiful adventure to meet this rich and varied nature, made of regs and ergs along the coast and which makes the charm of the region.
On the road to Smara, the sites of rock paintings of Asli and Oued Miran give us the testimony of a distant past where the Sahara was greener and damp, hosting a wide variety of animals. Located 250km away, Smara is emblematic of a Saharan city with a rich past.
Step on the road to the great south
For many travelers, Laâyoune remains a friendly and almost obligatory stopover on the road to sub-Saharan Africa.
However, the strengths developed by the region show a willingness to be part of a tourism that we hope will be sustainable for the environment and respectful of the local populations …
Laayoune, Useful Information
Most of the services: banks with distributors, large hotels, handicrafts, pharmacies are located on the Mekka boulevard in the city center and around the central square Dcheira.
200 avenue Mekka.
In front of the hotel Nagjir on the Place D’Cheira.
Hassan II Hospital is located in the Novapolis district bordering the Bld Mekka.
Service stations are outside the city.
Bus station and large taxis in Laâyoune
Marrakech / Laayoune
Several companies, including CTM, Supratours and others, provide daily connections via Agadir. Plan a 17-hour trip for an average price of 300 MAD.
4 daily connections:
14.30 – 15.30 – 19.30 – 22.30
1 check-out at 21:00
Laâyoune / Marrakech
Buses departing from Laayoune to the north all pass through Agadir and / or Inezgane (10km from downtown Agadir)
3 daily connections
15.00 – 19.00 – 21.00
It serves Marrakech and Casablanca from where flights to Europe travel.