Difference between revisions of "El Aaiún"
Revision as of 17:04, 21 July 2008
El Aaiun is city in northern Western Sahara. It is the capital and has a population approaching 200,000.
Bus services connect El Aaiún to major transport hubs in southern Morocco, particularly Inezgane. Road N1 from southern Morocco to El Aaiún is in good condition, checkposts are frequent. Royal Air Maroc flies into El Aaiún from Casablanca, Agadir and Dakhla.
El Aaiún's central sights can easily be explored on foot. Public transport is virtually non-existent. Grand Taxi services connect to El Aaiún port, El Aaiún plage and places further afield.
El Aaiún is in itself a lot less than spectacular. The main roads are lined by shops selling indescript moroccan goods, the bird park seems to be closed forever and the adjoining tourism office is very well staffed but doesn't seem to have any ideas on how to spend your time either. American ex-pat Elly Bergeron organises desert trips and runs Oasis Lemsid just outside El Aaiún: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Desert and deserted beaches are aplenty. Make the most of them.
Morrocan standard fare at most places, nothing to write home about. Wonderfully beefy camel meat available at butchers around town, dates of excellent quality in the markets. Barbecue, fruit and bread is king.
Hotel Parador on Rue Okba Ibn Nafia seems to have reopened after being used as an army base for years. Should easily be the best bet in town. Hotel Larkaoune is mainly occupied by UN troops, the atmosphere is gloomy, the service personnel try to avoid being helpful as far as possible.