Dakhla, the Pearl of the Desert

Some refer to Dakhla as “the pearl of the Moroccan south” or “the jewel of the Moroccan desert,” highlighting its unique blend of desert landscapes and coastal beauty. Recognized as the second hub of global diplomacy in Morocco’s southern provinces, Dakhla is renowned for its desert sands and ocean waves. It has become a magnet for tourists worldwide, particularly those interested in desert and marine activities such as surfing and savoring unique seafood dishes.

Established in 1884, Dakhla served as the initial fishing outpost for Spanish presence in the Sahara. Situated on the eponymous bay, it lies approximately 600 km south of Laâyoune, embodying a rich historical and geographical significance within the region.

Dakhla story

Dakhla story

In Spanish times, this town was called Villa Cisneros and was almost exclusively for Spanish settlers.

In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, the city of Dakhla served as a stopover for European planes serving Latin America.

From the end of the 1970s and its return to the motherland, Dakhla has continued to develop and transform.

Today Dakhla has become a modern port, industrial, agricultural, and tourist city.

This site will allow you to see the extraordinary transformations experienced by the city and its population.

What to do in Dakhla?

What to do in Dakhla

The area is known worldwide for kitesurfing. But windsurfing is far from the only tourist attraction. At the meeting point between the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean, this region in southern Morocco consists of small natural stones of incomparable beauty to be discovered without delay.

catamaran excursion on the Dakhla lagoon

Sail through the turquoise waters of the magnificent Dakhla lagoon aboard a catamaran to observe migratory birds, pink flamingos, and even dolphins who have taken up residence there!

4×4 safari towards the dune Blanche

The white dune is a unique natural phenomenon erected in the middle of the lagoon. It is a favorite spot for fiddler crabs and flamingos. The journey through the desert plains of the Sahara offers extraordinary wild landscapes.

dragon island exploration

dragon island

The panorama from the top of Dragon Island (Herné Island) offers a breathtaking 360 view of the lagoon, beaches, white sandbanks, and desert dunes in the distance. Recharge your batteries by taking a white clay bath, go shellfish hunting, and bring a picnic basket!

relaxing on portorico and puertito beaches

These wild beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and watching migratory birds. You really feel alone in the world. There is also the possibility of spending the night in a tent or bivouac.

natural pedicure session in imlili

Imlili, a wetland that appeared in the middle of the Sahara like a mirage, is one of the geological curiosities to visit in Dakhla. The natural pools are populated by fish that will be happy to get rid of your dead skin.

tour of the oyster farm and oyster tasting

Take advantage of the guided tour of the Dakhla oyster farm, followed by a good meal. On the menu: fresh oysters and seafood tajines. The restaurant is modest, and the prices are ridiculous, but the taste is guaranteed.

quad or motorbike ride

The hundreds of kilometers of beach in the Dakhla region and the desert expanses of the Sahara are ideal playgrounds for motorcycle or quad raids. A good dose of fun for adrenaline seekers in an enchanting setting.

fishing trip

fishing trip

The waters of Dakhla are among the wealthiest fish in the world. Surfcasting fishing can be done in the bay or in the ocean. The starfish of Dakhla is the croaker. The catches range from 3 kg to 60 kg. !

Relax at the asmaa hot spring

The sulfurous hot waters that emerge from the Asmaa natural thermal spring are renowned for their benefits for the skin, respiratory disorders, and bones, ideal after a clay bath.

sand golf Dakhla

The Rio de Oro is the first environmentally friendly golf course in Morocco. It is a nine-hole course on sandy ground, and it uses less water and has “greens” that can be watered with seawater.

walking in the city of Dakhla

Due to its isolated location, the city of Dakhla has remained protected from mass tourism and has kept its authenticity. On the markets, the displays of spices, colored fabrics, or ointments are intended for the local population.

camel expedition and night in a bivouac in the Sahara

It is a multi-day trip through the desert and the best way to learn about the Saharan culture. Bedouin people are deeply rooted in the desert and live in harmony with their environment and with a spirit of excellent tolerance.

Stay in an ecological camp

There are several ecological camps erected around the lagoon in a dream setting. Apart from kitesurfing lessons, they offer various activities: Yoga, hammam and spa, standup paddle (SUP), kayaking, trampoline, billiards, and theme nights.

ostrich farm visit

The ostrich farm located 8 km from Dakhla belongs to an entrepreneur from the region who wishes to relocate them in semi-freedom out of passion.

Visit the monk seal reserve.

The Monk Seal Reserve, home to one of the world’s last colonies of monk seals, is located 400 kilometers south of Dakhla, strictly at Cap Blanc-Aguerguer.

Kitesurf in Dakhla

Kitesurf in Dakhla

The Dakhla kitesurf is a great place to go for both new and experienced kite flyers.

The warm wind usually blows from the north to the north-northeast at 15 to 40 knots.

May to September is the windiest time, with steady winds, but this spot is good because it works most of the year!

The high season is from February to September and peaks in June, July, and August.

Low time: October to January, when the wind is moderate.

No matter what time of year it is, the best time of day to kite is in the afternoon because the wind is always weaker in the morning.

Weather and Wind in Dakhla

Temperatures in Dakhla range from 22 to 29 degrees Celsius throughout the year. It will be more relaxed when the wind is more robust and warmer when the wind is lighter or not blowing at all. Make sure you pack a few thick sweaters, long pants, and possibly a beanie because nighttime temperatures can drop significantly.

We recommend a short or 3/2-long wetsuit for the water.

Winter and summer months see steady winds of up to 35 knots, with the most vital months being April to September. December and January are the driest months, but there are still many days when the weather is ideal for kitesurfing. At around 2 p.m., the wind begins to increase in intensity.

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way

Dakhla’s lagoon camps are a popular choice for visitors. Bungalows and tents are available right next to the kiteboarding action. Unless you want to explore the town, you don’t have to bother about transportation if you choose this choice. Most camps will arrange a transfer for about ten euros per person to get you there. Renting a car for 30 euros per day is required if you plan to stay in a city. Using this method, you may travel back and forth to the kite area for around 25 minutes on each trip. A 4×4 vehicle is required to go to more adventurous surf places or the white dune.

Drinking and Eating

Most camps provide an all-inclusive service, which means all your meals are included in the vacation cost. There is a mix of European and Moroccan food at this restaurant. You may expect taginecouscous, salads, and pasta to be served at this event.

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