Established by the Spanish in 1844 and formerly called Villa Cisneros, Dakhla lies just north of the Tropic of Cancer on a sandy peninsula stretching 40km from the main coastline. It’s a very lonely 500km drive from Laayoune (more than 1000km from Agadir) through endless desert, and Dakhla is actually closer to Nouâdhibou (Mauritania) than any Moroccan city.
And yet Dakhla feels less remote than many southern towns and certainly more prosperous, with good hotels, restaurants and an emerging tourism scene driven by kitesurfing.
Although Western Saharan tensions do still linger under the carefree, sea-breeze surface, Dakhla is relatively modern and progressive. Investment by the Moroccan government and developers continues, and the population continues to grow with new arrivals from the north. New apartment blocks stretch the town boundaries, the presence of the Moroccan navy and army is tangible, and Dakhla’s port is home to Morocco’s largest fishing fleet.
10 reasons why you should visit Dakhla
If you haven’t heard anything about Dakhla you’re missing out a lot.
Africa, the Sahara Desert, wind, lagoon, waves, ancient culture, remoteness- are exactly the words to describe this place. For those who want to experience something completely different from Europe is the right place to choose. Relatively close to Europe but something out of the ordinary list.
Dakhla is a city located on a 50km long narrow peninsula of the Atlantic Coast, where on the one side you can find a flat-water lagoon and on the other side some world-class waves. It’s around 1000 kilometers south of Marrakesh and this place is becoming one of the top water sports destinations.
We recommend to visit Dakhla more than once in your life and here are 10 reasons why.
Even if you arrive to Dakhla late night don’t be disappointed, because you’ll wake up in a hidden paradise in the middle of nowhere. For many who has already been here- Dakhla is a definition of perfect kitesurfing conditions with more than 330 windy days a year. It is a complete kitesurfing destination suitable for all levels of kitesurfing. The lagoon is surrounded by desert and has a unique playground where you can kite surf with flamingos and dolphins.
Here is some information about kitesurfing in Dakhla:
Suitable for: Beginners/ Intermediates/ Freestylers
Main Wind direction: NE
Wind speed: 15-25 knots in winter & up to 30 knots in July/August
Water: Flat shallow in the lagoon, choppy and waves outside the lagoon.
Air temperature: Nov-June 20-24// July-August 27
Water temperature: Dec-May 19-22// June-November 23-25
Tides: The riding area is huge at high tide and gets significantly smaller at low tide.
Find out more about weather forecast: https://www.windguru.cz/49315
2: WORLD CLASS WAVES
There are several surf spots around this area. The main ones are La Sarga, Point d’Or, Arish and Foumbouir.
Our favorite spot is Foumbouir which is one of the best places to surf in the world and it’s famous for hosting world surfing and kitesurfing championships. Westpoint surf spot is just a two-minute walk from the Westpoint hotel. Simply pick up your board, or take your pick at Foumbouir rental shop and head to one of the hottest surf spots in Morocco.
- Wave Direction: right
- Swell Direction: N/NW
- Swell Size: 0.5m-2.5m
- Ideal Tide: low & high
- Ideal Season for surf: October to April
- Ideal Season for kite surf: all year round
3: WORLD KITESURFING & SURFING EVENTS
No need to mention why various kite & surf events are hosted here. This remote place attracts more and more attention from pro riders, famous brands and kitesurfing organisations.
Previous events in Dakhla:
2013 & 2014 PKRA Kitesurfing championship (both were hosted by Dakhla Attitude hotel)
2015 VKWC (Virgin Kitesurf World Championships)
GKA Grand Slam Wave and Strapless Freestyle Tour (hosted by Dakhla Attitude)
Upcoming events in Dakhla:
World Class Academy (hosted by Dakhla Attitude)
Kids Dreamers Project (hosted by Dakhla Attitude)
GKA in July (hosted by Dakhla Attitude)
4: FRESH SEA FOOD
Morocco has one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, influenced by Andalusian Spain, Arabia and France. Dakhla is famous for Oyster farming by hand which is a traditional practice in Dakhla. Oysters from Dakhla are sold not only around Morocco but are exported to high-end European restaurants and even Japan.
Restaurants in Dakhla has to offer a variety of grilled prawns and clams, calamari, fresh shrimps, spicy crabs, fish carpaccio and oysters with subtle spices and intriguing flavour combinations. Dakhla will spoil you with the sheer variety of its marine platter.
Some restaurants to try:
- Villa Dakhla
- Casa luis
- Restaurant La Maison Du The Dakhla
If you want to escape the city, head to Dakhla Attitude or Westpoint hotel that are at truly spectacular location. Situated on the beachfront, both places are ideal spots for dining in front of the setting sun.
Dakhla region is a home for a diversity of marine animals, birds, reptiles and mammals that are rare or threatened species. UNESCO has supported a project to create Dakhla National Park in order to preserve the natural biodiversity of the region.
All year round, you can see dolphins or even orcas swimming in Dakhla lagoon. But the most frequently, you can spot a flock of flamingos gathered in the lagoon which are the most representative birds of Dakhla region.
6: MOROCCAN SPA
Morocco has the power to awaken all senses through the incredible range of places to visit, music to listen, smells and delicious local food to try. You can add to that a Moroccan spa experience to further enhance your senses and experience, where after you will return home completely revitalised in mind, body and spirit.
Morocco has a variety of spa treatments through its traditions of hammams (steam baths), massages and use of natural products, such as and argan oil (native to the south of Morocco).
For those looking where to indulge yourself with a relaxation visit Dakhla Attitude spa.
7: AUTHENTIC BUNGALOWS NEXT TO THE LAGOON
Stay at authentic bungalows, built of natural materials and surrounded by mountain with amazing lagoon views. Located 30 km from the airport of Dakhla, it is a perfect getaway for authentic experience. Comfortable single, double or group size bungalows with private bathrooms are a very nice alternative to hotels.
Read more at: https://dakhla-attitude.ma/dakhla-attitude-hotel/
8: FAR FROM THE CROWDS
If you want to freshen your bucket list with unspoiled destination, make sure you add Dakhla to your list. Tranquillity and simplicity- these are the words that perfectly describe this place. Far from busy streets and crowded beaches, where you can enjoy the comforts of a relaxing beach holiday, explore local life and culture.
9: ANCIENT CULTURE
Dakhla region was inhabited by Berbers and Arabs since ancient times. Due its complex geopolitical situation, Dakhla was influenced by Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and even Saharawi nomads. Now, Dakhla is the capital of the Moroccan administrative region Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab. Sleepy during the day due to often intense Saharan heat, the town comes alive after dark with lively restaurants and cafes.
If you’re in the city make sure you visit:
- Spanish Cathedral
- Old mosque and dakhla center
- New mosque
- Dakhla seafront
- Centre Artisanal
10: OTHER ACTIVITIES
- Dakhla is in the middle of nowhere but it doesn’t mean there is nothing to do if you’re not an extreme sport lover. In fact, there are more than several things to do here:
- Desert excursions
- Sailing on a catamaran
- Thermal source Asnaa
- Boat trip to Dragon Island
- Excursion to Oyster farm.
- If you want to visit Dakhla and are not sure where to stay, we are more than happy to assist you in arranging your accommodation and organizing your holidays in Dakhla. For bookings and more information contact +212 (0)661 835 010 or email@example.com