Smara Travel Guide

Discover the best attractions, activities, and accommodations in Smara, Western Sahara, with our comprehensive travel guide. Plan your trip now and explore the natural beauty and rich culture of this hidden gem.

Introduction to Smara

Nestled in the heart of Western Sahara, Smara is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. From its rich culture and history to its stunning natural beauty, this city has something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing getaway, Smara has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of Smara with our comprehensive tour guide.

List of Places to Visit in Smara

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Smara is rich in history and culture, and there are plenty of museums and historical places to explore. The Musee de Smara is a must-visit for anyone interested in local history and culture. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Smara and its people.

Another important historical landmark is the Mausoleum of Sidi Ahmed es-Seghir. This is the final resting place of one of Smara’s most revered leaders, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in history.

Natural Attractions of Smara: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Smara’s natural beauty is truly breathtaking, and there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had. The Bou Craa Mines are a popular destination for hiking and exploring. The mines are home to some of the largest deposits of phosphate in the world and offer stunning views of the desert landscape.

Another popular outdoor attraction is the Smara Oasis. This oasis is a lush green haven in the middle of the desert and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can take a relaxing stroll through the oasis or enjoy a picnic in the shade of the palm trees.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Smara

For those who love the great outdoors, Smara offers some of the best hiking and biking routes in the region. The Smara-Dakhla Hiking Trail is a popular route that takes hikers through the heart of the desert, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Cycling enthusiasts will love the Smara Bike Trail, which takes riders through the desert and offers a challenging but rewarding ride.

Best Things to Do in Smara: Activities and Tours

From cultural experiences to outdoor adventures, there are plenty of things to do in Smara. For a truly unique experience, visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over the desert and experience the stunning views from above.

For those interested in local culture, a visit to a traditional Berber camp is a must. Visitors can experience traditional music, dance, and food, and learn about the rich culture and history of the Berber people.

Week-Long Itinerary for Smara

Day 1: Arrive in Smara and check into your accommodations. Day 2: Visit the Musee de Smara and learn about the history and culture of the city. Day 3: Explore the Bou Craa Mines and take in the stunning desert landscape. Day 4: Take a hot air balloon ride over the desert for a truly unique experience. Day 5: Visit the Mausoleum of Sidi Ahmed es-Seghir and learn about the history of Smara’s revered leader. Day 6: Take a day trip to the Smara Oasis and enjoy a relaxing stroll through the lush green oasis. Day 7: Depart Smara and continue your travels.

Food and Drink Scene of Smara

Must-Try Dishes

Smara is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of must-try dishes for food lovers. Tajine is a traditional Moroccan dish that’s popular in Smara. This slow-cooked savory stew is typically made with meat, vegetables, and Moroccan spices.

Another must-try dish is couscous. This dish is made from semolina granules and is often served with vegetables, meat, or fish.

Local Beverages

Tea is the beverage of choice in Smara, and it’s served in a traditional tea ceremony. The tea is typically sweetened with sugar and is often flavored with mint or other herbs.

Where to Stay in Smara: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Smara offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. For those looking for a luxurious stay, the Smara Palace Hotel offers five-star amenities and stunning views of the desert landscape.

For budget travelers, there are plenty of hostels and guesthouses in the city. The Levantin Guesthouse is a popular choice for backpackers and budget travelers, offering clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price.

What to Buy in Smara: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

For those looking to bring home a piece of Smara, there are plenty of souvenirs and local products to choose from. Handwoven carpets and rugs are a popular choice, and they make a beautiful addition to any home. Berber jewelry and pottery are also popular souvenirs, and they offer a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

Local Culture and Customs of Smara

Smara is a city rich in culture and tradition, and it’s important to respect these customs and traditions during your visit. Visitors should dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing in public.

It’s also important to be respectful of local customs, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home or a mosque.

Best Time to Visit Smara

The best time to visit Smara is in the fall and winter months, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities. The summer months can be extremely hot, with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do’s and Don’ts of Smara


  • Dress modestly and respectfully
  • Respect local customs and traditions
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the desert heat


  • Wear revealing clothing in public
  • Disrespect local customs and traditions
  • Drink tap water, which is not safe for consumption

Safety and Health

Safety in Smara

Smara is generally a safe city, but visitors should be mindful of their surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing or theft. It’s also important to be aware of any travel advisories or warnings before visiting the area.

Health in Smara

Travelers should take precautions to stay healthy during their visit to Smara. It’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the desert heat, and to avoid drinking tap water, which is not safe for consumption. It’s also a good idea to pack any necessary medications and to seek medical attention if needed.

Getting to Smara: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Smara

The nearest airport to Smara is the Smara Airport, which offers limited flights to and from the city. Most visitors will need to fly into the Laayoune Hassan I Airport, which is located approximately 120 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Smara

There are several bus stations in Smara, including the CTM Bus Station and the Supratours Bus Station. These stations offer bus service to and from other cities in Morocco.

Other Options

Visitors to Smara can also travel by car or by hiring a private driver. It’s important to note that the roads in the area can be rough and challenging to navigate, so it’s recommended to hire an experienced driver.

How to Get Around in Smara

The best way to get around Smara is by hiring a taxi or a private driver. It’s also possible to rent a car, but it’s important to note that the roads in the area can be rough and challenging to navigate.

Where to Go Next from Smara: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Smara is located in the heart of Western Sahara, with plenty of nearby destinations and excursions to explore. The city of Laayoune is just a short distance away and offers a variety of attractions and activities. Visitors can also explore the stunning desert landscape and visit nearby oasis towns like Foum El Oued.


Smara is a hidden gem waiting to be explored, offering a unique blend of rich culture, history, and natural beauty. With this comprehensive guide, you’re ready to plan your trip to Smara and experience the best that this city has to offer. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Western Sahara.