Best Tourist Places to Visit in Atar, Adrar, Mauritania, Africa

Best Tourist Places to Visit in Atar, Adrar, Mauritania, Africa

Atar is a town and the administrative centre of Adrar Region in the northwestern part of Mauritania, lying between 20°31′ N latitude and 13°03′ W longitude. It is one of the top tourist destinations of Mauritania, mainly noted for its museum, historic mosque and traditional market. Atar is also the gateway to the ancient Moorish cities Chinguetti and Ouadane and also a famous natural attraction, Terjit oasis, is located few kilometers away from Atar. Atar is situated around 430 km northeast of Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. Atar features a hot desert with relatively hot temperature yea round.


How to reach Atar?

Atar hosts an airport but flights are not regular. So it is advised for visitors to reach the country’s primary airport, Nouakchott International Airport first and then take bus or rental car from there to Atar.

The Nouakchott International Airport is situated around 430 km away from Atar and receives flights from Istanbul, Dakar, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Abidjan, Casablanca, Bamako, Brazzaville, Casablanca, Conakry, Paris, Algiers and other prime European and African cities.

Atar is well served by buses for both local and intercity travel. Rental cars and taxis are also widely used for local travel in Atar.


Culture, Food and Shopping in Atar:

Atar was the birthplace of the popular film director, Med Hondo. Shopping can be done at Atar traditional market, where products like handicrafts and ornaments are cheaper.

There are modernized food corners are limited in Atar, but visitors can find many traditional food huts with local specialties and delicacies from other parts of Africa.


Things to do in and around Atar:

  • Shopping at traditional market
  • Village tours
  • Visiting nearby archeological sites


Tourist Attractions in Atar:


Atar Museum:

The Atar Museum describes the complete history as well as the culture of Atar with a nice collection of well preserved artifacts, traditional costumes, paintings and other typical collections.


Atar Mosque:

Mosque in Atar was built in the year 1674 and although holding more than 300 years’ history, the mosque is still good condition, attracting devotees and tourists throughout the year.



Chinguetti is an archeological site and medieval trading centre, situated to the east of Atar. The Friday Mosque of Chinguett is considered as the icon of Mauritania. Other attractions in Chinguetti include ancient libraries, a tall water tower and oilfield.



Ouadane is a former trading town, situated around 160 km northeast of Atar. It lies on the southern tip of the Adrar Plateau. The old town of Ouadane was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is also a landmark Richat Structure, situated close to the town.


Other places of interests in and around Atar are as follows:

  • Terjit
  • Atar Market
  • Banc d’Arguin National Park
  • Beaches in Nouakchott
  • National Museum of Mauritania
  • University of Nouakchott
  • Franco-Mauritanian Cultural Center
  • Nouakchott Silver Market
  • Stade Olympique
  • Nouakchott Museum
  • National Library
  • Cathedral of St. Joseph


Best time to visit Atar:

As like the most Mauritanian cities, from January to May is the best and most popular time to visit Atar.


Accommodation Options in Atar:

Atar houses a less number of standard accommodation centres, so it is suggested for international tourists book hotel rooms well in advance prior to reaching the city through online, otherwise they may get difficulty in finding hotels during high season. The prominent hotels in Atar and Nouakchott (430 km) are as follows:

  • Hotel El Waha
  • The Auberge Bab Sahara
  • Hotel Semiramis Nouakchott
  • Auberge Menata
  • Hotel Mouna
  • Mauricenter Hotel
  • Hotel Emira
  • Hotel Tfeila
  • Residence IMAN
  • Hotel Halima
  • Hotel Atlantique Nouakchott
  • Hotel Ikrama
  • Boudarge & Inimich Apart-Hotel
  • Chambres d’Hotes Naga
  • Auberge Diaguili
  • Maison d’hotes Jeloua
  • Monotel Hotel

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