This red-ochre desert town was once the seat of local ruler the Blue Sultan, whose palace and great mosque constitute the town’s main sights.
A sleepy fishing village with an offshore fort, which you can walk over to at low tide, and a museum dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
A pioneering boom town built on subsidies and determination, with excellent fish and seafood, and just a ghost, in its oldest quarters, of a Spanish colonial past.
Laayoune and Dakhla in particular have some really fabulous fish and seafood on offer, locally caught, fresh as can be, and – especially in Dakhla – often served up in the form of Spanish dishes such as paella or pulpo alla gallega.
The furthest south you can go by land from Europe without a visa – 22km from the tropics, sun all year round, a laidback vibe, and some lovely beaches within spitting distance of town.