The N1 road from Tan Tan to Laayoune hugs the coast, passing over dramatic oued mouths and through sand dunes as it rolls down through the southernmost slice of Morocco. The only towns of note are Akhfenir and, 3km off the road, Tarfaya. The Western Sahara starts at the village of Tah, where a red granite monument flanking the road commemorates the 1975 Green March (see Economic and social problems). Once south of the border, you begin to traverse real sand desert – the Erg Lakhbayta – before crossing the Seguiat al-Hamra (a wide and usually dry river) to enter Laayoune.

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