Es Semara Flights:

Flights to Es Semara

image of Es SemaraAlso known in English as Smara, this small city in the northern interior of the Western Sahara is definitely off the beaten track. If you are drawn to barren yet beautiful landscapes, then you really should plan a trip to this old city and experience what this region has to offer.

The small Smara Airport (airport code: SMW) doesn’t operate with any large airlines so you won’t be able to arrange a continuous flight to Es Semara from Johannesburg. But you can get a flight to Es Semara with Casa Air Service if you arrive at the Rabat-Sale Airport (code: RBA) in Morocco first. Iberia has a flight to Rabat that connects once in Madrid, and British Airways will transfer in London as well as in Madrid.

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The Tourist Attractions of Es Semara:

Technically, the Western Sahara is part of Morocco and is considered disputed territory rather than a recognized independent nation. Even so, the area is not under any conflict and is quite peaceful for visitors. There are many languages spoken, including Berber, Arabic, French and even some Spanish. Currency used is the Moroccan dirham.

The main attraction around Es Semara is just the landscape itself. Taking a 4×4 vehicle out on the road to see the open country is quite an experience on its own. The area is mainly desert and is made up of stoney plains and more traditional sand dunes. Wildlife is fairly sparse due to the harsh climate and terrain, but you will see many birds as well as some species of gazelle and oryx. If you are out exploring, take extra water with you because it can be many miles between towns and the heat can be deadly.

Ruins of Zawiy Maalainin

Anyone touring through Western Sahara often comes to Es Semara to see the ruins of the old Zawiy Maalainin fortress. It is right in the centre of town, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding this historic site.


The much larger city of Laayoune is to the west, and there you can find a few more attractions to keep you busy. The city is on the coast and Laayounge Plage is a nice beach though the constant wind makes it unpopular for just lying about. A walk along the water is still quite beautiful though. There is a Great Mosque to see as well as the Djemal souk open market. The market sells all kinds of things, particularly live chickens.

When Should You Visit?:

Rain is virtually non-existent in Es Semara, so you will never have to worry about that ruining your trip. On the other hand, extreme heat can be a challenge but you can even avoid that if you travel in the winter. And that would be from December to January. During those months, the daytime temperatures are only around 23C (73F) and will drop by more than 10 degrees in the evenings. The other months will get progressively warmer until August when it will reach 38C (100F) in the daytime. It will still drop by the same amount at nights though.

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