Tarfaya is a coastal town, located in the Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra region of Morocco, near the border with Western Sahara. It is known for its historical significance as a former Spanish and then French settlement. It’s also famous for being the place where Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of “The Little Prince,” worked as an aviator in the 1920s. Today, the fishing industry is the main deal in town and it’s a transit point for travellers heading south to Western Sahara and Mauritania.

How to get there?

You can fly into Al Massira Airport (AGA) in Agadir and take a bus or grand taxi from there. It’s about 545 km and 8 hours drive from Agadir. Check your connections at 12go.com.

For those who prefer to be independent, I recommend using the service of Click’n’Go Car Rental in Agadir. They are very friendly guys and easy to contact on WhatsApp. I ended up renting a Renault Clio for the whole month and got a nice price.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Tarfaya is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summer can be quite hot, while winter brings cooler but enjoyable temperatures. Choosing spring or fall ensures a comfortable climate for enjoying nearby beaches and exploring the city and its surroundings.

Tarfaya, Morocco

Where to stay?

I recommend Hotel Residence Canalina. It’s a mini apartment which is very convenient and spacious. There was also a fast internet connection, making online work easy. The hotel was closed when I arrived but the owner arrived quickly after texting him on WhatsApp (+212641785521).

How long to stay there?

Tarfaya is a small town so you won’t need more than a few hours to walk around it. It’s a convenient stopover place between Akhfennir and Laayoune.

Tarfaya, Morocco

What to see in town?

Musée Saint-Exupéry

Tarfaya will always be connected to author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from France. He started operating an airmail route between France and Senegal in 1926, with a stop at Cap Juby. In the end, he spent a few years thereafter being named station manager for Cap Juby in 1927. His most well-known tale, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), about a pilot who gets lost in the desert, was inspired by this tale. All information is in French only.

Plage Tarfaya i Casa Mar

The initial colony was established in the late 19th century by Scottish trader Donald Mackenzie, who erected a modest trading post on a rock nearby and named it Port Victoria. Spanish colonizers seized control of the structure, which is now known as Casa Mar.

The nearby beach is a popular spot for locals to hang out. Unfortunately, there is lots of rubbish.

Tarfaya, Morocco
Tarfaya, Morocco

Wreck of the Armas Ferry Assalama

Tarfaya and Fuerteventura’s brief link came to an end in 2008 when the wrecked Armas ferry, Assalama, 2km south of town, went down. The ship struck a barrier in rough seas not long after leaving the harbour basin. However, it proved to be a mistake for the skipper to continue the journey, as the crippled ship soon found itself in an unmanageable heavy lateral position. The crew and passengers were evacuated.

Due to the exorbitant costs associated with salvaging, the insurance company was unable to decide on the ship’s intended transfer to the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for repairs. The official salvage cost estimate at the time was between 15 and 20 million euros.

Tarfaya, Morocco

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