Ayoun el Atrous

Also known as: Ayoûn el-Atroûs, Aïoun el-Atrouss, Aioun el Atrouss, Ayoun El Atrouss); short: Ayoun

Arizona of Mauritania

Hodh el Gharbi (al-Ḥauḍ al-Ġarbī), the western basin, and its counterpart Hodh El Chargui are named after the Aoukar Depression, which once contained a huge inland lake. Here in the south, where it always looks a bit like Arizona between the plateau and the desert dust, you could easily shoot a western movie. Bizarre rock formations in the middle of endless desert make the landscape look fascinating. The capital of the region, Ayoun el Atrous, with its 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, has, like so many cities in Mauritania, the provisional character of a town in the Wild West. However, it is worth taking a close look at the buildings, some of which are quite charmingly decorated with natural stone. Ayoun el Atrous is embedded in our two southern tours. Coming from Néma it is about 2 ½ hours to Ayoun. The impressive ruins of Koumbi Saleh lie also not far from Ayoun. After spending the night - if you like also outside the town - we continue our way westwards on the Route de l'Espoir.


  • Landscape around Ayoun
  • Ornate natural stone houses

 Tours including Ayoun el Atrous

Tagant Aoukar Tour
Between Mali Empire and Almoravids - On the traces of the history of the South
14 Day(s)
16 Destinations
2700 km
3 Languages
Adrar Tagant Aoukar Tour
More than 3000 km of desert, oases, mountains and petroglyphs
14 Day(s)
21 Destinations
3050 km
3 Languages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Ayoun el Atrous

What does the landscape around Ayoun look like?
The landscape around Ayoun is characterized by interesting, partly bizarre rock formations. There are also meadows and forests in the immediate vicinity of the green city.
To what extent is Ayoun el Atrous involved in the salt caravan?
Ayoun is the end point of the salt caravan, which starts in Tichitt. The salt is still traditionally transported by camel.