Backpacking in Western Sahara: My Stay at the Hotel Jodesa in El-Aaiun

Backpacking in Western Sahara: My Stay at the Hotel Jodesa in El Ayoun

In December 2017, after a couple of days in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, I took a border bus south to Africa’s west coast, this time crossing from Morocco into Western Sahara (still a debated country). I was ready to explore El-Aaiun the capital city of Western Sahara in 2017 and it was time to be a backpacker in another unrecognised country, on the west coast of Africa.

Backpacking in Western Sahara – Meeting locals in El Ayoun

Backpacking in Western Sahara: My Stay at the Hotel Jodesa in El Ayoun

When I arrived in El Aaiun, many hotels were either shut or full so I headed to the downtown area by taxi (taxis in El Aaiun are a FIXED price of 5 Moroccan Dirhams per ride – whether 2 minutes or 10 minutes!). Due to its location and good value, I chose the Hotel Jodesa to stay in so here are 5 reasons why you should choose this place when you backpack in Western Sahara’s capital city.

Backpacking in Western Sahara: My Stay at the Hotel Jodesa in El-Aaiun

1.Perfect Location
Hotel Jodesa is on Boulevard Mekka which to all intents and purposes is the main street in El-Aaiun. El Aaiun appears at first to be a small city but it is not. I explored the suburbs too, as well as taking a trip west to the Atlantic Ocean coastline at the beaches of Foum el-Oued. Hotel Jodesa is ideally located.

Hotel Jodesa is on Boulevard Mekka

Backpacking in Morocco and Western Sahara: Suck You Algeria

Backpacking in Western Sahara – Foum El Oued beach

2.Cosy Rooms
I was on the second floor of 6 and had room 212. It was a cosy “single” room though had a second bed. I guessed they just gave me the smallest room as I asked for the cheapest and most basic and even the cheapest and most basic has two beds.

I was in Room 212 at Hotel Jodesa, El Aaiun, Western Sahara

I was in Room 212 at Hotel Jodesa, El Aaiun, Western Sahara

I was in Room 212 at Hotel Jodesa, El Aaiun, Western Sahara

I was in Room 212 at Hotel Jodesa, El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Shared toilets and shower

3.Free Breakfast
My breakfast at the Hotel Jodesa was excellent. It is served from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the downstairs cafe. Great staff and well prepared food and drink. I had a real orange juice, a tasty coffee and some bread with four options of dips – olive oil, peanut butter and two jams. I also had a porridge. It’s included in the room price, superb.

Free breakfast at the Hotel Jodesa

Free breakfast at the Hotel Jodesa

Free breakfast at the Hotel Jodesa

4.Good price
For just 120 Dirhams (11 Euros), you get a private single room with a shared shower and toilet including breakfast and WiFi. On my travels, this was as good as any to be quite honest.

They use the Moroccan Dirham here in El Aaiun, Western Sahara

They use the Moroccan Dirham here in El Aaiun, Western Sahara

5.Working WiFi
I was wrong again – I totally expected to be offline completely during my time in Western Sahara. I judged the place wrongly, expecting to be cramped up in some mud hut on the edge of the Sahara Desert miles from the nearest Oasis. It turned out to be the opposite. Water was in plentiful supply and the WiFi here was quite excellent!! Yes – excellent even in my room and in the downstairs cafe – it worked!

WiFi worked in Hotel Jodesa, El Aaiun, Western Sahara.

Hotel Jodesa doesn’t appear to have a website or even a Facebook Page, but anyway here are the details for finding the Hotel Jodesa in El Ayoun, Western Sahara:

Hotel Jodesa

Boulevard Mekka, El-Aaiún 70000

I totally recommend it but unless it appears to be peak season – don’t book it in advance. Just rock up to the reception and try and get a good bargain with them face to face as I did. Safe travels! Here are a few more photos from El Aaiun…

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

Exploring El Aaiun, Western Sahara

World Borders: How to Get From Morocco to Western Sahara (Marrakesh to El Aayoun by Bus)

Backpacking in Western Sahara – football stadium in El Ayoun

Here are some videos of my stay in the Hotel Jodesa in El Ayoun, Western Sahara:

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