This settlement in the middle of the Sahara is a classic North African desert city—sand dunes surround the settlement, and the central mosque is said to be more than 1,000 years old. The main attraction of Chinguetti is its atmosphere. Considered the seventh holy city of Islam, Chinguetti has a number of 13th-century houses and mosques. If you're driving to Chinguetti from Atar, the nearest large city, look for rock formations decorated with prehistoric paintings. 275 mi/445 km northeast of Nouakchott.

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