Tour the Affolé and Assaba regions, south and southeast of the Tagant, via Kiffa, Tamchakett and Ayoun el Atrous, to the wild plateaux of El Agher. Interesting archaeological sites include Koumbi Saleh, once capital of the Ghana Empire, 70km (45 miles) from Timbedra.
Find the ancient capital of a Berber empire -Tagdawst, near Tamchakett, has been identified as 'Aoudaghost'.
Visit Atâr, capital of the Adrar Region. An oasis lying on the route of salt caravans, it is the market centre for the nomads of northern Mauritania and has an old quarter, the Ksar, with flat-roofed houses and a fine palm grove.
Witness the oasis of Azoughui, the Almoravid capital in the 11th and 12th centuries. Remains of fortified buildings from this period can still be seen.
Meet the tribe that survives through a symbiotic relationship with wild dolphins, halfway between Nouakchott and Nouâdhibou. The marine mammals drive fish towards the shore, the tribesmen swim out with nets, and both get their share.
Explore the coast
Explore Mauritania's coast - essentially an 800km (500-mile) sandy beach, almost devoid of vegetation but supporting an astonishingly large and varied population of birds. Inland, the landscape is empty desert.
Make the most of the water. There are good spots for fishing, swimming and surfing along the coast in the west. Remote and deserted beaches can be found near Nouâdhibou, but there is a risk of landmines in the area.
Take an excursion over the breathtaking mountain pass of Homogjar to Chinguetti, a holy city of Islam founded in the 13th century, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has a medieval mosque and a library housing ancient manuscripts.
Discover the port and centre of the fishing industry, Nouâdhibou, situated on a peninsula at the northern end of the Bay of Levrier. As the waters are rich in fish, some coastal stretches are inhabited by people, despite the shortage of fresh water.
See the capital city of Nouakchott. Only created in 1960, it nonetheless maintains the traditional Berber style of architecture. It lies near the sea in a desert landscape of low dunes scattered with thorn bushes and adjoins the Ksar, an old Moorish settlement.
See the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Oualata, once among the greatest caravan entrepôts of the Sahara. A fortified medieval town built in terraces up a rocky peak, it has for centuries been a place of refuge for scholars. Tirzet and its Muslim cemetery are nearby.
Parc National du Banc d'Arguin
View Mauriania's best attraction, Parc National du Banc d'Arguin. A vast area of islands and coastline located on the Atlantic desert coast, it is one of the world's largest bird sanctuaries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also several archaeological sites on the islands.
Plage du Wharf
Whilst there, don't miss the Plage du Wharf, the mosque, the Ksar and its market, the African market and the camel market, the crafts centre, the Maison de la Culture and the carpet factory.