©Harri Jarvelainen Photography/Getty Images

Île de N'Gor

Top choice in Dakar

For a quick escape from the frenetic streets of Dakar, head to peaceful Île de N'Gor, a tiny island just off Dakar's north shore. It has a few calm beaches on the bay side, and some legendary surf on the northern coastline. Most visitors just come for the day, to relax on the beaches, stroll the sandy lanes of the village and have lunch in one of the waterside eateries, but there are several appealing guesthouses here as well.

Pirogues leave every hour or so between 10am and 7pm from Plage de N'Gor for the 400m trip across to the island (CFA500, 10 minutes). It's a wet landing on both sides, so wear sandals and prepare to roll up your pants.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dakar attractions

1. Plage de N'Gor

0.39 MILES

Plage de N'gor is a small beach popular with families and football-playing youths, and there are a few snack spots with tables on the sands. It's not a…

2. Plage de Virage

0.95 MILES

Plage de Virage is a popular spot with surfers. This small beach gets packed on weekends with a mostly local crowd, though a few foreigners pass by,…

3. Layen Mausoleum

2.54 MILES

In Yoff village, take a look at the Layen Mausoleum, a shrine to the founder of the Layen Muslim brotherhood. Residents of Yoff are noted for their strong…

4. Mamelles Lighthouse

2.56 MILES

A photogenic 1864 lighthouse graces the top of one of Dakar's few hills. It's worth making leisurely 20-minute walk, with sweeping views across the city…

5. African Renaissance Monument

2.71 MILES

Allegedly Africa's highest statue, the African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in 2010 to commemorate Senegal's 50 years of independence from France. At…

6. Plage de Yoff

3.91 MILES

Like all of Dakar's beaches, Yoff's stretch of sand isn't very clean. That doesn't stop beach-goers and surfers who come for the consistent waves. Aside…

7. Village des Arts

3.94 MILES

An arts tour around Dakar is simply not complete without a visit to this famous art complex, where some of Senegal's most promising and established…

8. Grande Mosquée

7.14 MILES

The impressive Grande Mosquée, built in 1964, sits in the heart of Médina, a lively neighbourhood where tiny tailor shops fight for space with improvised…