The M'Zab valley is located in Algeria, in the heart of the Sahara desert 600km south of Algiers. Five ksour (fortified villages) are in the oasis: El-Atteuf, Bounoura, Melika, Ghardaia and Beni-Isguen. These villages are surrounded by palm groves and were founded between 1012 and 1350 by the Mozabites, a Muslim Ibadi sect of Berbers, who are distinct from Sunni or Shia Muslims.
The M'zab valley villages have preserved their unique architecture and culture over the centuries. Each village is centered around a mosque with a minaret which acts as a watchtower and grain and weapons storage. Around it houses are built in concentric circles until the city walls. The The M'zab valley has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1982
How to get to Ghardaia
The only way to get to Ghardaia is by road, either by car or by bus. A good paved road connects Ghardaia to northern Algeria.
Accommodation
There are several hotels in Ghardaia, but only a few are bookable online.
01 Fruit and vegetables market 02 Fruit and vegetables market 03 Dates for sale 04 Old souk 05 Old souk
06 Green spices and peanuts 07 Market square 08 Market square
09 Market square and old town 10 Historic core
11 Central mosque 12 Staircase in old town 13 Central mosque prayer hall 14 Central mosque 15 Central mosque minarets
16 Ghardaia 17 Ghardaia 18 Passage in old town 19 Passage in old town
20 Staircase in old town 21 Market square 22 Market square 23 Gate to market square
24 Gate to market square 25 Market square 26 Market square
27 Market square 28 Central mosque
29 Panoramic view of Ghardaia
30 Panoramic view of Ghardaia 31 Historic core of Ghardaia
32 Ghardaia
33 Ghardaia
34 Ghardaia
35 Ghardaia oasis 36 Central mosque
37 Melika village
38 Melika village 39 Minarets
40 Cemetery
41 Cemetery 42 Central mosque
43 Talbi Ahmed street 44 Ghardaia valley
45 Ghardaia valley
46 Ghardaia
47 Mzab valley
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©Copyright Alfred Molon