The Regions of The Sahara to Visit During Autumn

For many, the end of summer heralds the beginning of the adventure in the great Algerian Sahara. The country has a gigantic desert covering more than two-thirds of its surface area and is home to an enormous cultural and natural heritage.
The enormous surface area of the Sahara and the countless things to discover there sometimes leave those eager to visit it undecided in their choice of destination. The following article gives an overall picture of the regions and destinations of this sand paradise.

The Gates of the Desert

You can start the visit of the Sahara through its north-eastern gate with the discovery of the countless oases of the region, which seem to emerge from the earth as if by bewitchment. Indeed, this region is very popular as the town of Bou Saada, the closest oasis to the capital and the last stop before the great desert.

One of the most famous cities in this region is Biskra, a lush and green destination in the middle of the desert. Famous for its dates, grown mainly in Tolga, this is where the delicious variety “Deglet Nour” comes from, exported and recognized all over the world.

The Algerian Sahara, at the heart of traditions

Heading further south, you will find El Oued, the capital of the Souf, between the Great Eastern Erg and the sand roses, the city stands out for its extraordinary sea of white sand. Its inhabitants; the Sufis are said to have arrived from Yemen 500 years ago and it is they who are said to have developed the culture of date palms.

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Further west, on the northern edge of the Grand Erg Oriental, Touggourt is the most important town in the Wadi Righ. Once the capital of the Ouled Djellal dynasty, the city is now widely known for its dates and its ksar with its palm-covered streets. You can also see the tombs of the Kings in the city’s cemetery and, if you go a little further south, the lakes Mégarine and Timassine will have particularly grandiose landscapes in store for you.

Oasis de Biskra

Heading west, you will find the mythical M’Zab Valley, Ghardaïa. This city is a wonderful lesson in adapting to the Sahara. It is an exceptional representation of the perfect urban model, erected more than 1,000 years ago according to strict rules by a close-knit community, guided between the dunes by its sole faith to build a haven of peace in the desert.

The Saoura region

The Saoura region is located in the north-west of the Sahara, where Béchar is the capital. The Saoura is known for its “ksour” which form traditional villages scattered throughout the region. Often interspersed with a string of lush oases on the bank of a wadi and not far from the Grand Erg Occidental, this sea of sand gives the impression of stretching to infinity. The ksour are also a major asset for the country’s historical, architectural and cultural heritage. UNESCO is also taking a keen interest in rehabilitating some of them.

Remains of an ancient ksar in Beni Abbès

Remains of an ancient ksar in Beni Abbès

Among the nuggets of the Saoura, we cannot fail to mention the famous Taghit. It is the most beautiful oasis in the Great Western Erg and perhaps even in the entire Sahara. Not far from Taghit, you should not miss El Kenadsa, the ancient city of coal, but above all Beni Abbes, a beautiful oasis whose origin dates back to the 11th century.

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Tamanrasset and the great Hoggar

You can’t mention the Algerian Sahara without the name of Tamanrasset, or Tam as the locals affectionately call it, the capital of Hoggar. The city is known for its Ahaggar National Park, which covers 450,000 km² and has a rich cultural heritage. A veritable open-air museum, it contains a multitude of rock art engravings of great historical value and archaeological sites dating back a million years.

Once in El Hoggar, you should also take the time to go to the water points and the Gueltas such as the one in Afilal in bivouac thanks to tourist guides from the region and to end your day sleeping under the stars. The Assekrem is one of the joys of the region, this mountain of the Hoggar culminating at more than 2,800 m above sea level.

El Hoggar Mountains

South of Tamanrasset, on the border with Niger, on the road to In-Guezzam, the Tassili du Hoggar is a very large collapsed plateau, where erosion has sculpted over time in the sandstone and basalt phantasmagorical shapes highlighted by the gentle dunes.

Djanet and Tassili N’Ajjer

Sandwiched between the cliffs that protect the Wadi Idjeriou and the Tassili, Djanet is an oasis of gentle and relaxing charm, squeezed for almost its entire length between two black mountain ranges dominated by Mount Timbeur.

In the region, Tassili N’Ajjer Park, located more than 2,000 km southeast of the capital; Algiers is the largest open-air museum of rock art on the planet. It is a protected and very fragile area, classified as a national park since 1972, then listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, extending over about 140,000 km². The latter is home to many rare plant and animal species.

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Rock paintings discovered in Tassili N’ajjer Nature Park

Tassili is also the land of the Tuaregs, those famous nomads, all dressed in blue, who defy the world and still roam the great Sahara today, relying only on the stars and the benevolence of their ancestors up there, to guide them between the dunes and the mirages of the great desert.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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