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Public DomainGhardaia - Credit: Michel Dor

The Ghardaia in whose cafés the three girls dance while waiting wistfully for "tea in the Sahara" lies in eastern Algeria, in the traditional heart of the M'Zab valley. The city actually comprises a cluster of five Medieval villages, the oldest of which was built in the eleventh century, erected on the five highest hills of the M'Zab - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Ghardaia, which operates as a market town for the agriculture of the surrounding oasis, lies along the left bank of the Wadi Mzab in the northern Sahara. It was built around the cave (ghār) reputedly inhabited by the female saint Daïa. Bou Noura, one of the places visited by Port and Kit, is also in Ghardaia province.





Public DomainGhardaia

Each hilltop town is crowned by a mosque whose lone minaret stands like a sentinel looking out across the oasis and into the desert beyond. The people in Ghardaia, the main oasis cluster in the M'Zab valley, continue to follow a traditional way of life.