Wander through the M'Zab Valley an oasis in the Sahara desert in Algeria and step into the past. The 10 kilometer-long valley contains over 3,000 wells that supply nearly 300,000 date palms with water. Inhabited for over a thousand years by Berbers, it contains several ksars (walled villages) along rocky outcrops along the valley. The towns are home to a puritanical sect of Berbers and contain mosques, madrasas and suqs that harken back to a bygone era. The 11th century ksars are so well preserved that UNESCO has designated the M'zab Valley as a World Heritage site. The M'zabites adhere rigidly to their customs and traditions; and even today a visitor may not remain in a ksar after sunset unless accompanied by a resident. Non-Muslims are not allowed to stay over night. However, there are hotels and restaurant in M'Zab Ghardaïa. It is the center of the historical area, with a pyramid-style mosque, arcaded square and a major source of date production. It is perhaps the best place for intrepid PlanetHoppers! to begin a sojourn of this ancient, isolated valley and see a place where time has stood for over a millennia.
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If you have visited this Top Destination, claim the Destination Stamp for your PlanetHop! passport.
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- Location: MZab, Algeria