Algeria and Taghit


The North African country of Algeria, sandwiched between Morocco and Libya, is dominated by the Sahara Desert, which covers more than 80 percent of the country.

In fact, the country’s population of 40 million rests largely along the coastal region in the north. Taghit is popular with both local and international tourists, who come to enjoy the area’s historic sites and frolic in the natural environment.

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The eleventh-century ruins of the ancient city, now partially restored by the government, rest on the edge of the town. A tall archway leads one into a maze of narrow alleys that slope downwards along the hill.

Carved wooden doorways dot the mud-brick passageways, revealing a small scattering of shops and guesthouses opened by local entrepreneurs. One vendor sells vivid paintings and a large variety of drums, guitars, and Arabian ouds – all handmade.

The town, it’s just a short walk to the desert dunes, whose tall faces flank the eastern edge of the city. Making the ascent to the top of the highest dune (about 600 feet tall) is a must for any visitor. From there, one can watch the sun slowly set over the city or turn around to gaze at the sea of rolling dunes that fade into the distance.

About the Sahara desert: The Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert and it is the third-largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic, which are cold deserts. The desert covers large sections of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan, and Tunisia. Half of the Sahara receives less than an inch of rain per year, and the rest receives up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) per year. Many people imagine the Sahara as dotted with sand dunes, and the desert does have its share of ergs, which are large areas of shifting sand dunes, with some of them reaching 590 feet (180 meters). However, most of the Sahara is characterized as rocky hamada, a type of desert landscape that has very little sand and is made up of primarily barren, hard, rocky plateaus.

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