In the river valley of the Oued M’Zab, in a long valley on the edge of the Sahara, is a cluster of five towns: Ghardaïa, Melika, Beni Isguen, Bou Noura and El-Ateuf. Often referred to collectively as Ghardaïa, the capital, the once distinct villages are gradually sprawling together, but retain separate identities.
Northern Algeria’s various urban hubs make fascinating destinations for adventurous city lovers. Oran, a port city with extraordinary 20th-century architecture, is the home of raï and still known for its music scene. Quietly booming, it also has some outstanding accommodation and eating options, including the glamorous Royal Hotel.