Saharan Atlas Region - Characterized by the Magnificent Atlas Mountains
Marking the northern edge of the Sahara Desert, the Saharan Atlas Region of Algeria incorporates the eastern portion of the Atlas Mountain Range. This majestic and extensive range of mountains stretches across northern Africa from Morocco, through Algeria, meeting up with the Tell Atlas Range and eventually disappearing into the Aures Mountains crossing Algeria's border into the neighboring country of Tunisia.
Located on the Wadi Mzi, a seasonal river in the Saharan Atlas Region of Algeria, the oasis city of Laghouat is divided into two parts, the ancient and modern, each with its own unique characteristics. The traditional handicrafts, such as carpets and woven wall-hangings, produced by locals are of a high quality and much sought after, especially by tourists. The town’s economy is centered on irrigated agriculture, such as dates, figs and cereals, and tourism.
Around 230 kilometers northeast of Laghouat is the oasis town of Bou-Saâda, renowned for its superb hand-made carpets, jewelry and metalwork. Time seems to have stood still in this town, which still serves as an important trading post for nomadic tribes. The charming old ksar within the city walls is of particular interest to visitors, while the more modern French town lies outside the city walls to the south.
Other towns and settlements located within the Saharan Atlas Region include Ain Sefra, Bechar, Djelfa, Abadla, El Bayadh, Kenadsa and Naama. Although the Saharan Atlas Mountains separate the Sahara Desert from the rest of Algeria, the plateau region is nevertheless quite dry, and green oasis towns lie like emeralds scattered about the wide open stretches of barren land in the Saharan Atlas Region of Algeria.