Escape to the Intriguing Town of El Golea
El Golea is exactly what you would expect an oasis to look like. Located in the Sahara Desert, in Algeria, the town is near to Ouargla and Ghardaia. It is also known as the southern gateway to the Sahara Desert and has an estimated population of 15 thousand residents. Most of the inhabitants of El Golea and the surrounding area are Zenete Berbers and depend on agriculture for an income. The town has become a popular tourist attraction in Algeria because of its historical sites, magnificent views and the traditional people of the town.
The first feature of this desert oasis are the massive amounts of date palm trees that grow outside the walls of this town. It is believed that there are approximately between two hundred thousand and three hundred thousand trees, which is a spectacular sight to see. On entering the town, the beauty of these desert communities will strike visitors and most of the residents are eager to share their traditions and culture with interested guests.
El Menia is the tenth century ruins of the ksar that was constructed by the Berbers. Visitors are recommended to climb to the top of the ksar, preferably in the early morning to avoid the midday heat, to experience the spectacular views that can be seen. The views from the ksar allow visitors to look out over the entire town, see the continuous sand dunes to the west of the town and marvel at the endless rows of palm trees that decorate the outskirts of El Golea. There is also a romantic legend attached to the ksar, involving a Moroccan Sultan and a beautiful Sultana who ruled the ksar. Ask one of the locals to tell you this delightful tale.
Visitors will find Bel Bachit near El Golea. The church stands alone, deserted and almost forgotten. But its importance is found inside the church, as it is the final resting place of Charles de Foucauld. Charles de Foucauld was a well-known religious leader in Algeria, but was tragically assassinated in 1916. Respect is paid here to the peaceful man, who died before his time.
El Golea is more than just an oasis surviving the slow onslaught of the Sahara Desert. It is a picturesque destination that is steeped in history, fascinating legends and the warmth and generosity of the local community.