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Cheap Flights to Ghardaia

Noumérat – Moufdi Zakaria Airport, also known as Noumerate Airport, is a public airport that serves Ghardaïa, the capital of the Ghardaïa Province in Algeria. It is named after Moufdi Zakaria, the author of Kassaman, the Algerian national anthem. The airport is located 8.6 nautical miles (15.9km) southeast of the city and is operated by EGSA Alger. There are three airlines that operate at the airport: Air Algérie, which flies to Algiers, Constantine, Illizi, Oran, and Tamanrasset; Saudia, which offers charter flights to Jeddah; and Tassili Airlines, which flies to Algiers. In 2010, Noumerate Airport handled 45,794 passengers, 2,346 aircraft operations, and 601 metric tonnes of cargo.

Ghardaïa is the capital city of Ghardaïa Province, Algeria. The commune is located in northern-central Algeria in the Sahara Desert, lying along the left bank of the Wadi Mzab. It is the largest among five cities in the M’zab valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It comprises nine localities: Ville de Ghardaïa, Melika Haut, Melika Bas, Theniet El Mekhzène, Hadj Messaoud, Mermed, Bab Saâd, Ben Ghanème, and La Palmeraie. This conglomeration is a limestone plateau which was inscribed as a cultural property evaluated under three different criteria. Ghardaïa is a fortified town divided into three walled sectors, at the centre of which is the historical Mʾzabite, with its pyramid-style mosque and an arcaded square. It is also a part of a pentapolis, a hilltop city amongst four others, which was built in the M’Zab valley almost a thousand years ago and was founded by the Mozabite sect. Ghardaïa is a major centre of date production and the manufacture of rugs and cloths.

Ghardaïa lies at the rocky terrain of the region. Its houses, buildings, mosques, and other structures are laid in labyrinth alleyways. It also has a large market centre. The original medieval architecture and of course, the valley, were well-preserved. In fact, it is dubbed as “the pearl of the oasis” and is one of southern Algeria’s most important tourist regions due to its ancient cultural heritage. It draws tourists, anthropologists, architects, historians, and researchers exploring its culture. They are known for putting great emphasis on community welfare. Touiza (groups of volunteers) builds houses while the Wilaya is known for its weaving, Dinanderie D'art, basketry, pottery, and carpet weaving (tapestry). Their rugs are very famous that a “National Day of Rugs” is held every year in March. The commune of Metlili-Chaamba celebrates an annual festival every spring, the "Day mehr" when people from all over the country and other parts of the world attend and participate in a camel race. They also hold a carpet festival in March and April.

A notable destination in Ghardaïa is the town of Beni Isguen, regarded as the most important religious town in the M’Zab and is well-known for its reputation for science and education. There’s also the 12th-century mosque of Sidi Brahim and the small and quaint El-Ateuf. Restaurant Palmier offers uniquely different, but delicious local dishes, steaks, and French staples. Try out almond lait de poule (eggnog) and date smoothies are a speciality.

How to get around within Ghardaïa

There are a few forms transport currently available in the city. One is by bus. Other options are by rented car and the Mobylette, a small motorbike which is highly popular in the M’zab (and rural Algeria in general), which transports either or both goods and people. Some may have modified saddles.

How to get to Ghardaïa

Air Algérie offers flights to Ghardaïa from Algiers (one hour, five weekly) and Tamanrasset (2½ hours, four weekly) via Noumerate Airport. There are also regular buses that link Ghardaïa with Algiers and Tamanrasset.

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