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Algeria > Activities > Beni-Isguen


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Take a day trip to this city on a hill that will take you back to old times, force you to wear long clothing and send you away at night. They used to lock the city gates, but now they just make sure that tourists have left by nightfall, but luckily this town is just 2.5km southeast of Ghardaďa and it is convenient to travel there. The only thing you can take home with you are memories as no photographs are allowed of this gated city that adheres to strict Islam traditions as the community finds photographs offensive.

Visitors must find a guide who is authorized to enter the city or a member of the community (there are only 6800 residents) that will show you the watchtower and mosque. These sights in the city are worth the effort of covering up and abiding by the city’s rules. Men in the city still wear their traditional outfits and the women are covered from head to toe, with only a small hole being left open in their headdress for vision. The market displays amazing carpets, jewelary, pottery and brassware that the community crafts and shop keepers display. The rest of the community members work in the agricultural sector and they are self sufficient.

A visit to the Beni Isguen oasis shows how this city is untouched by the modern world and remains similar to the way it was when constructed in the tenth century. Known for its ramparts, that are the defensive walls that consist of a low earthen embankment topped by a parapet or palisade, which are 2.5km long and 3m high, the city is surrounded in mystery. The Beni-Isguen history would otherwise remain hidden behind the city walls if it were not for their tolerance for visitors, but luckily they allow tourists into the secret city.

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