Laghouat is a big oasis town (2004 pop. 360.000) at about 330 kilometres south of Algiers, where the Sahara desert really starts. It’s here that the Mounts of the Atlas and the Sahara desert combine their beauty. The city is of administrative, military and economic importance for the region, and due to the presence of its University is also known as the intellectual capital of the Sahara.

It is said that Laghouat is one of the most satisfying propositions for first time “desert” visitors to experience the typical atmosphere of Saharan towns. In fact, when you leave the city in the south, as far as the eye can see, there’s only the desert, extraordinarily and mysteriously silent.