The five ancient ksars (fortified villages) Ghardaia, El Atteuf, Bounoura, Melika, and Beni Isguen in the M'zab Valley are listed as one UNESCO World Heritage site. Today the five villages have sprawled into each other, but the original ksars still exists with city gates and narrow lanes. Life here is still very traditional and many married women cover themselves entirely in a white cloth with only a tiny hole to peek through. In an understandable effort to preserve their ancient culture, you need to have a guide to walk around inside the actually ksars, where photographing also is restricted. However, the modern part outside the ksars can be explored on your own. The biggest and most famous of the villages is Ghardaia, but try to see as many of the others as possible, as they all have their own characteristics. Ghardaia for its old mosque, Beni Isguen for the auction market, and El Atteuf for the original marketplace, mausoleum and cemetery. If time, take a look at the palm groves and ancient irrigation tunnels.