The Great Oasis Valleys: Places to Explore

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Erfoud

Exploring

A French administrative outpost and Foreign Legion stronghold, this frontier town on the Algerian border has a definite Wild West (in this case, Wild South) feel to it. The military fortress at Borj-Est, just across the Ziz to the east, provides the best possible view over the date palmery, the desert, and Erfoud from its altitude of 3,067 feet above sea level. Near the Borj-Est are quarries famous for their black marble, one of Erfoud's principal products; interestingly, this luxurious solid is rich in petrified marine fossils.

Erfoud itself is not without its peculiar charm, though this dusty, fly-bitten border post is best known as a traveler's jumping-off point for the Merzouga Dunes. Its finest architectural feature is the main gate into the medina, designed in the typical Almohad style with flanking crenellated bastions and an intricately carved stucco portal.

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