AÏN OUARKA (عين ورقة)

We made a short stop in a quiet little village Aïn Ouarka located in the heart of the Ksours Mountains in the Western Saharan Atlas. The wetland area with hot springs is known by geologists under the name of Cirque de Aïn Ouarka (a “cirque” or amphitheater-like bowl), it is a basin circumscribed by abrupt mountains 1672 meters high with two small ponds with saline, clear and deep water. The water from thermal sources is used as a curative spa, whereas the cold sources provide drinking water. As a geothermal wetland, the site is an exceptional geological setting extremely rare in the Mediterranean area. It was a nice break with great views at colorful rock formations on the way to Béchar.