Desert and History Tour

Algeria Tour – Desert and History – a 15 day Small Group Tour.

Algeria’s rich past, as part of the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis, lies beneath layers of Christian and Islamic conquest, and more recent Ottoman and French colonisation. A remarkable mix of Arab, Berber, and French cultural influences, Algeria’s political evolution is ongoing.



To visit now offers not only a chance to explore ancient history, but also to experience history being made.

If travel in little visited countries, exploring new cultures and being just slightly outside your comfort zone is your thing, then this is the tour for you.

Algeria is the real deal and unlike many of its neighbours is almost untouched by the tourist trail. That is not to say there is nothing to see or experience. The country is full of history with a very warm welcome awaiting those that choose to visit this African giant on this Algeria tour.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in Algiers and transfer to the hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. No meals or guiding arrangements are included today. Overnight at Hotel Suisse or similar.

Delving deeper into Algiers, we visit the Museum of Antiquities, and the world-class Bardo Museum, housed in an 18th century neo-Moorish villa, and known for its pre-historic and ethnographic collections. We wander the city’s unique casbah, another UNESCO site, an outstanding example of Maghreb architecture, and one of the most enigmatic places in Algiers. Overnight at Hotel Suisse or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: 5.5 hours)

Travel east towards Setif stopping en route at the UNESCO site of Beni Hammad, and visit the National Museum of Setif, home to exhibits from several eras. Overnight at Hotel Best Western or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: 3 hours)

Today there’s a lot of ground to be covered. However, exploring the UNESCO sites of Djemila and its ancient garrison of Cuicul reveals some of North Africa’s best-preserved Berbero-Roman remains. Forum, temples, basilicas, triumphal arches are all present, but laid out to suit the terrain of a mountain town. From here we continue to Constantine. Overnight at Ibis Hotel or similar. (BD)

After breakfast we explore Constantine itself, considered the capital of eastern Algeria, and named after Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great.  Visits include the archaeological museum and the Palace of Ahmed Bey, the city’s last Ottoman governor. We will view the city’s famous bridges spanning the dramatic Rhumel Gorge, including the Sidi M’Cid suspension bridge. Overnight at Ibis Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 2 hours)

Taking the road south, our first stop is Medracen, the Tomb of the Numidian Kings, before continuing to the Aurès Mountains and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Roman Timgad. Dating from 100AD, this is remarkable example of ancient town planning, and includes a huge library, colonnaded streets, temples, amphitheatre, the arch of Trajan, and a basilica. Nearby, we visit the Roman ruins of Lambaesis before continuing to the attractive city of Batna, capital of the Aurès region. Overnight at Trajan Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 5.5 hours)

Drive to Biskra stopping on the way in the area of the gorges of Tighanimine, site of the first shots of the Algerian rebellion, and the breathtaking canyon of Rhouffi. Continue to El Oued circled by the sands of the Grand Erg Oriental. Overnight at Hotel Souf or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 5.5 hours)

Drive to the M’Zab Valley and its largest city Ghardaia which has a distinctive culture unlike the rest of Algeria. It has survived over the centuries as a result of the efforts of the local Mozabite people. It is a charming place and we spend two days observing the day to day routines and visiting the surrounding area. Overnight at M’zab Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 7 hours)

Drive first to El Menia and its ruined ksar and continue to the picturesque oasis of Timimoun with its distinctive red buildings. Overnight at Gourara Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Spend the day exploring this lovely oasis, with a picnic lunch out among the dunes. Overnight at Gourara Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 2 hours)

Fly to Oran (two-and-a-half-hours) and drive from there to Tlemcen, once an important town, which contains a superb collection of historic buildings and has a distinct French flavour. Overnight at Ibis Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: 2 hours)

Today we visit the important sites of Tlemcen including the Grand Mosque, one of the most important Islamic buildings in North Africa, the ruins of the 13th century Mansourah and the tomb of Sidi Boumedienne. In the afternoon drive to Oran and spend time exploring the city including the Bey’s Palace and the 18th Century Grand Mosque. Overnight at Hotel Pacha or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: 1.5 hours in each direction)

This morning for a flight to Algiers and on arrival drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tipasa, home to a wealth of archaeological remains. We tour a remarkable collection of Roman ruins, including villas and an ancient amphitheatre, that overlooks the Mediterranean. On the way back to Algiers we call in at the ‘Tomb of the Christian’, a Numidian site that despite its name is believed to date from the 3rd century BC. Overnight at Hotel Suisse or similar. (BD)

There’s time to relax and take stock of a remarkable trip before your transfer to the international airport for your flight back home. (B)

Tour Notes

The Algeria tour ‘Desert and History’ operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.

Return flights from London to Algiers start from around £350. Please contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.

Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transport throughout with internal flights as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking guide
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips (Discretionary)

A very enjoyable time. Boualem an outstanding guide and support. Excellent drivers. Excellent support all round.


Prof Roy Sanders, UK