Best Places To Visit in Algeria

 

Best Places To Visit in Algeria

Stretching from the vast sandy desert climate of the Sahara all the way up to the Mediterranean sea, Algeria is Africa’s largest country.  If you are looking for a desert adventure then Algeria is the place to visit! 80% of Algeria is covered by the Sahara desert and in the Great Erg you can climb sand dunes which are up to 150 feet high.

The Sahara

The largest hot desert on the planet (only the Arctic and Antarctica are larger) the Sahara desert crosses the whole of North Africa including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It really is difficult to comprehend the size of the Sahara. It is almost the size of the United States of America! When planning to visit the Sahara, you must take in to account the desert climate.

The high average temperatures that you would expect in the Sahara along with a very low chance of precipitation mean that there is a very real threat to human life if travelling unprepared. With daily average temperatures often higher than 40°C,  exposure to this kind of heat leads to death or serious illness.  Of course, being in the Sahara, access to healthcare may be a very long way off.  The hot season is far too warm for tourists or travellers so tourism to Algeria is seasonal.

When it is safe to visit Algeria and the Sahara region then there are plenty of activities to keep the adventure traveller occupied.  Sand-boarding and cross-desert treks are popular attractions. Tourism in Algeria and the Sahara remains on a small scale. Much of the travel to the Sahara occurs at the cities on the edge of the Sahara. There are some very popular locations within Algeria that have featured in a number of blockbuster films. These are particularly attractive to fans of the Star Wars films with the desert locations featured in a number of films.

Algiers

Best Places To Visit in Algeria - Algiers

Best Places To Visit in Algeria – Algiers

Algiers is the capital city of Algeria, with a population of 3.5m. There is plenty to keep the active traveller interested in this most unusual of capital cities. You can explore French and Arab architecture, wander through museums, and experience the UNESCO World Heritage Kasbah. Whether you are just having a short break or a long tour of Algeria, you cannot miss out on exploring Algiers.

A ‘must see’ area of Algiers is the Casbah. This is a very a historic part of the city and is crowded  with almost 80,000 people. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Twisting stone paths create a labyrinth-like maze and it is very easy to lose your bearings when walking  around this old quarter.  Unfortunately, the Casbah is subject to a great deal of dilapidation but there has been a great amount of work recently to repair the area.  The outer walls and gates of the Casbah date to the early 16th century and it was this area that pirates who were notorious for taking and keeping  Euorpean hostages.

Life in Algiers is bustling, and it’s easy to just sit back and watch life go by. There are plenty of options with regards to hotels and hostels as well as a many fine restaurants serving local cuisine. Algiers is one of those wonderful places that you can return to time after time and never see everything that the city has to offer.

Roman Sites

Algeria is home to some of the most impressive Roman sites on the planet. Any travel to Algeria must include visits to Timgad and Djemila. When you visit these vast and almost perfectly preserved Roman towns, one of the most astounding  things will be the almost complete lack of any other tourist around. Where else in the world can you walk around ancient sites and almost always have the entire place to yourself?

Djemila, which is located 25 miles south-east of Sétif,  is undoubtedly the most impressive of the two Roman sites mentioned here, mainly due to its stunning mountain location. Timgad which is to the east of Constantine, is certainly also worth visiting with the incredible architectural layout of the Roman town being lauded throughout the world.

A great beach holiday!

If you want to escape the normal Mediterranean beach locations, then a holiday in Algeria may be exactly what you need. From Béjaïa to Oran, you will find a vast range of different beaches spread along this largely undeveloped stretch of the North African coast.

The first Algerian beach location we would visit is Madagh Beach, which is just to the west of central Oran. This is a typical Mediterranean looking beach where you will be greeted by a multitude of bright tents and umbrellas that look over the Alborran trees. The crystal clear water is perfect for snorkelling or just floating in and soaking up the sun.

If you are staying in Algiers and want to escape the city for a day trip, then a visit to the town of Zéralda is ideal. Best described as a ‘simple town’ it is not too far away from the capital and has some famous local beaches. Spend your time exploring  Sables beach and Le Azur plage (The Blue Beach) as you get to know Algerian beach  culture.

The Hoggar Mountains

Best Places To Visit in Algeria - Hoggar

Best Places To Visit in Algeria – Hoggar

The Hoggar Mountains, also known as the Ahaggar Mountains are a volcanic mountain range in the southeast Sahara desert region of Algeria. The highest peak of the mountains climbs to a towering 3,003m above sea level, dominating the desert around. For photographers, mountain lovers and anyone with a love of the rugged outdoors, this region will take some beating.

Assekrem is probably the best known of the many sights of this region in southern Algeria. A must visit is the lodge that sits on the saddle of the pass. Here tourists can spend the night and get to enjoy the stunning sunset and equally as impressive sunrise as it crosses the volcanic mountains.

Tuareg of Algeria

Not a ‘best place to visit’ as such but any visit to Algeria would not be complete without hopefully meeting or learning more about the nomdic Tuareg people. The majority of the Tuareg are of Berber descent, but being a Tuareg is not linked to any specific race or family linage. As long as the lifestyle, traditions and language are accepted, people are seen as Tuareg.

The modern day Tuareg inhabit a vast area in the Sahara, stretching from far south western Libya to southern Algeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. Their culture has now become synonymous with desert travel and the nomadic lifestyle.

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