Serving as a boundary between Africa and Europe, Algeria forms a mix of historical and cultural sites that put Algeria in the fabric of Western history. Its capital, Algiers, features a mix of colonial and modern builds with traditional religious structures that make the country an interesting place to visit. The coastlines also feature a wide range of stunning beaches, Roman ruins, and other establishments. The Saharan region is also popular among tourists who want to view desert landscapes that imbue the countryside with an untamed pride with its heritage.
Travellers out to explore the country will find it necessary to plan their trips carefully, Algeria has a total area of over two million kilometres, with 90% of the land area made up of desert. This makes Algeria the tenth largest country in the world and the biggest in Africa and the Mediterranean. Tourists will find the country fascinating not only because of its size, but due to the prehistoric cultures which thrived here such as Numidians, Phoenicians, Vandals, Umayyads, and many others. This makes Algeria one of the best countries to see in North Africa.
What to see & do
The tenth largest country in the world features seven of the world's long line-up of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tourists should explore some of these historic sites that made such a contribution in the human civilisation. Djemila is one of the heritage sites to see. Founded by the Romans, this city thought to have been built between 96 and 98 AD have a set of buildings that are still impressive to see even when they are in ruins. One will find here the Arch of Caracalla, the temple of Venus Genitrix, a theatre built by the order of Emperor Antoninus Pius, and a well-preserved bath complex.
Those eager to know more about the Roman civilisation in Algeria can also venture to Timgad, another example of a Roman military outpost. It is one of the most well-known ruins outside Rome due to its well-preserved buildings. The remains of the stunning Trajan arch, theatre, a forum, and 14 bath complexes can be found here. An interesting relic to see here are the residences being equal in size, which denote how equality reigns among these Roman citizens.
The Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad is also a sight to see for travellers. This mountainous site features the ruins of the first capital of the Hammadid rulers. Established in 1007, this place lets one glimpse a fortified Muslim city in the ancient era. The mosque one will see here has a prayer room with 13 aisles and eight bays, which is one of the largest in the country.
Those in the area should visit the Kasbah of Algiers, which forms a unique kind of medina. Its location in the Mediterranean coast makes it a strategic spot not only for religion but also for economy. The citadel, old mosques, and Ottoman-style palaces make up some of the sights here, making Algiers a fascinating mix of culture. From here, one can venture to the M'Zab Valley with its unique architecture, as well as Tipasa, another crucial Roman site used to conquer the kingdoms of Mauritania. Last is the Tassili n'Ajjer, which shows the evolution of human life on the edge of Sahara.
How to get around
Buses make up the primary mode of transportation in Algeria. Tourists can ride the long-distance buses that run mainly in the north but also venture to the southern parts of the country. Riding the train is also an option, as it connects to Oran, Algiers, Constantine, and Annaba, as well as Oran, Bechar, and Touggourt. Train services are sometimes suspended, however, due to the brewing political situation. Those in the south will find the trucks and 4WDs are the more regular mode of transport. The prices for riding a 4WD with other passengers are negotiable.
Driving around the Sahara is currently illegal, as the place can be unsafe for tourists. Those going here must join a tour that ensures heavy security. Those looking for louages or shared taxis will find them only in the major cities of the northern part of the country.
How to get there
Travellers going to Algeria can look for connecting flights to Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers. Airlines serving here include Aigle Azur, Air Algérie, Air France, Air Malta, Air Méditerranée, Alitalia, British Airways, EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Iberia, Jetairfly, Libyan Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Syrian Air, TAP Portugal, Tassili Airlines, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, and Vueling.