Algeria Travel Guide

Algeria is considered the largest country in Africa located in North West Africa to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Its name originates from the capital Algiers (translated as Al jazir) that was formerly ruled by Berbers, French and Arabs up to the 17th century.

It is bordered by Morocco in the west, in the north east by Tunisia, Libya in the east, in the south east by Niger and in the south west by Western Sahara, Mauritania and Mali.

History

This part of Africa was previously known was the kingdom of the Numidia before 1000BCE. This once strong kingdom has strong relations in trade and travel with Ancient Greece, Carthage and the Roman Empire. It was taken over by the Berbers and later by the Romans in 200BC. Like other countries in northern Africa, Algeria has since many empires and dynasties include the rule by the Spanish, French and others

Since its independence on July 5 1962, Algeria has gone into a series of coups, riots and protests making it enter a period of economic recession since 1980. Nevertheless, the country is trying to suppress it political protests and improve its economy. Algeria has faced many terrorist threats since 2000 especially in the northern parts of the country for towns like Clef, Collo, Ain Delfa and Laarba among others.

Although 60% of the country lies in the vast Sahara desert, Algeria is also an agricultural based economy with 10% of its land boasting fertile soils. Algeria is member of the African Union and other international organizations such as The Arab League, the United Nations (UN) and the OPEC.

Arabic is the official language used although Berber and French are widely spoken by the different people living in Algeria. French is commonly used in Algeria and in major towns across the country.

Islam is the major religion in Algeria with 99% of the people being Muslim. There are also a few Roman Catholics and Evangelical Anglicans throughout Algeria. Like in many other Islamic nations, Islamic law is strict and normal religious laws apply. If you must visit a mosque, remember to dress appropriately and remove your shoes or sandals as a sign of respect. Alcohol is prohibited on the streets and limited to private non Muslim homes and bars.

Tourist Attractions

Algeria is renowned for its beaches in the north coast and some of the popular beaches in Algeria include Sablettes, Ain el Turk, Canastel and Les Andalouses among others.

Algiers is the capital city of Algeria and is the largest city in the country. Some of the interesting places to visit in the capital include the Zighout street in the northern part of Algiers, the casbahs and baths, the mosque of Ali Bitchine , Timgrad Archaelogical site and many others.

There are many museums to preserve the heritage of the Algerians such as the Djemila Museum a former house of Emperor Septimus Severus, the mausoleum of Medracen, Cirta Museum, Bardo Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography and others.You can also visit the list of Algeria’s archaeological tourist sites such as Lambese Tazoult, Timgad, Djemila Ruins and Hippo Regius among others that have been classified as important sites on the UNESCO World heritage site list.

Getting there

The weather is great with some areas under the temperate zone of mild Mediterranean climates especially for towns near the coast. The northern rains are during October to March and the dry season is June to September. The southern areas have the rainy season in November to February and the hot summer in March to October. Remember to carry light decent clothing, sunscreen and a sunhat since different parts of the country differ with their seasons.

Algeria has an airport that at Tamanrasset that receives direct Algiers flights from London, France, Dubai and other destinations in Africa. There are buses, train and taxis to take you around the different cities and towns in Algeria. Northern Algeria is very insecure with an increase rate of crime and terror activities during the evenings. Avoid travelling by road in the evening and if you must use a charter flight!

Take note of where you are going to stay or dine for the afternoon. There are many restaurants in Algiers and other major cities in Algeria but it is important to stick to the recommended places because food poisoning is also everywhere.

Hotels and Accommodation

There are many hotels and accommodation facilities in Algiers and other towns around Algeria such as Constantine, Oran, Batna and others. Some of the five star luxury hotels in Algiers include Sofitels Algiers Hamma Garden, Sheraton Resort & Club Algiers, Grand hotel Mercure Algiers and many others. There are budget Algeria accommodation options such as guesthouses, Apartments and resorts!

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