Visiting Algeria is not commonly part of the travel plans of tourists, but many do wish to visit this desert country and experience its amazing topography and ancient culture. From the burning deserts to high mountains, craggy cliffs to beach fronts and seaports, this country has many sightseeing opportunities. It is a nation recently emerging from civil war and getting back on its feet, but much of its past wonders and natural beauty remains.
Places You Must Visit
The capital city, Algiers, is a common stop for visitors. This city reflects a fusion between the modern and traditional side of Algeria. It contains modern comforts like a large airport, five-star hotels and an amazing shopping experience. Algiers has landmarks such as the Monument des Martyrs and stunning displays of architecture in the form of old mosques such as Jamaa el-Kabir and Jamaa el-Jadeed. The Kasbah region gives a peek into the Ottoman origins and the heavy influence of the French.
The journey into the Sahara begins at Tamanrasset city. It lies within the Hoggar Mountains in the southwest. From this town, tourists embark on trekking, camel riding and mountain climbing. In the northeast lies Grand Erg Oriental, an astonishing field of sand dunes that merits a visit. The northern sea ports like Oran and Annaba can also be visited for a beach side experience.
Quick Tips to Your Desert Destination
Visiting Algeria during the winter is more rewarding than the summer. Summer temperatures, especially throughout the south, can be brutal with dry air. Up north, moderate weather is enjoyed from September onwards until summer. Tourists should take along light cotton and linen clothing. Thicker clothes are needed for the northern coastal ports as well as deep in the south in winters. The best presents to take back home are traditional rugs, embroidered shirts and jewellery.
Visiting the ancient ruins of this country can be as appealing as its urban dwellings. Algeria is a place of friendly and hospitable people with a rich exotic background and culture. It lends many history lessons as well as enjoyment opportunities to tourists.
IMG: Thinkstock, iStock, muha04