Explore Algeria with Algeria travel guide providing tourism and travel information on hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, culture, history, places to visit, things to do, and travel tips and advice by Africa travel guide.
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Algeria Travel Guide


Overview

At one time a popular tourist destination rivaling its neighbor Morocco, today, Algeria and tourism couldn't be further apart. This is all because of the vicious civil war which began in 1992 and which still goes on to some extent today. The tourist situation is said to be somewhat better lately, however, with some travelers touring parts of the south Sahara. Still, traveling alone in Algeria without a vehicle is ill-advised.

What a shame all this is, since Algeria—the largest country on the Mediterranean—has  to be one of North Africa’s most intriguing countries. Tribal culture is alive and thriving outside the village of Tamanrasset in the Hoggar and Tassili N'Ajjer regions, and this is a culture worth visiting. For one thing, it's surprisingly relaxed. You don't get hassled here as you do in many part of the Arab world (the north of Morocco, for example). People keep a respectful distance, although that doesn't mean they aren't curious about you. The city of Algiers has a mix of the modern and traditional with its colonial French heritage still in evidence. Timimoun is an oasis town out of a movie, and the friendly village of In Salah is separated by a huge golden sand dune.

So with all this and more it's sad to say that your travel options are limited as a backpacker. But if you can somehow manage it, with a group tour your best bet, start with Djemila, a highlight of the country and in fact, all of North Africa. Djemila is the location of an ancient Roman town called Cuicul in the Petite Kaylie Hills. Truly this is a profound meeting place of the poetry of African landscape and Roman power. Anthropologists and historians agree that this is the site where more than anywhere else you can come to understand the Roman world and their perfect blend of order and beauty.

For something more modern, Annaba is a beautiful natural port city. This is where ancient Phoenicians farmed the fertile land and the city has been prospering ever since, today mainly in its export of minerals and as hub for students attending university. There's a strong sense of culture and history here and despite that fact that President Boudiaf was assassinated here in 1992, the city overall saw very little violence that crippled other cities during the darkest of the civil war years in the nineties. Annaba is centered around the ruins of Hippo Regius, the name of the ancient city preceding Annaba. Enclosed by low lying hills, not far from beaches, and containing an old world colonial heritage, Annaba is a good starting off point for exploring more of the country. Just be advised to take caution before leaving and see if travelers' warnings exist.


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