Algeria dazzles with glorious panoramas of the coasts of the azure Mediterranean, verdant hills dotted with ancient ruins and a mountainous, rugged hinterland of Berber villages. The latter gradually transforms into an African desert-world. A necklace of extraordinarily well-preserved Roman cities, similar to Pompeii, rings the country, while medieval oasis-towns, glorious Ottoman and French belle époque cities scintillate in the powerful sun. Algiers has an intricate, labyrinthine Ottoman Kasbah. Albert Camus’ Tipasa, has the ruins of a Phoenician trading post. With its Roman port and Byzantine churches, it is set on a wooded and herb-rich headland overlooking the sea. The Roman ‘City of Bridges’, Constantine, is encircled by the Wadi Rummel, a dramatic river gorge. It proffers memories of a dramatic past set in an equally dramatic landscape. The perfectly preserved Roman cities of Timgad and Djémila provide insights into sophisticated urban life in the wealthiest of imperial Roman provinces. In the desert, beyond the limits of Roman control, the ‘closed’ valley of the M’Zab preserves a traditional way of life. This is little changed since medieval times when it was a remote refuge from war and religious persecution. In the Sahara Desert, the ancient trading towns of Taghit, Béni Abbès and Timimoun are surrounded by verdant palmeries and enveloped by giant rolling dunes. Fortified mud-brick castles perch on pinnacles of desert rock overlooking ancient trans-Saharan trade routes. The very faces of local people bear witness to the once-thriving salt, gold, and slave trade with West Africa. Such trade routes terminated in Moorish Tlemcen which today boasts one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in all of North Africa. Algeria, a land of incredible hospitality, extraordinary history, and aromatic coffee is seldom visited by English speakers. It is a connoisseur’s choice for the discerning traveller.
Explore Ottoman kasbahs, Roman Constantine, Timgad & Djemila, mud-brick trading towns of the Sahara, Moorish Tlemcen, & the secret world of the Berber M'Zab Valley. Read more