Algeria is geographically the second-largest country in Africa, and like its neighbor Tunisia, it has a border on the Mediterranean coast. Although not yet a heavily touristed country, Algeria has many interesting sights, including the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert in the south, the capital city of Algiers on the northern coast, Roman ruins, and ancient Christian remnants, such as the Church of St Augustine of Hippo in the northeastern coastal town of Annaba. On your vacation in Algeria you are likely to have a very authentic experience, as the tourist industry has not been greatly developed. Those considering Algeria travel have a variety of choices of what to do during their stay, including relaxing in the resort areas or roughing it in beautiful desert landscapes.
Most travelers who vacation in Algeria spend part or all of their time in the Algerian capital of Algiers. The largest city in the country, it is known as Algiers the White for the memorable image of its glistening white buildings rising up on a bay along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Algiers is one of the most financially important cities in North Africa and boasts a high standard of living, as well as plenty of interesting architecture and history. The Casbah, meaning the citadel, district of Algiers is a beautiful area to take a walking tour. It is a small historical city built on top of a hill with several old mosques dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, along with charming narrow lanes that wind among the old houses.
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The Che Guevara Boulevard at the waterfront is also a delightful place to walk by the sea, with its theatres, law courts, and the town hall. Other popular landmarks include the Great Mosque, the oldest mosque in Algiers, and the Notre Dame d'Afrique, an elaborate Roman Catholic basilica. Travelers who want to see beaches during their Algeria travel should look into various tourist resorts located close to Algiers on the Mediterranean coast, including Sidi Fredj, Palm Beach, Douaouda, and Zéralda, where resort hotels, supervised beaches, and tourist amenities can be found.
About 300 miles south of Algiers, in the northern Sahara region, lies the M'zab Valley, another major tourist destination for those on Algeria holidays. The five walled villages known as the Pentapolis have been set apart as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the villages preserve a traditional human habitat adapted to its environment. The villages in the M'zab Valley, home of the Ibadi Muslim sect, were designed for egalitarian living, with a fortress-like mosque set in the center and houses arranged in circles around it. The main inhabited city in the M'zab Valley today is Ghardaia, where visitors on vacation in Algeria can see traditional medieval buildings and ancient mosques, and go shopping in the open air market.
From the M'zab, visitors intent on visiting the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert can continue southward to Tin Merzouga, a popular place for dune-trekking and home to the tallest dunes in southeastern Algeria—the so-called Grand Dune is more than 4,265 feet high. For those whose idea of Algeria travel is the magnificent Saharan landscape, sand dunes in every direction, Tin Merzouga is a must-see destination.
Whether you choose to visit the dunes of the Sahara or the intriguing city of Algiers, a holiday in Algeria is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience, and it is a destination well worth considering for travelers who are interested in exploring North Africa.