Should You Travel To Algeria On Vacation?
As the largest country on the African continent, Algeria certainly has a wealth of reasons to want to go, though first addressing the considerations is important if you are considering traveling here. Getting to Algeria is easy, but with limited options. Many of the borders with adjoining countries are currently closed and going anywhere near them is not safe. The exception to this is the border with Tunisia however, most visitors will arrive via cruise ship or directly into the capital city of Algiers.
For female travelers, “cat-calling” might seem like a favorite pastime here because it essentially is for women traveling alone. For women, taking a man or two with is advised and will just make it easier for you to avoid any irritations by countless new admirers. Heed these pieces of advice and you will probably not have any issues at all.
Be aware, regardless of gender, there are some destinations within the country that are easily traveled with no chaperone; while there are other locales you where you might be required to have a guide.
We should also note that the government of Algeria might refuse entry visas to anyone who has any evidence of having been to Israel. FYI, Israel does not stamp your passport, so this should be easy to get around, but what a ridiculous policy! As travelers, we know the people make a country, not its government, so we will cut them some slack until proven otherwise.
While these challenges of traveling to Algeria may detour some travelers, it is still worth considering after you’ve done some homework and recent travelers have reported great experiences here.
The GOOD NEWS—Algeria promises to be a photographer’s playground and an adventurer’s paradise. Ancient and modern architecture, and an intriguing history combined with diverse and dramatic landscapes, make Algeria an interesting and exciting country to explore.
Most people who adventure here come to see ancient Roman ruins, the stunning Sahara Desert and the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Most likely you'll begin in the capital city, Algiers. This is a vibrant and modern city along the coast with plenty of interesting sites and activities to keep you busy. While most people just visit here as a jumping off point, it is worth sticking around for a few days of exploring and immersing in the local culture. If you are venturing deeper into Algeria, things really slow down and here is where you’ll find the heart and soul of the country.
Popular Places To Visit In Algeria
Timgad - A UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its ancient Roman walled city.
Mediterranean beaches - There is much potential for the coast of Algeria, but at this this time there are security issues along much of the coast and there are some places where the infrastructure is lacking. Your best bets are Plage de Madagh in Oran, and Zeralda which is closeby from Algiers.
Constantine - "The City of Bridges" is a beautiful place and runs along the Rhumel River. Situated high on a plateau with deep gorges, there is evidence of prehistoric settlements in the local caves. This intriguing city has a mixture of Arab, Phoenician, Roman, and Ottoman architecture.
Oran - This beautiful port city along the Mediterranean is the birthplace of rai folk music and makes for an interesting stop. There are many sites within close proximity to Oran, including an Ottoman citadel sitting on top of Mount Modjadji. Going to the top of the mountain gives excellent views. Also near to Oran are the extremely picturesque towns of La Blanca and Kasr El Bey.
Algeria has much to offer the intrepid traveler as well as those vacationers on cruise ships. If treading inland, Tassili n'Ajjer is one of the easier places to visit the Sahara. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park in the Saharan southeast and is a must see. The absolutely stunning landscapes of sweeping dunes and spectacular rock formations make it seem as if you are another planet. Here you will also find some of the most historically important prehistoric cave art in the world.
Grand Erg Occidental
When you imagine what the Sahara looks like, this is one of the places where it will look like what you likely envisioned. Much of the Saharan is just rocks and pebbles, for miles and miles. The dunes around Timimoun are in the second largest erg in Algeria, and are likely one of the best places in Algeria for photographing the sand dunes—some as high as 390 feet!
The largest is the Grand Erg Oriental the southern border with Tunisia. Incase you are wondering, ergs are naturally forming seas of sand—areas of constantly shifting dunes. The Grand Erg Occidental and Timimoun are about five hours south of Taghit, seven hours south of Ghardaïa by car or can be reached by air. These dunes are spectacular and an adventure here would be like no other (video).
Timimoun itself is known for its red ochre colored building made of clay The Sebkha circuit is a tour that takes you through the Ksar of Timimoun which is a fascinating fortified village dating back to the 8th century. There are tunnels underneath which are still used by locals to escape the heat of the day and there are incredible views to the dunes. Next, you can so some wadi-bashing is about as much fun as you could hope for.
You aren’t going all the way to Algeria to NOT rock the Casbah are you? This is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its historic Maghreb urban planning. Officially called the Kasbah of Algiers, a visit here is a great way to immerse in the culture, witness daily-life, and learn about the historical importance of this city within a city.
Best Travel Experiences In Algeria
The Best Times Year To Go To Algeria
Spring and Fall are the best times to visit Algeria. Depending on what you want to see and do. The best months being March, April, October and November.
Summer is simply not a good time to visit the Saharan Desert unless you have a thing for scorching hot weather and a relentless beating from the blazing sun. Few tour companies, if any, will accompany you and just isn't smart to go without one. If you must go in the summer, the beaches will be packed in with other tourists and locals and you will be hard-pressed to secure space. The best time to would be November through March to avoid hot weather. The evenings can get quite cool during this time.
With respect to safety, when to go is after you have done your homework. This is also part of our services. No stone unturned when advising clients, we provide everything you need to know as part of our service and advise to always check government advisories before traveling. (U.S. State Department - as of 2/7/2020 Threat Level 2).
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