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Algeria is situated towards the northern side of Africa and is divided from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea coastline. As you travel from Europe into Algeria the change in cultural, traditional, and geographic features is starkly visible. The country also happens to be the largest one in terms of area covered in the African continent. It has the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea towards the north while the Sahara Dessert enters the nation through its southern fringes. This variation in the landscape gives Algeria quite a wide range of geographical features to look out for. From lush landscapes to desert regions, Algeria portrays an overall semi-arid kind of climate interspersed with all kinds of man-made features left by so many rulers and kingdoms over the millennia! So, let's simply move on and dig into all the wonderful places that you should be visiting if you are planning a trip to Algeria.
Algiers is the capital as well as the largest city of the nation and the most probable starting point for any trip into Algeria. Being the capital city, there is an international flight that allows flights from all over the world to arrive and depart and thus the best way to enter the city. The place is steeped in history and dates back to the times of the Ottomans when it was first founded.
One of the first things that you have to witness while you are in the capital city is the ancient Casbah. This walled fortress is similar to others found throughout different North African cities and has lots of interesting historic tales to tell you. It is also advisable to tour through the Casbah with a guide since there is a lot of information to look out for. The Dar Hasan Pacha is another monument that you have to see- especially because it is regarded as one of the most haunted places in Algeria. The house is under renovation nowadays and thus entry into the rooms is not permitted.
Another historic monument that you have to check out while you are in this city is the Notre Dame d’Afrique. It is a Roman Basilica and one of the finest places to be in Algiers. The name of the church roughly translates to "Our Lady of Africa" and is a spot frequented by tourists and locals alike. Since the place is situated atop a cliff, it looks upon the city and the beautiful coastline allowing you to click some of the finest shots of Algeria. There are many artworks featuring religious scenes from the past to look out for within the Norte Dame d’Afrique. Of the other beautiful places to visit while you are in Algeria, you should see Le Jardin d’Essai du Hamma, a botanical garden dating back to the 19th century; La Grande Poste d’Alger, which is historically an important building in Algeria; and Le Bastion 23- Palais des Rais, six houses and three palaces steeped in Algerian history, architecture, and artwork!
The Atakor Plateau is situated within the Ahaggar National Park and is quite a difficult place to reach if you do not have a private vehicle. However, this is one place within Algeria that you have to get to. The region looks as if taken out word for word from a fantasy novel of sorts. You will be welcomed into an expanse of reddish to brownish expanse of land with many pointy peaks jutting out from here and there, something like Mordor (from the Famed Lord of the Rings series)! The place is so beautiful in a desolate, dry sort of way that it is going to be stuck to your mind for a very long time to come. The most impressive feature to look out for in this region has to be the Assekrem Peak which gives you the most stunning view into the expanding landscape underneath and in front of you. The word Asserkrem roughly translates to "the world's end" in the Tuareg language, which is the right way of describing the impressive landscape that lies ahead of you.
Tamanrasset is located towards the southern part of Algeria and is near to the Sahara Desert and the borders to Niger. Popularly referred to as Tam, this is a modern city that is well-connected to the rest of Algeria through roadways and flights. There are regularly scheduled flights from major cities in Algeria into Tam and you might even reach the destination on a cab from cities like Algiers. It is in fact the perfect city to be in if you are thinking of exploring the Ahaggar National Park region or having some desert experience.
Since Tam is a modern town, it is very easy to get everything that you ask for in this region. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in this place to try out. You will also find all kinds of shops selling all kinds of wares for your convenience. However, you should remember that it is considered unsafe to visit the town nowadays for a variety of reasons. This means that you might only enter the town as part of a guided tour. Certain areas within the town are off-limits to the tourists and you would have to show proof of being part of a guided tour as you enter the town. However, this is not so bad since you get to learn a lot about the town and surrounding regions from the guided tour. You could also be a part of some fun excursions into the surrounding wilderness on 4x4 vehicles!
Oran is a stunning city in Algeria to look out for and has to be on your list of places to visit while you are in Algeria. This is the second-largest city in the nation and is also very modern. The city was developed by the French and made into the beautiful port city that it is now by then. There are a plethora of historical features to look out for while you are in Oran not to mention the beautiful beaches. If you want to enter Oran, it is well connected to the rest of Algeria through flights, and even though the waterways. The airport in Oran is international and thus flights from different places of the world can fly directly into Oran and you may start or end your Algerian tour in Oran.
There are tons of beautiful mosques to see in Oran. The casbah in Oran is also noteworthy and beautiful to browse through- be sure to check in with a guide to get all the historical details about the place. Another stunning example of architecture could be seen in Le Theatre in Oran which dates back to French times. The beachside promenade is exciting and beautiful to walk through. There are tons of cafes and restaurants in the region with stunning views of the sea that you can try. Also, these fine great cafes and restaurants and a great place to try your tongue in Algerian cuisine. This port city is also a great place if you are looking forward to water-based activities such as scuba diving. Oran is culturally rich too and is the birthplace of Rai music that you can come upon in the cafes.
You have to visit Fort Santa Cruz while you are in Oran. It is a terrific attraction and tourists from all over the world flock to this place. This fort is well connected to the other 3 forts in the region through a network of tunnels. The Spaniards had built this for back in the 16th -17th century. It is also a great place to get superb scenic views of the entire city.
Annaba is another Algerian city steeped in history which makes it a great place to visit. It is connected to major Algerian cities through a network of roadways and also has an international airport. Regular international flights from Paris, Lyons, and Marseille are scheduled to fly into Annaba. National flights from major Algerian cities are also scheduled making the air route one of the best ways to enter the city. Though it is well-connected roadways, there is a lack of proper infrastructure making it one of the least desirable modes of transport in this city. The city is also connected through the Mediterranean Sea and you can take a ferry from Marseille to enter the city.
The region where the city is built has a unique geographic location. This in turn made the region favorable to the Phoenicians which in turn led to the founding of this ancient city. This is also one of the reasons behind the prosperity of the ancient city. While you are in Annaba you have to visit Hippo Regius, which is the major attraction within the city. These are ruins from a forgotten time including mosaics and bronze trophies and also runic villas and temples. The location is also very attractive having a series of olive trees on one side and the Mediterranean Sea washing the other side.
Constantine is a beautiful city that dates back thousands of years and has been quite important to the Romans. It was the ancient capital of Numidia and later Roman Numidia and has been the center of much political and power-play. You might enter Constantine through the airport which attracts regular flights from places such as Istanbul, Paris, Marseille, Geneva, and Brussels. The city is also connected through the railway route and you will find regularly scheduled trains from Algiers and Annaba. Shared taxis and public buses are also great and budget-friendly ways to enter this city.
Constantine has been an important center during ancient times and holds kind of a mystic, charismatic feel. You have to cross a suspension bridge across a huge canyon to reach into the major parts of the city. This adds quite the fantastical charm to this ancient Roman city. However, there isn't much to see within the city. A day or two to visit this iconic place is all that you would need.
Ghardaia is situated towards the southern fringes of the nation, towards the desert region. It is one of the five towns in a cluster along the northern edges of the Sahara Desert. However, the entire five-town region is referred to as Ghardaia as a whole. The interesting thing about this city is that the entire place has a tradition and culture of its own. It is quite different from the rest of Algeria which makes it so remarkably fascinating to visit. The region has its own dress along with religious and social traditions. You will find a range of stay and food options throughout the region catering to a wide array of travel options from budget to luxury travel. There are many architectural features to look out for and you'd need a guide on most occasions. You have to visit the beautiful Sidi Brahim Mosque while you are in this region.
Tlemcen is a beautiful place to visit while you are traveling through Algeria. The best way to enter the city would be through a flight, available from major Algerian cities. It is a beautiful city in every possible description of the world with buildings that can be compared to those found in Morocco or Southern Spain. The region has been under Roman rule for a long time and the influence of Roman architectural styles could very well be seen throughout the region. Some of the most stunning attractions that you have to see while you are in this city are the Eiffel Bridge, the Great Mosque, and the National Park in Tlemcen with its mesmerizing waterfalls.
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