Algeria is the largest country in Africa. It stretches from the Mediterranean to the depths of the Sahara and has hosted some of history’s most important civilisations. This journey takes you back more than two thousand years in time and shows the many facets of a much-maligned country.
Starting in the lively capital of Algiers we explore its fascinating historic quarter – the casbah – then visit some of its most enigmatic archaeological sites, the thousand-year old citadel of Beni Hammad and the ancient Roman city of Djemila. We then travel to the ‘city of bridges’, Constantine, with its dramatic location above the Rhumel Gorge. Medracen and Timgad show us more remnants of Algeria’s complex history, before we head south to the vast Sahara.
The M’Zab Valley is home to some well-preserved towns, home to the Mozabites who have preserved their culture and traditions more than most. Wandering through the alleys and markets here feels quintessentially ‘exotic’, as robed desert dwellers haggle for goods and the smell of spices hangs in the air. Further into the Sahara we visit traditional mud brick villages, with their ancient ksars. a testament to the time when desert communities needed protection from outsiders. And we also explore vast areas of sand dunes and salt lakes.
Back in the north, the incredible Islamic monuments of Tlemcen are a reminder of the past glories of North Africa, when it ruled Spain as Andalucia (or Al Andalus). We end our journey with a visit to Tipasa, where we step in the footsteps of the Phoenicians. We see the vast ‘tomb of the Christian’, built by the Numidians who were once rulers of this land.
Often eclipsed by its neighbour to the west, Algeria is starting to be discovered by more intrepid visitors, keen to uncover its secrets, and you won’t find hordes of other visitors here. This trip offers an exciting introduction to a country has long been off the travel radar.