ALGERIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Algeria is a North African country that is steeped in history and culture. From the ancient ruins of Tipasa to the bustling markets of Algiers, Algeria has much to offer tourists who are looking for a unique and enriching travel experience. With its diverse landscape that ranges from the Mediterranean coastline to the Sahara desert, Algeria is also a country of stunning natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, and camel riding, or simply relax on the beaches and soak up the sun.
Algeria is also home to a rich and vibrant culture that is a blend of African, Arab, and Berber influences. This is reflected in the country's architecture, music, and cuisine, which are all worth exploring during a visit. The people of Algeria are friendly and welcoming to tourists, and visitors can expect to be greeted with warmth and hospitality wherever they go.
While Algeria has faced its share of challenges in recent years, it remains a safe and fascinating destination for travelers who are seeking something different. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure, Algeria is a country that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
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ALGERIA QUICK FACTS
Currency: Algerian dinar (د.ج / DZD)
Area: 2,381,741 km²
Population: 42,23 million (2018 estimate)
Language: Arabic and Tamazight (official), French and English are often the languages of business
Religion: Muslim 98%, Christian 1.0%, Jewish 0.2%
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European plug)
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ALGERIA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 19 June, Commemoration Day
- 5 July, Independence Day
- 1 November, Revolution Day
Also, Muharram (Islamic New Year), Ashura, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
FESTIVALS IN ALGERIA
BEST TIME TO VISIT ALGERIA
The best time to visit Algeria depends on what you want to do and see during your trip. Algeria has a hot and arid climate with long, dry summers and mild winters. The country is generally sunny year-round, but temperatures can vary significantly between regions.
If you want to explore Algeria's desert regions or go hiking in the Atlas Mountains, the best time to visit is during the cooler months of October to April. During these months, temperatures are more comfortable, and there is less chance of extreme heat. Keep in mind that nights can be cold in the desert, so be sure to bring warm clothing.
If you're interested in visiting Algeria's Mediterranean coast, the best time to visit is during the summer months of June to September. During this time, temperatures are warmer, and the water is ideal for swimming and other water activities.
However, it's worth noting that Algeria is a large country with varying climates, and some areas may be more pleasant to visit at different times of the year. It's always a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan your itinerary accordingly. Additionally, be aware that Ramadan is widely observed in Algeria, so if you plan to visit during this time, be respectful of local customs and traditions.
SAFETY IN ALGERIA
Algeria is generally a safe country for tourists, but like any destination, it's important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. Algeria has experienced some security challenges in recent years, including terrorism and civil unrest, particularly in some remote and border areas.
However, the Algerian government has taken significant steps to improve security across the country, and incidents have become less frequent in recent years. Tourist areas are generally considered safe, and the Algerian government has also increased security measures at airports, tourist sites, and other popular destinations.
It's important to follow basic safety guidelines while traveling in Algeria, such as avoiding large crowds or demonstrations, being cautious when traveling in remote areas, and being aware of your surroundings at all times. It's also recommended to use a reputable tour company and have a local guide with you when exploring less-visited areas.
Overall, with common sense and awareness, it's safe to travel to Algeria. As with any destination, it's always a good idea to keep up-to-date with current events and travel advisories before planning your trip.
ALGERIA WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Algeria experiences two distinct climates: a Mediterranean climate in northern Algeria and a desert climate in the majority of the country. The sub-humid Mediterranean climate on the coast and in the Tell Atlas Mountains is characterised by wet and mild winters and hot and dry summers. The rest of the country is covered by the Sahara Desert, where the seasonal average winter temperature is 15°C to 28°C and 40°C to 45°C during the summer. In the north, moist winds from the sea bring rain from autumn to spring. Algeria's climate is also influenced by Sirocco winds, which cause increased temperature with dusty, dry conditions and storms in the Mediterranean Sea.
ALGERIA TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN ALGERIA
The snow sports season in Algeria is relatively short, from December until March. You can try one of two places: Chrea National Park in the Blida Province or Tikjda in Djurdjura National Park.
HIKING & CYCLING IN ALGERIA
The best time for outdoor activities in Algeria is from March to November, although it can always be very hot and winds cause frequent sand storms.
BEACH OPTIONS IN ALGERIA
Algeria has beautiful beaches with a summer beach season stretching from March to November with May to October being the hottest. Visit the beaches of Oran, Bejaia, Marsa Ben M'Hidi, Zeralda, Ziama Mansouriah and Tichy.
SURFING IN ALGERIA
You can find solid swell in Algeria in November and December.
KITESURF IN ALGERIA
The best winds for kitesurfing in Algeria are May to September, but it's not a particularly popular kitesurfing destination.
For more details on kite surfing in Algeria expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN ALGERIA
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
ALGERIA TRAVEL COSTS
The cost of traveling to Algeria can vary depending on several factors, such as the time of year, the type of accommodation, the mode of transportation, and the activities you plan to do. However, generally speaking, Algeria is an affordable travel destination compared to many other countries.
- Accommodation in Algeria ranges from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels, with prices ranging from around 20 to 200 USD per night, depending on the level of comfort and location.
- Dining out in Algeria is also relatively affordable, with meals ranging from around 5 to 20 USD depending on the type of cuisine and restaurant.
- Transportation in Algeria is also reasonably priced. Taxis are widely available in cities, and fares are generally affordable, with rates ranging from around 1 to 3 USD for short distances. Bus and train travel is also available and is an even more affordable option.
- Entrance fees to tourist attractions and activities vary, but they are generally inexpensive. For example, entrance to the popular Roman ruins of Djemila costs around 5 USD per person, and a guided tour can be arranged for a similar price.
Overall, the cost of traveling to Algeria is relatively low compared to other destinations, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers. However, it's always a good idea to research and plan your trip in advance to get an accurate idea of the expenses involved.
ALGERIA TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some travel tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable trip to Algeria:
- Dress modestly: Algeria is a predominantly Muslim country, so it's important to dress modestly, especially in public places. Avoid wearing revealing clothing, and dress conservatively when visiting mosques or other religious sites.
- Respect local customs and traditions: Algerians are generally welcoming and friendly, but it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, during Ramadan, it's considered impolite to eat or drink in public during daylight hours.
- Learn some basic French or Arabic: While many Algerians speak French, Arabic is the official language. Learning a few basic phrases in French or Arabic can go a long way in helping you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.
- Be aware of the weather: Algeria can be extremely hot in the summer, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing and sunscreen. In winter, it can be cold in the mountains and the desert, so bring warm clothing.
- Use a reputable tour company: If you plan to venture off the beaten track, it's a good idea to use a reputable tour company and have a local guide with you. They can help you navigate local customs and ensure that you stay safe.
- Be aware of your surroundings: As with any destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid areas that are known to be unsafe, especially at night, and be cautious when traveling in remote areas.
- Stay hydrated: Algeria can be hot and dry, especially in the desert, so be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Bring cash: While credit cards are accepted at some hotels and restaurants in major cities, cash is still the preferred payment method in many places. Be sure to bring enough cash with you to cover your expenses.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF ALGERIA
Algeria is a vast country with diverse landscapes, rich culture, and history. Here are some of the main regions worth visiting and their highlights:
- Algiers and the surrounding area: Algeria's capital city, Algiers, is a vibrant and historic city with a stunning Mediterranean coastline. The Casbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways that is a must-see. Other highlights in the area include Tipaza, a Roman archaeological site, and the town of Blida, known for its beautiful gardens and parks.
- Oran and the western region: Oran is a coastal city in the western region of Algeria and is known for its vibrant music scene and beautiful colonial architecture. The Santa Cruz fortress, built by the Spanish in the 16th century, is a must-see. Other highlights in the area include the Tlemcen National Park, home to beautiful landscapes and historic sites, and the town of Mostaganem, known for its beaches and natural beauty.
- Constantine and the eastern region: Constantine is a historic city located in the eastern region of Algeria and is known for its beautiful bridges and ancient ruins. The city's suspension bridge, Sidi M'Cid Bridge, is an impressive engineering feat that is worth visiting. Other highlights in the area include the ancient Roman city of Timgad, the Djémila archaeological site, and the Ghoufi Canyon, which is one of Algeria's most stunning natural wonders.
- Sahara Desert: The Sahara Desert covers much of southern Algeria and is a must-visit for any traveler interested in nature and adventure. Highlights of the Sahara include the sand dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental and the Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, which is home to stunning rock formations and ancient rock art.
- Kabylie region: Located in northern Algeria, the Kabylie region is known for its stunning mountain landscapes and vibrant Berber culture. Highlights of the region include the Djurdjura National Park, which is home to some of Algeria's highest peaks, and the town of Tizi Ouzou, which is the cultural and economic center of the Kabylie region.
These are just a few of the many regions and highlights that Algeria has to offer. Depending on your interests and travel style, there are many more places to explore and discover in this beautiful country.
Algeria is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, with plenty of attractions and activities to offer visitors. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Algeria:
- Explore the Casbah in Algiers: The Casbah is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Algiers' most iconic attractions. It's a maze of narrow streets and alleyways lined with historic buildings, including mosques, palaces, and old houses.
- Visit the Roman ruins at Djemila: Djemila is an ancient Roman city located in the northern part of Algeria. The ruins include a theater, a basilica, and a triumphal arch, all of which are in remarkably good condition.
- Discover the Tassili n'Ajjer National Park: The Tassili n'Ajjer National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most stunning natural areas in Algeria. It's home to beautiful rock formations, including the famous "rock forest," and ancient rock art.
- Go on a Sahara desert adventure: The Sahara desert covers much of southern Algeria and is an ideal destination for adventure seekers. Visitors can go on camel treks, explore ancient caravanserais, and experience traditional Bedouin culture.
- Visit the ancient Roman ruins at Timgad: Timgad is another ancient Roman city located in Algeria's eastern region. It was founded in the 1st century AD and includes well-preserved ruins of a theater, a library, and a market.
- Relax on the beaches: Algeria has several beautiful beaches, including those in the Mediterranean coast and the towns of Oran and Annaba. Visitors can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy water sports like surfing and windsurfing.
- Experience traditional Algerian cuisine: Algerian cuisine is a delicious blend of North African and Mediterranean flavors. Some must-try dishes include couscous, tagine, and brik, a deep-fried pastry filled with meat or vegetables.
- Attend a music festival: Algeria has a vibrant music scene, with several music festivals held throughout the year. The International Rai Festival in Oran is one of the most popular, featuring traditional Rai music.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do when visiting Algeria. The country has a lot to offer, and there's something for every type of traveler, whether you're interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure.
WHAT TO EAT IN ALGERIA
Algerian cuisine is a delicious fusion of North African and Mediterranean flavors, with influences from Berber, Arabic, and French cuisines. Here are some dishes that you should try when visiting Algeria:
- Couscous: Couscous is a staple dish in Algeria, made from steamed semolina grains and served with meat or vegetables in a flavorful broth.
- Tajine: Tajine is a slow-cooked stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices, typically served with bread or couscous.
- Chakhchoukha: Chakhchoukha is a traditional Berber dish made from shredded flatbread that is soaked in a spicy tomato-based sauce and topped with meat, vegetables, and chickpeas.
- Merguez: Merguez is a spicy lamb or beef sausage that is popular in Algeria and throughout North Africa.
- Brik: Brik is a deep-fried pastry filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese.
- Harira: Harira is a hearty soup made with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices, often served during Ramadan.
- Makroudh: Makroudh is a sweet pastry made with dates and semolina, often served with mint tea.
- Mint tea: Mint tea is a popular beverage in Algeria, served with sugar and fresh mint leaves.
These are just a few of the many delicious dishes that you should try when visiting Algeria. Algeria has a rich culinary heritage and offers something for every taste and budget, whether you're looking for street food or upscale restaurants.
LGBTQ IN ALGERIA
WHERE TO STAY IN ALGERIA
When visiting Algeria for the first time, it's best to stay in one of the major cities that offer a variety of accommodation options and easy access to attractions and amenities. Here are a few options:
- Algiers: Algiers is the capital city of Algeria and has a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. It's also a great base for exploring the city's many attractions, including the Casbah and the Mediterranean coastline.
- Oran: Oran is a coastal city located in the western region of Algeria and is known for its vibrant music scene and beautiful colonial architecture. It has a range of accommodation options and is a great base for exploring the surrounding area, including the Tlemcen National Park and the town of Mostaganem.
- Constantine: Constantine is a historic city located in the eastern region of Algeria and is known for its beautiful bridges and ancient ruins. It has a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to upscale hotels, and is a great base for exploring the surrounding area, including the ancient Roman city of Timgad and the Ghoufi Canyon.
- Bejaia: Bejaia is a coastal city located in northern Algeria and is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant marketplaces. It has a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels, and is a great base for exploring the Kabylie region.
- Tamanrasset: Tamanrasset is a city located in southern Algeria and is known as the gateway to the Sahara desert. It has a range of accommodation options, including traditional Bedouin camps, and is a great base for exploring the desert and its many attractions, including the sand dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental and the Tassili N'Ajjer National Park.
Ultimately, where to stay in Algeria will depend on your travel style, interests, and budget. Regardless of where you choose to stay, it's important to do your research and book in advance, especially during peak travel season.
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