Algeria is one of the largest countries in Africa and is among the world leaders in oil and natural gas production. It offers tourists a mix of beautiful coastline, picturesque mountains and unique desert landscapes. The Algerian urban centers are a combination between eastern, western and southern atmosphere. Algeria combines European orderliness, Asian color and African friendliness. Algeria is one of the developed and rich countries of the continent. Few countries in Africa could be compared with Algeria in terms of health and education system.
Geographic location, boundaries and size of Algeria. Algeria is located in northwest Africa. This is the second largest country on the continent after Sudan and 11th in the world. Occupies an area of 2,381,471 sq. km. It is bordered by Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Tunisia. To the north it has a wide outlet to the Mediterranean.
Algeria is located between 18 and 37° north latitude and between 8° west longitude and 11° east longitude, or on both sides of the Greenwich meridian.
Relief of Algeria. Algeria has a varied topography. Northern and south-eastern areas are mostly mountainous. Along the Mediterranean coast lie the famous Atlas Mountains. In southeastern Algeria is located Mount Hoggar, where you will find the highest peak in Algeria.
This is Tahat Peak, which rises to about 3003 meters above sea level. In central Algeria in the middle of the Sahara Desert is located Tademait plateau.
It separates the flat lands to the southwest and the lands with the lowest altitude in northeast Algeria. The coastline of the country is slightly indented.
There are very few bays and peninsulas and most of them are not very deep cut into the sea and drought. In larger bays have arisen and have developed the largest cities in the country, including the capital Algiers.
Climate of Algeria. Algeria falls into the borders of two climatic zones. The northern-most parts of the country have very nice, sunny and warm subtropical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers.
The Atlas Mountains play the role of climatic barrier and protect the Mediterranean coast of hot air masses coming from the Sahara Desert. South of the Atlas Mountains country falls in the tropical climate zone.
It covers almost the entire territory of Algeria. The climate is extremely dry and hot throughout the year and rainfall is rare event. Temperatures vary a lot in the country. In Algiers, located on the Mediterranean coast temperatures are between 15°C in January and 30°C August.
However, in the city Borj Mokhtar, which is located in the southern Algerian Sahara desert temperature ranges from 26°C in January to 43 – 44°C in July, but sometimes it might reach even 50°C!
Waters of Algeria. In terms of water wealth the country is divided into two parts. On one side are the northern and mountainous areas, giving “life” of multiple short and fast-flowing rivers.
They flow from the high mountain areas where fall more rain and snow. On the other hand is the desert south of the Sahara where are almost no rivers.
The only exceptions are some small desert oases or small-sized springs amidst the rocks in the desert. Small desert rivers occur sometimes after heavy rain. An interesting fact is that in mountainous areas of northern Algeria there is a large number of salt lakes.
Population of Algeria. Algeria has a population of about 33,000,000 people, nearly all of whom are Muslims. Christians and Jews are about 1% of the total population. Most of the inhabitants of Algeria are Berbers and Arabs. Population is extremely unevenly distributed in the territory.
The large cities are located in the northern coastal areas, while to the south the vast desert areas are almost uninhabited. The largest cities in Algeria are the capital Algiers (about 3,500,000 people), Oran (over 2,000,000 people), Constantine (about 800,000) and Annaba (almost 400,000).
The official languages of Algeria are two – Arabic and French (which is among the most popular and widely used languages on the African continent).
Economy of Algeria. Algeria is among the developed and rich African countries. Here the standard of living is much lower than in western Europe, but much higher than in most countries on the continent.
Most important for the country’s economy are mining and export of oil and natural gas, and industries such as agriculture and tourism. In Algeria are grown date palm, citrus crops, vineyards, olives and other thermophilic fruits and vegetables.
The mild climate and beautiful shores favor the development of marine tourism. In the Atlas Mountains is developed winter tourism and opportunities for skiing in winter are very good.
Tourism in Algeria
Coast of Algeria is typically Mediterranean. It is covered with warm and dry-loving subtropical vegetation, which is represented mainly by herbaceous and shrub species, citrus trees, olive trees, date palm etc. Algeria is not as popular tourist destination as its neighbours Tunisia and Morocco.
However, the country offers great opportunities for tourism, especially along the coast. The Mediterranean shore has always attracted visitors with its beautiful beaches and plenty of sunlight.
One of the most attractive parts of the Algerian coast you will find in Zeralda – suburb, located in western parts of the metropolitan agglomeration.
Sahara Desert. It is important to know however, that the coast is a very small part of everything that is worth seeing. Desert interior of Algeria is also attractive.
Here you can see Sahara desert spread in its full beauty and splendor. Huge dunes of golden sand rise to about 20, 30 and in some places even 50 meters in height! Amidst the dry landscape of the desert rises Ridge Tassili Nadjer.
Because of its natural beauty the site was declared a national park. Erosion has shaped a true work of art. Sun, wind and water together have created something really worth seeing – rock towers and rounded boulders amidst the nothing.
They rise above a lifeless desert landscape of southeastern Algeria. These boulders attract tourists, hungry for something unprecedented and unusual, tourists for who lying on a beautiful beach is no longer object of interest.
Salt lakes are a typical feature of the region of North Africa. Especially popular are the lakes on the territory of Algeria and neighbouring Tunisia. The biggest and most popular as a tourist destination is the Melrir Lake.
It is located in northeast Algeria, among the sands of Sahara desert, south of the Atlas Mountains. This lake is located below sea level and is supplied with water from seasonal rivers flowing only during the rainy season. During periods of prolonged drought the lake dries up completely.
Chrea National Park is one of the most beautiful places within the Atlas Mountains. Because of its altitude, the park is a good solution if you are looking for a way to avoid the summer heat, covering the coastal areas of Algeria.
During the winter months here is sometimes heavy snow fall, as the climate is generally cooler. Chrea National Park is covered with coniferous forests.
Here you will have the opportunity to meet an interesting kind of monkey, which nowadays is threatened with extinction – the Barbary macaque.
Oasis Ulad Said is one of the largest and most beautiful in the Algerian share of Sahara desert. Located in the northwestern parts of the country. The landscape looks like in the novels.
Around the endless desert, under the relentlessly sun, suddenly amidst sand dunes appears beautiful grove of date palm. It issues the presence of fresh water. The oasis is the reason for the existence of nearby town of Timimon.
Local residents are mainly occupied in agriculture, which in other circumstances would be impossible in the region. Ulad Said has become such an important tourist destination, even in the vicinity are established hotels that rely entirely on the influx of tourists coming to catch a glimpse of the oasis.
Roman ruins in Tipasa. In addition to its beautiful scenery, Algeria attracts also with its past and impressive historic monuments. Like in all the countries of the Mediterranean, here you will find many sights worth visiting.
Many places in Algeria are under the auspices of UNESCO, and numerous monuments in the country date back even before Roman times. One of the most important areas in this regard is the small coastal town Tipasa.
The ruins remained here since the time of ancient Rome talk about the European past of Algeria. They are located in the northeast of the city and are considered as one of the most important sights of this beautiful African country.
M’Zab Valley is among the most exciting places for tourism across North Africa. This is a flat desert area where you will find several settlements, among which are the well known Ghardaia and Bounoura.
This small ancient desert agglomeration dates from the 10th century. What impresses most here is the amazing architecture in combination with extremely well adapted lifestyle to the harsh local conditions.
In practice, at noon here is impossible to meet people outside, as the murderous heat can reach 50°C!
During the remaining hours of the day (morning and evening) on the extremely narrow streets there are many people who use the cooler hours to do some work. M’zab Valley is a part of the list of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1982.
Algiers is an incredible city, to which must set aside enough time. You will be pleasantly charmed by the combination of different cultures.
The city is very large, modern and looks like a strange mix of European, African and Arab city. The reason lies in the fact that here meet together cultures from three continents.
Besides the Roman influence in these lands, we should mention also France, which ruled Algeria until 1962. For this reason, the local Arab culture is significantly modified. The Algerian capital offers many cultural and culinary opportunities for entertainment, like many other big western cities.
What is the best time for tourism in Algeria? To a large extent the answer depends on which part of the country you wish to visit.
For example, south of the Atlas Mountains the most pleasant time of year for tourism are winter months from October to April when temperatures are most pleasant. Along the country, however, climate conditions are quite different.
In the northern parts of the country (including the capital Algiers) offers the best conditions for tourism during May, June, September and October.
What clothes to wear for tourism in Algeria? If you are planning to travel around the Sahara desert have to wear very light clothing conformable to the high temperatures.
However, clothing should possibly protect you from the strong tropical sunlight. Choose bright and airy robes and fabrics. North of the Atlas Mountains you have to comply with the winter season.
From November to April, you have to wear a thin jacket, and clothes with long sleeves. It is good also to take in case something as for warm spring weather, because sometimes it is quite warm even in winter.
For summer season from early May to late October summer clothes are best. It is required to wear enough sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat as the African sun can be strong even during the winter months.
Additional information: Official currency – Algerian Dinar *** Polity – republic *** Algeria is among the five richest countries in natural gas in the world *** Algeria is among the top three countries in Africa in oil extraction*** Algeria is a right-hand-drive country*** Algeria is a former French colony*** It gained its independence in 1962 ***The Independence Day of Algeria is November 1st***