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World > Africa > Algeria

Algeria Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation

Traditional Moorish doorway
Moorish doorway

Any journey to Algeria will be rewarded by a fascinating insight into a remarkable country, rich in history and with amazing places to visit, but should still be undertaken with caution and with reference to the turbulent political situation which continues to threaten to curb the vast potential of tourism in the area. After all, here there are hundreds of miles of pristine beaches, snow-capped mountains, a vast desert and unique historical treasures just waiting to be discovered. The museums of Algiers tell of the history of this land, from its original Berber inhabitants, to its colonization by a succession of peoples, from the Romans to the Vandals, the Arabs to the corsairs of the Ottoman Empire. One of the most tangible and visible influences on Algerian culture is due to its colonization for over one hundred years by France.

Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa, covering the area from the Mediterranean coast deep into the hot Sahara and divided into two halves by the almighty Atlas Mountains. Tourists arriving in Algiers will be delighted by the dazzlingly beautiful setting of the cascading city overlooking Djazair Bay on the Mediterranean coast. It is a city worthy of exploration, the legendary Casbah being one of its richest treasures. Not far from the city, important archaeological sites include Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad, the first capital of the Hammadid empire and noted for its large mosque; Tipasa, a Phoenician and later Roman town; Djémila and Timgad, both Roman ruins.

Camel caravan going along the lake the Sahara Desert, Algeria.
Sahara Desert

The culinary experience in Algiers is equally surprising. There are certainly a whole range of international restaurants to suit all tastes, but on your stay it would be unthinkable to miss sampling the local specialities: tempting appetizers of yoghurt and salads with fresh herbs, or vegetable dishes heavy in olive oil; then rich couscous with lamb, sis kebap or stuffed aubergine and dolme, and sumptuous desserts of borek or baklava.

Further west along the coast in the lively Mediterranean city of Oran, Algeria’s party capital, enjoyment is fuelled by funky Algerian raï music. This cosmopolitan city, reputed to be liberal and easy-going, has a number of tourist sites dating mainly from the French and Spanish colonial period, and through ongoing investment has been able to sustain and improve and already burgeoning tourist industry based on an impressive range of accommodation, excellent beaches close at hand and great transport connections. This is the birthplace of Albert Camus, and the setting for many of his novels.

Away from the city, one of the big attractions to visitors is the opportunity to witness the Sahara close at hand, and discover the spirituality of the desert landscape. A desert trip can often be challenging physically, and a wide range of tours for the more and less intrepid, with experienced guides are available to ensure that lasting memories are only good ones. This undulating sea of sand hides medieval oasis cities, teeming market towns and acres upon acres of prehistoric cave paintings. The Tassili n’Ajjer mountain range is a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, significant not only for its impressive natural sandstone arches, but also for rare species of cypresses and Neolithic archaeological sites which have been discovered locally. The regions of Touat and Gourara which cover an area the size of France, are among the hottest places on Earth. There are oceans of sand dunes and ancient ‘foggara’ systems of water distribution via underground networks created originally by the Babylonians, Persians and Arabs and constructed here in the 10 th century.

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