The largest country in Africa can hardly be considered a hidden tourist gem but if you want an authentic North African experience then there is nowhere else to look. The majority of the population and cities live on the Mediterranean coast and there is plenty to enjoy in the North of the country. Roman ruins, Ottoman souks and colonial architecture are all there to be explored but the highlight of any trip to Algeria is to dive into the Sahara. The sheer variety of desert landscape in the Tadrat Rouge and Tassili N’Ajjer NP combined with the desert towns of Djanet, Ghardaia or Timimoun feels like stepping back into the traditional life of the Tuareg and Berber people that is slowly disappearing.

VISAS

Visas are required for entry into Algeria and must be obtained before travel. Speak to the Untamed Borders team for further details.

WEATHER

Desert climate. Hot all year round, particularly dry in summer, winters are mild.

MONEY

The currency is the Algerian Dinar. ATMs are that accept international cards rare even in the cities and do not always work. Dollars or Euros can be exchanged in country and will often get a far better exchange rate than the official rate. For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com

ELECTRICITY

Two prong European style sockets (type C and F).

WIFI

Guesthouses and hotels in Algeries have good Wifi. In the southern desert areas it is very patchy.

FOOD

Algerian dishes many shared traits with other North African cuisines. Bread, meats (lamb, beef or poultry), oil, vegetables and fresh herbs are the staples creating salads, soups, tajines and sauce-based dishes. Not forgetting Couscous – the national dish.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol is rarely consumed in Algeria and is frowned upon by the majority of the population. It can be found in selective bars and reataurants in big cities but almost never inland. Algeria does produce it’s own beer and wine in small quantities.

LANGUAGE

Arabic and Berber are the national languages. French is widely spoken and understood. English is unlikely to be spoken outside of major cities.

RELIGION

Islam. Sunni.

DRESS CODE

Algeria is an Islamic country and as a general rule, less conservative on the coast than inland. Men should wear long trousers. Women should wear loose-fitting clothes covering their arms and legs. Women should also bring a headscarf to wear at mosques or in villages inland.

SAFTEY & SECURITY

The FCO advises all but essential travel to Algeria. Contact us for information on how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff

RECOMMENDED READING

Algeria:Anger of the Dispossed – Martin Evans & John Phillips
What the Day Owes the Night – Yasmina Khadra
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Fantasia – Assia Djebar

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