Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Plus likes


Extraordinarily diverse landscapes – from the sea across the mountains to the desert
Good quality roads with regular upkeep and maintenance, which aid in quick travel
Fine architectural remains from the French colonial period
Many date palms, and the best dates are grown here (Gedlet Nour)

The ruins of Balcons de Ghoufi, an abandoned city in a superbly atmospheric canyon location
Many ruins from the Roman period – sometimes even whole ruined cities remain, covering large areas, and can still be visited today
We travelled as part of a tour group, so we had continual police protection, which was very reassuring
Very few tourists visit Algeria, so the locals were very curious and interested

The food is excellent, with a rich blend of spices

Low prices make Algeria an attractive destination


-----------------------------


The country is very diverse and has some wonderful landscapes. You can go from the beach, across the high mountains, and right to the edge of the Sahara Desert. Like the landscape, the local economy is also very varied. Alger, for instance, is a big, expanding city, where they’re in the process of building the third largest mosque in the world.


Travelling deeper into the countryside, by contrast, you come across more and more ruined houses and trash. In addition, there’s a lot of construction work going on – Algeria’s population has quadrupled in the last forty years, and they all need somewhere to live. This means that development in the country is generally concerned with the necessities of life, and they’re less focused on the comfort of tourists. This makes it a wonderful destination for travelers looking to escape from mass tourism and find a unique, special destination.


For me the desert was the most interesting part, even if we only saw the very edge of that enormous expanse. Within a few kilometers the plans disappear, and the red, fertile earth gives way. In the space of a single day we saw snowy mountains and the barren sands of the desert.

One other surprise was the sheer number of Roman ruins in Algeria. We hadn’t expected so many, and in their scale and impressiveness they can compete with any of the more famous sites in Europe.


We didn’t meet many street vendors, but we were at least able to buy some ceramics. We got some very beautiful dishes at an extremely good price, and they’re ideal for cooking tagine or couscous. I’d

recommend exploring the local markets, and seeking out in particular the olives, baguettes and herbs. (2017)

Algeria - Algiers - f.a. photo

Algeria - Algiers - f.a. photo

Practicals

Transport

x

Algeria - train travel

Algeria - Algiers - city buses - s.v. photo

Food

x

Algeria - local dish with mutton

Shopping

x

Algeria - fruit vendors - s.v. photo

Algeria - men and the sheep - s.v. photo

Public safety

x

Algeria - police

Background

Algeria - national flag

Destination in brief

Algeria in brief
 
Algeria, an Arab country located is in the eastern part of North Africa, is one of the so-called Maghreb countries (the others being Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia). Neighbors: Morocco (northwest), Tunisia (northeast), Libya (east), Mauritania, Mali, Niger (south). Algeria has a long coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.

Size: 2,382,000 km² (919,600 mi²) – The Sahara desert covers 80% of Algeria’s land area - Algeria is the largest country in Africa

Capital city: Algiers – 2.7 million – The city has a metro system.

Population (2020): 43.6 million - Algerians generally identify as being of combined Arab and Berber ancestry - Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of the North African littoral – Most Berbers look like Europeans
Only 12% of Algeria’s land area is inhabited. The northern coastal area is home to 90% of the population.
Women in Algeria, unlike those in most other Muslim nations, make up 60% of the student population. They also have considerable prominence in society as 70% of Algeria’s lawyers and 60% of its judges are women. Algerian women make a larger contribution to household income than their male counterparts!

Language: The official languages are Arabic and Tamazight (Berber) -– About 25% of the population speaks Berber - French is widely spoken  - Many Algerians speak a colloquial Arabic that mixes an Algerian dialect of Arabic and French.

Religion: 98% Sunni Muslims – Islam is the official religion – it is forbidden to promote any other religion.

Political system: republic, multi-party democracy, presidential system

Algeria was a French colony between 1830 and 1962.

Currency: Algerian dinar (DZD)

Average net monthly salary: 270 USD (2020)

The national dish of Algeria is couscous, often served with lamb, chicken and/or cooked vegetables.

Most common surname: Saidi

Safety: The bigger cities are pretty safe for tourists, thanks to the strong police presence, but the border areas are hazardous.

Optimal timing for a tourist visit: May-September, November-April for tours in the Sahara

Top tourist attractions:
The Old Town (Kasbah) of Algiers, Djémila and other ancient Roman cities, Beni Hammad Fort, M'zab Valley, city of Ghardaia, the oasis of Djanet and Tassili N’Ajjer
Useful to know: 
Traditionally when you have a meal at an Algerian home, you should leave a little of your food on the plate at the end as it shows your host was able to amply feed you.

Algeria culturally is not profoundly connected to the Arab nations. Algeria is more blended to Moroccan, Turkish, Tunisian, and French culture. Some Greek, Italian, and Spanish influence are also traceable. The Arab aspect mainly exists by the Islamic doctrines, the language, the historical ties, slightly by genetics.

Geography

x

Algeria - salt lake Chott el Jerid - salt crystals - s.v. photo

History

The people of Algeria are originally Amazigh (Berber). In 670 AD  Arabs immigrated to Northern Algeria, and while initially there were small tribal wars against the Arabs, finally a coexistence prevailed.  

Algeria was a French colony between 1830-1962.

Nowadays


Algeria seems to decide it didn’t need revenue from tourism, nor agriculture. The economy was entirely geared towards oil, gas, and industries. As a consequence, few hotels were built if at all in places that could accommodate tourists.

Algeria - Algiers -f.a. photo

People

Most of the Algerians harbor negatíve feelings (racism) about Black people, about Africans South of Sahara. People (especially in the North) are only hospitable to light-skinned visitors.

Familial bonds (as in 'family') are so strong that real friendships scarcely exist: tittle-tattle, insincerity, and backbite are the norms. (It's not like Algerian families are perfect or anything; broken families are not uncommon.)

If you follow any religion other than Sunni Islam, you are an enemy, even thou traitor, though most Algerians are Muslims by birth, they hardly know or practice their religion. If you show tolerance towards others, you’d be disliked and may be called Atheist, Christian or whatever...

Algerians talk loudly, and foreigners often mistake it as quarreling.



Algiers - father and son - s.v. photo

Algiers - locals - s.v. photo

Algiers - ladies - s.v. photo

Algeria - kids guys who, of course, get used to the mess of the street environment - s.v. photo

Algeria - old man - s.v. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Many Algerians feel somewhat offended if a foreigner emphasizes Algeria being an Arab country. These locals prefer to hear that Algeria is a Maghreb country.

2. Don't admit that you are an atheist when asked about your religion. Thuswise you can avoid some inconvenient reactions. 

3. Do not drink alcohol, even if you are offered it. Instead, ask for fruit juice or mineral water. This will be positively noticed.

4. Avoid all physical contact (pat on the shoulder, arm, etc.). That is only accepted in a very close friendly relationship. But it will take a long time for the Algerian to feel confident with a foreigner.

Gastronomy

Algerian cuisine is a mix of Arab, Amazigh, Turkish, French, Italian, Egyptian and Spanish.

Attractions

Algiers

Algiers - traffic - in the background The Great Mosque (or Djama’a al-Kebir) - s.v. photo

Algiers - seafront - s.v. photo

Algiers - Kasbah - s.v. photo

Algiers - Belle Epoque architecture - s.v. photo

Kairouan

Algeria - Kairouan - medina - s.v. photo

Algeria - Kairouan - Great Mosque - s.v. photo

Sfax

Algeria - Sfax - City Hall - s.v. photo

Related posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *