Algeria is a North African country with a Mediterranean coastline and a Saharan desert interior. Many empires have left legacies here, such as the ancient Roman ruins in seaside Tipaza. In the capital, Algiers, Ottoman landmarks like circa-1612 Ketchaoua Mosque line the hillside Casbah quarter, with its narrow alleys and stairways. The city’s Neo-Byzantine basilica Notre Dame d’Afrique dates to French colonial rule
Algiers is the capital city in Algeria and has an estimated population of around 3,500,000. The city was founded by the Ottomans and is rife with history and beautiful architecture. The ancient Casbah is a winding urban maze, with streets flowing through the old town like streams. Also worth exploring is the Dar Hassan Pacha, which was once the city’s most decedent mansion. The interior of the house has been under renovation since 2005 and is unfortunately closed to the public. The city of Algiers offers visitors from the west a stark and beautiful contrast and an intriguing glimpse into the past, present and future of Algeria.
Oran is the second city of Algeria, it is a lively port city with heaps of character and beauty. Oran is an attraction in its own right and has historical buildings plenty to explore including beautiful mosques, the Casbah and Le Theatre. The range of beautiful architecture is possibly the best of any city in Algeria. Oran is also a great place for scuba diving, sampling Algerian cuisine and listening to lively Rai music which has its origins in the city. Despite many positive reasons to visit the city there are also many signs of the country’s political troubles in the 90s are visible in Oran. The city filled novelist Albert Camus with so much dread that he based his novel ‘The Plague’ here.
Constantine is a natural marvel that has transformed over the years into a stunning spot for tourists. The city was the Capital of Numidia and after that Roman Numidia and it goes without saying that politics and power have always played a part here. The majority of buildings in the city can only be reached by crossing the bridge across a large canyon. This gives the city a feeling of fantasy that has been retained since the time of the Romans. Despite the unique way the city looks, and its astonishing history, there is not much to see here in terms of attraction and tourists may find that a couple of days here is enough.
Another of Algeria’s cities which was founded by the Romans, Setif is situated in the Little Kabylie region of Algeria and is over 1,100 meters above sea level. The roman ruins here are well worth taking time to study. In addition to the Romans, the French have also left their mark on the city. Sights in the city include the main square with its Roman sculptures. Tourists are a fairly rare sight in this city which for some may be a reason to visit and see the ‘real Algeria’ far from the beaten track but it does have its disadvantages and western tourists should exercise caution.
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I have travelled with Fly bagna a lot and I find that they provide consistently high quality trips. The itineraries are very well thought out. The accommodation is always in hotels that are well positioned and in keeping with the area. The tour leaders are always knowledgeable and helpful. Also during the disruption of COVID I have found team Fly bagna responsive and reasonable in the way that they have handled cancellations and bookings.
I have recently made a provisional booking for a trip with Fly bagna in December 2020. I have very specific dietary requirements and although it may be some time before we know if the trip is viable, the agent could not have been more supportive and encouraging at this stage.