A to Z of Algeria

Church in Oran overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is a vast country - the world's tenth largest nation, and although we have an extensive Mediterranean coastline, 90 per cent of our land is desert.

There are the towering dunes of the great eastern sand sea, the Grand Erg Oriental; the ochres, greens, blues and whites of the pentapolis town of Ghardaia and the "one-eyed women" of Beni Isguen; the thousand-domed city of El Oued with its extra-ordinary camel market; and the isolated, intoxicating tranquility of the deep south - whether it's Djanet and the Tassili or Arabic script in a tomb in Tlemcen Tamanrasset and the Hoggar.

But we are equally proud of the cultural treasures of our towns and cities... and perhaps even prouder of our UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Below you will find an alphabetical list of many of the sites that Expert Algeria visits in Algeria.

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One of the Mediterranean's most mesmerising cities, a captivating mélange of faded French grandeur and neo-Moorish folly crowned by a legendary casbah.
Rough coast off Annaba, northern Algeria
Famous for its colonial architecture, the rugged headland of Cap de Garde and the extensive ruins of St Augustine's Hippo Regius.
Beni Hammad
Flowers at Beni Hammad
Set in a mountainous site of extraordinary beauty, the ruins of the first capital of the Hammadid emirs provide an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city.
Beni Isguen
Beni Isguen is a highly religious settlement that has keenly preserved its ancient mores and architecture, which foreigners are kindly asked to respect.
Bridge in Constantine
Constantine, "Capital of Arab Culture", boasts an excellent museum as well as the delightful Palace of Ahmed Bey and a handful of undiscovered mosques.
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The oasis town of Biskra, famous for its Tolga dates, gives a first taste of the Sahara desert and was once a fortified outpost of the Roman empire.
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Djanet lies in the extreme south of the Sahara, a land of strange rock formations, huge dunes, ksars, oases, palm groves, gueltas and natural springs.
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One of the world's most beautiful Roman ruins, the streets of Djemila are lined with two fora and a clutch of elaborate houses, churches and temples.
El Oued
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The "city of a thousand domes" is one of the most bustling and colorful towns to be found anywhere in the Algerian Sahara - especially on market day!
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A remote canyon in the heart of the Sahara with sheer-sided cliffs, dense vegetation... and the crystal-clear waters of a desert stream.
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Four hundred miles south of Algiers, in a hostile natural environment, the Mozabites have managed to construct a society that is strict but close-knit, devout but not fundamentalist.
Hippo Regius
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The ruins of ancient Hippo Regius are among the most evocative in Algeria, stretching across a rolling site and overlooked by the colonial Basilica of St Augustine.
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To climb to the peak of Assekrem in the Hoggar desert as night falls is to witness one of the Algerian Sahara's most beautiful sunsets.
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Ancient Lambaesis boasts a Temple of Aesculapius, a fine Capitolium, a set of baths, an Arch of Severus and the praetorium of the Third Augustan Legion
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The M'Zab, located nearly four hundred miles south of the capital Algiers and 750 miles north of Tamanrasset, capital of the Hoggar, is the absolute center of the desert.
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The little-known ruins of Madauros were once the home of Apuleius, author of the bawdy Golden Ass, include a Roman mausoleum and a vast Byzantine fortress.
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Relaxed, dynamic and Mediterranean, Oran is the home of Rai, Yves Saint Laurent and a strong Spanish population, with some fine colonial architecture.
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A canyon between the mountains and desert lined with gardens of fruit and palm trees, a wadi and houses built into the rock face.
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From the rock arches, gueltas and immense dunes of Tadrart, to the ancient kingdom of the M'Zab, the vast expanses of the Algerian Sahara intoxicate every visitor.
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Once visited by the explorer Isabelle Eberhardt and the naturalist Théodore Monod, the Tadrart is dotted with gueltas, pre-historic rock paintings, strange rock formations and virgin dunes.
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The desert town of Taghit is known for its mountainous dunes and 11th century ksar. Close by are the rock carvings of Tahtania, perhaps up to 20,000 years old.
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The Tuareg capital of "Tam" is close to the massive volcanic field of Atakor, the jagged Saharan peak of Tizouyag and the guelta of Afilal.
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Algeria's mountainous Tassili region is distinguished by its towering dunes of sand, its sheer-sided canyons and its beguiling "forests of rock".
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The frontier town of Tebessa boasts some impressive Roman ruins as well as a colorful old French market and a warren of animated streets.
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Tiddis clings in splendid isolation to the side of an ochre mountain just outside Constantine, and boasts all the trappings of a Roman town in miniature.
Roman theatre at Timgad
Timgad, the "Pompeii of Africa", was constructed under Trajan as a defense against the Berbers and still represents the acme of Roman urban planning.
Palm trees in Timimoun
Deep in the Grand Erg Occidental, an enchanting oasis of red mud buildings studded with wooden spikes and surrounded by ancient villages.
Ruins at Tipasa
Mediterranean Tipasa, once such an inspiration to Albert Camus, houses Phoenician, Roman, paleo-Christian and Byzantine remains.
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Tlemcen was once one of the most powerful cities in the Maghreb, and its Grand Mosque remains one of North Africa's most significant Islamic landmarks.