Tourism in Algeria is still discreet. However, this country of the Maghreb is so diversified, it has everything to please. Its vast territory includes large desert areas, mountainous massifs and an urban dynamic with the cities of Algiers, Constantine and Oran. Here are 5 must-see sites to visit during a stay in Algeria.
1 – The Basilica of Our Lady of Africa in Algiers
On the heights of Algiers, in the commune of Bologhine, stands a sublime place of Christian worship: the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa. Built on a promontory 124 meters above the sea, it offers a breathtaking view of the neighborhoods of Bab El Oued, Bologhine and the cemetery of Saint Eugene. Built in 1872 in a style with Byzantine, Roman and Mozarabic influences, the basilica attracts nearly 100,000 pilgrims each year. Christians and Muslims meet in the heart of this building renovated in 2003, after a violent earthquake. A site not to be missed in Algeria, symbol of openness and tolerance.
2 – The Djanet oasis in the Algerian Sahara
Algeria is also wild desert landscapes. If you go to the southwest of the Tassili n’Ajjer mountain range, you will discover the Djanet oasis which has about 40,000 palm trees. A lush vegetation embracing rock formations and sand dunes. The opportunity to explore also the massif and its archaeological sites listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1982. An open-air museum, a major attraction of tourism in Algeria!
3 – The city of Constantine
Any stay in Algeria deserves a stop in Constantine. Founded by the Phoenicians, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. Today, it has more than 448 000 inhabitants and is the 3rd most important city in the country. There are many activities to do in Constantine: stroll through the shopping streets of the medina, visit the Cirta museum or admire the Dey’s palace known for having welcomed the writer Guy de Maupassant, the painter Horace Vernet and the Duke of Nemours.
4 – Oran, “radiant city” of Algeria
Nicknamed the “Radiant City”, Oran is one of the most beautiful cities in Algeria. Facing the Big Blue, it reveals itself along the streets, between heritage and modernity. So what are the sites not to be missed? The fort of Santa Cruz perched on the hill of Aïdour at 430 meters above sea level, the Hassan Pacha mosque and the Jardin Citadin Méditérranéen. The identity of the city also vibrates to the notes of rai music and some celebrities who were born there, such as Albert Camus and Yves Saint Laurent.
5 – The Hoggar mountain range
If you like excursions and hikes, head for the Hoggar. Located in the south of Algeria, this mountain range of the Sahara is essentially made of volcanic rocks. A striking landscape, punctuated with crystal clear water basins, acacias and rock paintings left by millenary civilizations. The highest plateau is Atakor, at about 2000 meters above sea level. One of the most beautiful points of the massif, where the shapes and colors are particularly amazing.