With gorgeous beaches, spectacular mountain and desert landscapes, and fine classical ruins, Algeria is one of the “most alluring” destinations in the Mediterranean — and the fact that it sees very few foreign visitors only adds to its charm, says Rob Crossan in The Daily Telegraph.
- SEE MORE Trip of the week: Sri Lanka’s lush heart
- SEE MORE Trip of the week: fine dining and high culture in Mérida
The country’s FLN government relies on oil and gas for export revenue and has little interest in promoting tourism. There have also been “persistent safety concerns” since the civil war in the 1990s, but the FCO has long advised that most of the country is safe to visit. And unless you’re very unlucky, you’ll find heartwarming hospitality everywhere you go.
The capital, Algiers, is “fascinating,” with a cuisine that “rivals Beirut,” a history that “surpasses Valletta,” and a sunshine “that rivals Malaga.” And all just two hours and 40 minutes from Heathrow.
Algiers was founded in the 4th century BC. Founded as a Carthaginian trading post, Romans, Berbers, Arabs, Ottomans, Moors and French have “left their mark”. His kasbah is a maze of alleyways smelling of “incense, baguettes and diesel fumes” whose “high, peeling walls” bear murals of “fallen left-wing heroes”. Elsewhere there are French colonial boulevards, botanical gardens, “imitation Notre Dame” churches and a Beaux-Arts museum with works by Gauguin, Renoir and Monet.
A brief tour of the country could also include the charming seaside towns of Tipasa and Annaba and the remains of Roman cities such as Timgad and Djémila, where the museum houses “huge” mosaics with “loving” images of birds, lion hunts and horse races. Finally, there are the endless dunes of the Sahara, best reached via the oasis town of Taghit, with its ancient, mud-walled ksar (castle) and ‘highly stylized’ Neolithic rock art.
lupine trip (lupinetravel.co.uk) has a seven-day group tour for £845, including guide and meals, excluding flights and visa costs.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/956397/trip-of-the-week-an-intriguing-city-break-on-the-med Trip of the week: a fascinating city trip on the Mediterranean