Algeria attracts few visitors, yet despite its harsh past, it offers a striking beauty. There are countless points of interest, from the capital city to the neighboring areas and towns. Even better, the nation is home to seven magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are listed below. Don’t forget to include them on your itinerary.
When even UNESCO names Djemila as one of the most stunning Roman ruins in the entire world, there is no disputing that the place is spectacular. Unquestionably one of the most important places in North Africa, Djemila is located in the Setif-adjacent highlands. It is the location of old Cuicul, with its spectacular wheel-rutted roads, two fora, and ornate churches, homes, and temples. Not to be missed is the museum in Djemila, which features beautiful mosaics on its walls.
Even though Algiers is frequently disregarded by tourists, it is still fascinating. The city’s art deco architecture is exuberant and amusing, wonderfully fusing French opulence with neo-Moorish folly. The famed casbah there, which Le Corbusier called “a marvel of architecture and town planning,” is the cherry on top. With its fabled labyrinths and numerous dwellings perched on the slope, the casbah is undoubtedly an intriguing location.
Ghardaia & Beni Isguen
Ghardaia, a captivating Saharan village listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the M’zab Valley, is a short flight from busy Algiers. The beautiful walled town of Beni Isguen, where ladies only dress in white, is a must to see. The so-called “four-fingered mosque, the market square, the historic centre of Ghardaia, the tombs of the regional religious leaders, and lastly a date farm with a sophisticated traditional irrigation system are further features.
Who wouldn’t want to imagine themselves strolling along the Mediterranean Sea in peace and calm surrounded by lovely palm trees? Such a location formerly served as an inspiration for Albert Camus. There is a lot to see for those who enjoy ancient history, from Phoenician to Paleo-Christian ruins to Roman and Byzantine ones. And it doesn’t stop there. A Mauritanian mausoleum, a historic basilica, and the largest Christian building in the area are also present.
Think again if you believed that Italy was the only country that could claim a city like Pompeii. Timgad is unquestionably Africa’s Pompeii. It is a masterwork of Roman urban planning and was constructed under Emperor Trajan in the year 100 AD as defence against the disruptive Berbers. Even now, centuries later, this colonial settlement in Algeria’s Aurès Mountains continues to represent the grid plan, a crucial component of Roman urban design.
The initial capital established by the Hammamid emirs in 1007 is still in ruins in Beni Hammad. Regrettably, it was destroyed in 1152. However, this breathtaking mountainous location continues to offer one of the most accurate depictions of Muslim fortification. It is one of the most precisely dated enormous complexes of the Islamic civilization and a fascinating one. The mosque, which has a prayer space with 13 aisles, is the second-largest mosque in Algeria after Mansourah. Its minaret is the second-oldest in the world. This location, which must have been magnificent in its heyday, is a superb representation of Hammad civilisation, conventional architecture, and a local culture of several palaces.
Djanet and the Tassili
In addition to its towering sand dunes, ancient ksars, vertical walled gorges, oasis, natural springs, palm groves, and other attractions, Djanet is a lovely setting. It is located in the rugged Tassili region of southeast Algeria, close to the Niger border. Tassili, which translates to “plateau of the rivers” in Arabic, is a natural museum with more than 15,000 incredible rock carvings and paintings that show prehistoric animals including giraffes, crocodiles, and cattle.