The Hidden Gem of North Africa: Discovering Algeria

Among the faded Ottoman palaces, domed mosques, and crumbling architecture of the Kasbah in a North African country, the smell of baking baguettes mingled with sweet mint tea. Roaming through its tight turns and steep passageways lined with fortress-like houses, the labyrinth core of a city founded by a Berber prince on Roman ruins in the 10th century AD, reveals a complex history.

The French colonial rule left its mark on the city, bulldozing large parts of the Kasbah and replacing traditional architecture with a European Quarter. However, the city still retains its unique charm with a mix of Mediterranean and Islamic influences. With its recent visa-on-arrival scheme, the country is more accessible to travelers, offering wonders such as desert petroglyphs and Roman ruins that rival those in Italy.

Exploring further beyond the capital city of Algiers, a drive west leads to a Mediterranean coastline settled by Phoenicians in the 6th century BC. The archaeological ruins of Tipaza, once home to wealthy Roman merchants, overlook turquoise waters, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich history.

Venturing into the Sahara desert, visitors can experience the mirage-like landscapes of red sand and oasis towns like Taghit, where Arab nomads have frequented for centuries. Despite its past challenges in attracting foreign visitors, Algeria is slowly opening up to tourists with new visa schemes and tour packages that showcase the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage.

From Roman ruins to desert adventures, Algeria offers a unique travel experience that is waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in North Africa. So, pack your bags and explore the hidden gem of North Africa before it becomes the next tourist hotspot.

[Detailed biography about Richard Collett goes here…]