Join YPT and make your first tour of the year exploring Africa’s largest and least visited country in North Africa. Although Algeria is most commonly compared to other French-speaking nations in North Africa – it is far from being exposed to mass tourism like its neighbours Morocco and Tunisia. Algeria is one of the hardest to reach countries of Africa mostly because of the difficult tourist visa process which we here at YPT provide full visa support simplifying and guaranteeing your visa for you.
During your adventure with us you’ll experience Algeria through its history beginning with the Roman Empire, onto the contemporary Muslim movements, French occupation and the local resistance that lead to Algeria’s independence. If you’ve not seen the film Battle of Algiers, we recommend it and we’ll be looking around the Martyr’s Museum, a rival to North Korea’s War Museum.
Whilst Algeria is large we will be covering a lot of land by exploring the incredibly preserved ancient Roman ruins of Djemila, visiting the majestic ‘City of Bridges’ of Constantine, and boarding a domestic flight to the mysterious traditional villages of Ghardaia – the gateway to the Sahara, with every day bringing you a variety of different unique experiences.
Arrive at your convenience into Algiers – the capital city of Algeria which is well connected from many countries within Africa and most of Europe.
Pre-tour meeting will be held at the lobby of Hotel Samir at 6:00pm to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers and YPT guide.
Dinner at Arabesquer restaurant – here you have the chance to sample generous portions of Palestinian and Syrian dishes.
Explore the nightlife of Algiers
Overnight in Hotel Samir
Monday 10th January – Algiers
Breakfast at hotel and head out for a full day tour exploring the best sights of Algiers. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as the majority of the tour will be conducted on foot as our vehicle will be unable to reach some areas due to the narrow roads of the capital.
Explore the Notre Dame d’Afrique, translated into English as ‘Our Lady of Africa’ – built in 1872, this Catholic basilica is a vital piece of Algerian history as it further details the French presence in colonial times with spectacular views of the city below.
Drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of Kasbah of Algiers – remains of the citadel, mosques and Ottoman-style palaces dating back to the 10th century. As you explore the winding streets gives a true sense of an Algerian experience.
Visit Martyrs’ Square – a massive iconic monument erected to commemorate the sacrifice of those who fought for the independence of Algeria.
Stop by Palais des Rais – also known as Bastion 23, it is one of the last standing examples of the Kasbah and a masterpiece of Moorish architecture. Once Algeria achieved its independence, the palace was occupied by beggars and reopened as a museum in 1994.
Visit the Dar Khedaoudj el Amia – a museum displaying Algerian art, rugs, jewellery, pottery and traditional outfits.
Walk along the peniche with stunning views of the bay of Algiers. Here we’ll head downtown, stopping by the Grande Poste or Central Post Office, an important building during the French period.
Lunch at a local restaurant sampling Algerian flatbread and stews
Take a ride on Algiers subway – the subway formally opened during the 1980s but faced many closures due to financial issues and the civil war. It reopened in 2011.
Stopping at the Botanical Garden Hamma which opened in 1832, we’ll continue onwards on cable car to the Martyr’s Museum.
Visit Martyr’s Museum – the museum which is in itself an important piece of Algiers landscape, is any political history buff’s dream. If you’ve been to the Pyongyang Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum, it would be easy to imagine the vibe here. This museum depicts Algeria’s struggle against the French colonialists.
Continue back down the cable car and stopping at Algeria’s National Fine Arts Museum
Dinner at Caracoyo restaurant. An upscale restaurant where those interested can have a taste of Algeria’s homegrown wine.
Overnight at Hotel Samir.
Tuesday 11th January – Algiers – Djémila – Constantine
Breakfast and check-out of hotel, and drive 3 hours to the Roman ruins of Djémila stopping for photos along the way.
Tour highlight – Explore the ruins Djémila city, formerly known as Cuicul. This incredibly well preserved ruin is what’s left of an ancient Roman colony dating from the 1st century AD. It is known as one of the world’s most beautiful Roman ruins and its state of preservation truly allows us to picture what life was like at that time.
Visit the local museum nearby to grasp a further understanding of the ancient Roman city
Lunch at restaurant nearby the ruins
Continue your adventure on the road and drive to the city of Constantine – Algeria’s third largest city. Along the way for refreshments and photos for an early evening arrival.
Dinner at Igherssan Restaurant – here you’ll have a great view of Constantine’s famous cliffs and bridges at night.
Experience Constantine’s nightlife.
Overnight in hotel at Constantine
Wednesday 12th January – Constantine – Ghardaia
Breakfast at hotel and head out for a day of exploring Constantine. Referred to as the City of Bridges, it is truly a sight to behold. Houses built on cliffs are interconnected with stone bridges, something that seems right out of Lord of the Rings.
Visit Ahmed Bey Palace – the palace was completed in 1835, two years before the fall of Constantine into the French occupation. The Algerian military moved in after independence and is now opened for visitors.
Explore the ruins of the Antonian Roman aqueduct that supplied water from outside sources into the city used mostly for public baths and households.
Visit the Abd al Hamid Ben Badis Mosque – Abdelhamid Ben Badis is an important figure of the Islamic Reform Movement in Algeria and a great influence on Algerian Muslim politics up to the Algerian War of Independence. Our local guide will share his impression and more information during your visit.
Tour highlight – walking across the Sidi M’Cid Bridge – this 164 meters long suspension bridge was a feat of engineering when it first opened to the public in 1912. Until 1929 it was the highest bridge in the world hanging 175 meters above the Rhummel River.
Explore Sidi Rached Bridge – the second most important bridge of Constantine. This impressive viaduct bridge was built in 1912. It spans 447 meters with a total of 27 arches.
Lunch at the traditional restaurant El Khaima.
Visit the Cirta Museum – collections of ancient Berber and Roman findings from excavations
Board a late afternoon flight to Ghardaia, the gateway of the Sahara. Located 600km south of Algiers.
Once arriving we’ll check-in to our hotel to refresh
Dinner nearby and explore the nightlight of Ghardaia.
Overnight in Ghardaia
Thursday 13th January – Ghardaia
Breakfast at hotel and explore the wonders of Ghardaia – a city located in the desert with its own unique traditions and characteristics, very different from anywhere else in Algeria and it the rest of the world.
Drive to M’zab Valley – a UNESCO world heritage listed site where five villages await us.
Visit El Atteuf – the first Mzabite settlement in the region. Founded in 1020AD, here we’ll see palm tree plantations and the ancient winding alleyways of the town.
Explore Shikh Sidi Brahim Mosque – a 700 year old mosque, renowned for its unique architecture.
Visit the Ksar of Ghardaia – located on top of a hill allowing you to see most of the region. Exploring this area you’ll notice locals wearing traditional clothing.
Lunch at a local restaurant known for traditional M’zab dishes.
Visit the fortified city of Beni Isguen – this city is a real maze of streets, punctuated by archways and wells. The buildings around this area are all ancient and will take you for a time-travel experience. We end this section by climbing up the watchtower for a great view of the town.
Finish off the day by paying a visit to the lively market of Beni Isguen, where nomads come to trade their goods and possible for you to haggle for all sorts of trinkets and local goods.
Dinner in town
Overnight in Ghardaia.
Friday 14th January – Ghardaia – Oran – Tlemcen
Breakfast at hotel and morning leisure to further explore the town or hit the marketplace again, or for an opportunity for those to catch up on sleep
Lunch in town
Head to the airport and board our flight to Oran – the second largest city in Algeria and scene of Albert Camus’s novel, The Plague.
Once arriving we’ll drive two hours to the lesser-known yet fascinating city of Tlemcen – a city previously its own kingdom and ruled by the Zayyanid dynasty
Dinner and overnight in Tlemcen
Saturday 15th January – Tlemcen
Breakfast and head out to explore the El Mechouar Palace – the former official residence of the Zayyanid dynasty. Incredibly scenic.
Visit the Calligraphy Museum and the Museum of Tlemcen to learn more about the rich history of this city.
Lunch at a local restaurant to sample mechoui
Drive out of the city and explore the Beni Add Caves – the largest in Africa and previously used as a smuggling route between Morocco and Algeria for Algerian freedom fighters until the French blew it up blocking halfway. The stalagmites here make for a fascinating view.
Drive back to Tlemcen and further up the hills to reach the Islamic Complex of Ali Bendiouane – the Islamic Sufi answer to a monastery, provides us with great views of the city and an insight into local culture.
Take a leisurely cable car ride further up to the best viewpoint of Tlemcen.
Head on to the ruins of the ancient town of Mansourah in the form of its millennia-old minaret.
Dinner back in Tlemcen city centre and overnight in Tlemcen
Sunday 16th January – Tlemcen – Oran
Breakfast at hotel
Begin long drive back to Oran passing incredibly scenic sights of rolling hills of green grass
Once arriving in Oran we’ll stop at Murdjajo, giving incredibly scenic panoramic views of the city by the sea.
Visit Fort of Santa Cruz – Oran’s most iconic sight with its whitewashed walls overseeing the city. The fort has changed hands as often as Algeria has changed rulership. Built by the Ottomans, taken by the Spaniards, then by the French and finally reclaimed by the Algerians. I is a real testament to the history of Algeria. Located within the fort is a chapel built after the town barely survived an epidemic reminiscent of Albert Camus’ The Plague.
Visit the majestic Grande Poste of Oran built by the French
Walk along the beachfront of Oran stopping for lunch, tea and coffee along the way
Visit the Palace of Bay Mohamed – One of the most exquisite buildings of Oran. Built to honour Mohamed El-Khebir, who wrestled Oran away from the Spaniards and by doing so Mohamed became an important figure of the resistance against Spain in Algeria.
Head back to the hotel to refresh
Farewell dinner in the city and explore the nightlife – Oran is populated with bars and hookah cafés
Overnight in Oran
Monday 17th January
Breakfast at hotel
Tour concludes with airport drop-off arranged according to your flight details – YPT is also able to arrange post-tour accommodation or advice for flights.
Group members apart of our Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania Overland Tour board Air Algerie’s flight to Casablanca – flight not included in tour price
• Accommodation in twin share basis
• Letter of Invitation and visa support
• All transport by airconditioned minibus and domestic flights to complete the tour
• Breakfast and lunch
• Entrance fees
• English Speaking local guides and YPT tour leader
• Flights to Algiers and from Oran
• Visa fee (YPT provides full visa support)
• Single supplement (€300)
• Pre-tour or post-Tour accommodation (€60 per night)
• Drinks and personal spending
• Tips for the local guides and drivers
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.