Since Sudan’s division in 2011, Algeria has been elevated to the position of Africa’s largest country, with some 80% of it covered by the sands of the Sahara. Without doubt its most striking feature, the desert is what draws many travellers to the country, but Algeria has so much more to offer the inquisitive and the adventurous alike. From its striking Mediterranean coastline to the spectacular mountains of the Fezzan, the landscape is awash with desert lakes and sand seas, archaeological treasures and a rich cultural heritage that makes it one of the most fascinating countries in North Africa.
Little known in the UK, Algeria is just ripe for discovery. Its northern landscapes once echoed to the sound of Phoenicians ships and Roman boots and the architectural reminders of those once mighty empires lie scattered across the desert vistas.
The architecture is a particular highlight of any visit to the country, with the ancient Roman ruins at Djemila providing a particularly fine example of its rich historical pedigree. Then there is Algiers, the country’s bustling, whitewashed capital, whose captivating Medina offers up an intriguing contrast with the modern city that surrounds it. And never far away lies the magic of the vast, empty Sahara - nine million square kilometres of legend, myth and adventure.
Algiers Museum of Fine Arts is an undiscovered gem, with works by Algerian painters and canvasses by Pissarro, Gauguin and Monet.