Visit a Saharan town and UNESCO World Heritage Site; Experience the variety of cultures in Algeria; Shop in beautiful colourful souks; Go back hundreds of years as you explore preserved medieval architecture and ancient sites (such as Timgad, pictured on this page).
Day 01: Arrival In Algiers
Today we arrive in Algiers – welcome to Algeria!
Algiers, originally called Al-Jaza’ir, is built into the Sahel hills and runs for ten miles along the Bay of Algiers, located on the Mediterranean coast. This coastal location made it perfect for the Barbary pirate stronghold it would become in 1529, when the pirate “Redbeard” expelled the Spanish from the island of Penon, gaining control of the city for the Ottoman Empire. The country’s turbulent history is writ large in the city’s richly textured architecture: wide French-built boulevards and elegant apartments and villas, Socialist-era monuments and public buildings, and an enduring Islamic heart secreted in the steep, hillside Casbah.
Overnight in Algiers.
Day 02: Algiers: Cherchell, Tipaza & Tomb Of The Christian
Today we travel west to the ruins of Tipaza (also Tipasa), originally a Phoenician trading post but a Roman colony in the 2nd century AD onwards. Later it became one of the most important Christian settlements in Northern Africa. With the coming of the Vandals and their Arian Christianity in 430, most of the inhabitants fled to Spain. According to legend, the inhabitants had their tongues cut out, but by a miracle they could still speak! One the most interesting sites at Tipaza is the mausoleum built in the 5th century where there are 14 places for sarcophagi. The museum is small but full of valuable mosaics taken from the Basilica dating back to 1st century AD.
We continue to Cherchell and the ruins of the former Roman port of Caesarea. Today Cherchell is the seat of Cherchell District in Tipaza Province; under the names Iol and Caesarea, it was formerly a Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Roman colony and the capital of the kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania.
On our way back to Algiers we’ll stop at the pyramid-like structure of the Tomb of the Christians, set on a hill with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. The tomb pre-dates the Christian era and probably belongs to the pre- Roman era of the Numidian rulers.
Overnight in Algiers.
Day 03: Algiers – Setif – Djemila – Constantine
An early start take us first to city of Setif, the commercial centre of a region where native textiles and phosphates are manufactured and cereals are grown. Setif was built by the French on the ruins of the Roman town of Sitifis, founded in the 1st century AD. In 1945, more than 100 Europeans were killed in a revolt against French rule; it resulted in a bloody reprisal in which more than 6,000 locals died.
From Setif we make a diversion north through attractive hilly farming countryside to Djemila (a security detail wil likely join us for this visit), Arabic for ‘pretty town’ (a World Heritage Site), considered to be the most outstanding Roman site in Algeria. Situated 900m (2,950 ft) above sea level, Djemila, or Cuicul, with its forum, temples, basilicas, triumphal arches and houses, is an interesting example of Roman town planning adapted to a mountain location. While the site itself is not one of the largest in North Africa, Djemila stands out as one of the best-preserved Roman ruins of North Africa and the adjoining museum is packed with the most amazing Roman mosaics.
We continue to Constantine after a full day of travel and sightseeing.
Overnight in Constantine.
Day 04: Constantine: Timgad & Lambaesis
We start the day with a 2-hour drive to Timgad, Roman Thamugadi (a World Heritage Site), located on the northern slopes of the Aures Atlas Mountains. It was founded as a military colony by the Emperor Trajan in AD 100. Originally designed for a population of around 15,000, the city quickly outgrew its original specifications and spilled beyond the grid in a more loosely-organized fashion, an excellent example of Roman town planning. Although only partly excavated, Timgad is spectacular in both its scale and its setting.
We continue to the remains of the Roman town of Lambaesis (Lambessa), which includes two triumphal arches, temples, an aqueduct, an amphitheatre, baths, and many private houses. The camp of the third legion, charged with defending North Africa, was moved to Lambessa between 123 and 129 ce. The modern settlement was founded in 1848 by French agriculturalists attracted by the fertile soil. A large convict prison for French political deportees was established there in 1852.
We return to Constantine. Overnight in Constantine.
Day 05: Tiddis & Constantine City Tour
This morning we visit Tiddis, hovering on a barren mountain slope, some 30km from Constantine. The ruined Roman town is perhaps the most impressively situated of all Algeria’s Roman sites. The Romans arrived during the age of Augustus, but built much of what can now be seen in the 3rd century AD, adapting their fundamental rule of town planning – two straight central streets that cross at the heart of the community – to the curves of the site. Tiddis had no water sources, so one of the most interesting features of the houses here are the channels and cisterns.
We return to Constantine for a city tour and visit the museum of Cirta. We spend the afternoon enjoying this breathtaking city; Constantine is set astride a spectacular gorge that splits the city in two. We’ll explore the suspension bridges, the Constantine Museum, Kasbah, and Palace of Ahmed Bey.
Overnight in Constantine.
Day 06: Constantine – Fly To Ghardaia
Today we fly to Ghardaia (via Algiers),* located in the UNESCO World Heritage region of the M’Zab valley. We’ll transfer to our hotel and, time-permitting, explore the markets and architecture unique to this region.
The valley, on the edge of the Sahara, is actually a cluster of five towns: Ghardaia, Melika, Beni Isguen, Bou Noura, and El-Atteuf. Often referred to collectively as Ghardaia, the once distinct villages are gradually sprawling together, but retain separate identities.
* Please note that if the flight from Constantine to Algiers is not scheduled/available, we may drive to Algiers and fly to Ghardaia from there.
Overnight in Ghardaia.
Day 07: M’zab Valley: El Attefu, Bon Nouria & Ghardaia
The M’Zab is home to a conservative Muslim sect known as the Ibadites, who broke from mainstream Islam some 900 years ago. This is, some say, a country unto itself, with ancient, unchanging social codes. The traditional white haik (a head-to-toe wool wrap) is worn by most women, who cover their entire face, exposing only one eye. Men sport extravagantly pleated baggy trousers called saroual loubia. While locals here can be reserved, it’s a friendly and surprisingly laid-back place.
Today step back in time as we enjoy the local customs and culture while visiting the historic cities and sites in the M’Zab valley. We spend a full day visiting traditional market places, enjoying the lively atmosphere and lively colours and unique architecture. We wander narrow streets, visit important religious monuments and mosques, and enjoy the natural beauty.
Overnight in Ghardaia.
Day 08: Ghardaia – Fly To Algiers
Today we fly back to the capital. Flight time permitting, we’ll tour Algiers including the historic Kasbaha built in the 16th century, a maze of pretty small alleys and whitewashed houses. There are also quite a few nice boulevards dating back from the days of the French who come in Algiers in 1830 and stayed for 130 years.
Overnight in Algiers.
Day 09: Departure
Departure from Algiers.
|Algeria||02||Renaissance Tlemcen Hotel|
|Constantin||03||Constantine Marriott Hotel|
|Ghardaia||02||Hotel El djanoub|
|Algeria||01||Renaissance Tlemcen Hotel|
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– Welcome with fresh flower garlands.
– 08 Nights accommodation
– Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.
– Local English-speaking guide
– All transfers, sightseeing, excursions as per the program by private vehicle.
– Internal flight tickets Constantine – Ghardaia – Algiers
– Entrance fees to monuments as per mentioned in the program.
– Transport, Parking, Gasoline & Toll ways.
– All present government taxes.
– International Airfare.
– Tips, gratuities, Portage, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks, camera/ video camera charges, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
– Visa fees, personal insurance.
– Any item not specified under cost includes.
– Accommodation in good hotels.
– Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
– Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost.
– Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
– A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
– If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
– Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
– In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
– Sometimes, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
– While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
– Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
– In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.