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Where to go in Algeria

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1 Where to go in Algeria on Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:28 pm

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The North
Algiers

The capital has been a port since Roman times and many impressive ruins can still be seen, such as those at Djemila, Timgad and especially Tipaza, which are all in good condition because of the dry desert climate. Algiers was commercialized by the French in the mid-19th century and much of the fabric of the city dates from this time. However, it still has a Maghreb feel to it, with many zig-zag allyways, mosques, and the beautiful Turkish houses and palaces much admired by Le Corbusier. The Bardo Ethnographic and Local Art Museum of Fine Arts are amongest the finest museums in North Africa.

Excurions
Within easy reach of Algiers along the coast lie some fine resorts. Zeralda in a beach resort with a holiday village and replica nomad village. Tipaza has exceptional Roman Punic and Christian ruins, and Numidian mausoleum. The Chiffa Gorges ad Kabylia in the the mountains provide more rural scenery. Fig and olive groves in summer become ski resorts in winter. To the east of Algiers, the Turqouise Coast offers rocky coves and long beaches within easy reach of the city, equipped with sports, cuirse and water-sports facilities. The Sidi Fredj peninsula has a marina, an open-air theatre and complete amenities, including sporting facialities.




Last edited by Admin on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:28 pm; edited 2 times in total

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2 Re: Where to go in Algeria on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:05 pm

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Desert (Sahara)

The Sahara is the most striking and also most forbidding feature of the
country. Relatively uninhabited, the area is drawing increasing numbers
of winter tourists. Accommodation, though generally good value, is often
scarce in oasis regions, and during the season it is advisable to book
in advance. Air Algérie operates frequent flights from Algiers to
Ghardaia, Djanet and Tamanrasset, as well as to several smaller towns,
oases and oil settlements, but services can be delayed in high summer
owing to adverse weather conditions. Roads are much improved, although
summer sand storms and winter rains can make all but the major routes
hazardous.
The best way to enter the south is to cross the El
Kautara Gorges to the south of Constantine. The sudden glimpse of the
Sahara through the El Kautara Gorges is breathtaking. These gorges are
said to separate the winter areas from the land of everlasting summer
and are called Fouur Es Sahra (’the Sahara’s mouth’) by the inhabitants.
Further down, most Algerian oases generally defy the European cliché of
a small patch of palms forever threatened by encroaching dunes: they
are often fairly large towns with highly organized, walled-in gardens
with date palms, and mosques, shops and monuments.


Favorite starting
places for exploring the Sahara are Laghouat, a town with a geometric
plan, or the M’Zab Valley, which has seven typical holy towns and is
inhabited by a Muslim fundamentalist sect called the Mozabites. Mozabite
towns are distinguished by a characteristic minaret with four spires.
The most famous among them is Ghardaia, coiled within a group of bare,
ochre rocks. The streets, made of clay or paving stones, curl up through
the blue and beige buildings towards the white obelisk of the minaret.
Not far from Ghardaia, situated on a hill, is the holy town of
Beni-Isguen, the four gates of which are constantly guarded. The special
feature of this town is its permanent auction market. In the east of
the M’Zab region is Ouargla, referred to as ’the golden key to the
desert’. This town is well worth visiting for its malekite (an Islamic
sect) minaret overlooking an expansive landscape. At the foot of the
minaret lies the market square, the porticos of the souks and the
terraced house roofs of the inhabitants. Further on is an oasis
surrounded by palm trees and beyond that lie the beaches of the Sebkha.


Deeper
into the south lies the town of El Goléa, referred to as ‘the pearl of
the desert’ or ‘the enchanted oasis’ because of its luxuriant vegetation
and abundant water. The town is dominated by an old ksar (fort)
whose ruins are well preserved. Further south are the Hoggar Mountains,
an impressive, jagged range reaching as far as Libya and surrounded by
desert on all sides. It consists of a plateau made of volcanic rock.
Eroded cliffs and granite needles form fascinating shapes in pink, blue
or black basalt. At the top of the Assekreu nestles the famous refuge of
Charles de Foucault at 2800m (9259ft). Mount Tahat, which belongs to
the Atakor Massif, can be seen in the distance, reaching 3000m (9921ft)
at its highest point. The picturesque capital, Tamanrasset, situated at
the heart of the Hoggar Mountains, is full of life and character and is
an important stopping place for commercial traffic traveling to and from
West Africa. Being a large town with many hotels and restaurants,
tourists often stay in ‘Tam’ (as it is sometimes called) and use it as a
base for touring the Hoggar Mountains (the Assekreu and Charles de
Foucault’s hermitage) or hiking in the open desert to the south and west
in the company of camel drivers who carry their luggage. It is also a
popular winter holiday resort and a center for oil exploration and
exploitation. It is visited regularly by the camel caravans of les hommes bleus,
blue-robed Touaregs, who are the ancient nomadic inhabitants of this
wide region. They make their way around the inscrutable desert through
an ancient knowledge of landmarks passed on from father to son. These
nomads have a fair complexion, a blue veil over the lower half of their
faces and are often very tall.
The tiny oasis of Djanet, another
watering hole for commercial traffic and trans-Saharan expeditions, can
be found in the Tassili N’Ajjer, or ’Plateau of Chasms’. This is a vast
volcanic plateau crossed by massive gorges gouged out by rivers which
have long since dried out or gone underground. The Tassili conceals a
whole group of entirely unique rupestrian paintings (rock paintings),
which go back at least as far as the neolithic age. The paintings,
depicting daily life, hunting scenes and herds of animals, have a
striking beauty and reveal ways of life several thousand years old. They
spread out over a 130,000 sq km surface (50,000 sq miles) and form an
extraordinary open-air museum which has been miraculously conserved,
owing to the pure quality of the air. Tours of the Tassili Plateau and
the rupestrian paintings, as well as long-distance car treks in the
Ténéré are available, lasting from one day to two weeks. These visits
are organized by private agencies run by the Tuareg and most of them
offer a high-quality service. Tourists are collected at the airport
(either Djanet or Tamanrasset) and the agency provides them with
transportation (usually in 4-wheel-drive vehicles), mattresses and food,
although travelers must bring their own sleeping bags.











Last edited by Admin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:33 am; edited 1 time in total

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3 Re: Where to go in Algeria on Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:14 pm

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Ahaggar Mountains

They are also known as Hoggar. Ahaggar Mountians are a group of mountains consisting of Volcanic rocks rising from the barren planes of Sahara with an average hheight of 900 meters. Due to its less extreme climate, great biodiversity. They are located just west of Tamanghasset and abut 1,500 Km south of Algiers. Mount Tahat is the tallest peak in the area reaching 2, 918 M in height.












The main city nearby the Ahaggar is Tamanghasset, built in a desert valley or
wadi. Its principal characteristic is that to conceal archeological sites which
deserve the turning because of their great age. These sites date, indeed, one
time located between 600 000 and one million years and are posed like vestiges
testifying to the first human or pre-human demonstrations. It results from this
that Tamaransset can be defined like one of the cradles of humanity. This
situation is due that, during the period of prehistory, it appeared among the
areas in very strong density of population of terrestrial sphere. It results
from this that this city was the theatre of the evolution of man, of the
migrations as well as event having marked the history of the remote
civilizations come from the East, of Europe, of Asia and Africa. At the time
current, one can thus define it as an ode in old times. An ode which can also
make it possible to bring some lightings on essential points of the origin of mankind.


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