A beguiling African country located in the north of the continent with the Mediterranean Sea to define its northern borders and much more popular neighbors of Morocco and Tunisia, Algeria makes an attractive yet unpopular holiday destination.
This Arab and Berber land is the second-largest, right after Sudan, country of the Black Continent and one with a fascinating culture mix of French and Arab influences. Algeria is both towns oozing French charm of vine-clad hills crowned with picturesque little churches and mud-brick Sahara oases echoing muezzin calls for praying. With the enormous arid desert covering most of the country's territory, the country evokes images of sand dust, nomads traversing the driest corner of the Earth for a temporary shelter and golden dunes sculpted by winds. But be prepared for more than just the stereotypical image. Once you set your foot to Algeria, surprises include searching hidden oases of Ouargla and El Goela, dubbed as ‘the pearl of the desert', hiking the gorges of El Kautara, for the best glimpse of the Sahara ever, or climbing the volcanic rocks of the Hoggar Mountains.
Unfortunately for the country's budget, Algeria does not top the list of must-be holiday destinations. Its recent history dominated by civil wars of the 1990s and blood-stained conflicts between the fundamentalists and the government forces still echo violence and warlordism throughout the land. Small numbers of militants persist venturing isolated attacks on local villages and scaring off potential visitors. But hopefully, with the gradually restored order, Algeria will soon prove a worthwhile stop on your world-travel itinerary.