Algeria Travel Facts

Image - Algeria Travel Facts

Natural Features: Mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain Elevation extremes: lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m highest point: Tahat 3,003 m

Rainy Seasons: drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau.

Accommodation: Good hotel accommodation in Algeria is limited although business centres, and in particular Algiers, tend to have expensive luxury hotels. There are some cheap hotels too.

Climate: Temperatures are high throughout the country, particularly in the south where it is both very dry and very hot especially during long summer. Road travel is difficult during this time and air transport too becomes prone to delays because of sandstorms. And while cities in the north have high humidity, those along the coast are cooled by sea breezes. Rain in this region is very rare and quite depicts the situation throughout the country. Winds are an important part of the country's climate, in winter often very pleasant, while in summer take the shape of draw thaw wind. These can be so frequent as to cover 50 days a year in the interior high land and 20 in the coastal region.

Food: Local cooking often includes roast meat and couscous with a vegetable sauce

Travel Highlights: Algeria has a wide range of tourist interests including cultural and memorial centers with thrilling historical backgrounds. Bou Ismail, a small seaside village, offers a wonderful fishing experience. A visit to Tipaza and Berard villages provides an insight into the fascinating Algerian history, from the phoenician to Roman times

Getting There:

Air: Air Algerie (AH) is the national airline. Air France, Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Saudia, Syrian Arab Airlines and Tunis Air also fly to this destination. Algiers-Houari Boumedienne Airport is 20km east of Algiers.

Rail: A daily train connects Algiers with Tunis via Constantine and Annaba. A reservation is required for this route. First class carriages are air conditioned and buffet services are available. Another daily train runs between Algiers and Marrakech.

Road: The main entry points by road are Maghnia if one is entering the country from Morocco, Souk-Ahras, Tebessa and El Kala if one is coming from Tunisia, Fort Thiriet from Libya, In Guezzam from Niger and Bordj Mokhtar from Mali. The country maintains a good network of paved roads in the coastal regions which connect the major towns in the northern Sahara.

Sea: Entreprise Nationale de Transport Maritime de Voyageurs-Algerie Ferries is the major shipping line. The country's main ports include Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia and Oran. Regular shipping lines serve Algiers from Mediterranean ports.

Travel Around:

Air: Air Algerie operates frequent services from Algiers' domestic airport to major business centres of Annaba, Constantine and Oran. Services are generally reliable, but air travel to the far south may be subject to delay during the dry summer because of sand storms.

Road: Road surfaces are reasonably good but vehicles travelling the desert should be in good mechanical condition for lack of adequate breakdown services.

Sea and Lakes: Government ferries serve the main coastal ports: Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djidjelli, Ghazaouet, Mostaganem, Oran and Skikda.

Rail: Algeria boasts of some 4000km of railway. Daily services operate in the northern part of the country between Algiers and Oran, Bejaia, Skikda, Annaba and Constantine while the southern routes connect once a day from Annaba to Tebessa via Souk Ahras, Constantine with Touggourt via Biskra and Mohammadia with Bechar.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International Driving Permit required.

Passport and Visa: Restrictions: Nationals of some countries may enter or transit only under exceptional circumstances. All applications have to be referred to head office and take much longer than other applications. Passport required but not by the following:

  1. Holders of a valid Seaman Book, traveling on duty, issued by any country except Israel. Visas required but not by the following: 1) Nationals of Algeria.
  2. Nationals of Argentina, Benin, Croatia, Guinea, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, San Marino, Syria, Tunisia, Vatican City, Yemen and Yugoslavia.
  3. Children of any nationality under 15 years either traveling alone or on parents' passports unless as noted under "Restrictions".

Recommended Immunisation: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, TB, tetanus, typhoid, recommended in some circums

Compusory Vacination: Yellow fever certificate if arriving from infected area. Exempt infants under 1 year

Religion: Christian and Jewish, Sunni Muslim (state religion)

Languages: Ar, Berber dialects, Fr

Currency: Algerian Dinar (AD)

Time: GMT+1

International Dialing Code: 213

International Radios: BBC KHz (daytime) 17640,15485,6195 (evening) 12095, 9410,6195

Business Hours: Offices are open from 0800 to 1200 and 1300 to 1600 Suturday to Wesday. Banks are open from 0900 to 1530 Sunday to
Thursday. Shops are open from 0900 to1200 and 1400-1900 Saturday to Thursday (some open Fridays)

Weekly Days Off: Thursday and Friday

Public Holidays: New Year's Day (Jan. 1) , Labour Day (May 1), Independence Day (Jul. 5), Islamic Holidays (Variable)

Last Updated on Monday 30th November 2009