Algeria country

100 facts about Algeria through the eyes of a Russian

1. Until recently Algeria was the second largest country in Africa, but with the division of Sudan into North and South – yay comrades! Algeria is the largest country in Africa! It is also the 11th largest country in the world. 2. 80% of the country is occupied by Her Majesty the Sahara Desert. 3. Algeria has the longest coastline among the Maghreb countries – 988 km. 4. Medieval France imported wax from Algeria. 5. The Arabs say that the Maghreb is a bird with Tunisia as its right wing, Morocco as its left wing, and Algeria as the body of the bird. 6. Algeria has a natural lake filled with ink that can be used for writing. 7. Algeria is a unique country in its climate and nature, there is a desert, mountains, lakes, sea, and a variety of forests. In Algeria in summer it can be up to +50 (Sahara), and in winter it snows in some cities. 8. Algerians kiss only an even number of times when they meet, most often 2 or 4. 9. The famous designer Yves Saint Laurent was born in Algeria. 10. 10. The word ‘Algerian’ means ‘island’. 11. 11. Scientists in Algeria have discovered that such an accessible product as an orange is suitable for purifying water from unnatural dyes. Or rather, its peel. 12. Algeria (the capital) is a city of stairs, because it is located on the hills, and everywhere there are many, many small and large stairs. 13. The natives of Algeria are Berber-speaking peoples, and the Arabs are merely conquerors. 14. In the 16th and 17th centuries Algeria was a country of corsairs (pirates), the most famous of whom, Barbarossa, was the ruler of Algeria. 15. Algerian men are fond of women in the body, so the girl used to be sent to special homes for fattening when she reached marriageable age. 16. Algerians speak a mixture of Arabic and French, Berber is not understood by most Arabs. 17. Algeria has 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites. 18. The Algerians love and eat an incredible amount of baguettes (a legacy of colonial French times). 19. White sand truffles grow in Algeria. These mushrooms are considered relict mushrooms of the great African Sahara desert. The taste of the mushrooms is amazing! 20. There is not a single Orthodox church in Algeria, the last one was closed due to an almost complete lack of a parish. 21. The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Afrique in Algiers (Cathedral of Our Lady of Africa) is a mirror image across the sea of Notre Dame Cathedral in Marseille. Under the dome of the Algerian cathedral is written: “Our Lady of Africa, pray for us and for the Muslims. 22. The Algerian military is forbidden by law to marry foreign women. 23. The Algerian subway was built by Russian and Ukrainian specialists. 24. The symbol of Algeria, the Monument to the Fallen Warrior, was donated by Canada. 25. 25. 25 Russian soldiers were killed during the demining of Algeria after the victory over French colonization. 26. Algeria has strong earthquakes. 27. the Algerian car has the state license plate in the front in white and in the back in yellow. 28. In the evening, when approaching a police or gendarmerie post, the Algerians turn on the light in the car interior (this started from the time of terrorism). 29. The Algerian drink Hamoud Boualem is a lemonade, which is similar in taste to the American Sprite, but appeared before the Sprite. 30. There are no McDonald’s restaurants in Algeria. 31. Sushi appeared in Algeria only a year ago. 32. The cost of gasoline in Algeria is unrealistically low, so even the poorest family drives old French and Italian cars. All gas stations are state-owned. 33. The president of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has been in power for 12 years. 34.

Mahumed Dib is the most famous Algerian writer in the West. 35. The cost of bread in Algeria is 8 dinars (100 dinars = 1 euro), and this price has not changed for a very long time, because the government has kept the price of basic foodstuffs down for many years. 36. There are 2 national soups in Algeria: shorba and hrira, and they are prepared differently depending on the region. 37. Algeria produces almost ALL the food in their country, and if the supply of foreign goods is stopped, Algerians will not starve to death because they have their own analogues of everything.

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38. Algerians are a very kind people, they forgave the French colonizers long ago. 39. There are 3 mobile operators in Algeria: Mobilis, Jezzie and Nedjma. 40. Cheb Mami and Khaled are Algerian singers, the first recorded a duet with Sting the famous song Desert Rose, the second performs the famous song Aicha. 41. In Russia’s military universities future Algerian tankers, pilots, etc. are studying. 42. Algerian supermarkets do not sell alcohol, there are special stores for that. 43. It is impossible for a man and a woman to share a room in an Algerian hotel unless they are married. The exception is the Berber district of Kabylia. 44. Bananas grow in Algeria, but they are small and hardly sweet. 45. In Algeria there is no state central heating as in Russia, the houses are heated by their own heating system, it can be turned on and off whenever you want.

46. There are no bakeries in Algeria; bread and pastries are baked in the bakeries of the stores. 47. The most valuable couscous is made by hand. 48. The Algerians can’t stand the Egyptians, and the Tunisians can’t stand the Algerians. 49. Soccer in Algeria is a national madness. 50. The land border between Morocco and Algeria is closed, due to the different views on the problems of Western Sahara and the possibility of drug infiltration from the territory of Morocco. Every year Algeria and Morocco propose to open the border, and every year the countries cannot agree among themselves. 51. The USSR built a metallurgical plant in Algeria, which is still in operation, but is already owned by India. 52. The Chinese have made it to Africa as well:) 53. They never circumcised girls in Algeria! Because I recently read that on the Internet. 54. Algeria is full of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. 55. Algerian walnuts are oblong, not round. 56. Algeria has no buckwheat, but has herring. 57. The Algerians do not give each other birthday presents, but pay for the banquet and cake to the birthday boy. 58. Another myth is that they don’t write names on graves and they break an earthen jar. The names are written, the vessel isn’t broken, but it’s forbidden to take pictures. 59. Algeria is the richest country in oil and gas reserves. 60. Algeria has businesses that produce low-cost paper from grass. 61. Algerians don’t care what kind of stone is in the ring, as long as it’s big and shiny. 62. There are only five TV channels in Algeria, and all the houses are covered with satellite dishes. 63. Algeria has the most delicious pizza in the world (Italy nervously smiles on the sidelines). 64. 64. It is not forbidden to have 4 wives in Algeria, but it is a thing of the past. 65. Algeria’s national airline, AirAlgeria, flies direct from Moscow and takes 4 hours and 50 minutes. 66. You can get a visa to Algeria only if you are invited by an Algerian citizen or a company. They almost never issue tourist visas, it is still an echo of the times of terrorism. Although, if you try hard, you can find a travel agency and go. 67. Women don’t smoke in the streets in Algeria, it’s indecent, but you can in a car or a restaurant. 68. According to my observations, the Algerians only smoke red Marlboro. 69. Most Algerian women work. 70. Elevator is a rare thing for a residential building in Algeria (because of earthquakes), any floor is walked to. 71. Algerian brides change up to 12 dresses during the wedding. 72. There are almost no traffic lights in Algeria, mainly traffic circles and policemen-regulators, but unlike the Egyptians, the Algerians almost always drive by the rules. It’s unrealistic to bribe for a violation, the police are paid very decently, the license is deprived for at least 3 months for the slightest violation. 73. After finishing school Algerian children must take an exam, which is at the same time an entrance exam to university, each profession has its own number of points. If, for example, you do not get 50 points in law, you will not get there, or you have to retake it the next year. In short, you can sit the last grade until you are blue in the face, rarely do you pass the exam on the first try, but you cannot get into university without it. 74. All Algerian houses have tiles on the floor, houses like to decorate with artificial flowers. 75. Zinedine Zidane is a French soccer player, whose roots are in Algeria, and his nationality is Kabyle. He has never played for the national team of Algeria, because at one time the Algerians did not take him in the team. 76. Algeria has diesel submarines. 77. The guest in Algeria is served dates and a glass of milk, a tradition. 78. From an Algerian wedding you are sure to take home a box of cakes. 79.

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is actually one of the youngest states – it is only 50 years old. 80. Russian and Algerian official documents are valid on the territory of the 2 countries. 81. There are 2 consulates of Russian Federation in Algeria, in the capital and in the city of Annaba. 82. Algerian chocolate is unpalatable. 83. The beach season in Algeria lasts from late May to October. 84. Algerian witchcraft is considered one of the strongest in the world (especially in the Sahara region). 85. Before opening his own doctor’s office, a doctor in Algeria must work for about 7 years in a public hospital. 86. It is not the practice in Algeria to put a pregnant woman in the hospital to be preserved; most often they prescribe medicine and send her home to lie down. 87. In Algeria are very fond of children, they are on the streets from morning till night, and if you go with a baby, you’ll come home with a package of candy and various gifts from passersby and shopkeepers. Even a complete stranger can kiss your child – it’s quite normal for Algeria. 88. Tassili is one of the most amazing places in Algeria, there are ancient rock paintings, which shows that the Sahara was not always a desert. 89. Algeria is a member of the League of Arab States. 90. Last year the Days of Algeria were held in Moscow. 91. Algeria has 136 airports. 92. 1, 2, 3 Vive Algeria! – Algeria’s favorite shout-out. 93. “The Battle of Algeria is one of the most famous films made about this country. 94. Algeria has a law prohibiting the free exchange of national currency into dollars or euros. Algerians can legally exchange $300 a year, the rest of the time it is done on the black market, but for such a violation, the police have

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Algeria is the largest country on the African continent, which can also be called one of the most contrasting. From the geographical differences between the dead desert and the cheerful Mediterranean coast, to the cultural diversity.

After all, Algeria holds the legacy of the Phoenicians, the Vandals, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab dynasties and European colonization. Very bright and colorful, Algeria is welcoming tourists from all over the world.

About the Country

Ancient tribes and Phoenician settlements emerged in Algeria as early as the first millennium BC. The North African coast of the Mediterranean Sea for many centuries attracted the conquerors, so that the rulers were replaced here quite often.

In the early 7th century the land was conquered by the Arab population, and since then Islam and Oriental culture have taken hold here.

In the XIX century Algeria was taken over by France and until 1962 it was in its colonial possession. After independence Algeria has taken its place in the life of the African region.

What you need to know about Algeria:

The capital is Algiers (Algiers);

Area – 2.38 million km2;

Population – 44.7 million people;

Language – Arabic, Berber;

form of government – presidential-parliamentary republic;

Currency – the Algerian dinar;

Russian citizens need a visa to Algeria.

Algeria is located in the north of Africa with access to the Mediterranean Sea 1000 km long. The country borders with Tunisia and Libya in the east, with Niger and Mali in the south and with Mauritania and Morocco in the west. Internally, Algeria is divided into 48 regions, which are here called vilayets.

Much of the country is barely livable, because it is occupied by the largest desert on the planet – the Sahara.

It accounts for almost 80% of the entire territory of Algeria, and this part contains only 8 vilayets, and the other 40 are in the densely populated Mediterranean north.

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In the southeast of Algeria, in the middle of the desert, rises the Hoggar Plateau with the highest mountain in the country, Tahat (2908 meters). To the north, the Atlas Mountains extend from the west.

In the northeast, near the Tunisian border is a large salt lake Chott Melrhir (Chott Melrhir), which in contrast is located 26 meters below sea level.

Climate of Algeria

Despite the large size of the territory, the climate of Algeria is not as varied as its cultural and historical reality. In fact, there are only two main climatic regions.

Most of the country belongs to the tropical desert climate, which is not surprising, given the geography. Summers are hot and dry, the temperature reaches +38 +38+45 ° C.

In winter, the temperature varies depending on the time of day, during the day +20 +22 ° C and at night +4 +6 ° C. The amount of precipitation in the Sahara rarely exceeds 100 mm a year, more often it is at the level of 0 – 50 mm.

The northern regions of Algeria have a subtropical Mediterranean climate. Winters here are warm and rainy, with temperatures during this period of +13+15°C. Summers are also hot, but moderate, +28+30 ° C. Annual rainfall in the north is about 500-700 mm, and in the Atlas Mountains – up to 1200 mm.

The mountainous regions of Algeria are characterized by their inconsistent weather, the temperature here depends on the height above sea level, and precipitation is unevenly distributed. Sometimes there are even snowfalls, but they are very rare.

What to see in Algeria

The next most important airports in Algeria are Mohammed Boudiaf (CZL) near Constantine, and Ahmed Ben Bella (ORN) in Oran.

The vast majority of attractions in Algeria is concentrated in the north of the country, with a few exceptions. There is a lot to see here, the monuments left by different civilizations constitute an unusual Algerian cocktail.

They have direct flights mainly to French cities, but also to Istanbul. So you can get to different regions of Algeria with connections in the above cities.

The country’s capital is Algiers, the largest local metropolis, which gave its name to the entire state. You can easily spend a few days here, besides the long Mediterranean promenade certainly will not get bored.

Algiers - the capital and largest city of Algeria

One of the main tourist locations is in the northern part of the city and is called the Old Casbah. It is a whole neighborhood with old buildings, mosques and palaces. The Casbah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a landmark of Algeria.

The Kasbah, a fortress in the old part of Algiers

Farther along the coast is Notre Dame d’Afrique, a functioning Catholic church. It was built 150 years ago by a French architect and today quietly neighbors the mosques and synagogues.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Africa is a Catholic temple in Algiers.

Speaking of mosques, it is impossible not to visit one of the most important ones in Algeria, the Ketchaoua. It is located in the center of the capital, its age exceeds four centuries, and it is also an outstanding historical monument.

Ketshawa Mosque, a Muslim shrine of Algeria.

From the modern attractions in the city of Algiers must be highlighted Monument of Glory and Martyrdom . This monument is dedicated to Algerian independence. From its top, where there is an observation deck at a height of more than 90 meters, there is an excellent view of the entire city.

Monument of Glory and Martyrdom

The small town of Tipaza is about 80 kilometers west of the capital. It is a living history monument from Phoenician and Roman times before Christ. There are numerous ruins of ancient amphitheaters, basilicas and colonnades.

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Tipaza, an ancient city in Algiers

The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is the most important place of the city. This is the tomb of the ancient ruler, built more than 2 thousand years ago in the form of a pyramid.

Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania The tomb of the Mauritanian ruler Juba II

One of the most picturesque cities in Algeria is Constantine. It is located in the east of the country and is remarkable for its unique location.

Constantine, the third-largest city in Algeria

The city lies on a plateau in which the Rhumel River has washed out deep gorges and canyons, so that Constantine is also called the “city of suspension bridges”. The combination of modern buildings and precipitous cliffs is truly fascinating.

Rummel River flows through a gorge between rocks

Of the smaller towns you can mention Annaba, near the border with Tunisia. Here is the Basilica of St. Augustine, a relatively new temple (about 100 years), built using different architectural styles.

St. Augustine Basilica in Annaba

The town of Tlemcen, on the other hand, near the western border with Morocco, boasts an ancient cathedral mosque, more than a thousand years old.

Tlemcen is a town in northwestern Algeria

Finally Oran, another large settlement on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, has its cultural arsenal of Fort Santa Cruz, built by the Spaniards in the XVII century, and survived relatively unscathed.

Fort Santa Cruz is one of Oran's main attractions

Among the more ancient sites in Algeria are the ruins of two Roman cities, Timgad and Djémila. Both were once major centers of Roman culture in North Africa and today are large-scale open-air museums.

Timgad, an ancient Roman city.

The ruins are a few thousand years old and are still under active excavation, so that not all their secrets are revealed. A “younger” town, with only a thousand years of history, is Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad. It, in turn, is an outstanding monument of Muslim culture.

In addition to a rich and varied historical heritage, Algeria can also attract nature lovers with its natural beauty. For example, the Parc national du Djurdjoura, which is located just outside the capital of Algeria.

Qala Beni Hammad, an ancient town in the Mdila province in northern Algeria

Djurdjura is the name of a mountain range, so the basis of the park are mountains and scenic valleys. The peaks here are covered with forests, so the greenery in combination with the rocks creates a magnificent landscape.

Hammam Maskhoutine Thermal Springs is another place worth seeing. Just enter the name in the search, and you will realize that such a fantastic view is worth a visit. The springs, in addition to their beauty, also have healing properties, so visiting them is good for your health.

Djurdjoura, a national park in northern Algeria

Well, if you do not have enough northern Algeria, you are welcome to the far and almost lifeless south, which, however, also is able to surprise you. In the southern part of the country, in the heart of the Sahara, there are two more national parks with unique views.

Hammam Meskoutine - a unique complex of thermal springs

They are the Tassili n’Ajjer Plateau and the Ahaggar Mountains – both would be perfect as the setting for a movie about space travel because of their ethereal landscapes.

Tassilin-Adjer is an unusual national park.

Bizarre landforms, huge stone pillars, caves, bizarre drawings, steep cliffs – all this can be found in this remote and sparsely populated place.

The Ahaggar Highlands, in the south of Algeria.

For fans of the mountains, however, there are more civilized and accessible locations. We are talking, of course, about the Atlas Mountains in north-western Algeria. Here everything is classic – ridges, plains, plateaus, with villages of indigenous people from the Berber tribes.

And of course we can not ignore the area, which occupies about 80% of the territory of Algeria, the most famous and largest desert on the planet – the Sahara.

Endless dunes of red and yellow sand stretch far beyond the horizon. There is no sense to say much about Sahara, it is worth at least once in your life to see it with your own eyes.

Mobile Communications and Internet

The situation with communications in Algeria is not the easiest. The main local operators are three – Mobilis, Djezzy and Ooredoo. But they offer different packages for Internet and mobile communications.

In addition, to make calls within the country and abroad different cards are also used. The cost of international calls is much cheaper when made through local operators than when made through your home provider’s roaming.

  1. Mobilis is a state-owned company and the most popular provider among users.
  2. Rates:
  3. Mobilis ( ) – 8 USD for 10 Gb internet for 1 month.
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Djezzy ( ) – 9 USD for 10 Gb Internet for 1 month.

Ooredoo ( ) – 8 USD for 15 Gb internet for 1 month.

Tourists can buy SIM-cards in special stores or in the offices of operators. You must have a passport or at least a copy of it. It does not hurt and learn a few French sentences, because English is poorly understood here.

The quality of communications in Algeria leaves much to be desired. The Internet can often freeze up or even be lost for a while. Free wireless networks are not much help either, Wi-Fi here is weak and often fails.

Tips and tricks

In Algeria is better to refrain from renting a car. Given the quality of rental cars, the order of the roads and the cost of the service itself, this idea has more minuses than pluses.

Tourists should avoid areas near the eastern borders with Libya and Tunisia. Firstly, there is not much to see there, and secondly it is quite dangerous places, and it’s better to stay away from them.

If you decide to go deep into the Sahara and see the desert from the inside, it is better to do it with professional guides and excursions. The desert is an extreme place, and without some experience tourists are not recommended to go there alone.

Transportation in Algeria

Most tourists, and locals as well, move around the Algerian north, because life in this country boils there. The main transport axis is Tlemcen, Oran, Algiers, Constantine and Annaba.

Algeria has the longest railroad in Africa, so trains are quite common. The company that provides these services, called SNTF, train tickets can be purchased on their website and directly at the station.

However, the local railroad often has delays, as well as changes in the schedule.

Buses, too, most often do not adhere to a rigid schedule, and run irregularly. Most bus routes are within a small region.

For longer distances, you can use shuttle buses, which travel between major population centers as they fill up. Their cost is low, about $0.5 per 100 kilometers of travel.

Given Algeria’s distances, air travel is popular here. As mentioned, there are more than a hundred airports in the country, so you can use Air Algerie flights to get around.

Tickets are not very expensive, for example, a flight from Oran to the capital will cost about $40-50, one way.

With rent a car in Algeria, the situation is not the best. There are practically no international rental brands, and local ones, with little competition, are exaggerating the prices.

In addition, local rental companies are not known for transparency and honesty, as well as quality cars. It is possible to hire a car with a driver, but do not use this service for a long period of time.

The subway was opened in the capital of Algeria in 2011. So far there is only 1 line and 19 stations, but this transport is developing. The fare is 0.2-0.3 dollars, there are also passes for several days.

How to get to Algiers

There are more than 120 airports in Algeria, but most of them are for domestic flights. There are a dozen international airports, but the main ones are only three.

The largest and main airport in the country is located in the capital, as it should be. It is called Huari Boumediene (ALG), in honor of the former president. This airport is a hub for Algerian airline Air Algérie, which connects it with most cities in the world.

The company also has direct flights to Moscow to Sheremetyevo, the flight takes about 5 hours.

There are no other direct flights from Russian cities to Algeria, the other options are only with connections. Flights to ALG airport come from Istanbul, Barcelona, Paris, Doha, Frankfurt, Dubai, London, Rome and other major cities.

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