The Land of the Atlas
The Maghreb and Land of the Atlas are common nicknames for the Algeria. The people of Algeria are friendly and passionate about their culture. The country’s ethnic groups are derived from Berbers and Berber speaking Algerians with varying dialects and regional languages.
Visitors and tourists to this less travelled country in Northern Africa are captivated by its incredible natural landscapes spanning from the Sahara Desert to the Kabylia Mountains and to the Mediterranean Sea as well as its 6 UNESCO sites and 9 main religious sites. Algeria also offers tourists sites such as its majestic mountains, a beautiful coastline, 10 world famous national parks, and numerous historical and religious sites.
For outdoor enthusiasts, remember to bring your hiking boots so you can explore the Sahara Desert, high mountains, and beautiful oases. Be sure that your that your travel itinerary includes visits to city squares, mosques, and cultural venues so you can fully experience the rich history of this amazing country.
City Guide By Region
Things to Do and See
Algeria is officially known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. In Arabic, the official name is Al-Jumhūriyyah al-Jazāʾiriyyah al-Dīmuqrāṭiyyah al-Shaʿbiyyah and République algérienne démocratique et populaire in French. The country’s name is derived from Algeria’s capital and largest city, Algers and from its historical name Jazāʾir Banī Mazghanna.
Algeria is a semi-presidential republic with a president and prime minister. It’s legislature consists of a Parliament with an Upper House (Council of the Nation) and a Lower House (People’s National Assembly). The country’s political boundaries consist of 48 provinces and 1,543 counties. Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab Maghreb Union, OPEC and the Arab League.
Algeria is not only the largest country in Africa but in terms of geography (total area) it is the tenth largest in the world. Algeria has 48 regions which includes 40 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The three most populous regions are Algiers (3,000,000), Setif (1,500,000), and Oran (1,140,000). Algeria’s three largest cities by population are Algiers (2,100,000), Oran (810,000), and Constantine (475,000).
Below you will find our country profile containing facts and information to familiarize you with Algeria.
- Official Name: Democratic Republic of Algeria
- Location: North Africa
- Current and Historical Nicknames: The Land of Atlas, Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe
- Country Motto: “By the People and For the People”بالشّعب وللشّعب
- Government: Unitary, Republic with a President
- Capital: Algiers
- Select Cities: Oran, Constantine, Touggourt, Ain Serfa, Bilda, El Oued
- Nationality: Algerian
- Religion: Islam
- Population: 42,000,000 (2018)
- Primary Ethnicities: Arab and Berbers; the Blida, Chaoui and Mozabites
- Ethnic Groups: Arab-Berber 99%
- Official Languages: Arabic and Berber
- National Anthem: “Kassaman” or “Qassaman” (“We Pledge”)
- Area: 9,104 km²(3,515 mi²) –
- Average Temperature: 82 °F (28 °C)
- Climate: Desert, coastal regions, mountains
- Highest Elevation: 4,390 ft (1,340 m)
- Points of Interest: Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains, Djebel Babor National Park, the Great Mosques, M’Zab Valley, Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions
- Calling Code: +213
- Coordinates: 28°N 2°E
- Currency: Dinar (DZD)
- Driving side: Right
- Internet TLD: . DZ(الجزائر or, in the Latin alphabet, al-Jazā’ir, pronounced as Al Dzayer)
- Time zone: Central European Time (CET) (UTC + 1)
Is Algeria safe for travelers?
Travelers to Algeria should consider all of their options before planning a visit. Generally,the larger cities are considered safe for tourists although traveling in remote areas and along shared borders must be done with extreme caution due to a number of “no go” zones. Guided tour operators are available with many reputable companies able to serve you. Be sure to do your research with your embassy as well as government resources before exploring on your own.
What languages are spoken in Algeria?
The official languages are Arabic and Berber. Other languages include French which is used for administrative, commercial and educational matters and Darja (Algerian Arabic) which is the language that is used to make communication possible between people who do not share a first language (lingua franca).
What is the temperature like in Algeria?
The weather and climate in the North, along the Mediterranean coast, is mild and pleasant. Naturally, Algeria’s desert and mountain regions have much more diverse climatic conditions that significantly contrast depending on the time of year. For example, in Algiers the temperature ranges from a minimum of 6 °C (43 °F) in January to a high of 32°C (90 °F) in the summer months of July and August. Temperatures in the Biskra (known as the Gateway to the Sahara) can range from a minimum of 6 °C (43 °F) to a high of 40 °C (104 °F) from June through August.
Is a visa required for entry?
Depending on your country of origin, a passport valid for six months is required for entry into Algeria. However, there are some exceptions for visitors from Morocco and six other countries whom can stay for 90 days without obtaining a visa. Travelers from Israel and not allowed either entry or transit. For US and Canadian citizens visas are required.