Mountains, Travel Destinations, Trekking, Climbing
From the Mediterranean coast the landscape peaks in the Atlas Mountains before it stretches across the Sahara Desert. With such varied topography, Algeria's landscape is diverse and fascinating. Algeria's mountain ranges cover large portions of the land. Some of Algeria's mountains form part of the great Atlas Mountain Range whilst others are located only within the country's borders.
The Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountain Range extends some 2400km/1500 miles across Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It creates a border between the Mediterranean and the Sahara desert and is home to remote Arab villages in Algeria. This impressive mountain range is made up of the following sections: Middle Atlas, Anti-Atlas, High Atlas, Tell Atlas and Saharan Atlas. The latter two ranges are located in Algeria.
The Saharan Atlas
This Algerian Mountain Range makes up the eastern section of the Atlas Mountains. Djebel Aissa is the tallest peak in the Saharan Atlas, reaching 2236 meters in height. Smaller ranges that make up the Saharan Atlas include Ouled-Nael, Amour and Ksour. The Saharan Atlas later meets up with the Tell Atlas, forming the T’bessa and Medjerda ranges. Wadis, such as the Touil, run down from the Saharan Atlas. Wadis are riverbeds that only flow in wet seasons. Chaoui Berbers are the chief residents of this mountain range and they live mainly where the landscape makes agriculture possible.
The Tell Atlas
Measuring some 1500km in length, the Tell Atlas Mountain Range makes its way through Morocco, across Algeria and into Tunisia. The Tell Atlas runs parallel to the Saharan Atlas until it meets in the eastern side of Algeria. Many of Algeria’s important cities are located along the Tell Atlas; this includes the capital of Algiers and Oran. The Chelif River runs from the Tell Atlas into the Mediterranean Sea and provides Algeria’s inhabitants with a fertile agricultural valley.
The Aures Mountains
This range forms and extension of the Atlas Mountains. It is located in eastern Algeria just to the east of Algeria’s Saharan Atlas. Djebel Chelia, also known as Kaltum, is the tallest peak in this range and reaches a height of 2328 m. The Aur’s Mountains are very isolated and remain the home of the Shawia people.
The Ahaggar Mountains (aka Hoggar)
Located in the south of Algeria, the Hoggar is a highland area of the central parts of the Sahara. The geography of the region consists mostly of rocky desert. Mount Tahat is the tallest peak of the area, reaching 2918m in height. A common attraction to these Algerian mountains is Assekrem, the place where Le Pere de Foulcault resided in 1905. Due to its less extreme climate, the Hoggar is a region of great biodiversity. The Ahaggar Mountains are the abode of the Imuhagh, who are part of the Tuareg. Nearby is the tomb of Tin Hinan, ancestor and matriarch of the Tuareg people. The Ahaggar region is very popular amongst tourists, with many tour operators visiting the area.
The Tassili n’ Ajjer
Lying in the southeast of Algeria, this Saharan mountain range stretches some 500km. The highest point in the Tassili n’Ajjer range is Adrar Afao at 2158 meters. As the mountains are chiefly composed of sandstone, many awe-inspiring natural rock arches have formed. Vegetation in the range is mostly scattered woodland. The range is also popular with tourists because of its archeological interest, which includes the brilliant examples of ancient rock art that are found here. Large portions of the range are protected as part of the Tassili n’Ajjer National park.
Other Mountains and Ranges
Jebel Chenoua, to the west of Algiers, is a mountain group on the coast. Located between Tipaza and Cherchell, Jebel Cheoua is home to Berber speakers. The Gueltara Mountains are in the west of Algeria. The highest point in this small range is 755m high.