Tigzirt: A Delightful Seaside Village

The sleepy seaside town of Tigzirt in the Tizi Ouzou Province of Algeria is somewhat off the beaten track when it comes to mainstream tourism. Located on the coast of northeast Algeria, with rugged hills rising up from the seashore, Tigzirt is starting to gain recognition as a peaceful holiday destination for city-weary travelers.

It is believed that the site Tigzirt now stands on was inhabited in the prehistoric era, but it was during the rule of the Roman Empire that it gained prominence as a trading port. No traces are left of the port built by the Romans, and a new port has been constructed on the outskirts of the town, used primarily for leisure watercraft and fishing boats. There are a scattering of Roman ruins outside the town, while ruins of a 5th or 6th century basilica remain as evidence of the fact that the Christian religion was at one time prominent in the area, which is now predominantly Muslim.

The town itself is very appealing, with evergreen trees lining both sides of many of the streets, providing a sense of tranquility even in the busiest parts of the town. The beach is naturally quite stony and efforts are being made to clear these stones from portions of the beach to make them more tourist-friendly. Nevertheless, with or without stones, the sheltered beach is lovely to walk on and many holidaymakers and locals enjoy a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea. There are a number of affordable hotels in the town and in the summer months, a local tourist office is open. Those looking for more luxurious accommodation can travel a few kilometers to the east and enjoy the facilities of the Hotel Mizrana.

Nestled in the rolling green hills moving inland and to the east of Tigzirt are a number of small villages and settlements, many of them virtually self-sufficient. The people are friendly and hospitable and daily life in these villages is seemingly untouched by the rapid advancement of technology in the cities. Outside the village of Taguercift is an enormous rock standing alone, surrounded by low-growing shrubby vegetation. There is much speculation as to how this rock, which the locals refer to as the “Black Stone”, came to be where it is. There is no evidence of an earthquake in the surroundings that may explain it and the most popular theory is that it fell from space. There are some smaller rocks scattered around the Black Stone which support this theory.

Algeria is certainly a fascinating country with plenty to offer visitors in the way of history, culture, natural beauty and hospitality. Should you have the opportunity to explore Algeria, you may want to take some time to visit Tigzirt and its surrounding villages, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and get acquainted with the friendly people who live there.