Algeria holidays, Desert and History

“Unearth the cultural and colonial heritage of Algeria as you journey westwards from Algiers to Tlemcen and Oran via UNESCO sites, sand dunes and colonnaded city streets.”


Algiers | Place des Martyrs | neo-Moorish and French colonial architecture | Tipasa | Tomb of the Christian | Timgad | Kasbah of Algiers | arch of Trajan | Constantine | Casbah | Palace of Ahmed Bey | Djemila | Sétif | Grand Erg | journey from Taghit to Tlemcen | Oran | Bey’s Palace | the Grand Mosque |

Description of Algeria holidays, Desert and History

Africa’s largest country really should need no introduction although, for many, it remains way off the radar in terms of tourism and as a general holiday destination, which can only be good news for small guided groups looking for an exciting and educational 12 day Algeria holiday.

Set against the cool blues of the Mediterranean, Algiers, the capital, is a great place to start, and an experience in itself with French and Roman influence still in evidence amongst ecclesiastical architecture and ancient ruins that are easily on par with better known European counterparts.

French is actually still widely spoken in Algeria so you might want to dust off your A-level text books prior to delving deeper into the Andalucían and Ottoman heritage which runs through the cultural core of other Algerian cities, such as Oran and Telmcen

An internal flight to Bechar and the oasis town of Taghit takes you into the Sahara Desert where rock paintings and mud built houses can be found in the all-encompassing shadows of the Grand Erg Occidental.

From deeply moving desert landscapes to Ottoman and Roman history lessons, this 12 day Algeria holiday leaves nothing to the imagination and guarantees cultural horizons will be truly expanded and magical memories will still be alive and well, long after the tan has finally faded.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


Check dates, prices & availability

09 Oct 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Oct 2021 departure
04 Dec 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Dec 2021 departure
12 Mar 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Mar 2022 departure
08 Oct 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Oct 2022 departure
03 Dec 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Dec 2022 departure
Our top tip:
Listen to your guides when they brief you on local customs, especially with regards to places of worship and asking permission to take photos. Also, brush up on your French as it's widely spoken in Algeria.
Trip type:
Small group. Max 12. No age limit.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Cultural sightseeing, desert oasis and 1 long drive.
Comfortable hotels and traditional guest houses.
Accommodation, transport, entrance fees and tour guide throughout.
All breakfasts and lunches in addition to 4 evening meals
Solo travellers welcome.
Holiday type

Small group cultural tours

Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends it's good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental throughout the tour of Algeria, if/when camping we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us. We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted and green thinking is only just emerging. This also includes working with suppliers to reduce water usage – particularly significant in the heart of the Sahara where the scant water that exists is incredibly precious for local people.

Our visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the beautiful town of Tipasa help to support local projects to conserve the areas cultural and geographical heritage. Clients and guides are briefed on local customs and general courtesy (such as asking permission before taking photographs/dress-codes/conduct in places of worship etc) and behave appropriately.

The Impacts of this Trip

We employ local guides and drivers from Algiers, providing employment and income.. Our leaders and local guides will carefully explain the customs and cultures of the communities visited to ensure that our travellers are able to behave sensitively towards fragile communities, and help them gain from tourism while not being affected by some of its more negative aspects. By visiting these communities, many of whom live outside the cash based economy, you are able to contribute to their ability to trade with mainstream society and gain some of the associated benefits.

In our pre-departure information we include guidelines about photography – this is particularly relevant if or when we are among the Tuareg, who are generally incredibly photogenic although sometimes not keen on having their photo taken. Although many people are happy to be photographed, others are not, and we emphasise to our travellers the importance of respecting people’s wishes.

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.


3 Reviews of Algeria holidays, Desert and History

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Djemilla in the snow, tipaza desert, berber village welcome.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take a comfy pillow and a bath plug. A lot of time in a bus. Take your own bottle of vodka. Bjaia is a dump but the park is nice. Try and fly down to the far south desert Tminrasset and spend more time in the desert.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent some it if in retrospect moments of discomfort get forgotten lovely people few tourists.

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

In no particular order, 1. Visiting the amazing Roman sites 2. Seeing the marvellous Roman mosaics in the Djemila museum 3. Climbing the Grand Erg Occidental dune at Taghit

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

- Ensure you have a supply of toilet paper with you each day!
- Be aware that the sightseeing proceeds at a fast pace, and that shopping opportunities, e.g. for souvenirs, are very limited.
- Recognise that Algeria is a third world country and that hotel facilities are sometimes a little haphazard. Wifi can be patchy!
- Credit cards are accepted in the restaurant of the Ibis Constantine , or at least were during our October 2017 trip.
- Don't be shy of speaking to the locals if you get the chance; for them tourists are a novelty and we found them extremely welcoming. A polite "Assalam
Aleikhum" or "Bonjour" is always well received.
- Be prepared for long journeys on a minibus with limited legroom.
- Be aware that you will be escorted by Algerian officials on all journeys.
- Be aware that you will need to rely on your local guide to change money (e.g. euros into dinars) for you - it appeared that visitors lacking appropriate
documents are not able to change money themselves in banks.
- (Fairly obviously) most restaurants do not serve alcohol.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

- Spending money in shops and restaurants presumably helps local people.
- Algeria needs to deal with its appalling litter problems.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our tremendously knowledgeable guide Ahmed and main driver Kamal were wonderfully helpful and added greatly to the success of the tour.

Some of the eating stops were not able to cater for everyone's dietary needs. Even a 'good' restaurant like l'Equinoxe in Tlemcen were pretty clueless where vegetarians / vegans were involved, not even being able to provide something like couscous with chickpeas which we asked for. Apart from this, and with some notable exceptions, the menus tended to be somewhat repetitive, a gourmet tour this is not!

All in all, despite various snags, the holiday was a great experience.

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Roman ruins of Algeria are always a highlight, even more when one is blessed with a very good Guide as we had. Algiers is very beautiful, as far as I know the only Art Nouveau town, beautiful, despite the decay and rainy weather.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Brace yourself for long drives (mainly from the desert onwards) and the nuisance of local security, which is not really intended to our security, as they often forget their own relay...

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people did benefit mainly when meals were organized at their homes; given the speed of "security" cars, environment did not benefit at all, and it seems that Algeria is not at all concerned: it has huge pollution clouds and plastic bags everywhere...

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for the feedback. Pollution in general and from plastic bags are a problem in the country and an issue we raise regularly with the tourist board. We will continue to press this point with them.

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