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Algeria - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

The public transport system in large Algerian cities is quite modern even if it is disorganized in some cases. It is recommended that foreign visitors use taxis, especially for trips inside a Wilaya (a department).

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

For safety reasons, using long distance public road transport is highly inadvisable. Until the east-west motorway is operational (some time in 2009), travelling by plane is recommended.
Air Algérie serves most large (and medium sized) Algerian cities and has attractive fares.
Rail transport has again become an attractive means of transport, both in terms of fares and keeping to the timetable.
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Air Algérie Major Yes Yes
Tassili Airlines Major Yes Yes
Aigle Azur Low cost No Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: Traveling on your own is unsafe. Fake roadblocks set up by armed groups must still be feared on a certain number of roads, including well traveled roads, often at nightfall. Moreover, the number of road accidents appears to be particularly high, but this is less because of the state of the road network, which is good on the whole, than because motorists do not observe the highway code.
Find an itinerary: Multimap

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Many museums and monuments reflect Algeria's historic past.
In Algiers: the National Museum of Antiquities, the History Museum, the War Museum, the Martyrs' Monument.
Nature: The coastal band, the Atlas mountains, the Oases of the Sahara, the Hoggar mountains in the south, the mountainous massifs of Great Kabylia, Saharan Algeria with its plains and mountains, and the many UNESCO World Heritage sites (see the list).
Religious: Algeria is home to some 15 000 mosques, including a certain number of very old ones. The Great Mosque of Algiers was built in 1018, that of Tlemcen in 1102, the mosque of the Pasha, in Oran, in 1797. See also the mosque of Constantine (in French).
Thermal: Algeria has more than 200 hot springs (in French), some of which date from Roman times.
Beach: Algeria has 309 authorized beaches over all its coastal towns.
Winter sports: Not far from Blida there is a ski slope at Chréa (altitude 1 500 m).
Outdoor activities: Trekking, expeditions in 4x4s, rides on camels, etc. See further information on the Algeria.com. website.
Shopping: Local items that tourists can bring back from Algeria are: carpets, gypsum flowers ("Roses of the sands"), darboukas (percussion instruments), dates. Terracotta or copper items made by local craftsmen are becoming rarer and rarer.
Tourism organizations: Algerian Tourism

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over 1 year of age coming from contaminated areas. There is a limited risk of malaria. A small outbreak (of P.vivax) has been reported at Ihrir (dep. of Illizi) but the place is isolated and difficult to get to.

Health risks are low, except for illnesses linked to a lack of hygiene ( typhoid, hepatitis A, diarrhea...). The traveler really should be vaccinated against typhoid and hepatitis A and B. In any case be very careful about what you eat or drink. Avoid drinking tap water or non industrial drinks. Wash fruits very well (or, even better, peel them) and eat cooked meat dishes (couscous, tajines, spit roast lamb).
For further information on sanitary conditions: The information pages on the World Health Organization website.

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Algiers (GMT+1)
Summer time period: None
Climate: The climate is hot and dry in the south. The temperature is average in the south (27°C), but it often reaches 40°C in summer. The average temperature in the north is 21°C. The rainy season lasts from mid-September to mid-May.

Eating

Food specialties: Lamb with prunes and almonds - Lahm Lhalou : this is a rich, sweet dish.
Couscous which can be prepared with selected vegetables.

You can find recipes typical of Algerian cuisine on the Algerian Cuisine website.
Drinks: Selecto : national fizzy drink
Mint tea
Dietary taboos: Islam forbids Muslims to eat pork. Alcohol must only be consumed in dedicated establishments.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Consult the tool "Foreign Language for Travelers" of the Travlang.com website.
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