With a glittering Mediterranean coastline featuring gorgeous beaches and some of northern Africa's best nightlife, mountains and stark desert interior, Algeria offers travelers a taste of the French colonial past with a modern and cosmopolitan Islamic flair.
The vast expanses of Algeria's stark slice of the Saharan are buttressed by the Mediterranean, a strip of northern coastline that features the capital, Algiers, and bands of mountains and highlands to the west and east. Algiers is one of the crown jewels of the region with its center of politics and culture, and it features whitewashed French colonial architecture and UNESCO heritage-listed Casbah; Algeria hotel options are plentiful and range from the budget-friendly to the luxuriant, and cheap flights to Algiers arrive from a number of European destinations or through links from outside Europe.
Nearby Batna beckons with its Roman ruins and Ghoufi Canyons, as does the striking cliffside city of Constantine, where buildings crowd along sheer cliff faces linked by bridges. Oran lies to the west of Algiers, and it is the second jewel in Algeria's crown and the second-largest city. Oran has been dubbed by many as a "second Paris," which both makes sense and doesn't; the city was built by the French, but it more mimics the look and feel of Nice with its nightlife, which is unrivaled in Algeria and celebrated across northern Africa for nightclubs, cabarets, shopping, and some of the best hotels in Algeria. Great beaches are in nearby Mostaganem, a tourist destination with beach accommodation in the summer; resorts in Algeria abound here as well. Across Algeria's arid south, Tamanrasset is the largest city in the region and is the launchpad for Saharan expeditions and visits to Algeria's Hoggar mountains.
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