Discover Algeria's ancient sites and monuments, from ruined Byzantine churches to Ottoman and French colonial architecture, on this cultural tour encompassing four World Heritage sites. Our itinerary, led by classical archaeologist Philip Kenrick, uncovers medieval oasis towns, and crosses the Aurès Mountains to uncover evocative traces of the desert frontier of the Roman Empire.
Depart Gatwick 0840 on British Airways, arriving Algiers 1120. Transfer to Hotel Aurassi for one night. Afternoon: Cathedral of Notre Dame d’Afrique, short orientation walk in central Algiers. Introductory talk.
Morning and early afternoon in Algiers: exploration of the Casbah and one of more of the Ottoman palaces within it. Afternoon flight to Annaba for two nights at Hotel Golden Tulip Sabri.
Morning: colonial era Basilica of St Augustine and site of Hippo Regius (forum, theatre, ancient basilica of St Augustine, market, museum). Afternoon: Annaba and Cap de Garde.
Guelma (museum in reconstructed Roman theatre) followed by Khemissa (well-preserved theatre, forum, temples, Byzantine fortress). Two nights at Hotel Ibis, Constantine.
Morning: hillside ruins of Tiddis (home of Quintus Lollius Urbicus, builder of the Antonine Wall in Scotland). Afternoon: Cirta Constantine Museum and walking tour of the city.
Whole-day excursion to Roman ruins of Djémila (ancient Cuicul). Continue via the barely-explored ancient settlement of Mons for overnight stay at Hotel Rif, El Eulma.
Morning: via the Medracen (grandiose pre-Roman tumulus-burial) to Lambaesis (upper site with Temple of Aesculapius, Capitolium, museum). Afternoon: Timgad (Roman and Byzantine ruins, museum). Overnight stay at Hotel Salim, Batna.
Return visit to Lambaesis (2nd century legionary base, amphitheatre); drive southwards, crossing the Aurès Mountains through the Gorge of Tighanimine (Roman road-building inscription). Afternoon: mosque and tomb of Sidi Okba, Roman frontier post of Thabudeos. Overnight stay at Hotel Royal, Biskra.
Drive south of Biskra to the ruins of Gemellae, one of the southernmost Roman forts in Algeria; then westwards to the oasis town of Bou Saada (medina, tomb of orientalist painter Étienne Dinet). Overnight stay at Hotel Kerdada, Bou Saada.
Drive northwards to Algiers, through dramatic scenery, with a visit to the short-lived medieval capital of the Hammadid dynasty, Qala'at Bani Hammad. Three nights at Hotel Aurassi, Algiers.
Morning visit in Algiers to National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Art followed by Cherchell (Roman port, museum with striking mosaics) and Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania.
Whole-day excursion to beautiful World Heritage site of Tipasa (Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine ruins above an azure sea).
Depart Algiers 1220, arriving Gatwick 1510.