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  • Learn about the Roman colony of Timgad, the ‘Pompeii of Africa’, founded by Emperor Trajan on the edge of the Aurès Mountains

  • Discover several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Casbah in Algiers, Timgad, Djémila and the M’Zab valley

  • Explore Tipasa, an enchanting coastal town featuring Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine ruins above a sparkling azure sea

“The usual excellence one expects from ACE… Philip Kenrick’s knowledgeable guiding was deeply impressive”

ACE customers on the 2023 Algeria: Rome Meets the Sahara tour with Philip Kenrick

Algeria’s diverse eastern landscapes range from coastal panoramas set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean, through the beautiful mountainous hinterland, to the Sahara desert.


The variety of ancient sites and monuments encompasses ruined cities and traces of the desert frontier of the Roman Empire, medieval oasis towns and the Ottoman and French colonial architecture of the coastal region.


We will begin our exploration of Algeria in ‘Alger la Blanche’ with its labyrinthine Casbah and Ottoman palaces, before flying eastwards to Annaba, to view the evocative ruins of Hippo Regius, once the seat of Saint Augustine. Khemissa is a little-visited but well-preserved native site of Roman character.


We will stay in Constantine, the ‘City of Bridges’, and visit the steep hillside site of Tiddis (birthplace of the builder of the Antonine Wall), before continuing to the Roman colony of Timgad via the Medracen and the huge military base of Lambaesis. Djémila (ancient Cuicul) is another Roman foundation which has been extensively excavated in a dramatic mountain landscape.


After exploring Sétif, where we shall see one of the finest Roman mosaics known, we will fly south to Ghardaïa in the picturesque M’Zab valley: this is a remote region, to which people have often fled to avoid population movements on the coast. Our tour will end on the coast again, with a visit to the town of Cherchell, once a glittering royal capital, and a day excursion to the remarkable coastal site of Tipasa, also listed by UNESCO. 


Algeria is still finding its feet after the painful experience of its own ‘Arab Spring’ in the 1990s. Since early 2019 it has also been feeling its way towards a new relationship between the people and their rulers, but with exemplary restraint on all sides. Over ten years of ACE tours to Algeria, we have had no anxieties about visiting this wonderful country.


This is a large country and there will be long coach journeys over sometimes uneven roads. The standard of hotels and service rarely matches the levels that we expect in Western Europe, but the warmth of the welcome is genuine, and we are confident that you will find the tour a rewarding introduction to this dynamic yet little known country.


This tour will be led by Philip Kenrick, MA, DPhil, an archaeologist who has worked in Libya at Leptis Magna, Benghazi and Cyrene, and produced a major volume on Sabratha. He has also worked on excavations near Agrigento in Sicily, and on other sites in Italy, Turkey and Jordan. He co-authored the 2019 book Classical Antiquities of Algeria: A Selective Guide.

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