Algeria, a Democratic People's Republic of North Africa, is the largest country on the continent. The name derives from the capital Algiers, a city founded by the Berbers, in whose coastal strip some large rocks were evident (in Arabic defined al-Jazāʾir, the islands). Other important cities are Oran, Constantina, Annaba and Blida. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the territory, in addition to the northern coastal area, is characterized by a large mountainous area consisting of the Tellian Atlas and the Saharan Atlas, with Mediterranean cedar and oak forests. The vegetation begins to thin out towards the Chott plateau region, finally arriving at the arid Saharan area where flora is scarce. The southern part of Algeria is dominated by the Sahara desert, which makes up more than 85% of the entire nation.
There are seven Algerian sites declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: Qal'a dei Banu Hammad, where there are important archaeological finds of the Islamic civilization, the municipality of Djémila, where the ancient Roman city of Cuicul was built, the Valley of M'Zab, the Tassili n'Ajjer National Park, a mountainous massif in the Sahara desert, Timgad, a former Roman colony, Tipasa of Mauretania, with the Punic, Roman and Byzantine archaeological remains, and the Casba (fortified citadel) of Algiers. The main port of the country is that of Algiers, one of the most important seaports in all of North Africa. The coastal strip, with a Mediterranean climate, is about 1000 kilometers long, with flat stretches and cliffs.
The Algerian economy is fundamentally based on fossil fuels. More important than agriculture, which is based on cultivation of wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, olives, grapes, oranges and dates, is fishing. Tourism is still in a development phase.
The port of Algiers is the hub of commercial exports but international passenger transport is also active thanks to the ferry rides that connect the city to France. In Algiers, in addition to the Kasbah and the many mosques, the Jardin d'Essai, a park and botanical garden and, nearby, Villa Abd-el-Tif, the former residence of the bey, are touristically interesting.
Oran is one of the most economically active cities in the Maghreb. In the gulf of the same name there is an important commercial port. Its territory extends from the west side of the Algerian coast on the Mediterranean to Mount Aidour. Places of cultural interest are the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and the Spanish defensive construction Fort Santa Cruz.
Constantina, located in the strip just before the eastern coast of the country, takes its name from that of the Roman emperor Constantine I who founded it in the fourth century. Here the ma'luf musical genre was born, a mixture of Arabic and Andalusian music. Do not miss the Cirta National Museum, the Ahmed Bey Palace, the Emir Abd-el-Kader mosque. Also known as the city of suspension bridges, the Sidi M'Cid and Mellah Slimane bridges are exciting just to see too.
Annaba is located on the northeastern coast, between the sea and the woods of Mount Edough. Here, too, there are, in addition to an ancient Arab nucleus, large European districts. The surroundings of the central square, Le Cours, are characterized by French colonial architecture. On a hill is the Kasbah, the oldest part, with Ottoman architecture. The Basilica of Sant'Agostino and the archaeological site of Hippo are interesting to visit.
45 kilometers southwest of the capital, 200 meters above sea level, is Blida, washed by the waters of the Wadi Chiffa River. Surrounded by fertile land, cultivated mainly with orange trees, and partly with olive trees and vineyards, it has a local economy centered on the trade of these agricultural products and flour. In the city there are many gardens and fountains and the French influence is evident. Not far away is the Chréa National Park, with the homonymous mountain range, whose highest peak is that of Sidi Abdelkader. The vegetation, at these heights, is incredibly luxuriant, in contrast to the arid areas that are located a few kilometers away.