Ghardaa is a small town located on the north coast of Africa, roughly the size of Alaska and Texas combined. It is one of the world’s hardest places to enter and among the least visited, with only a handful of foreign visitors. However, it is a rewarding destination that can be reached via a short-haul flight from mainland Europe, and is considered to be safe and relatively stable.
Algeria was the most prized possession of the French empire between 1830 and 1962, and independence came in 1962 after a bloody eight-year war between Algerian insurgents and French colonists. In the 1990s, an Islamist insurgency instigated a bloody and protracted civil war, and anti-government protests toppled the administration of long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as recently as April 2019. The government of Algeria has a disinterest in tourism due to the economic dominance of hydrocarbons. This is due to the oil and gas sector, which accounts for 20 percent of its GDP and tourism accounts for 0.1%.
However, Algeria is a giant hiding in plain sight, with historic cities like Constantine, Oran, and the capital Algiers. Ancient Roman outposts like Djemila and Timgad are among the best preserved archaeological destinations in North Africa, and the dune seas of the Great Ergs crash against the sandstone massifs of Hoggar and Tassili n’Ajjer. The rewards for coming to Algeria are many, with historic cities like Constantine, Oran, and the capital Algiers, Ancient Roman outposts like Djemila and Timgad, and the sandstone massifs of Hoggar and Tassili n’Ajjer.