Explore All the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria

Ancient Roman Ruins of Timgad

Come explore all 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria! These UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria possess incredible historical heritage and cultural importance that are worth exploring on a private Algeria tour.

Al Qal’a of Ben Hammad

Al Qal’a of Ben Hammad is an archaeological site in Algeria that is the home of the remains of the countries 2nd largest ancient mosque set against the mountains. Its minaret is nearly 30 meters high and is the prototype of the famous Seville mosque. Wandering around the ruins of the Palace of the Lake can give you a glimpse of the life led during the 11th century under the Hammadite Empire.

UNESCO describes the site as follows: “In a mountainous site of extraordinary beauty, the ruins of the first capital of the Hammadid emirs, founded in 1007 and demolished in 1152, provide an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city. The Qal’a of Ben Hammad is a remarkable archaeological site. It has influenced the development of the Arab architecture as well as other civilizing influences, including the Maghreb, Andalusia and Sicily.

Tassil n’Ajjer

Tassil n'Ajjer - Dep Sahara Desert of Algeria
Tassil n’Ajjer – Deep Sahara Desert of Algeria

The landscape of the Sahara Desert in Tassil n’Ajjer can be described as out-of-this-world. It is no wonder that many actually compare it to Planet Mars! There are vast sandstone plateaus with massive rock formations that have been uniquely shaped by water and wind erosion over thousands of years. The sand dunes here are the tallest sand dunes you will find in the Sahara desert. Many travellers who have visited say it is a once-in-a-lifetime dream experience to camp in the magnificent Algerian Sahara Desert.

There are over 15,000 prehistoric cave paintings and engravings at the Tassil n’Ajjer National Park for you to discover! You can also discover some of the most unique rock formations including one shaped as a porcupine, and another shaped as a World Cup trophy.

You also don’t want to check out the famous Crying Cows Rock Engraving, located outside Algeria’s Tassil n’Ajjer National Park⁠. It is so unique that we wrote an entire article about the Crying Cows Rock Engraving in Algeria.

Djemila

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Djemila
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Djemila

Djemila is a mountain village near the northern coast east of Algiers. It houses some of the best preserved Berber-Roman ruins. The village has been included in UNESCO’s list for its unique adaptation of Roman architecture in a mountain environment.

There is an ancient Christian church building with a very well-preserved baptistery that is unique to the site. You will also want to visit the large forum, amphitheater, baths, and the marketplace.

Don’t forget to visit the local museum which displays one of the world’s richest collections of Roman mosaics from a single site.

Casbah of Algiers (also known as Kasbah of Algiers)

Kasbah of Algiers (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Kasbah of Algiers (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The Casbah of Algiers has been recognized for its fascinating labyrinth with winding alleys, walled gardens, and beautiful Ottoman-style houses. The Casbah is located in the Algiers capital of the country where the Berber-Arabic-Franco modernization meets the old world. A walk through the Casbah is like a walk through the past. Make your way down a steep hillside while passing by many white-washed homes along the way. Arrive at a bustling street packed with shops and vendors. Continue your way to the harbour while marvelling at the overabundance of French colonial buildings. And don’t forget to visit the 18th century Ottoman grandeur of the Palais des Rais. The nearby museums are also worth exploring which adds to the historical education.

M’Zab Valley and Ghardaia

Ghardaia in the M'Zab Valley (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Ghardaia in the M’Zab Valley (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

The M’Zab Valley located in the northern edge of the Sahara has been inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It mainly comprises of five fortified oases towns – Ghardaïa, Beni Isguen, El Atteuf, Melika, and Bounoura. These towns were founded between 1012 and 1350 by the Ibadites. Ghardaïa is the main town and also the capital of the M’Zab Valley.

Today, there are an estimated 360,000 Mozabites living in the M’zab valley. They are primarily Ibadi Muslims, which differs from the Maliki Muslims which form the majority of Algeria. The M’zab valley is rightfully an UNESCO World Heritage Site that is rich in culture, history and tradition. Much of the 1,000 year old customs have been preserved and continue to be practiced even today.

We prepared this guide for those interested in visiting the M’zab valley and Ghardaia: Travel to Ghardaia (Everything You Need to Know)

Timgad

Ancient Roman Ruins of Timgad
Ancient Roman Ruins of Timgad

Timgad has been classified by UNESCO as “an excellent example of Roman town planning… a compelling image of the grandeur of Rome on Numidian soil“. Founded in 100AD as a military colony by Emperor Trajan, Timgad depicts the way of living typical for the Romans. It was believed that this ancient Roman city was once home to about 15,000 inhabitants. The site itself is a bit isolated in the Aures Mountains which makes it less frequented but should not be missed!

Pro Tip: Climb to the top of the amphitheatre for a spectacular panoramic view of Timgad.

Tipaza (also known as Tipasa)

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tipasa
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tipaza

The archaeological site of Tipaza is one of the most extraordinary archaeological complexes of the Maghreb. It is no wonder that this ancient sea port and trading post has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It bears exceptional testimony to the Punic and Roman civilizations. Tipaza also had a strong African Christianity heritage as evidenced by its numerous Christian monuments, basilicas, and inscriptions.

Tipaza is one of the most visited Roman ruins site in Algeria. It is definitely worth the visit especially as it is conveniently located about a one-hour drive away from the Algiers capital.

Plan a Private Tour to Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria

All of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria that are listed above are some of the best historical and cultural sites in the country. These sites have consistently been the highlights for travellers visiting Algeria.

Contact one of our travel experts today to start planning your Algeria trip. We’re happy to help assist with your Algeria visa application, or customize a tour itinerary including camping in the Tassil n’Ajjer National Park in the deep Algerian Sahara Desert. Feel free to also browse through our popular Algeria Tour Itineraries which include many of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria.

About the author

Joshua Mok has been living in Tunisia since 2016. He has traveled extensively throughout the country, and has firsthand experience with the language, people, and culture of North Africa. It is his passion to introduce to others some of the best destinations in North Africa that he has experienced.
2 Responses
  1. Donna giaquinto

    Hi Joshua looking for an algeria tour for two pax. Cover world heritage sites and major tourist sights. Have about 12 days. Then going to tunisia for 6 days. Need comfort air conditioning. Sept 2024. Or we can make our own reservations if you tell us dates and cities. Please advise.

    1. Joshua Mok

      Hi Donna. Thanks for inquiring about our Algeria/Tunisia tours. You should have received an email from one of our Travel Experts. He can help you to organize a private tour to North Africa. We hope you’ll be able to come visit these amazing world heritage sites.

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