Saharan Algeria is the vast desert — dotted with oases — in the south of the country.
- 1 Chenachene
- 2 Djanet
- 3 El Goléa
- 4 Ghardaïa
- 5 Illizi
- 6 Ouargla
- 7 Reggane
- 8 Tamanrasset — largest town in Saharan Algeria; the main entry point for those wishing to explore the vast region
- 9 Timimoun — one of the smallest towns in all of Algeria, known for its red ochre buildings
- 10 Tindouf — border town in the southwest, with a large Sahrawi population that escaped the conflict in nearby Western Sahara
- 11 Touggourt
- 1 Hoggar Mountains
- 2 M'zab - a valley with extraordinary, singular architecture; a UNESCO World Heritage site
- 3 Tassili n'Ajjer National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Air Algérie offers flights to almost all Algerian cities. It's the only carrier that serves the Saharan region.
Some of the biggest airports in the area include the following:
- 1 Aguenar-Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport (TMR IATA). The largest airport in the region. Mainly serves the city of Tamanrasset.
- The Trans-Sahara Highway is the main route from Algiers to Tamanrasset. The road is paved and in good condition, however, you need a durable, sturdy vehicle as the climatic conditions of the desert are harsh.
Due to the immense size of the area, the harshness of the Saharan desert, and the uncertain security situation, the only way to get around the area quickly is by plane. This is not to say that it's entirely safe, but it's still a better alternative to travelling overland.
Unless you have experience driving in harsh conditions, it's not wise to get around the region by car.
- 1 In Eker test site (about 150 km north of Tamanrasset). France, the fourth country to produce a nuclear weapon conducted some of their early tests in Sahara as much of Western Africa still was a French colony into the 1960s. On May 1, 1962 an underground test at In Eker went wrong and observers including soldiers and government officials were exposed to radiation. If you happen to drive north-south across Sahara along the road from Algiers to Tamanrasset, you will pass right next to the area.
Perhaps the biggest danger is the extreme heat, which should come as no surprise because the entire region is covered in deserts. Be sure to hydrate often, wear appropriate clothing to deal with the heat, and do not be out for long.
Areas near the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania are unsafe due to terrorism and general lawlessness. Generally speaking, tourists have little reason to go to those areas as they have nothing that interests tourists.
If you plan on staying in the continent for long, you may wish to visit some of Algeria's closest neighbours. Some of them share a culture similar to that of Algeria. As the security situation is rather uncertain, it's often not recommended to travel overland. The best thing to do is to return to Algiers and hop on a flight that will take you to Algeria's closest neighbours since none of the airports in the area offer international flights. However, should the adventurous traveller wish to travel overland, they should consider travelling with an armed escort or someone experienced.
- Morocco - Travelling overland and by air to Morocco is not possible from Algeria.
- Mauritania - Travelling overland and by air is possible from Algeria.