£2,545 excl. flight
- Wander UNESCO-listed Kasbah of Algiers
- The outstanding Roman town of Jemila
- Timgad dominated by Trajan’s magnificent arch
Today it is rare to find a country with such a rich architectural heritage so devoid of tourists. Historically, the heart of the Roman province of Mauretania, five centuries of Roman domination and culture have left a timeless legacy of fine Roman remains.
Day 1 London/ Algiers – Fly to Algiers.
Day 2 Tipasa, Cherchell – Drive to beautiful Tipasa, set on the shores of the Mediterranean. Explore the Roman ruins including the ‘Mauritanian Tomb’, which houses the body of Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s daughter. On to Cherchell, the former Roman port of Caesarea, to visit its archaeological museum.
Day 3 Algiers, Setif – Tour historic Algiers including the Museum of Antiquities, the Cathedral of Notre Dame d’Afrique, which mixes Roman and Byzantine styles, and the famous early 16th century Kasbah built as an Ottoman Fort and palace of the local ruler. Travel on to Setif.
Day 4 Jemila, Constantine – Visit Setif Archaeological Museum, then drive to Jemila, one of the most outstanding Roman sites in Algeria and an excellent example of Roman town planning adapted to a mountain location. Continue to dramatic Constantine, ‘The City of Bridges’.
Day 5 Tiddis, Constantine – Tour the Roman site of Tiddis, then return to Constantine to visit picturesque ‘old’ Constantine, including the bridge suspended over the spectacular gorge of Sidi Mcid, the memorial arch, the Kantara Bridge, the aqueduct ruins, the exterior of the Great Mosque and the excellent museum.
Day 6 Annaba – On to the Mediterranean coast and Annaba to visit the ruins of Hippo Regius, including those of the Christian basilica in this town where locally born St Augustine became bishop. A chance to view the modern basilica.
Day 7 Guelma, Tebessa – Visit Guelma, founded by Numidians, conquered by Romans and sacked by the Vandals. Explore its outstanding restored Roman Theatre and Byzantine fortress. Continue to Madaure, with its fine Roman remains and Tebessa, famed for its carpets, to view the Roman monuments interspersed within the town.
Day 8 Khenchella, Timgad, Batna – Visit the Roman baths at Khenchella, then spend the rest of the day visiting Timgad with its splendidly preserved Roman town founded in 100 AD by Emperor Trajan. Continue to Batna.
Day 9 Lambaesis – Visit ‘Le Medracen’ tomb, then the fascinating major Roman site of Lambaesis to explore its arches, legionary fortress and gladiator theatre.
Day 10 Batna/ London – Return flight to London via Algiers.
Iain Shearer is an archaeologist and Research Affiliate at The Centre for Applied Archaeology, University College London. He’s worked extensively on development and conflict archaeology and has excavated in Afghanistan, The Balkans, Central Asia, Iran and the Arab Middle East.
He is currently Sackler Scholar for Iran and Afghanistan at The British Museum and is a Fellow of The Royal Asiatic Society.
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