The Mediterranean coast of North Africa used to be an allurement for tourists. Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt have been the most effective of the region in popularizing their culture abroad, thus being the most popular destinations in the region. However, since the Arab Spring in 2011, fewer tourists favor North Africa as their target for the holiday season. This has helped the formerly less popular places to become more noticeable One of these places is Algeria.
This North African country is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of population and area. Most of Algeria map is covered by the Sahara Desert, therefore most of the vast country's territory is uninhabitable. The bulk of the 40 million Algerian population are condensed near the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite its diverse spectacular sites, Algeria does not receive a considerable amount of tourists from the rest of the world, and domestic tourism is basically nonexistent.
The vast desert areas are one of the popular attractions for foreigners - local tourism agencies organize off-road tours to every section of the Sea of Sand. The M'Zab Valley is definitely one of the most interesting accessible place in the Sahara. The communities around the valley are called "fortified villages", and are mainly inhabited by Bedouin and Berber people, living in harsh climatic conditions.
Other illustrious sites include the ruins of ancient towns of Timgad and Tipasa, as well as the country's capital, Algiers. The Algerian coastline of the Mediterranean was occupied by the Roman Empire for several centuries. Consequently, many ancient ruins are scattered in this area. Algiers, the capital, is a busy metropolis, home of around five million people. The city is a perfect example of a mixture of modern French and ancient Arab and Ottoman architecture.