- 40 million
A true blend of cultures and its almost complete lack of profile on the tourist trail are just a couple of the reasons you might choose to head to this northern African country. Perhaps a little surprising is that, due to its history and location, this vast country (the largest on the continent) is more Arabian than African. The Berbers are its original inhabitants but during thousands of years just about everyone – the Romans, Vandals, Ottomans and, much later, the French – has had a crack at it. Now, there are a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites – the ruins of Beni Hammed Fort, part of the eleventh-century Hammadid dynasty, and the M’Zab Valley, with its large urban oasis, among them – for intrepid adventurers to explore.
The capital Algiers, on the Mediterranean coast, is both beautiful, with its whitewashed buildings on the seafront, and enormous. One of the country’s other World Heritage sites is here: the Algiers Casbah is one of the oldest parts of the city, with the remains of the citadel, old mosques and Ottoman palaces dotting its still bustling alleys.