surf spotlight on algeria

1 November 2011 13:46:00 AEDT
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Okay wait a sec, can this be happening? The third world airline you booked through to save a few bucks on the holiday has gone on strike and you have a three day lay over in Algeria. Sure you can stay in the hotel and get high on goofballs but why not grab your board and sample some rare mediterranean surf. Its all about 'timing' in the med. The passage of severe storms is generally required to bring enough fetch to the region to produce anything of merit. Swells last a matter of hours as opposed to days. A mediterranean surf trip involves lots of 'looking' to identify where and when it is going to be on. when it all comes together though - its something to behold. Lets explore Algeria:

Level of surfing

Beginner

Quality of surf

Average

Call code

213

Net code

dz

Area

2381740

Coastline

998 km

Climate

arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast

Hazards

Extreme Heat, Coup / Civil Unrest

Best Months

October - December

Population

33333216

Currency

Algerian dinar (DZD) Algerian dinars per US dollar - 72.647 (2006)

Time Zone

Central European time (CET) ALPHA (UTC+1)

Special Requirements

Non tourist Friendly, Strict Religious Observance

introduction

Db2d5c37c8ef320c665124870ff7f94eEscondites: Algeria world location map; 22 December 2007

Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia. It is the second largest country on the African continent and the 11th largest country in the world in terms of total area (2,381,740 sq. km). Algeria is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Arab League, and OPEC. Capital of the country is Algiers with the main cities being Oran, Constantine, Annaba. The country’s terrain is mostly high plateau and desert; mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes and mudslides.

history

31613349fc2deed55f80bfbe1f1c300cVlad2i: Roman Arch of Trajan at Thamugadi (Timgad), Algeria; 13 July 2005

The first inhabitants of Algeria were Berber. Over the centuries, the country has seen the influence of Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, and the Arabs (this last group in the 8th century).

In 1830, the French invaded Algeria and expanded over North Africa. During the following 132 yeas, Algeria was a French colony. In 1962 Algeria obtained independence from France.

Since 1994 the military has exerted power in Algeria placing Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the presidency.

surfing

274151c56d9eb399fb9f21f2df65c008Damien Boilley: La cote d'Alger; 2005

Historically better known for the sweeping deserts of the Sahara, Algeria has something to offer the surfer travelling through North Africa towards the end of the year. November to December are your best chances of catching some serious swell generated by the Sirocco systems that scream out of North Africa and track eastward across the Mediterranean. If you happen to be in the area, just give it a day or two for the storm to move out and the dust to die down and you will be rewarded with some reasonable easterely swell. The swell will hit the coast here is on a fairly acute angle offering quality right hand beach breaks for the discerning. Travelling down to the beach for a wave on a rented camel is one of the most unique experiences that the world of surfing has to offer.

travel

Adeeaff3d97e01f626a79fc0ed7eb180Algeria Sahara (from wikitravel.org)

You can pretty much use all the usuall means of transport in Algeria. The easiest way to get there would be by plane. There are many regular and direct flights from the main cities in Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, Russia, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, United arab Emirates, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and Qatar.

If you happen to be in Tunisia, you can take a train to Algeria (but prepare to change it at the border post). Trains are not of the same level of comfort that you would find, for example...in France, but quite reasonable. But keep in mind that travelling from Tunisia would be the only easy annd safe option here, as the border with Morocco is closed.

The similar situation with the cars - you can travel from Tunisia, no problems with the border posts in the north. Just note that you will need an official guide to go with you across the Saharian routes if you want to enter Algeria from the Tozeur border post in southern Tunisia (the same thing with travelling from Niger), otherwise police will not allow you to get into Algeria with your car. Yeah, and there are som esecurity problems at the Mauritanian and Malian borders, so better stay away from them.

For those who are afraid of flying, there some water routs to and from Algeria. You can take a boat from Spain:

  • Barcelona to Algiers and Oran
  • Alicante to Algiers and Oran
  • Almeria to Gazhaouet

from Italy:

  • Napolis to tunis & take a road for 1 hour
  • Roma(civitavecchia) to tunis & take a road for 1 hour

from France (Marseille to almost every Algerian harbour (Oran, Algiers, Annaba, Skikda, Bejaia, Jijel).

When you have finally got to Algeria, taxis and buses would be a go. They are very cheap and if you are travelling with a company, taxi would probably be even faster and cheaper.

what to pack

16a6554785c61610c31877c320a55f01Dodo: Various kinds of flip-flops; 31 July 2006

A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and will be useful in daily life. Women: remember to take a good flat pair of shoe's.... And for everybody: pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for sightseeing. Beach clothing & sandals will be useful if you are going in the warm season. Try to choose classics, and items that you can mix and match. Have at least one set of nicer clothing for more formal occasions.

Definitely take along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen and sunglasses! Better take your medicines with you (esp. anti hastamine tablets), as the brands can be unfamiliar and cost more. If you are worried you'll get sick, you should take along painkillers and cold/flu medications as well!

And take a good protection for your camera from the sand.

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comments

A329549aed6ffaa683c604058948eba6 Cthulhu
Spots: 224
Posts: 92
Joined: 04-09-2008
Rank: Artisan Navigator
over 9 years ago
Hmmm
lol, awesome

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