Algeria | Roman Mauretania

Djemila
Djemila
Arch of Caracalla, Djemila
Arch of Caracalla, Djemila
Thermal complex in Guelma
Thermal complex in Guelma
Constantine
Constantine
Architecture of Setif
Architecture of Setif
Basilica of Saint Augustin, Annaba
Basilica of Saint Augustin, Annaba
Casbah of Algiers
Casbah of Algiers

Algeria is still one of the least-visited countries in the world, but access to its ruinous Classical cities is now easier than it has been for some years. The sites are a palimpsest of Numidian, Roman and Byzantine remains, and include probably the best-preserved colonia anywhere in the Empire – Timgad.

  • Wander perfectly preserved streets at the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Roman Djémila and Timgad with its immaculate gridded plan
  • In Sétif gaze upon one of the most exquisite mosaics in all of the Roman world – the ‘Triumph of Dionysus’
  • Explore the Roman ‘City of Bridges’, Constantine, and the evocative ruins of Hippo Regius
  • Visit museums, which have been little-publicised, contain some astounding artefacts, displayed with great simplicity

Themes

  • Romans

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We fly from London to Algiers and transfer to our hotel in Setif. This evening we’ll have dinner together as a group.

Hotel: Novotel Setif
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We start our day at the Setif Archaeological Museum, home to some unusual artefacts, but also some exceptional Roman mosaics including the ‘Triumph of Dionysus’. Afterwards we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Djemila, our first ancient city, which has been described as ‘one of the most perfect expressions of the meeting of Roman power and African beauty’. Via Béni Fouda on ancient border of Nuimidia and Mauritania, we continue on to Constantine.

Hotel: Novotel Constantine
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Our morning is spent first at the beautifully situated ruined city of Tiddis and then in El Khroub at the old Nubian Tomb of Massinisa. The city of Constantine has always been a natural fortress, dramatically situated on a plateau by a deep ravine. Here we’ll see its museum, kasbah, suspension bridge and the Palace of Ahmed Bey one of the finest Ottoman-era buildings in the country.

Hotel: Novotel Constantine
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

St. Augustine ended his days at Hippo Regius, and we visit the splendid ancient city and the basilica dedicated to him in the 19th century. This was once a port, situated on an inlet which has since silted over, leaving the ruins isolated and complete. We continue, via the hot springs at Hammam D’Bagh, to visit the theatre and museum at Guelma. The Numidian Jugurtha won an important battle against the Romans here.

Hotel: Hotel Sabri
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We travel north into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to Madaure. This was the birthplace of Apuleius in the 2nd century AD, and later, where the 4th century churchman St. Augustine was educated. The impressive ruins reflect this mixed Numidian, Roman and Christian history. Khemissa is a huge ancient city set in glorious surroundings. We also travel through Souk Ahras, the birthplace of Augustine.

Hotel: Timgad Hotel Hazem
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Timgad is the text-book Roman town: the entire layout survives, retaining its playing-card shape and strict grid of streets. The World Heritage list of sites describes it as ‘an excellent example of Roman town planning‘. Trajan ordered its construction in AD100 for veterans of the Third Legion Augusta. Afterwards we continue on to the Roman garrison town of Lambaesis, the main military base of the legion which held the whole of North Africa at the beginning of the 2nd century AD.

Hotel: Timgad Hotel Hazem
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We spend our day travelling southwards through the spectacular scenery of the Aurès Mountains to the Biskra province which lies on the northern edge of the Sahara. In the town of El Kantara visits include the mosque and tomb of Sidi Okba, the abandoned mud-brick village of Thouda and canyon village of Rhoufi and lastly the Gorge of Tighanimine.

Hotel: Timgad Hotel Hazem
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Our morning is spent travelling back to Algiers, but before lunch we visit the Bardo Museum housed in a neo-Moorish villa and the Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts. After lunch in a private home in the Casbah, a unique kind of medina or Islamic city but also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we end our day with a visit to local mosque and an Arts and Crafts Museum.

Hotel: Lamaraz Arts Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

We spend the whole of today along Mediterranean west of Algiers. Driving west we reach Cherchell, Phoenician Iol and Roman Caesarea, which was once the capital of the Numidian client King Juba II and his wife Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra. Our afternoon is spent at the Roman city of Tipasa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking the sea, with impressive remains both of the high Roman Empire, and of the early Christian period. We also stop at the huge cylindrical tomb, variously called the ‘Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania’ or the ‘Tomb of the Christian Woman’.

Hotel: Lamaraz Arts Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 10

Depending on flight times, there may be free time in Algiers, before continuing to the airport for our flights back to London.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

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2020 Tour Details

Tue 29th Sep - Thu 8th Oct

Available

£3,695

inc.

sgl supp: £525

ALG20A

Led By: Dr Eireann Marshall

Sun 1st Nov - Tue 10th Nov

Available

£3,695

inc.

sgl supp: £525

ALG20B

Led By: Steve Roskams

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