This vast country (the 11th largest in the world) extends from the Mediterranean coast and the capital city of Algiers southwards into the Sahara Desert. Algeria was a French colony from 1830 to 1962 and it was here that the French Foreign Legion first saw action.
There is some fertile land on the north coast , but the remainder of the country is steppe and desert, increasingly dry and hot the further south you travel. In the south of the country, the highland region known as the Hoggar rises out of the desert as a collection of basalt peaks, the largest of which is Jabal Tahat, close to 3000 metres high.
Trekking with camels and Tuareg guides through the sandy wadis of this range, there is the chance to climb to the high plateau of Assekrem, to visit the hermitage of Pere Foucauld. The point of access for this remote region, some 1500 kilometres from the north coast, is the oasis city and Tuareg capital of Tamanrasset.