Republic. Gained independence from France in 1962.
Head of state:
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika since 1999.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal since 2012.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
Algeria is a beguiling blend of cultures spanning a vast chunk of land - taking in everything from whitewashed fishing ports, verdant hillsides and olive groves to the unmatched dramatic landscapes of the Sahara Desert and the Hoggar Mountains.
With more than four-fifths of its territory covered by the Sahara, the desert is Algeria's most striking feature and its biggest draw to travellers. But the north of the country, colonised by the Phoenicians and the Romans and covered with fascinating ruined cities is green and fertile, and the imposing capital Algiers (‘the White City’) has a fascinating Medina to explore and offers and interesting perspective on modern Algerian life.