The main thing to know about the region of Northern Africa is that there is no formalized collective agreement about which nations actually belong to it.
Most definitions include the nations which border the Mediterranean Sea. Some may include the desert nations of the Sahara as well.
For most definitions, Northern Africa stretches from Morocco to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
Because of the natural barrier the Sahara Desert provides the African continent, the cultures of Northern Africa developed very differently than those found in the sub-Saharan region. The people in the north became affiliated with the European cultural dynasties of Greece and Rome. Migration and communication were frequent.
Rome even had an emperor born in what would be present-day Libya: Septimius Severus.
There is also a distinctive religious presence found in Northern Africa. These cultures make appearances in the major religions of the world. It is a region that is also a major part of the Muslim world.
Not only do visitors benefit from the coastal climates of the Mediterranean, but there are numerous opportunities to explore historical sites. Ruins from the Greeks, Romans, and early Islamic settlers all make for fascinating tours. Like many regions of Africa, there are political considerations that must be taken into account when planning a trip to this region, but careful planning can create a very rewarding experience.
From bustling markets to lonely stretches of beach, Northern Africa has everything one could ever want. Its unique cultural identity makes it a fascinating region to visit.
Below you find a list of countries belonging to the region known as Northern Africa.
Northern Africa A - Z
Popular destinations in North Africa
Bordering Tunisia in the northwest and in the west by Morocco, Algeria’s landscape comprises a large portion of the Sahara Desert and endless stretches of coastline. Algeria has a great variety of beaches to explore, each with their own distinctive features and attractions. The Turquoise Coast is a favourite amongst tourists new to holidaying in Algeria, as it not only has beautiful stretches of sand but offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a range of water sports and boat cruises at their leisure. Algeria’s coast is also home to many natural harbours residing by the Mediterranean Sea.
Located on the west side of the Bay of Algiers, the capital city has been a port since Roman times and many impressive ruins can still be found. The Kasbah of Algiers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the citadel and traditional quarter of the city and the place to head for, quite literally, losing yourself for the day. The area is made up of a labyrinth of lanes and a network of dead-end alleys flanked by picturesque houses. Fear not, once you have experienced enough of the souks and hidden gems the citadel has to offer, head downhill where the sea can be found. Outside of the Kasbah, explore the Notre Dame d’Afrique, accessible by cable car, the Jardin d’essai, exotic plants and gardens extending over 198 acres and the Riadh El-Feth, a shopping centre and art gallery.
With glorious year-round sunshine, Egypt holidays are a chance to indulge on beautiful white beaches, dive into varicoloured coral reefs and visit some of the world’s most important historical landmarks, whenever you decide to make the tantalising trip. With Egypt ranking as one of the top all inclusive destinations for holidaymakers and tourists, Sharm el Sheikh is fast becoming the go to resort when it comes to enjoying the winter and summer sun. A resplendent resort, there’s no better place to enjoy the vibrant views and extravagant wildlife that lies beneath the surface of the Red Sea, while plenty of things to do including an array of water sports in and around the surrounding areas will keep the whole family entertained throughout your holidays to Egypt.
With a range of affordable and luxury resorts you can always be sure to find the perfect accommodation wherever you choose to stay on your holidays to Egypt, whether you fancy overlooking the Nile from a five star retreat in Luxor, lavishing your stay with views of the Mediterranean along the coasts of Alexandria or delving into the diving wonders which await you in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt is the place for you. Make your stay comfortable in Cairo where you’ll be able to haggle at markets, or use the city as a perfect base for your excursions back through time to witness the Pyramids of Giza. One of the sites making the basis for a blissfully beautiful beach break will be Hurghada, situating you ideally to relinquish yourself to the wondrous Red Sea, while also providing the kids with a fun day out in Makadi Water World or Jungle Aqua Park – a great way for the little ones to expel some energy on your Egypt holidays before heading back to the hotel to catch the evening entertainment.
Egypt is teeming with historical treasures and ancient artefacts; among those you’ll find a plethora of pyramids in the arid deserts, time-forgotten shipwrecks beneath the surface of the Red Sea surrounding El Gouna, as well as sphinxes and tombs in dedication to power-hungry pharaohs. Make sure you visit Alexandria while on your holidays in Egypt to meander around the modern library that houses inimitable icons from the famous period encapsulating Cleopatra’s reign, and also other later periods in the Ancient Egyptian era. If you want to get to the heart of everything Egyptian, then visiting the capital is a good bet, Cairo being home to the lively hub of activity which includes markets, bustling restaurants and countless museums, artefacts and monuments. A trip to Cairo wouldn’t be complete during your Egypt holidays without an adventure down the River Nile, stopping off at Giza to view the majestic pyramids that loom over wind-swept sands, while hopping back on the cruise liner will embellish your holidays with the incredible sights that line the river banks. Why not journey into Luxor? Uncover the hidden treasures of the Valley of the Kings, while reading the stories of ancient pharaohs at Medinat Habu, etched on the walls of the Luxor Temple. Egypt holidays will surely provide you with an array of unforgettable experiences with the family, whether you venture out into the desert on hump-backed camels, dive into diamond-coloured waters or explore the saturated streets of Cairo – holidays in Egypt are without a doubt the most spell-binding opportunity you simply have to take!