by SASHA BRADY
Start planning a new adventure with a trip to Algeria. The North African country has been ranked as the world's highest potential adventure travel destination for the next decade by tourism experts.
The British Backpacker Society (BBS) is an organisation dedicated to promoting and enabling sustainable adventure travel in off-the-beaten-track areas of the world.
Every year its team of experts choose their top destinations for adventure travel; the places they think will pack the most in terms of thrills.
In 2018 it was Pakistan and last year Ethiopia's Danakil Depression was ranked first. For 2020, BBS has expanded their sights to focus on the next decade and top of the list is Algeria.
BBS said that Algeria's vast range of adventure travel attractions and its small number of foreign travellers puts it miles ahead of other destinations, especially in the era of overtourism.
The country is a short-haul flight from many European capitals, and also is blessed with “world-class desert scenery, delightfully hospitable people and spectacular ancient ruins”, according to BBS.
The desert is what draws so many people to Algeria - some 80% of it is covered by the sand of the Sahara - but it is more than bone-dry desert vistas.
In recent years, it's become an exciting destination for the intrepid traveller. It has mosques, markets and Mediterranean coastline, as well as a mix of Roman, Ottoman, Arab and Byzantine history.
The town of Tlemcen is a stunning mix of Berber and Arab-Andalusian culture, and Timgad and Djemila are both Unesco-recognised ruins.
The coastal town of Tipaza is so beautiful that French writer Albert Camus said it is "inhabited by the gods."
Michael Worrall, a co-founder of the BBS, stated that Algeria's top ranking is a testament to the goodwill, kindness and hospitality of its people.
"To the truck driver who picked me up in a sandstorm on the road to Timmimoun, to the chef in Ghardaia that kept his restaurant open just so that I could enjoy a frite-omlette after a late night bus journey…”
“And to every single Algerian that wished me "asallam aleykum" during my travels in the country, this ranking is for you."
The BBS has released the top 10 highest potential adventure travel destinations for the 2020s.
Other ranked countries include:
2. Saudi Arabia
7. Bosnia and Hercegovina