Tipaza is the capital of the Tipaza Province, Algeria. When it was part of the Roman Empire, it was called Tipasa. The modern town was founded in 1857, and is chiefly remarkable for its ancient ruins and sandy littoral.
Tipasa, as the city was then called, was an old Punic trading-post conquered by Ancient Rome. It was subsequently turned into a military colony by the emperor Claudius for the conquest of the kingdoms of Mauretania.
Afterwards it became a municipium called Colonia Aelia Tipasensis, that reached the population of 20,000 inhabitants in the fourth century according to Stéphane Gsell.
The city served as an important Christian hub during the last centuries of Roman governorship, with three basilicas.
Tipasa was destroyed by the Vandals in 430 CE, but was reconstructed by the Byzantines one century later. At the end of the seventh century the city was demolished by Umayyad forces and reduced to ruins.
In the nineteenth century the place was settled again. Now it is a town of nearly 30,000 inhabitants. The city is an important tourist place in modern Algeria, mainly because of the Tipasa ruins.
Are you looking for a magical place to spend your holidays in Algeria? Discover the seven essential things to do in Tipaza.
- 1. The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania
- 2. Roman ruins
- 3. Tipaza Museum
- 4. Port of Tipaza
- 5. The pedestrian street of the city
- 6.Tipaza Library
- 7. The beaches of Tipaza
- How to get to Tipaza?
- – Algiers by plane
- – Algiers by boat
- – From Algiers to Tipaza
- Where to stay in Tipaza?
there is no doubt. The breathtaking beauty of Tipaza will dazzle you. Like Albert Camus who wrote “in the spring, Tipaza is inhabited by the gods and the gods speak in the sun and the smell of absinthes “, you will fall under the spell of this coastal town located just seventy kilometers from Algiers. .
Founded by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC, the city was then a trading post. It also takes its name from this function, since Tipaza means “place of passage” or “stopover”. Little by little, the port of the city becomes a place of major commercial exchange for the Phoenicians of Carthage. It is indeed in Tipaza that the goods from Italy or Greece arrive. Pillaged by the Vandals, the Roman colony disappeared and despite a last attempt by the Byzantines in the 6th century, the city did not regain its commercial splendor.
Today, Tipaza, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts tourists from all over the world every year, seduced by its magnificent archaeological sites, its beaches, its port and its pedestrian streets. Many artists, such as Jacques Simon or Eugène Corneau, have also been inspired by its calm waters and green hills. An ideal destination to find a little calm during your trip to Algeria.
Would you like to discover this enchanting seaside resort located on the shores of the Mediterranean? Follow the guide and discover the seven essential things to do in Tipaza.
1. The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania
The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania , Kbour-er-Roumia in Arabic, wrongly nicknamed the Tomb of the Christian, is located only ten kilometers from Tipaza. This cylindrical monument, two hundred and sixty-one meters high, is said to have been erected during the Numidian period. However, the precise date of its construction is not known by historians, who are also unaware of its exact functions.
For some historians, the Royal Mausoleum was built by King Juba II and his wife, Queen Cleopatra Selene, daughter of the famous Cleopatra and Marc Antoine. These uncertain origins also fuel many legends in the country. With its sixty columns and its four false doors of seven meters designating the four cardinal points, the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is undoubtedly one of the essential things to do in Tipaza.
2. Roman ruins
Welcome to one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the Maghreb. Dating from the 6th century BC and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, the archaeological park invites you to discover an ancient city in a breathtaking setting, surrounded by the sea and Mount Chenoua. Don’t forget your camera!
Stroll through the ruins of the imposing amphitheater, the new temple, the Cardo Maximus, the Judicial Basilica, the forum, the baths or the ramparts. Take a tour of the Villa des Fresques and discover the remains of the prosperous 2nd century Tipaza. The park offers a unique collection of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and early Christian remains. Finally, do not miss the stele where the famous words of Albert Camus are engraved: “ I understand here what is called glory: the right to love without measure ”.
3. Tipaza Museum
Want to extend the magic of the archaeological park and find out a little more? Stop at the city museum. Inaugurated in 1955 and built on the plans of the architect Marcel Christofle, this small museum preserves the remains discovered on the archaeological sites of Tipaza. You can admire many pottery and antique glass, Roman coins and statues or even sarcophagi.
4. Port of Tipaza
Fancy a break? Go to the picturesque port of the city, a must to do in Tipaza. Have lunch in one of the small restaurants around or buy a good fresh fish for the evening meal. Do not hesitate either to ask the boat owners to take you out on a sea trip. A good moment of relaxation to spend with family or friends.
5. The pedestrian street of the city
Peckish ? Direction the pedestrian street of Tipaza, located in the heart of the archaeological ruins of the city. Many tourists flock there during the summer holidays, to have lunch or simply to stroll. You will indeed find a multitude of restaurants there, notably offering tasty grilled meats, tea rooms, and even a few creperies. And if you want to bring back some souvenirs in your luggage, stop off at local craftsmen and antique dealers. You might find some great antiques there.
Take a walk to the Assia Djebar library in Tipaza to admire the magnificent building decorated with mosaic panels, discovered on the archaeological site. It is actually an old church dating from 1877.
7. The beaches of Tipaza
Tipaza and its region have many beaches as well as magnificent coastal landscapes. You can enjoy the clear waters of the Mediterranean on the Chenoua beach , which begins at the foot of the ancient ruins and stretches over nearly two kilometres. It has many coves of fine sand.
Further north, Pine Beach or Blue Beaches One and Two await you, for relaxing afternoons with family or friends.
For nature lovers, go to El Beldj beach . Relax on the sand, a must do in Tipaza.
From Algiers to Tipaza
- By car or taxi : From Algiers, allow about an hour’s journey to get to Tipaza by car or taxi.
- By bus : for tighter budgets, go to the Algiers bus station. You can take one of the many buses that connect Algiers to Tipaza.
- By train : you can also take the train which departs several times a day from Hussein Dey station towards El Affroun. From there, you will need to take a taxi to get to Tipaza which is about 25 minutes away.
Where to stay in Tipaza?
If you want to enjoy the picturesque atmosphere of the city, the best places to stay in Tipaza are in the small fishing port or in the streets around the archaeological park. To enjoy the seaside resort, opt for the tourist complex of Matares which offers beautiful and spacious villas as well as two hotels with restaurants and swimming pool. Moreover, if you opt for the hotel, remember to gauge the prices on a hotel comparator : always useful according to your search criteria. You will have understood it, from the hotel to the villa, through homestay accommodation, Tipaza is not to be outdone when it comes to feet on the ground!
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