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Green hillsides, killer mountains

Kabylia is the most scenic of the greener parts of Algeria, and a region of strong symbolic value for Algeria. The people of Kabylia are Berbers, and they have a very strong cultural identity, an identity that has coloured the political landscape of Algeria for decades. Making a Kabylian Berber speak Arabic is very difficult, people around here speak Berber, then French, and they consider speaking Arabic as almost a disgrace.

Kabylia, Algeria

Kabylia, Algeria

The people around here are visibly different from elsewhere in Algeria, slightly more blonde, and with women that are unveiled, and who enjoys a good deal of individual freedom, more than what is found in most European societies, when economical development is considered. Identity is built around concentric circles: you, family, tribe, Berbers. Even Berbers living in the most modest villages are strong and visibly cultivated.
The landscape around Kabylia is so diversified, and so dramatic that spending at least a week here, is no problem. Summer and fall are the easiest seasons for visiting, as winters can be harsh and long up here. But if you have the right kind of transportation, visiting the Kabylia in winter can be an experience totally different from what you ever would expect from North Africa. The villages of Kabylia is an attraction in itself, sometimes arranged as if the inhabitants were mocking the force of gravity.

Eat and Sleep
Do NOT expect to find a hotel, not even a hostel, if you want to spend the night in smaller towns or villages. Most places, do have nearby cities, so basing yourself on day excursions from cities, that sometimes have little to offer beyond facilities for travellers, is the best.

Buses and taxis will bring you to most places, but as this is a region that is scattered with villages you simply have to stop in, your own transport here is very tempting.

By Tore Kjeilen