Mosaic depicting the Goddess Diana bathing, Timgad, Algeria
Mosaic depicting the Goddess Diana bathing, Timgad, Algeria


LOCATION This ancient city is found near the town of Batna, in northeastern Algeria


1st–6th centuries AD


Jan: 41°F (5°C); Apr: 54°F (12°C); Jul: 77°F (25°C); Oct: 57°F (14°C)

Timgad was established in AD 100 by the Roman Emperor Trajan, and for six centuries was one of North Africa’s most prosperous Roman settlements. But in 430 it was sacked by the Vandals – the same group that went on to plunder Rome in 455 – and the town was abandoned and gradually swallowed up by the encroaching Sahara.

Now dug out of the sand and restored, Timgad presents the haunting sight of a Roman town miraculously preserved in the middle of nowhere. Sights include a 39-ft (12-m) high Trajan’s Arch, a 3,500-seat theater and a large Christian basilica, as well as a fine on-site museum.

Practical Information

Getting There Fly to Batna, 25 miles (40 km) from Timgad, and take a taxi or arrange a tour with a local guide to reach the site.

When to Go This is one of the coolest parts of Algeria, although it’s still best to avoid the climatic extremes of winter and summer and stick to the more temperate seasons of fall and spring.

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