Tipasa is one of the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria and one of the most famous Roman ruins in all of Northern Africa.
You will see Tipasa also written with a Z instead of an S, Tipaza is the name of Tipaza city located just a short walk from the ruins, the modern town built here in 1857, and the Roman Ruins is called Tipasa. It´s easy to get confused, So if taking a bus here, will you have to take the bus to Tipaza.
Tipasa was first a Carthaginian trading centre (6th to 2nd century B.C.). And one of the most important Punic coastal cities, before the Romans conquered it.
The Romans built it along three small hills, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. This was a small but important Roman trading-post during the Roman Empire.
Tipasa is together with Djemila and Timgad the three Roman Ruins that are on the Unesco World Heritage List in Algeria.
The Ruins includes The Basilica of St Salsa on the eastern hill, two cemeteries, baths, a theatre, amphitheatre and nymphaeum.
Tipasa is different from the other Roman Ruins in Algeria. While the other sites are built inland; Tipasa is located directly off the shore, making the locals use it more as a place they can go swimming and relax by the sea than an old historical place.
The area covering Tipasa is not that big, and you can easily discover the whole area in 2 hours. Hiring a guide is recommended. The street leading up to the entrance of Tipasa is probably the most “touristy” street in all of Algeria, filled with souvenirs. So if you’re planning to buy some postcards, magnets or other Algerian nick nacks, this is probably your best place.
This was only one of two places I saw souvenirs for sale in all of Algeria, the other one being in Tlemcen.
If you’re doing a day trip to Tipasa from Algiers, there are two other stops you can do, Cherchell 30km/18miles west of Tipasa, famous for The Cherchell Museum houses that are widely considered to be some of the best examples of Roman and Greek antiquities on the African continent.
Another place you should visit is the great Royal Mausoleum Of Mauritania, which is said to be the last resting place of Cleopatra Selene II and Berber Juba II, who was the last king and queen of the Mauretania Kingdom.
Cleopatra Selene II was the only daughter of the famous Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her husband, Mark Antony. However, their human remains have not been found at the site, perhaps due to grave robbery.
The mausoleum was built in 3 BC by King Juba II himself.
When the French occupied Algeria, the French Navy used the monument for target practice, So there´s been big damage to it.
It´s located 20KM/12 miles east of Tipasa if you do a day trip arranged with guide and driver, it is a stop along the way, but if you’re doing the day trip yourself, so is the only way to reach the Mausoleum by taxi from Tipasa.
Getting Here: There are busses from Algiers to Tipaza town all day long, so catching a bus is no problem. Both Cherchel and Tipaza is easy to reach with public transportation. The Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania is another story since its located on the top of a hill “In the middle of nowhere”.
So your best option, if you want to visit all three sites, is by an arranged trip by your hotel in Algiers, about every hotel in Algiers offers day trips here, from a 70USD dollar for a full day trip.
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