14 – last paella and finally Algeria
14 – last paella and finally Algeria

14 – last paella and finally Algeria

warm welcome and surprising city

With our visas in our pockets we sailed from the Costa Blanca Southern Spain to Algeria. Again we had chosen a good weather window – after waiting in Santa Pola for the storms to pass. The 150 miles took us 28 hours and arrived just after 1 p.m. in the harbour of Oran. Then there was lots of talking and paperwork to settle, so Jean-Luc gobbled his cold lunch out of a saucepan at 4h45 p.m. 😉

But everybody was extremely friendly, helpful and eager to make our stay as safe and comfortable as possible. To the extend that a customs officer even gave us a lift in his car and a concerned policeman waited while we had supper until we came out of the restaurant. We did take everyones advice not to walk around just anywhere after it gets dark.  

Oran is an industrial and fishing harbour with a tiny section of leisure boats (small motor boats) tucked away in the far corner of the harbour behind the fishing boats. We were moured in the access passage of the fishing fleet and ferries, at the very secured section of the customs dock. Sometimes a bit noisy and the boats passing by too fast generated a lot of waves… Unfortunately on the last evening we had scratches and a broken wedge for this reason.

  • paella
  • rain
  • bird
  • dolfins
  • food
  • harbour
  • harbour
  • snails
  • market
  • fish
  • house


It’s a stunning setting for a city: a serpent road leading up to modern high buildings one side and old French architecture in the centre part, all propped up on cliffs, with a Spanish fortress and basilica overlooking the whole bay. Our first challenge was to find a SIM-card to avoid paying a fortune for phone and internet, and then to get cash, as we found out quickly that our credit cards won’t do, anywhere! After multiple attempts and lots of passport copies left and right, we managed to get some money that would get us through the next days.

We discovered the lively old town and market, crowded cafés and speedy lunch snack restaurants (count on € 10-15 for the 4 of us), we also made a guided bus tour up to Santa Cruz, the Spanish fort.

As we wanted to go to Tlemcen, a city with interesting historical monuments, we had to go to the station to check the timetable and check the train timetable: nobody wanted to take the risk of giving us a timing! In fact, you have to go to the station to make sure you have the right information. It’s an amazing station, a UNESCO heritage site, and worth a visit in itself!

  • Oran
  • harbour
  • station
  • station hall
  • station
  • toilet

We’ll tell you more about our experiences in Tlemcon and the rest of our stay in Algeria in our next post.


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