The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is the second largest country in Africa after Sudan with a land area of 2,381,740 km2 and an estimated population of about 32 million. The maximum north-south and east-west distances are both about 2,000 km. Algeria is located in northern Africa between Morocco and Tunisia and borders the Mediterranean Sea (with a coastline of about 1,350 km) as well as Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Western Sahara. The terrain is mostly high plateau and desert with some mountains and a narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The highest point is Tahat at 3,003 m above sea level.
Geographically, the country can be divided into four distinct regions of topography and climate in parallel bands running roughly south-west to north-east. From the Mediterranean southwards, these are as follows: the Tell region, including the coastal strip and the Tell Atlas mountains; the ‘Hauts Plateaux’; the Saharan Atlas mountains; the Sahara desert, the latter covering more than 85% of the country.
The climate is arid to semi-arid with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers along the coast. The high plateau is drier with cold winters and hot summers. The sirocco is a hot, dust and sand-laden wind especially common in summer. The official language is Arabic and French and Berber dialects are spoken. More details can be found at CIA Factbook.