Snow-flecked mountains and stunning coastline dominate the north of Algeria. Still, its main draw is the Sahara Desert, which covers 4/5ths of its vast landmass. In fact, covering 2,381,741 square kilometers (919,595 sq. miles), Algeria is actually the tenth-largest country in the world. Algeria also has one of Africa's largest economies, thanks in no small part to its ample natural oil and gas supplies.
Under French colonial rule for over 100 years, Algeria gained independence in 1962. Its capital is the bustling seaside city of Algiers, which is home to around four million of the country's 45 million residents. Unsurprisingly some of the world's highest temperatures have been recorded in the scorched Saharan area.