Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I went once to Algeria by car and my husband has done it several times.
Booked by PO Ferries Dover to Calais. That’s the easy bit.
Then driving through France to Marseilles. That would take about 10 hours direct but as you’ve been already travelling you will need to stop to sleep. Unless you both drive. Everyone I know who drives from UK stops at a hotel.
Except us we wanted to save but, as I don’t drive, my husband was exhausted. You need to stop to eat/pray/toilet plus 2 stops to sleep 2-3 hours at a time so it depends if you can cope with that.
Once hubby booked a hotel when he went with 2 of our children and it was a very dodgy place where he thinks they were using drugs and other “night-trades” were going on so they had to sleep in the car at a petrol station.
Again there are some rest places with supermarket and toilet, safe big parking, even playground. It’s safe to sleep there even for a whole night. But again, if you have back issues etc it’s not good and not healthy to keep legs down and not moving much for 2-3 days.
So you need to give yourself many many extra hours to drive through France; so take it into consideration when booking ferries. If you are late I think you loose the tickets BUT you can be early at both ferries and if there’s a place they let you in.
For big ferry to Algeria it takes about 20 hours but on the way back we were 8 (!) hours delayed. That meant waiting amongst cars, many with engines on at the port under baking sun, one toilet, hardly any food, no drink. And that’s ahead of a 2-3 day journey. So we almost missed our ferry.
Can’t remember how we booked the ferry from Marseilles but we went to Bejaia (I think it was cheaper than Algiers).
On the ferry you need to book a cabin to sleep. It has shower. And 2 bunk beds but children can sleep in between the beds. I used to sail as a child and I miss the water and the waves so it was lovely for me. You can go up the deck and watch sunset and buy hot food at restaurant.
Overall a tiring but nice experience as the family was together and got to talk more. Wanted an adventure so got one. When children played in the outside play area of the motorway at 2.00am… praying on the grass in the dark… seeing the countryside and working together to find the way…. spreading soft cheese on bread with fingers lol
If you are prepared it’s an adventure.
But ask more details about it if you decide to go by car. For example you need to bring the car log book or you can’t board the ferry on the way there or on the way back!
Worth getting the European health card (if you are European).
Children really enjoyed it and have nice memories. And they do want going again by car.
I felt like “never again” after the journey back but now, few months later, I may consider it again for next year.
Two other big advantages are that you can carry more luggage and the biggest one is that you will have a car in Algeria, so you can go whenever and wherever you want. It makes a huge huge difference.
For safety best to go with another family if you can.
And I recommend NOT driving through France at night. My husband was robbed. Real highway robbery. He was probably spotted as travelling alone and with children so they knew he wouldn’t resist or do anything in order to protect them. French speaking white men stopped him, dressed as police officers. One went to his side and the other the other side and asked how much cash he had; he had quite a lot and they grabbed him and took it all. Allah knows if they had weapons or not. When he reported them, it appeared to him that this kind of things happen a lot. One of my sons was awake, he got frightened. But I don’t want to think what else could have happened if they had other intentions.
I don’t want to scare anyone, it didn’t put us off but keep your guards up!