The capital city of Tunis will most probably be your entry point in Tunisia, as well as the starting point for all trips heading south. Based on my personal experience, I have shaped the below ultimate 14-day travel itinerary. But since I totally understand that most of you would opt for a week’s getaway, at the end of this blog post I am also proposing 2 different itineraries for a 7-day trip.
On top of that, do not forget to also go through the “The Ultimate Travel Guide For Tunisia | Know Before You Go” post I have created, sharing essential information to start planning your next trip to Tunisia!
Day 1: Explore Tunis
We personally lacked sufficient time to properly get to know the capital city, but I feel that you need to “invest” one full day here. Things not to miss are: the Old Town with the numerous historical buildings of spectacular architecture and of course the Medina of Tunis.
Once you go through Bab el Bahr (i.e. the main gate of the Medina), you will enter a sprawling maze of narrow streets. These winding alleyways are forming one of the most impressive marketplaces in the country. In the heart of the Medina lies the Zitouna Mosque (translated into “olive tree”). Zitouna Mosque is an architectural wonder that also serves as a landmark for Tunis. Non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, but you can still gaze over its courtyard and minaret from the nearby terraces. The most iconic terrace is, by far, the one hosting the Panorama Medina Café. Non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, but you can still gaze over its courtyard and minaret from the nearby terraces. The most iconic terrace is, by far, the one hosting the Panorama Medina Café.
At the time of writing, the world-famous Bardo National Museum (located in the New Town) is closed to the public. However, you should check its updated status because Bardo, being the second largest museum in Africa, is an absolute must for all visitors!
Day 2: Day Trip to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said
Start your day with a visit to Carthage. Apart from its rich history dating back to the 9th century BC, this beautiful seaside suburb is the ultimate oasis of peace and tranquility away from the bustling capital.
With a combined ticket of 12 TND only (less than 4€), you can visit 8 different archaeological sites, namely:
- Villas Romains (Roman Villas): Offering great views over the Bay of Tunis
- Theater Romain (Roman Theater that has been reconstructed in recent years)
- Musée Paleochretien
- Musée de Carthage
- Tophet de Salambo (Sanctuary of Tophet)
- Thermes d’ Antonin (Antonine thermal baths)
- Quartier Magon
What’s worth mentioning is that these sites are scattered around the broader area. Even if some can be easily reached by foot, some others are pretty far away. With that being said, you’d better mark them all on the map to realize distances. Then you can decide on the most meaningful route to follow during your visit.
Unfortunately, even if the site is popular among tourists (it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site), it’s rather disorganized. To start with, there is no way to get a printed map or a decent brochure (sad). There is only one historical map at the entrance of Byrsa Hill which you can take a pic of. Still, it will not do much work.
While onsite, you will be approached by various taxi drivers (claiming to be guides, as well) that are offering to drive you around the different sites. We used a taxi (booked through the Bolt app) to reach a couple of locations, but not for the entire sightseeing. So, I am afraid I cannot give you the price that these taxi drivers usually quote… If you feel like walking, keep in mind that signage between even the nearby sites can be poor (to nonexistent). Mobile maps are not much of a help, either, so be ready to be challenged on your navigation skills. Book half a day for your Carthage visit to be on the safe side!
Last but not least, remember to get plenty of water with you (+ some snacks). Surprisingly there are no kiosks whatsoever anywhere around the archaeological sites.
Taxi (via Bolt) from Tunis to Carthage: 15 TND (5€)
Taxi (via Bolt) around some sites in ancient Carthage: 5-6 TND (1.5-2€)
Sidi Bou Said
We opted to leave Sidi Bou Said for the early afternoon, right after Carthage. And indeed this was the perfect ending to such a wonderful day!
With its distinctive white-and-blue houses and its picturesque cobbled streets, the seaside town of Sidi Bou Said resembles a Greek island! Yet, it was only in the early ‘20s that the town adopted this white-and-blue color in the façade of its buildings. Ever since it became a favorite spot for many famous painters and writers, gradually turning the town into an artistic hub.
No specific sightseeing plan here. Just stroll around the winding alleys of the old town to discover beautifully decorated doors and art galleries. Alternatively, chill at a street café, or enjoy a Tunisian meal on the terrace of a local restaurant. This is not a big secret, but if you are looking for this Instagrammable spot in Sidi Bou Said, please note the name: Cafe des Delices.
Taxi (via Bolt) from Sidi Bou Said back to Tunis: 25 TND (8€)
Tip: If you are on a budget, check the local TGM (Tunis-Goulette-Marsa) train that connects Sidi Bou Said (and Carthage) to downtown Tunis. Due to limited time, we did not use it ourselves, so I am afraid I cannot share more info on this.
Day 3: Tunis to Kairouan (160 km / 2,5h)
Kairouan is the fourth holiest city of Islam, as well as a major pilgrimage site, ranking after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Interestingly, it once served as an important learning center for Quran. Nowadays it has been recognized as a World Heritage site.
We personally loved Kairouan, and for that, I would highly recommend it to everyone visiting Tunisia. If you have a car, then head to Kairouan first thing in the morning on your way out of Tunis. Spend the rest of the day (but also the night) there. It does worth it!
As an alternative, you can get to Kairouan by bus. I think there is only one service running daily, leaving Tunis sometime in the afternoon. Day tours are also available, including a visit to both Kairouan and El Jem Amphitheater. I personally find this option rather pricey. In terms of timing, it is also a bit overstretched (you definitely need more time to enjoy both sites).
With a combined ticket of 12 TND only (less than 4€), you can visit 6 different sites in Kairouan. Namely:
- Mosquée Okba (the Great Mosque of Kairouan, the oldest Islamic building in North Africa). Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque itself, rather than stay in its courtyard. You can still have a peek inside the mosque from the doors that are usually left open.
- Mausolée Sidi Amor Abada
- Musée Rakkada
- Bassins Aghlabites
- Mausolée Sidi Abid
- Mausolée Abi Zamaa
Not requiring a ticket:
- The Medina of Kairouan, which is one of the prettiest medinas in the whole country. Here, amongst other things, you will find the famous Kairouan carpets! These carpets are made exclusively by women and are well-known for their excellent quality. Be ready to bargain hard for the item that you wish to buy. Bargaining is in the culture of the people, but this does not necessarily mean that you will get what you want at a much lower price!
- The Three Doors Mosque is another sacred place, which as a non-Muslim you will not be allowed to enter… Still, you can take a picture of the famous three-door façade from the outside.
- The Bir Barouta is a famous well whose water is (still) drawn up with the help of a blindfolded camel that is moving around the well in circles. According to the legend, the well is connected through an underground channel with the Zamzam spring in Mecca! Pilgrims come here to drink the holy water. While there is no entrance fee for this place, you are expected to leave a small tip before leaving.
- The Barber’s Mosque (or else Zaouia of Sidi Sahab), is a place that stands out for its dazzling tile decoration. Here you will find a mausoleum, a mosque, and a madrassa.
The old Governor’s House, which now hosts a carpet shop. The house is definitely worth seeing from the inside due to its magnificent interior, but beware that your visit will be accompanied by a carpet demonstration where the owner of the shop will try to lure you into buying his stuff!
Day 4: Kairouan to Tozeur (300 km / approx. 4,5h)
This is going to be a long drive down to Tozeur. You will most probably arrive in the early (or late) afternoon (depending on the stops you will make along the way). This literally means that you will not have enough time for site seeing on this very day. You may want to simply chill, or walk around the Tozeur medina. But do bear in mind that medinas in Tunisia generally close at around 8 pm.
The faster way to get to Tozeur is with a direct flight from Tunis. Such a flight is totally affordable, so you can (and should) consider it as an option. However, a flight might not work well for those who aim to road trip around the country. Either way, the call is yours!
Being invited by a local family that was residing in El Hamma, a quaint village right outside Tozeur, we decided to spend our first night at their home! Tunisian people are extremely hospitable and this family was not an exception! The mother, the father, and the grandmother were all total sweethearts, and immediately made us feel at home! Needless to mention that sleeping on the terrace of their house under the starry sky, was the absolute treat for us. Clearly the perfect closing of the day!
Day 5: Around Tozeur - Day Trip to Chebika, Tamerza, Midès, and the Star Wars location
Most people book a 4×4 Jeep tour for visiting the nearby oases of Chebika, Midès, and Tamerza. The tour price starts at 50€ for half a day. In reality, the road is very well-paved and self-driving is absolutely doable even with a normal car.
The landscape of Chebika and Tamerza is simply breathtaking. Palm trees, wadis, abandoned ancient villages, waterfalls, and canyons, all in one place. No wonder why so many Hollywood movies have chosen the oases of southern Tunisia for their shootings.
The first stop of our exploration day was in Chebika. Here we spent less than 40’ walking an easy circular route. The path seems to have been shaped for the ease of tourists. And indeed the whole place looks and feels very touristic. But its natural beauty fully justifies its popularity.
Our next short stop was at the gorge of Midès, right on the border with Algeria. It is no understatement to say that this place resembles so very much the Grand Canyon in the Americas! For the most adventurous ones, walking along the gorge is also possible (estimate around 6 km for a round trip). As we arrived in Midès at around midday, we felt the heat was too unbearable to do such a trek. We decided to simply gaze upon the dazzling canyon from a distance. However, if you feel like doing a trek yourselves, I suggest you ask one of the local “guides” found onsite to accompany you. There is no standard fee for their service, you usually give them a small amount when you get back.
We personally did a guided walk along the canyon in Tamerza. This specific canyon was unexpectedly shady and easy to walk, with great views and a lot of photo ops! The trek started by crossing the palm tree oasis of Tamerza. Then we walked our way through the canyon, climbed some rocks and reached a small waterfall that formed a pool. Here, young Tunisians were competing with one another on the best cliff jump! On your way out, don’t miss taking a panoramic pic of the Old Tamerza. This old village turned into a ghost place following the catastrophic floods in 1969 (22 days of heavy rain in a row).
Our last stop was at Mos Espa, an abandoned film set created exclusively for the Star Wars movies. Hidden deep in the Tunisian desert, at around 40 km away from Tozeur, lies this surreal setting that will make you feel as if you are transported to another galaxy! No matter if you are a Star Wars fan or not, this site is absolutely spectacular!
The perfect time to be there is before sunset when the crowds are gone and you have the whole place for yourself. While standing there, literally in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing else you can hear but the sound of the ultimate silence. As a note of caution, please avoid being left there when it gets dark. The way back to Tozeur might turn into a challenging experience as wild camels freely cross the street which can be extremely dangerous when driving at night.
We planned our overnight in Tozeur, aiming to explore a bit of its old town, its unique medina, and the surrounding oasis the next morning.
Day 6: Exploring Tozeur - Chott El-Jerid - Douz (125 km / 2h)
Tozeur is a city located amidst the desert region of Tunisia, yet surrounded by a huge oasis filled with palm trees! This natural paradise serves as the perfect place to switch off, relax and unwind. If time permits, you should definitely plan one extra day for Tozeur alone. Unfortunately, our time was already due and we had to move on to our next destination.
Before doing so, we arranged a quick meetup with some locals that would show us around the medina quarter. The Tozeur medina is small, yet famous for its unique architecture. More specifically, the facades of the buildings are decorated with bricks that are forming different geometric designs. Strolling around the narrow streets of the walled Medina, we came across a lot of antique stores, as well as the amazing Café Berbère! Out of total coincidence, the café celebrated some years from its opening! The owner, an original Berber, kindly offered us a Tunisian coffee (flavored with rose water) and some local cookies!
Off to Douz with one short stop at the salt flat lake of Chott El Jerid. What is pretty remarkable with salt-plains is that the reflection of the sun onto them creates the illusion of water! Chott El Jerid is also one of the hottest places in Tunisia (the temperature in the summertime hits 48°C. An impressive sight, in a truly unique landscape.
What comes next is Douz, a city that serves as the best gateway into the Tunisian Sahara! Many excursions start from here, including various daytime activities and at least one overnight in the desert. Our initial intention was to also camp in the desert. But not everything worked out as we had initially planned! So, we decided to spend the night in a city camp instead! It may sound like a total fail, but for us, it eventually turned out to be a great success! All other tourists staying at the camp had set off for their desert excursion, and we had the entire camp and its facilities for ourselves!
To top up the experience, the night staff kindly offered to set up a barbecue just for us! We had already bought plenty of fresh meat which we were planning to grill in the desert! Ahmed turned out to be a great cook and we all sat around the fire enjoying a great meal, accompanied by wine and beers that we bought in a “secret” place. Pretty much everything for setting up a party!
Tip: While in Douz, do not miss the Elbey Restaurant! The décor is simply magical! To start with, you will be sitting in a Bedouin tent, surrounded by palm trees and… peacocks. Your personal “A Thousand and One Nights” in the desert start here! The place also offers accommodation alternatives at a high-end price.
Days 7-8: Douz - Ksar Ghilane (150 km / 2h)
Ready to depart from Douz, but with a strong feeling that something was still missing… A real desert experience! Having received feedback from various locals, we were pretty sure that the best place was the oasis of Ksar Ghilane. Despite the fact that getting to this place required a 2-hour detour from our initial route, we decided to give it a go. And indeed Ksar Ghilane did not fail us! Should you fancy a desert experience in Tunisia, believe me, this is the ultimate destination!
Surrounded by sandy dunes, the oasis of Ksar Ghilane is an adventure playground! You can head deeper in the desert either by a 4×4 jeep or by a quad bike! When coming back to the oasis, the natural spring found onsite serves as the best refreshing treatment against the heat. And as far as your accommodation options are concerned, there are different kinds of facilities on offer. You can opt between a Tunisian-style hotel or a glamping-style tent. We loved both options!
But, as this was a spontaneous visit for us, we knew that -again- we had to move on… If you are working on an itinerary for Tunisia, I beg you please save 1-2 days for Ksar Ghilane. This is the real Sahara! And you simply have to see, feel and live it to the fullest!
Day 9: Ksar Ghilane - Tataouine - Matmata (300 km / 5h)
With a sense of happiness, we jumped into our car moving towards Tataouine. This was another place that the locals suggested that we should visit (and was not in our initial plan). The small town of Tataouine was selected by George Lucas as the set of the original Star Wars film. All Star Wars fans are already familiar with the name Tattoine as it was used in the movie as a reference to a specific planet.
As we were running out of time, we visited two sites only. But there is A LOT more to see and do here if you can afford some extra time. Our first visit was to Ksar Beni Barka, an abandoned old fort on top of a hill that was overlooking the village of Tataouine. Our next visit was to Ksar Ouled Soltane, a multi-story “desert castle” famous as another filming location for Star Wars.
What is worth mentioning is that the word “ksar” signifies a fortified granary. The ksar consists of many vaulted cellars where nomads used to stock their harvests. These grain cellars (known as “gorfas”) belonged to different owners of the region. Ksours (that is the plural of the word ksar) are unique in appearance and, as such, an absolute must-see while in Tunisia. Ksar Ouled Soltane is the biggest and tallest out of them all (at four stories high). The place is pretty remote and, as such, not connected with any public transport method. You can come here only in a private car.
That was a long day and we had to go all the way back to Matmata for our planned overnight. Tonight we would stay in Sidi Driss, a very special cave-dwelling hotel where Luke Skywalker and all other Star Wars heroes used to reside! We were given the room of Princess Leia, which we absolutely loved! Sidi Driss is like a living Star Wars museum with lots of people coming here for just a quick visit. We are glad we stayed here for the night, and we totally recommend that you also do the same! However, please note that the hotel does not offer en suite bathrooms for obvious reasons… Berbers had not foreseen this as a need for future tourists! There are shared bathrooms and showers that are separated between men and women.
Day 10: Matmata - Tamezret - Toujane - Metameur - Djerba (190 km / 4h)
Matmata, as well as all nearby villages, are known as troglodyte villages. People in this area of Tunisia have been living in caves for centuries. And those cave dwellings are nowadays one of Tunisia’s top attractions. Troglodyte houses are built from sandstone by digging a pit in the ground. This technique apparently helped them in keeping the temperature inside their house mild throughout the year. Design-wise, there is usually a central courtyard with different rooms surrounding it.
While driving through the villages you will see plenty of signs inviting you to visit these underground homes and get a glimpse of Berbers’ everyday life. Their homes are indeed pretty impressive and have a unique decoration style that makes them look and feel like living museums. Of course, there are also a couple of Berber museums that are clearly signposted as such. Berber families are extremely friendly and they will offer you tea and biscuits as a welcome! Contrary to the museums, there is no entrance fee for the Berber homes, but you can leave some dinars on your way out as a thank you to the family.
Amazingly some of these underground dwellings have been converted into hotels. One example was the Sidi Driss Hotel that we stayed at in Matmata. It seems that some Berbers can even accommodate you for the night if you want to have such an experience, but you will not be staying in the old caves.
Half-day seemed quite sufficient for visiting the different troglodyte villages. Should you have an early start in the morning, you can still arrive at your next destination before it gets dark. And as far as your next destination is concerned, I totally advise you to head to the island of Djerba.
There are three ways to get to Djerba:
- By road via a 7 km long bridge (which interestingly dates back to Roman times),
- By plane (both domestic and international flights available), or
- By the sea with several ferries connecting the island (Ajim port or else “Les bacs de Djerba”) with mainland Tunisia (El Jorf port)
We used the bridge on our way to Djerba, as we wanted to drive along the coastline and get the first glimpse of the island’s magnificent beaches. Soon we realized that in Tunisia there are no real seaside roads, and we were mostly driving through endless olive groves!
In the meantime, we had to find a place for staying the night! Our options were either at a resort hotel by the sea for an all-inclusive experience (clearly not for us) or at a “Dar” (similar to a Moroccan Riad) in the most traditional area of Houmt Souk. Houmt Souk is Djerba’s Marketplace located in the Old Town. And, of course, this was our preferred option! We found a couple of places through mobile maps and went there to check them out. One of them was Hotel Marhala, a paradise Dar right at the entrance of the Old Souk, which we booked for only 50 dinars each (approx. 16€). Definitely recommend it and we would stay here over and over again!
By the time we settled in our hotel, it was already late and the stores around the souk were closing down. Therefore, we enjoyed a walk around the narrow whitewashed streets, grabbed something to eat, and went back to our room. We would utilize the next day for thorough sightseeing of Djerba Island!
Day 11: Djerba - Gabés - Sfax (270 km / 4,5h)
One day in Djerba is absolutely not enough. We tried to do as much as we could, but please take my word for this. Djerba needs at least 2-3 days to enjoy at its fullest.
Some things that you simply cannot miss:
- Shopping! Djerba offers the best combination of quality vs price. Plan most of your shopping here, and don’t forget to bargain hard! Best shopping places are the medina of Houmt Souk, the village of Guellala for its famous pottery, and the famous Friday market in the town of Midoun.
- Beaches! Soak up the sunshine, catch a tan, or jump onto a pirate boat to Flamingo Island (Ras Rmel). Soak up the sunshine, catch a tan, or jump onto a pirate boat to Flamingo Island (Ras Rmel). In Ras Rmel, and depending on the season that you are visiting, you can spot lots of elegant pink flamingos. As we didn’t have enough time for such a tour, we drove along the lagoon zone and made a short stop at a random beach. The turquoise color of the sea surpassed our best memories of the Caribbean sea! Immediately we were convinced that Djerba is the ultimate holiday destination for beach lovers! And we definitely plan to come back just for this!
- Discover street art in Djerbahood! Djerbahood is an open-air art gallery that dates back to 2014. It was then that 200 street artists of 30 different nationalities were invited to Djerba to contribute with their murals adorning the walls of the Erriadh village. The selection of this specific village was, of course, not random. Erriadh has been the home for Muslims and Jews for a long time. As such it is seen as a cultural hub and a synonym for harmonious coexistence between different communities.
We missed entering the Ghazi Mustapha Tower, an ancient castle located on the coast of Houmt Souk, Saint Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church also in Houmt Souk (closed at the time of our visit), and La Ghriba Synagogue, an important Jewish pilgrimage site located in Erriadh village.
Saying goodbye to Djerba was so hard to do. No wonder why this island is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as the mesmerizing Land of the Lotus Eaters. The place whose visitors were bewitched by the fruit of lotus (and maybe also the beauty of the island itself), forgot all about their homeland and decided to stay here forever!
Our way out of the island was done by sea, using the ferry from Ajim port to El Jorf port. The crossing takes less than 30’, while the ferry is running every half hour. For this short ride expect to pay less than 1 dinar (0.25€)! From El Jorf we headed to Sfax for our overnight. However, since we departed Djerba rather late, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere at around 11 at night. Thus, we decided to seek a pension hotel instead and call it a day!
Day 12: Sfax - El Jem - Sousse (150 km / 2h)
In less than 1 hour we finally reached Sfax! With no time to waste, we headed directly to its famous medina, just to find out that it was closed like every Monday (and yes, it was a Monday)! While walking past the Grand Mosque, we randomly met some locals who helped us sneak in from a back door to have a quick look!
One of them was also the owner of a wonderful Tunisian restaurant located right across from the Grand Mosque. Even if the restaurant would remain closed for the day, he kindly offered to take us up to its terrace. From there we could enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views over the medina and the Mosque’s iconic minaret. I urge you to note down the name of the restaurant “Dar Bellaaj”. There is an extension plan in place aiming to launch a new café on its terrace, the building’s hidden gem!
Right after, we walked a bit around the newest part of Sfax, had a quick lunch break (Tunisian pizza), and off we went to our next stop. Heading north we were planning a visit to the Roman Amphitheater of El Jem, which turned into the absolute gem of the day! Not only is El Jem Amphitheater one of the finest collections of Roman ruins in entire Tunisia, but to our eyes, it also looked as stunning as the Colosseum in Rome! El Jem was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
With (the usual) combined ticket of 12 TND, we could visit:
- The El Jem Amphitheater
- The El Jem Archaeological Museum – No matter if you are a museum lover or not, by no means should you miss this place! Here you will find an exceptional collection of well-preserved mosaics, as well as an entire Roman villa (the so-called House of Africa), which was excavated back in the 1990s.
Leaving El Jem, we headed towards Sousse, a harbor town founded by the ancient Phoenicians. Our plan was to spend one day in Sousse. Yet, by the time we arrived (again in the early afternoon) we knew that one day would not be enough. Quick change of plans? Check!
On our first afternoon/night, as usual, we walked around the old medina! Likewise, with the previous cities/towns, all shops were closing down by 8 p.m. so not much time for sightseeing!
Day 13: Sousse - Monastir - Sousse (45 km / 1h)
We had packed quite a lot for today, as we wanted to save time for a quick visit to the nearby coastal town of Monastir, as well. As for yourselves, please, DO NOT overpack so many things in just one day. I totally recommend reserving two (2) full days for Sousse and Monastir. We felt that both towns were ideal for an overnight. Monastir looked more suitable for those that would like to spend more time by the sea. On the other hand, Sousse has the most incredible feel inside the medina walls. We stayed in Sousse and we totally loved it!
What you should not miss in Sousse:
- The Sousse Medina. The old town of Sousse has kept its medieval style, with two entry gates still operational (out of the original 6 gates). Bab el Khabli is the south gate and Bab el Gharbi is the west gate. The Medina of Sousse has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
- The Ribat, the oldest fortification of the city was built at the end of the 8th Its 30-meter high watchtower is the oldest and best-preserved tower in North Africa. Try to climb to its top for great views of the Sousse Medina down below. Entrance Ticket: 8 TND
- The Kasbah, the newest fortification that was built onto the old city walls in the 11th The Kasbah at its highest point goes 50 meters higher than the old Ribat.
- The Great Mosque, built by the Aghlabids based on the model of the Sidi Oqba Mosque in Kairouan, yet without a minaret! Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque itself, but they can enter its courtyard. You can have a peek inside the mosque from the doors that are usually left open. Entrance Ticket: 5 TND
- The Zaouia Zakkak octagonal minaret, a fine example of Ottoman architecture. The minaret is also decorated with blue and green tiles, a reference to the Andalusian influence in the region. Non-Muslims may not be allowed to enter the building, but they can admire the minaret from the outside.
- The Sousse Archaeological Museum, the 2nd most important museum in Tunisia after Bardo in Tunis. Here you will find a stunning collection of Roman mosaics, some of the best in the entire country! Entrance Ticket: 10 TND
- The hidden cafés inside the Medina. Our most favorites: Le Petite Café Maure, Tiziri 13, Café Gharbi Khemais.
What you should not miss in Monastir:
- The Ribat, a gorgeous medieval fortress with great views over the town and the coastline. To enjoy the best panoramic view go to the top of the watchtower, through a spiral staircase of around 100 stops. Definitely worth the effort! Entrance Ticket: 8 TND
- The Bourguiba Mosque, constructed as a tribute to Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba, who was born in this very city and played an important role in achieving Tunisia’s independence back in 1956. The mosque was built based on the model of the Hammouda Pacha Mosque in Tunis and stands out thanks to its 41-meter high octagonal minaret.
- The Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum is the burial place of Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba. Both the exterior and the interior of the building are absolutely stunning! The building alone stands out from a distance thanks to its golden dome and the two impressive minarets. However, the visitors will be left in awe when they step inside. The tomb of Bourguiba sits in the middle of an octagonal marble hall and underneath a dazzling chandelier. Pretty extravagant, yet totally photogenic. Entrance is free of charge.
Day 14: Sousse - Takrouna - Jeradou - Zriba Olia - Zaghouan - Hammamet - Tunis
Heading back to Tunis for our late-night flight, we decided to drive through some Berber villages that were on our way. Well, not exactly on our way, but they were still in the direction of Tunis!
Based on an old legend, the villages of Takrouna, Jeradou, and Zriba were established by three brothers coming from a Berber tribe in Morocco. The three brothers moved to this specific region of Tunisia in the 8th century and occupied one hill each for building their new hometowns.
Our first stop was in Takrouna, a village sitting atop Mount Takrouna enjoying dramatic views of the valley down below. It remains inhabited to date by a few families only. While walking around the village, we were invited by a kind lady inside her house. There, we were treated with tea and freshly baked traditional bread (tabouna). The most impressive thing from the village, apart from the breathtaking view, is the Mausoleum of Sidi Abdelkader El Jilani with its green dome sparkling from a distance.
While Takrouna has preserved its Berber architecture and culture, the village of Jeradou has been rather modernized so we did not feel like making a stop. Our next stop was in Zriba, a village that has been completely abandoned with its old houses left in ruins. When looking for Zriba on the map, you need to pay special attention as there is also a new Zriba (Zriba Hammam). Drive past this new town, and follow the signs directing you to “Zriba Olia”. The Old Zriba is now a ghost town with only one family still living here. They seem to have their own herd of goats to keep them busy.
Zaghouan, our next stop, is another town that attracts many tourists for two main reasons:
- History buffs will find here stunning pieces of Roman architecture, with the Temple of Water being the most popular one. It is impressive to think that Romans extracted water in Zaghouan and transferred it all the way to Carthage, over 140 km away. Entrance to the site is free of charge.
- Adventure seekers will find here some of the best trails and hikes in the region.
Our last stop of the day was at the resort town of Hammamet. Most vacationers visiting Tunisia spend most of their time in Hammamet, enjoying the mild Mediterranean weather, the golden sandy beaches, and the mouthwatering seafood. Even if the town is known for its all-inclusive accommodation options by the sea, it still has a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere that we personally enjoyed – even for such a short time.
- The Old Medina for endless photo ops in the narrow streets and winding alleys
- The Kasbah of Hammamet, where (likewise in all other Kasbahs around the country) you will get the best views over the medina and the endless blue of the Mediterranean Sea.
- The Great Mosque
- The marina and palm-tree-lined promenade are ideal for a leisurely stroll
7-Day Itinerary | North East
Day 1: Explore Tunis
Day 2: Day Trip to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said
Day 3: Tunis to Kairouan
Day 4: Kairouan – El Jem – Sousse
Day 5: Sousse – Monastir – Sousse
Day 6: Sousse – Takrouna – Jeradou – Zriba Olia – Zaghouan – Hammamet
Day 7: Hammamet – Tunis
7-Day Itinerary | South
Day 1: Explore Tunis – Afternoon/Night Flight to Tozeur
Day 2: Around Tozeur – Day Trip to Chebika, Tamerza, Midès, Star Wars location
Day 3: Tozeur – Chott El-Jerid – Douz
Day 4: Douz – Ksar Ghilane
Day 5: Ksar Ghilane – Toujane – Tamezret – Matmata
Day 6: Matmata – Tozeur – Flight to Tunis
Day 7: Day Trip to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said