Friday, May 19, 2023

 Tantalizing Tunisia

Day 0  



CCU > Delhi (20 00)>Jeddah (23 00)


Day 1 


Jeddah (06 50) >Tunis (0940) > Testour > Dougga > Bulla Regia > El Kef                                                                                                                         

overnight in El Kef

Day 2                      


El Kef > Maktaris> Kairouan   

overnight in Kairouan

Day  3  


Kairouan > Sbeitla or Sofetulo > Gafsa > Tozeur

overnight in Tozeur

Day  4 


Tozeur > Chebika Oasis > Tamerza >  Mides > Chott El Gharsa > Mos   Espa> Ong Jmal   > Nefta>Chott Djerid>Sabria 

overnight in Sabria

Day  5 


Sabria > Douz > Ksar Ghilane >  Ksar Jouamaa>Ghomraseen  / Ksar  Hadada >Tataouine    >  Ksar Ouled Soltane > Tataouine >  Guermessa>  Ghomraseen / Ksar Hadada > Ksar Jouamaa  

overnight in Ksar Jouamaa   

Day  6 



 Ksar Jouama > Matmata  > Sidi Idriss hotel >  Toujane>Guellela potery village > museum  of  Djerba > Ghariba> Borj Ghazi Mustapha 

overnight  in Djerba

Day  7 


Djerba > El Jem  > Mahdia >  Sousse     

overnight in Sousse

Day  8 


Sousse > Ribat fortress  > Monastir >  Tunis/ Sidi Bou Said   

overnighin Tunis    /  Sidi Bou Said

Day  9 


Tunis/ Sidi Bou Said > Carthage  > Sidi Bou Said

overnight in Tunis/ Sidi Bou Said   

Day   10                                


Tunis/ Sidi Bou Said > medina of Tunis  > Ichkeul Lake or Cap Bon

overnight in Tunis  

Day  11  




Tunis (11 40) > Jeddah (18 00) > Delhi (08 45) > CCU


                           (source :

Day 1 (19.10.2023) : Welcome to Tunisia and proceed to Dougga, Bulla Regia and El Kef  -  overnight in El Kef


 Arrived at Tunis airport at 9.30 am and met the travel agent. But if you travelling solo, then you refer to note by a blogger :

How to get from Tunis Airport to the City Centre ?

Downtown Tunis is approximately 7 kilometres from Tunis-Carthage International Airport and is connected to the city centre by public transport. Usually, when arriving in a new country we will do everything possible to avoid the airport taxi bandits, but metered taxis in Tunisia are so cheap you can opt one for it

To avoid being ripped off too much we did what we do at most airports and headed to the departures drop off area to grab a taxi returning to the city. Everyone else had the same idea and the few taxis that did come by were swiftly nabbed by locals so we decided to walk to the main road outside the airport and try and get one there. 

The fare was 7 dinar (1 Dinar =  INR 27) including luggage which was more expensive than the bus which costs around 1 dinar, but was worth it. Please note that if you take a taxi after 9 pm there is a 50% surcharge.

If you opt for public transport, bus #35 leaves the airport every 30-40 minutes and terminates at Tunis Marine train station on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the city centre. If you are staying in the Medina, your accommodation will be between 1½ and 2½ kilometres from there (another reason we chose to take a taxi from the airport).

There are public transportation options - bus, tram, metro all around Tunis and the metro runs overground connecting most of the city. The fare is about 0.6 dinars a ride but I mean with taxis being as cheap as they are, I hardly bothered with the tram service.

In case you are wondering, unfortunately, Uber is not available in Tunisia, but you can use OTO app.

Getting around in Tunisia is relatively easy. You can either take the bus or a louage, or the train. I wouldn’t advise on taking the train as it’s unreliable and doesn’t go faster than the bus. There are several bus companies you can choose from, it’s usually around the same price, and they don’t often offer the same routes, so it’s not hard to pick one. They all leave from the city bus station.

Louages are minivans, it costs a bit more than buses, but they go faster. In each city, you’ll find a louage station, they leave when full. For remote destinations, go there early, later you will wait forever for it to be full. Drivers usually don’t scam you, and often, you buy the ticket directly at the station.

Be careful, in more remote destinations, transportation usually stops around 5 pm. Always check beforehand, and don’t listen to people saying that there’s always louages running, it’s only true for the main axis. Roads are usually in a good state.

Understand Tunisia

Carthage was a settlement in what is now known as modern Tunisia, that later became a city-state and then an empire. Founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, Carthage reached its height in the 4th century BC as one of the largest metropolises in the world and the centre of the Carthaginian Empire, a major power in the ancient world that dominated the western Mediterranean. Following the Punic Wars, Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, who later rebuilt the city lavishly.      

Religion : 98% Arabs,1% Berbers, 1% Jews
Area Total - 163,610 km2
Population - 11,708,370
GDP (nominal) $49.815 billion, Per capita $4,071. GDP PPP $12,300 vis a vis India : GDP (PPP) Per capita $9,073, GDP $3.737 trillion, Per capita $2,601
Area : 163,610 km2


Tunisians are not Arabs, they are a mix of Berber peoples, that should probably be more classified as Mediterranean than Arab. Second, Tunisia is the only standing democracy in the entire region, and were responsible for the Arab Spring, a huge movement in 2011 that spurred pro-democratic movements throughout the Middle East which is likely the reason ISIS attacked Tunis in the first place.It’s extremely sad to see these attacks in the headlines, because it will undoubtedly decimate Tunisia’s already struggling tourism industry that’s been hit hard by the Arab Spring. 

With ISIS looming large in Syria/Iraq, and the conflicts ongoing in Libya, most people wouldn’t even think about visiting this region. Not at any point did I feel threatened or out of place. For what it’s worth, similar terrorist attacks happened in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo museum a few months back. Does that change your views about visiting Paris? Probably not right?

Tunis was a pleasant surprise. It was much nicer than I anticipated. It’s also the most European of all the Middle Eastern capitals I’ve visited. Having been a French colony, the architectural influences are clear as most buildings outside of the small medina (old city) have buildings that look more akin to Paris, than somewhere like Marrakech.

Avenue Habib Bourguiba, probably Tunis’ most impressive street, was modeled after the Champs Elysses of Paris. Tunis reminded me more of Istanbul, and is perhaps even more European in its architecture. There isn’t much to do in Tunis itself. A day is probably enough to see most of the sights in Tunis city center.

I met a Libyan soccer player staying at my hotel who was in Tunis to get his visas sorted out as the country of Libya had descended into chaos. He gave me a completely new perspective on things....

He said Libya used to be the wealthiest nation in Africa (fact) and that his country enjoyed liberties only matched by those of the Scandinavian countries including free healthcare, free schooling, a $5000 cash payment for having a child, free land and resources for those that wanted to start farming, etc.

Now he didn’t call Gaddafi a saint but he said many more people liked him than the media would have you believe. ..Rebels that fought Gaddafi were largely led by former Al Qaeda members and the young people that fought were brainwashed into thinking democracy would be a quick implementation. Queue all the conspiracy theories about the West’s intervention, oil, gold currencies, Iraq etc. and I’m sure I could write thousands of words about this.

After the war, a lot of people fled Libya and came to Tunisia where their wealth has driven up costs of living for the local Tunisians. He stressed that no one wanted to leave Libya. Their lives were good and people were happy. The left out of necessity and most people that stayed did because they could not afford to leave


Tunisians generally speak Tunisian-Arabic as their first language, French as their second language, and English is their third language. French and Arabic are the official languages of Tunisia. Most people in the cities speak French.A little French will go a long way and I found my basic language skills very useful. Tunisians will expect you to speak to them in French rather than Arabic.

English is scarcely spoken and while the younger generation have a better grasp of the language, I would advise picking up a few French phrases or at least downloading Google Translate! Although these days English is increasingly popular, especially with younger generations. There is also a local Tunisian dialect, and the Berber population have their own language (Berber).

Cost of living

Tunisia is a pretty cheap country. A meal costs between 5 to 10 dollars, you won’t pay more than 15 dollars for a long-distance bus ride, and you can find a bed in a youth hostel for as low as 5 to 15 dollars depending on where you are. A night in a guesthouse is usually around 20 USD with breakfast and dinner included.

Sights and activities are also usually super cheap. Tunisia is probably the only country in the world where you can visit UNESCO world heritage sites for 3 USD

SIM Cards are super easy and cheap. The two cell phone providers I recommend in Tunisia are Ooredoo and Orange. Sim cards are a pay as you go in Tunisia. I would recommend going for the 5GB for around 15 dinars if you are staying for a week. All their data options are valid for 30 days.

Plugs: In Tunisia, the power plugs are type C and E, the standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend taking with you a universal adapter and also using a converter for hairdryers and hot tools.

 Currency, Money exchanges and ATMs

Tunisia’s currency is the Tunisian dinar. You are unable to exchange the dinar outside of Tunisia. You will need to exchange your cash when you arrive at an airport in Tunisia or with your hotel. Most places do not accept credit cards. Make sure you have enough cash at hand at all times. The currency is the Tunisian dinar which is divided into 1000 millimes. It illegal to bring dinar into the country. The exchange booths at the airport didn’t offer rip-off rates like they do in many countries. We used ATMs throughout our stay in Tunisia without issue (there weren’t any ATM fees for using our UK bank cards). I’d recommend having most of your cash in either Euros or US dollars.

How much should I tip in Tunisia?

Tipping does not work the same way in Tunisia as the U.S. When you tip someone it is not based on a percentage of the final bill. These are some general guidelines. For a waiter at a nicer restaurant, you would tip between 5-10 dinars. A waiter at coffee shop 1-2 dinars. For taxi drivers, I would tip between one to two dinars if they help me with any luggage.


We will discover the ancient and historic sites of Dougga, Bulla Regia, and Le Kef today. This tour from Tunis to Dougga, Bulla Regia, and Le Kef is the perfect way to experience the wonders of Tunisia's ancient past.



First, we headed to Dougga (111 Km from Tunis), a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved Roman cities in North Africa. Dougga is an ancient Punic/Roman/Berber settlement that sits atop a hill overlooking a valley of olive groves. 

There are only three ways to get here : Private Taxi, Guided Tour and Public Mini van (Louage). The private options are pricey as Dougga is almost 2 hours outside of Tunis. 

We opted for guided tour, by our Tour Company, but a solo traveller can go by Louage option and riding it out with the locals!

There are a few Louage stations in Tunis, located on different sides of the city depending on which direction your destination is. Dougga is to the west so my louage left from Bab Saadoun. The louage stations can be a bit overwhelming at first as you’ll be bombarded with people yelling “Hammamet”, “Bizerte”, “Sousse! Sousse!”, all trying to figure out where you want to go. You have to tell someone “je veux aller au Dougga” or “I want to go to Dougga”, and they will immediately directed you to a van where like public taxis everywhere else in the world, wouldn’t leave until it was full. It can even take 50 minutes when it is full and ready to go. The louage is not the most comfortable of vans, but they are in much better shape than similar vans in other countries. You can have some interesting conversations with some of the locals on the ride and the Tunisian countryside is so beautiful.

The louage takes 2 hours to reach Dougga but does not take you to the ruins themselves. So you have to hire a Taxi. Entrance fees are 8 dinars.


Enroute we had a quick stop in Testour, Andalusian city par excellence, and admire its architecture and visit the unique mosque as it is on our way to Dougga; so we could spend maximum 30 minutes there and  taste a good cheese & then continue to Dougga. From all parts of the country, Tunisians visit the city of Testour, to buy the distinctive cheese of the Testour.

Visiting Dougga should be high on your list as it is some of the more stunning Roman ruins I’ve seen in my travels. They are in great condition, and best of all, there are VERY FEW visitors unlike the mass hordes of tourists in Italy.

The ruins are truly impressive. There is a large theatre, altars, temples, and pillars. Everything you need for an impressive ruins. You'll have the opportunity to explore its stunning ruins, including the well-preserved Capitol and Theater, the Temple of Saturn, and the Punic-Libyan Mausoleum, Baths (including Termas de Caracalla)

Best thing about it? The only people you will probably see is a group of Tunisian tourists and few foreign tourists . You will probably have the entire place to yourself. But nevertheless, these ruins were on par with the ruins I saw at Ephesus in TurkeyDougga is an UNESCO heritage site, unlike Bulla Regia.

We had to rush in order to be able to visit all those sites. We had packed lunch in the car/ while on the walking tour. Since we started the day late, it is the only option left, if we were to cover all the places !

Bulla Regia


After that, we went to Bulla Regia, an ancient Roman city renowned for its unique underground villas. Bulla Regia is not an UNESCO heritage site, unlike Dougga. Here, you'll discover the secrets of these extraordinary villas, which were constructed underground to protect their inhabitants from the intense heat of the region, House of Fishing, House of Amphitrite

Le Kef


Finally, we visited Le Kef, a city with a rich history and impressive architecture. El Kef (or Le Kef, Arabic ‎) is a small city in northwest Tunisia. The city is built onto the southern face of the Jebel Dyr Mountain, which is part of the Tebersouk Mountains, the eastern end of the High Atlas Mountains. 

Once in El Kef, you have two options to get around -- walking and by taxi. However, given the city's small size, walking should be the best option and the most convenient one.

El Kef is a small but picturesque city built up the mountain and absent of all tourists . You probably won’t need too long here, but it’s a good stop to stretch your legs as you wander the city’s kasbah (an ottoman-era fortress built in the 1600s) and medina for a great view of the surrounding valley. It is one of the places to visit as per LP.


You'll explore the old quarter of the city, where you can visit the

Dar Hassine Allani Palace

Great Mosque and

Byzantine Kasbah, a fortress that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. Throughout the day, you'll have the chance to learn about the fascinating history and culture of Tunisia while exploring some of its most impressive ancient sites.

This one-day tour from Tunis to Dougga, Bulla Regia, and Le Kef is the perfect way to experience the wonders of Tunisia's ancient past.


Accommodation: 3* hotel in Kef

Day 2 (20.10.2023): Maktaris and Kairouan - overnight in Kairouan

After breakfast at your hotel at 7 am, we headed towards Kairouan through the historical city of Maktaris

We visited Maktaris archeological site and continued towards Kairouan

After arrival we visited the Grand Mosque. This mosque was erected in 670, which corresponds to the year 50 AH, the Muslim calendar. It was built by the Arab conqueror Oqba Ibn Nafi. In Kairouan’s Grand Mosque only muslims can go inside, but non-muslims can enter the courtyard. One of the cafes or rug/souvenir stores near the Great Mosque that have a rooftop you can visit (you’ll score some amazing views!) 

We had mid day lunch at your hotel

After lunch, visited the old medina of Kairouan (UNESCO World Heritage and shooting location succulent local pastry called “Les Makroudhs” in Medina and take the time to visit its unique carpet weaving workshops.

·This is the Rug Capital (Tapis Sabra) -  Just negotiate or ask advice from your guide if you are willing to Buy = Prices can be tripled sometimes .

Then we visited the Aghlabid basins. Basins of Aghlabides (a network of pools that have provided locals drinking water since the medieval ages) 

Then we visited the mausoleum of the barbarian (Zaouina Sidi Sahbi, Bir Barrouta)

We had Dinner in the hotel in Kairouan

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Kairouan

 Day 3 (21.10.2023) : Sbeitla or Sofetulo and Tozeur - overnight in Tozeur

After breakfast at your hotel at 7 am, we headed towards Sbeitla or Sofetula archeological site

- Arrive and visit the different components of this Roman city
- Continue to Gafsa and mid-day lunch (had a good barbecue on the way)

- Arrive to Tozeur and settle in your hotel. 

The city of Tozeur itself is perhaps less interesting than its surroundings. Tozeur is about as 180 degree as it gets from Tunis. While Tunis is a hectic European/Middle Eastern hybrid of a city, Tozeur is tranquil and sparsely populated. As far as towns in the desert go, I’d have to say that Tozeur is actually quite nice. This is the type of town you envision when you think of some lost city in the middle of the Sahara. The stuff that movies like Aladdin are made of. It’s a city that’s still retained most of its classic architecture and is home to one of the largest palm forests in the world.

Tozeur is characterized by its seemingly endless display of giant palm trees in the middle of the city and is also one of the highest date producing regions in the world. People actually live in this palm tree forest . Tozeur is located in the Sahara desert, and more specifically, at one of the largest Oasis in the world. It’s home to over 400,000 palm trees, most of them being date palm trees. The town is famous for its date production, and some of the world’s best dates come from Tunisia.

As it is surrounded by mountains and desert, the climate is actually quite mild year round. When I visited in October, day time was a pleasant 30 degrees and night time dropped to 15 degrees or so.

We visited the old medina of Tozeur - Unique by its architecture and its narrow lane, this medina hides a history and a beauty that are worth at least an hour’s walk, at the end of the day. 

There is a possibility of a horse carriage tour in the oldest palm groove of the region. Admire the multi-storey farming, stroll between the date palms and pomegranates and visit the typical brickyards of the region – but this will come with horse carriage for an additional cost. Since it is located right in the city so you can either walk or take a horse carriage ride through it. We decided to walk, but I’m sure those horse carriage riders would have accepted a deeply discounted fare from us as there were very few tourists around.

Please note, the carriage can carry 5 people maximum and the price should be around 10 euros per person ??

What to eat in Tozeur?

    There’s no shortage of good food in Tozeur. All the street food : shawarmas, rotisserie chicken, and couscous are available here. Don’t expect much seafood here, as it is in the middle of the desert. One thing you can easily try here is camel meat. There’s an abundance of camels in this part of the country and turns out people do eat them.

We had Dinner in the hotel in Tozeur

Accommodation: 4* hotel in Tozeur

Day 4 (22.10.2023) : The mountain oasis and the night in tent - overnight in  Sabria

After breakfast at your hotel at 7 am , we headed towards Chebika Oasis, the destination of many filmmakers. Hike for around 40 minutes with an English speaking local guide to visit the ancient village and the source of water that springs from the side of the mountain. The first stop on the trip is in Chebika, a small town with a huge date production facility.

Head to Tamerza and then to Mides (we  had to rush and driver explained to us, so that we do not to waste time) to discover its large canyons to admire its waterfall

[Input by Omrani : we will try to visit Mides but not sure as we will continue to Sabria, we will still have visits on the way and we should get there before sunset (Best moment of the day) ]

After the meal,  we had to fasten the belts, as crossed the famous salt lake of Chott El Gharsa, the big sand dunes and rocky obstacles to go to the largest and most famous Star Wars site in Tunisia (Mos Espa   village). From Mos Espa we stopped at the site of Ong Jmal (“Camel’s Neck), to admire its landscapes ( Ong Jmal and Mos Espa was done in 4*4 wd vehicles in the  afternoon).  But we had to do everything very quickly, so that we can reach Sabria in time. 

Interestingly most people in Tozeur have never even seen Star Wars sites !

Stop by the famous basket of Nefta to enjoy a good tea and admire the landscape

We had Lunch  in a typical restaurant

After lunch, head to Sabria sandy village, crossing the salt lake of Chott Djerid (Largest salt lake in the North of Africa with more than 5000 sq km), and we went through a petrified sand site and we discovered a method of cooling hot water in southern Tunisia used to irrigate the palm grove

- Arrive to Sabria and settled in our tent

- There is a possibility of a camel ride during sunset moments. We opted for it

- Admired the sun hiding shyly at the horizon and the sand extends as far as the eye can see.

- Settled in our tent and around 1900 hours enjoyed a demonstration of sand bread making (bread prepared under the embers).

- After Dinner we had free time around the camp fire

- Admired the stars.

Accommodation: Night in tent at a desert camp

Day 5 (23.10.2023) : The berber villages (Ksar Ghilane and Tataouine) - overnight in Ksar Jouamaa

After breakfast at at 7 am , we headed towards Ksar Ghilane ( via the city of Douz - visited the local market), the oasis famous for its natural hot water spring. It is possible to swim here. Douz is considered Tunisia’s “gateway” to the Sahara 

With a little luck one can meet the Bedouins with their herds of dromedaries or a Fennec crossing the road quickly.

There is a Possibility of quad tour or camel ride in the sand dunes

Enroute Tataouine falls Ksar Jouamaa, Ghomraseen /Ksar Hadada – which we saw later while coming back

Continued our travel to Tataouine (Stop in the middle of nowhere, every time a landscape catches your eye as far as Guermessa, magnificent Berber village which dominates the mountain) and visit the berber village of Chenini, still inhabited, which you will visit with a local guide.

As with Tozeur, Tataouine's the surroundings, rather than the town itself that make it worth a stay. So before you stop in Tataouine for the night, these are the 3 stops I recommend you make (in this order). And don’t forget you can also see exactly where they are on our itinerary map here

#Ksar Hadada
#Ksar Beni Barka (abandoned cave dwelling and fortress – and the coolest stop on our entire trip!)  
# Ksar Ouled Soltane -  Visit Ksar Ouled Soltane

- Mid-day lunch

- Visit the mosque of the 7 dormants

- Visit the famous Ksar Hadada (Star Wars shooting location). Ksar Hadada looks like there was briefly a hotel here, but that appears to be long since forgotten about. We weren’t honestly sure if it was open for visitors and the main door was closed. However, we simply knocked on the large wooden door and a man who appeared to be the caretaker let us in. 

[ Note: this was a little hard to find as Ksar Hadada is also the name of the village. Your best bet is probably to put “Mosque Blacksmith Palace” into your Google Maps. The stop you’re looking for will then be just across the road (look for the wall and the info sign about Star Wars film sets .]

- Continued our journey to Ksar Jouamaa and settle in your Ghorfas (berber cave rooms from 18th century)

- Dinner and overnight at Ksar Jouamaa 

Accommodation: Berber cottage with cave rooms (Ksar Jouamaa - an 18th century attic, at the top of the mountain of Béni Khédache)


Day 6 (24.10.2023) : Djerba Island - overnight at Djerba 

  After breakfast at 7 am , we headed towards Matmata the troglodyte village

- Visited Sidi Idriss hotel (shooting location of Star Wars)

- Visited a troglodyte house and met a local berber family

- Continued to Djerba island

- Photo stop at Toujane berber village

- Entered the island through the famous Roman road (the only road that connects the island to the main land)

- Visited Guellela potery village and assisted to a demonstration with a local merchant

- Visited the tradition museum of Djerba

- Visited the famous “Ghariba” : oldest jewish synagogue in northern Africa (if still open as it will be a Friday)

- Borj Ghazi Mustapha

- Strolled in the alleys of Djerba hood and admire the fascinating graffiti

- Mid-day lunch

- Visited Houmt Souk, the island capital and enjoy free time for shopping

- Dinner 

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Djerba

 Day 7 (25.10.2023) : El Jem Coliseum and Mahdia  - overnight at Sousse

After breakfast at 7 am , we left the island through the ferry and headed towards El Jem through the highway.

- After arriving had mid-day lunch

This amphitheatre is the largest in Africa and once held over 35000 spectators. Gladiators regularly fought here, along with chariot races and other Roman entertainment. In addition, it was also used for drumroll, the Gladiator movie. El Jem is considered to be the third-largest ever amphitheater ever built, after the Colosseum in Rome and an amphitheater that was destroyed in Capua, Italy.  

The best part of this place? But the best part is that you explore this one with a fraction of the tourists you’ll find anywhere in Italy. No one else is here. You get the whole place to yourself and you can take some amazing pictures. You can also wander pretty much anywhere in and around the amphitheatre. Forget about the Colosseum in Rome, this place is a far superior sight . It’s in much better condition and while smaller than the amphitheatre in Rome, it gives you a better feel of what it would have been like thousands of years ago to do battle.

El Jem is an easy train ride from the Tunis train station near the place de Barcelone in the center of the Tunis town. If you try booking tickets online from their website, it is a bit of a joke with no English option, and a barely functioning French option. The train fare is 10 dinars and leaves in the morning from Tunis at 8 or 9:30, and returns from El Jem in the afternoon. When the train arrives to El Jem, the amphitheatre is easily visible from the train and it’s just a short 10 minute walk. 

- Visited the archeological museum of El Jem

Continued to Mahdia and visit its famous Skifa Kahla, Borj el Kebir,Grand Mosque, Mustapha Hamza Mosque

[Input by Omrani  : To be Honest I can't judge now , if you cover everything, because this depends on many factors ( 1- Waiting time for the ferry 2 - Your rhythm of visits). I can guarantee the visit of El Jem colosseum, archeological museum and Skifa Kahla as given in my first program. All the rest will depend on above 2 factors]

- After visiting these monuments, departure to Sousse dinner and overnight


Accommodation: 3* hotel in Sousse

Day 8 (26.10.2023): Sousse /Monastir/Sidi Bou Said - overnight at Sidi Bou Sid

After breakfast  we left for Sousse. After breakfast , the first stop will be the coastal city of Sousse, where we'll have the opportunity to explore the Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Explored the iconic Ribat fortress.

Next, we visited Monastir, the birthplace of Tunisia's first president, Habib Bourguiba. Right next door, you’ll find the imposing Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first president and a champion of their independence from France. 

Here, one can visit his mausoleum and tour the historic Ribat of Monastir, a fortress built in the 8th century.

Monastir’s highlight is its beautiful Ribat overlooking the sea. Make sure to climb up its towers for a great view! 

- Visited Bourguiba mausoleum

- Visited Monastir Marina and harbour

- Back to Tunis/ Sidi Bou Said via short stop over at Hammamet

Hammamet is a resort beach town approx. an hour from Tunis. Most tourists travel to Hammamet for a relaxing beach getaway.

Nabeul- loved visiting the Medina in Nabeul. Nabeul is also known for pottery, and you can see many pottery shops and workers molding and painting the ceramics.

Medina of Hammamet - By the coast and a beautiful place to  watch the sunset

Accommodation: in Sidi Bou Said (Dar Fatma / Superbe Maison/Maison à Sidi Bou Said/SidiBou House)


Day 9 (27.10.2023): Carthage and Sidi Bou Said - overnight at Sidi Bou Sid

There isn’t a whole lot to do in Sidi Bou Said, except enjoy the views of the Mediterranean, take some pictures of the unique architecture. Au Bon Vieux Temps, a restaurant in Sidi Bou Said serving average food is a great place to have a drink and soak in the views. I wouldn’t recommend it for much more than that however. With its white walls and blue accented windows and roof tops, this place appear oddly similar to Santorini. It’s hard not to fall in love with this quaint sea-side town outside of Tunis. We had free time to stroll in the alley of Sidi Bou said (The blue and white village overviewing the bay of Tunis)

The bambaloni,  a fried donut of sorts sprinkled with sugar is a MUST have for any visitors. This delicious piece of dough is crack. Absolutely delicious and for less than 1 dinar a piece, I had five. Apparently it is only served in Sidi Bou Said. Not sure why they wouldn’t bring this to Tunis as it would sell big time but I could not find it anywhere in Tunis.

Mid-day lunch in Lagoulette (Fresh grilled fish)

Then we left for Carthage. We left by catching the TGM light rail and got off at the Carthage - Hannibal station. The entrance fee to the ruins are 10 dinar, which will give you access to all the sights in and around Carthage. Carthage is an ancient Phoenician city that was once one of the world’s most affluent cities and important trading centers. There was a time in their history, when Rome was attacked by their General Hannibal from North Africa -  who used elephants and nearly conquered Rome. That same General hailed from Tunisia in ancient times. After Hannibal’s armies were defeated by the Romans, the Romans settled in modern day Tunisia and many ruins were left behind. In fact, Tunisia has some of the most well kept Roman ruins I’ve ever seen. 

There are a few different Carthage metro stops you can get off at, so choose the one that’s closest to whatever site you want to start at. You can buy one single ticket at any of the sites to get access to all the sites. You can reach Carthage from Central/downtown Tunis by TGM light rail.The train costs about 1 dinar (~50 cents).  Sidi Bou Said is a few stops further from Carthage on the TGM light rail. We ended up catching a taxi from Sidi Bou Said to Carthage  and paid about 3 dinars. That’s $1.50! .

Visited the archeological site of Carthage and discover the Roman ruins (Byrsa hill – Punic sanctuary – Antonine baths – Punic harbour etc)

Accommodation: in Sidi Bou Said (Dar Fatma / Superbe Maison/Maison à Sidi Bou Said/SidiBou House)

 Day 10 (28.10.2023): Tunis - overnight at Tunis

After breakfast we left for Tunis. In Tunis, we stayed at the Dar Ya hostel, located on the northern side of the Medina in a traditional Tunisian building (dar is the Tunisian equivalent of a Moroccan riad). Initially, we baulked at the (relatively) high cost of a room with a shared bathroom but we came to realise it was a good deal and would recommend it to others. The nightly rate averaged 90 dinar and included a good breakfast. The hostel also has a couple of dorm rooms. Staff were friendly and spoke good English. On reflection, it was one of the best places we stayed in Tunisia. If you’re looking for something mid-range take a look at the characterful Hotel Dar el Medina or savour a bit of Tunisian kitsch at the Royal Victoria Hotel. Alternatively, splash out and sleep in style at Palais Bayram.

Visited the old medina of Tunis and stroll in its narrow streets.

Old Medina of Tunis- My favorite part of Tunis. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. One of my favorite things to do is to visit old Medina’s and souks in Africa and the Middle East. There is so much culture- the medina is filled with vendors selling local goods and coffee/tea shops, as well as historical and religious monuments such as Mosques, palaces and mausoleums. I bought some awesome souvenirs and tried some yummy treats like Makroudh, (a sweet pastry filled with dates, nut paste and sesame)

Located in the center of town, the medina is the old city, with traditional North African/Islamic architecture. There are large mosques here, and an old school souk, although nothing compared to that of Marrakech or the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. It is similar however, as hundreds of shops selling similar items are bunched close together. Located in the Medina is a good rooftop view of Tunis. Venture the store named El Ali. I was endlessly heckled and he said “at least check out the rooftop, it has the best views”. I said what the hell and checked it out. Totally worth it. 
Not obligated to buy anything either!

- Discover more about the Roman and Islamic heritage with your guide

Bardo museum is one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean region and 2nd on the African continent (after Egyptian museum of Cairo). Largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, and a wide variety of archeological artifacts thousands of years old and over several civilizations. Of the few tourist attractions on TripAdvisor of Tunis, this was #1. I’ve seen mosaics in Turkey and other European destinations, but my goodness the amount of mosaics in this museum were incredible. I’m talking some gymnasium sized mosaics and many many of them. There is a lot of history within the mosaics but I didn’t have the patience nor the time to read up on it. A guide probably would have been helpful for this museum.  It’s a crazy thought that I was here three months before the ISIS attacks.

Unfortunately Bardo museum is closed. Bonus points if you can find my favorite cafe: Cafe el Medina!) . For a taste of modern Tunisia, complement your stroll through the old medina with a stroll down the city’s most famous commercial street: Habib Bourguiba Avenue. 

I can also highly recommend doing a free walking tour of Tunis with Saber! We really enjoyed our tour with him, and it gave us a fascinating look into some of the city’s hidden corners. 

If we have time, we might go to Ichkeul Lake or Cap Bon (both around 100 km). The Cap Bon, off of Tunisia’s East coast is a popular beach destination among locals. Even during wintertime, the coast is worth visiting, with impressive views, white-sanded beaches, and interesting local culture. Driving along the Cap Bon is the perfect road trip, you can explore everything in one day, or take more time if you want to enjoy the beaches. 

You can also go by public transportation, but you’ll need at least two days to go all the way around. There are several interesting places to discover, here is a list of the must-go places in the Cap Bon.

Back to your hotel dinner and overnight


We ate at the Creek Bistro for dinner 2 nights in a row because it was that good. Executive Chef of FS Tunis, Omar Mosquera Mallen, spoiled us with his best dishes on the menu and we were blown away by our meal experience. Every dish was extraordinary. The menu is tapa style, inspired by a fusion of Spanish, Mediterranean, French and Italian cuisine. 

Below are a few dishes I thought were outstanding.

~Bombas De La Barceloneta- Classic potato and meat spicy balls from Barcelona

~Calamar A La Carbonara- Pan fried thinly sliced calamari, saffron aioli and black carbonara sauce

~Boeuf Aux Oignons- Beef born filet with onions and seared foie gras

~ Homard- Open ravioli, sautéed blue lobster with green oil, thin fresh pasta, Parmigiano and crustacean Demi grace dressing 

~ Creme Catalane- cookie mousse, mandarin sorbet, crumble, caramelized Catalan mousse

Accommodation: in Tunis : Dar Ben Gacem (1.7 Km from Centre) / Hôtel le calife (1.1 Km from Centre), Hotel Dar Ali (1.7 Km from Centre) / Hotel Métropole Résidence(0.8 Km from Centre), Dar Ya hostel

 Day 11 : (29.10.2023) : 

-   Transfer to the airport according to flight time from Tunis Hotel (flight at 1140 hours)



Be sure to have this list of Tunisian food handy when you visit, so that you can try one or more of these popular and traditional foods. I think one of my favourite parts of traveling through the Middle East was the abundance of delicious and flavourful food. Tunisia was the start of it all.

It’s a blend between Mediterranean and desert-dweller cuisines. Couscous with various meats, vegetables, and spices are the main fare here. Add some spicy harissa sauce to it, which the Tunisians are known for and I was set for my entire time in Tunisia.

Street food culture is big throughout Tunisia, with shawarma shops EVERYWHERE. Thin slices of beef or chicken in a wrap with veggies, spices and harissa would make up most of my diet for the next week.

The Tunisians are also obsessed with eating Tuna. They will either eat it straight up with cheese in a wrap or add it to their shawarma sandwiches which is something I’ve never even considered before. Nevertheless, Tunisia is right on the sea and I was already there so I decided to chow copious amounts of tuna as well. Tuna, eggs and cheese feature heavily in Tunisian cuisine.

Couscous is a popular Tunisian dish, but we didn’t come across it much in local restaurants. You won’t meet a woman over forty whose first question won’t be “Have you tried couscous yet?”. Couscous is a big deal in Tunisia; it’s also the main dish. Each region has a particular way to make it, so you’ll have to try it everywhere you go.

Shakshuka is a fairly common dish and although is found all over the Middle East, it was apparently exported by Tunisian Jews who migrated from Tunisia to Israel. A tomato-based vegetable stew with onions and peppers, onto which an egg is usually added so that it poaches on top, this dish is typically served in a skillet pan and served with bread. 

During summer you should also try the mechouïa salad, it’s grilled, and then ground veggies. It’s typically eaten with bread.

Brick à l’oeuf is a common street food snack – it’s a bit like a samosa with a runny egg yolk centre and tastes better than it sounds. Sometimes there are other fillings and tuna is a popular addition. You can find Bricks almost everywhere. This dish is made of eggs and usually, tuna, covered in a thin dough and fried. If you’re on the go and just want a sandwich, try the Libanais, it’s super good.

Another must-try is the pastries, of course. My favorites are the Makroud (you’ll find the best one in Kairouan) and the Kaakwarka made of almonds and rose water.

It is completely possible to eat in Tunisia on a low budget; just don’t expect gourmet cuisine. Having said that, we averaged TND 15 a day on food for both of us (keep in mind breakfast was included in many hotel rates), so that should leave a bit of wiggle room for splashing out on a better meal now and again !


Borek / Brik

Stuffed Turnover - Brik à l'oeuf is a classic you'll find on every Tunisian restaurant  menu. It is a type of Samosa



White Porridge



Tunisian Frittata. Tunisia Tagine is a dish that dates back in history and is considered one of the most popular traditional dishes in Tunisia.






Salata Meshwya / Slata mechouia

Literally meaning  Grilled Vegetable Salad



Paste of Ground Roasted Cereals and Spices



Tabouna Bread

 Traditional Tunisian Bread




This fried dessert is made of semolina flour and olive oil and filled with       date paste before being doused in sugar syrup. The original Kairouanian sweet      pastry, whose popularity goes far         beyond the borders of the city of Kairouan, is the number one Tunisian sweet pastry. Customer  travel here from Libya, Algeria, and all the governorates of Tunisia just to purchase Makrouth




Meat & Spices Sausage




 Cooked Chickpeas. While lablabi is one of the most popular Tunisian breakfast dishes, the    recipe is Ottoman in origin. Among the most popular soups of Tunisian cuisine.




 Sorghum Bowl



Tunisian Masfouf

Sweet Couscous with Raisins and Dates




Sandwiches. The most popular Tunisian snack food par excellence is fricasse. This is 100% Tunisian and is basically fried dough.




 Seed Dessert



 Tunisian Kaftaji

The words kofta and kaftaji entered the Tunisian dialect through Ottoman Turkish,    which in turn derived it from the Persian language. In the Turkish language (and in the Arab East) , köfte is ground meat served in the shape of a sausage or a burger and either fired or roasted on skewers over a fire.




Tunisian Soup




This typical Tunisian dish is also popular in the Middle East, where it was introduced by    Tunisian Jews who migrated to Israel. Hearty and delicious, this stew-like dish is prepared with    tomatoes, onions, garlic and green peppers, along with a variety of optional ingredients such as potatoes, courgettes or even broad beans when they're in season in early spring. Eggs are often added during the      cooking process so that they slowly poach in the liquidy soup. This simple lunch or dinner is eaten with bread: break off chunks to dip into the sauce.



Tunisian Bread , Khobz Mbassas

Throughout the year, Tunisians consume different types of bread,     excessively – whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or for sandwiches, you will find bread everywhere in     Tunisia.



  Rouz Jerbi

Rouz jerbi is an authentic Tunisian dish that is usually prepared from rice, meat, liver,  chickpeas, and vegetables such as chard, peas and carrots, and parsley.



 Zlabia and Mukhareq

It is our favourite Jalebi ! The city of Beja, in the northwest of Tunisia, is   renowned for its zalabia and mukhareq, and people will make arduous journeys to get some of these   delicious honey dumplings. The origin of these sweets is Turkey



Tunisian Mlawi

This is a popular Tunisian bread for making sandwiches and to prepare it you need     flour, semolina, yeast, warm water, salt and oil. It is prepared in a round shape, and patted out so it is very thin. For the filling various ingredients are used, including harissa, eggs, cheese, and more. It is pure Tunisian bread that is difficult to find in other countries.



 Jouajem Drink

The “Jouajem” drink is a mixture of fruits and ice cream that comes from the city of    Sfax in southern Tunisia. It is very popular outside the city, too, and so it has become part of the city’s identity. No one who lives in the city of Sfax, or, as Tunisians call it, the capital of the South or who has  passed through has not had the honor of tasting the juice of “Jouajem”



Chorba or Shorba

 Chorba or Shorba is a staple of Tunisian Ramadan meals, though you can find this delicious soup available year-round. Chorba is the most common soup.

Maghrebi Mint Tea




 But Tunisian doughnuts, YoYos, are a unique delight. The delicacy combines the sweet        flavors of honey with a subtle hint of orange.




Often considered fast-food by Tunisian standards, Ojja highlights the heavy       influence of Berber flavors on Tunisian cuisine. Traditional ojja combines eggs and merguez, a spicy lamb sausage, in a savory tomato sauce for a hearty, filling meal.  Ojja is best enjoyed with a side of grilled bread in place of a spoon or fork



For a group of 8 people: 725 euros per person

 What's included

· Accommodation in the hotels mentioned in full board (dinner and lunch is provided, except day 8, when there is no dinner

· The provision of a private A/C vehicle during 8 days

· The services of a driver approved by the Tunisian Tourism Office during 8 days

· The services of an English-speaking licensed tour guide during 8 days

· Mid day Lunches during the whole tour (excluding drinks)

· Fuel, parking and highway fees

· 2 4wd vehicles for the Ong Jmal and Mos Espa afternoon

· Our assistance 24/24

· 3 Sim cards that you will receive on arrival

· Packed lunch in order not to waste time the first day. It has been noted that 1 person eats only fish or vegetables (and no meat)

What's excluded

- Flights
- Drinks and personal expenses
- Entrance fees to all archeological sites and museums mentioned in the program
- Entry fees - 38 euros : Dougga / Bulla Regia / Kairouan / Sofetula archeological sites /     Ksar  Hadada / Sidi Idriss / Djerba museum / El Jem colosseum
- Optional activities booked onsite (dromedary - carriage - quad ... etc)

-  The airport transfer the last day will cost you 35 Euros 

- Last 2 days (9th and 10th day) in and around Tunis (Carthage (20) , Sid Bou Said(30) – which is only 20/30 minutes by Metro from Tunis) on your own. Use the public transport, bus, metro, Louage and walking tour by a reputed Guide to feel the city. We will fly back on 11th day from Tunis.

Note : We will leave early at 7-7.30 am after breakfast everyday to spend more time in the site

Chronological order