10 days

Highlights of Tunisia

Highlights of Tunisia

A night in the Ksar Ghilane oasis

Bardo Museum's mosaics and Roman statues

Camel ride in the Golden Triangle near the oasis village of Douz

Mahdia’s medina and 16th Century Borg el-Kebir fortress

Sidi Bou Said Andalous village and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Carthage - the oldest Phoenician settlement on the North African coast

The fourth holiest site in Islam - UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kairouan

The troglodyte Berber villages of Matmata - the set for 'Star Wars' mythical planet of Tatooine

Tozeur's 250,000 palms

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Roman amphitheatre of El Jem

Trip rating
  • Only a slim wedge in the expanse of North Africa, Tunisia packs a lot of punch. While it may be on the adventurous side of travel, the friendly locals make any time here unforgettable. Tunisia is simply sublime.

    Why we love it

    • Only a slim wedge in the expanse of North Africa, Tunisia packs a lot of punch.
    • While it may be on the adventurous side of travel, the friendly locals make any time here unforgettable.
    • Tunisia is simply sublime.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Tunis

    • On arrival at Tunis Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Tunis at any time.
    • Please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The rest of your day is free to explore the surroundings and your tour leader may make contact with you in the evening.
    Hotel Gammarth or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 - Tunis - Carthage

    • After breakfast you will start your sightseeing tour with a visit to the medina (old quarter) of Tunis, which the largest in North Africa (larger than those in Fez, Algiers or Cairo).
    • After lunch you'll go to the outer suburbs of Tunis to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Carthage, which was founded in 814 BC and was the oldest Phoenician settlement on the coast of North Africa. Many wars were waged against the other Mediterranean powers such as the Greeks and the Romans before the city was ultimately conquered by the Romans in 146 BC.
    • Although partially hidden due to ongoing development over ensuing years, monuments such as the Antonine baths, Roman amphitheatre and the Punic ports hark back to the glories of a bygone era, while some of the best relics can be found in the archaeological museum of Carthage.
    • You will continue to Sidi Bou Said Andalous village and stroll through narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses with blue shutters and doors. Here you can also check out the various art galleries or try a bambalouni (a light and crispy Tunisian style doughnut) in one of the cafés that offer superb views of the Gulf of Tunis.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - Dougga - Kairouan

    • Today we will visit the Bardo Museum, the finest museum in the country and one of the best archaeological museums in the Mediterranean region.
    • Housed in an old palace that once belonged to the Husseinite beys, who were former rulers of Tunisia, it is especially known for its beautiful and extensive collection of mosaics that date back to Roman times.
    • You will then proceed to the archaeological site of Dougga, one of the best-preserved Roman cities in Africa. Built on an elevated site overlooking a fertile plain, it was the capital of both the Punic and Roman states. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, Dougga was originally a Punic town that sided with the Romans against Carthage and was granted some degree of independence as a reward.
    • It became an influential agricultural centre, controlling important trade routes to Carthage, on the coast. Its important marble quarries and fresh water supplies contributed to making it a prosperous and successful town.
    • After an optional lunch at nearby Thugga, you will continue to the holy city of Kairouan.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - Kairouan - Tozeur

    • Kairouan is the fourth holiest site in Islam, after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It is said that seven pilgrimages to Kairouan equates to one pilgrimage to Mecca. On a sightseeing tour you will visit the 9th century Great Mosque of Oqba Ibn Nafi, an important example of Islamic architecture.
    • On a walk in the souks you will get to taste makroudh, traditional local pastry stuffed with dates, and learn about the traditional savoir-faire of the womenfolk, which is making rugs.
    • You will continue to the oasis town of Tozeur, which is lined by extensive palm groves. Here you will visit the Dar Charait Museum, which evokes images reminiscent of the classic fable, 'One Thousand and One Nights'.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 5 - Tozeur

    • Today you will have a full day to explore and enjoy the scenery around Tozeur. There are two options to choose from, either a 4WD tour of the mountain oasis villages, or the Lezard Rouge train through the weird and wonderful rock formations of the Seldja Gorge - you can also chhose to do both.
    • The tour leader will discuss the options on arrival in Tozeur in the previous afternoon and will take payments and make bookings then. The mountain oases tour costs US$35 per person and the Lezard Rouge train US$20 per person.
    • Tonight you will enjoy a local speciality - lamb cooked in a clay pot - at Kmar restaurant.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6 - Douz - Ksar Ghilane

    • After breakfast you will depart to Douz, crossing the dry salt lake of Chott el Jerid en route. Douz, considered a gateway to the Sahara, is a quiet oasis village that is home to the Festival of the Sahara and also features a daily camel market.
    • After arriving there you will ride camels in the area of the Golden Triangle, which is made up of three small oases. After an optional lunch you will travel to Ksar Ghilane, an exotic oasis famous for its dunes and hot water spring.
    • Here you will spend the night in comfortable tents in the midst of the desert. The silence and vastness of the surrounds makes for a magical and unforgettable night.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 7 - Matmata - Mahdia

    • You will travel to Matmata and its famous troglodytes, houses built underground to protect the Berbers from intense heat in the summer. These Berber villages are exciting places to explore and one of these, together with the surrounding lunar-type landscape, was the set for the mythical planet of Tatooine (which got its name from the nearby town of Tataouine) in George Lucas' landmark movie, 'Star Wars'.
    • Scenes from Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' were also filmed here. You will make your way along the Mediterranean coast to Mahdia, a small and charming fishing village that has a relaxing feel about it.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8 - Mahdia

    • You will have an entire day to appreciate the attractions of Mahdia. In the morning you'll visit the Borg el-Kebir, a large 16th-century fortress that dominates the peninsula. The rest of the day will be free time to absorb the ambience of this lovely place. There are beaches located northwest of town and a small museum that showcases the long history that has left such a magnificent legacy on Mahdia.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9 - El-Jem - Tunis

    • On the way to Tunis you'll stop El-Jem's spectacular amphitheatre, a structure that dates from 238 AD and is the second largest of its kind in the world after the Colosseum in Rome.
    • You will visit the newly-opened small museum and investigate the excavations extending behind the museum where beautiful mosaics have been found. You'll then continue back to Tunis, where you will spend the last night of your tour enjoying an evening out (optional) to commemorate your journey.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 10 - Tunis

    • Your trip will come to an end today, after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12.00 noon and you will be free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time.
    • Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Tunis.
    Hotel Gammarth or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local leader throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Tunis - Bardo Museum and the largest medina in North Africa; UNESCO World Heritage site of Carthage; Sidi Bou Said Andalous village
    • Sightseeing: UNESCO World Heritage site of Dougga - one of the best-preserved Roman cities in Africa; fourth holiest site in Islam - Kairouan, including 9th century Great Mosque of Oqba Ibn Nafi and medina
    • Sightseeing: Mud brick oasis town of Tozeur - Dar Charait Museum; Chott el Jerid salt lake; Douz - the gateway to the Sahara; troglodyte dwellings at Matmata
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Mahdia fishing village - 16th-century fortress of Borg el-Kebir; and the Roman amphitheatre at El Jem.
    • Camel ride in the Golden Triangle, made up of three oases.
    • Visit to the dunes and hot water spring of Ksar Ghilane to spend the night in comfortable tents in the midst of the desert.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals not listed
    • Any optional tours or activities during free time
    • Camera fees
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Highlights of Tunisia

    Alexandra (Sasa) - Australia, 28 Oct, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    Tunisia is an unexpectedly varied and worthwhile destination, rich with both natural and cultural treasures. Where else can you ride a camel into the Sahara to a Roman fort to watch the sunset? The range of historical and cultural sites on this tour kept us constantly engaged. Our guide was organised, enthusiatic and knowledgeable. The country proved to be very safe for tourists, regardless of the political situation. We left with a love of this country and a much greater understanding of the culture, politics and history of North Africa. I can strongly recommend this tour.

    Highlights of Tunisia

    Prerona - United Kingdom, 2 Sep, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    I can highly recommend this tour to anyone with an academic or cultural interest in Tunisia, or North Africa in general. As a historian, it was wonderful to view the diverse and relatively unspoilt terrain of such a large portion of the country. The tour has just the right mix of historical sights and places of natural interest and is most ably guided by a knowledgeable and affable guide. The driver and vehicle were excellent, so we felt safe and comfortable at all times. The hotels were pleasant and well clear of the usual tourist resorts.However, they were excellently positioned for a trek into the desert and a swim in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. This is Tunisia as it is meant to be experienced!

  • From our Blog

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    Image courtesy of Conor Luddy, Flickr

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    The top five pleasures of Cairo

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    Recipe of the week: Harira

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PGHT
Group size 6 - 16
Start City: Tunis
End City: Tunis
Style: Small Group

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