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Personal recentish travel review with pictures and well researched itinerary of the whole sovereign state.
Mention Tunisia to people in the United Kingdom and they will think of: the 2010 kick off of the Arab Spring which started in Tunisia, the 2015 Sousse beach terrorist attack and Spanish style all-inclusive beach side resorts. Many people cocoon themselves in the resort or the city the resort is contained in and rarely see the real varied country.

Tunisia is way more than just a sandy beach - yes I am biased since I get bored of beaches after 30 minutes! Many people apart from me are too chicken to drive such a country. Typically I do not pay a massive amount of attention to FCDO or State Department travel advisories. Mountains, salt lakes, deserts, islands, Islam, Judaism, Berbers, Christians, Roman ruins, Star Wars, Phoenicians ruins, French & Spanish remains and more await you.

This nation is of course part of North Africa with Egypt and Morocco attracting the bulk of foreign tourists. Egypt does not have a French colonial background and feels truly Middle Eastern. Morocco and Tunisia share the same colonial power – the French. Tunisia is the smallest nation in North Africa with just 160,000 KM Sq. This has an advantage since you can explore everything in two weeks if you are quick unlike Algeria, Morocco, or Egypt.

My plan was standard. Book two single flights, hire a car, use multiple sites to find items to do, map it, get a local SIM, and book hotels as I go along. This trip like many was solo since a friend was too chicken to come. Ten days was enough to do everything I planned to do. The food is better than Moroccan food – different and with more flavour (chilli).

Warning: the drivers are really bad. Similar or a tad worse than Albanian drivers though the quality of roads was ok. Be prepared for tonnes of police or national guard checkpoints, especially as you go south towards Libya. Be prepared for cars/people/animals coming from all directions.

How were the people? Better than in Morocco. Sorry, Moroccans! The people of Tunisia were more genuine, and less money orientated. When I ran out of fuel, a guy got me three litres of fuel and did not want cash. Another guy helped me get a SIM card and did not want money. You could somewhat relax unlike in Morocco. Your main danger is driving! Stray dogs which are not human I know, do occasionally chase you and if they do, pick up a stone to scare them off.

Cops: as mentioned above, there were tonnes of checkpoints. Typically, once they figure out you are totally foreign, they let you go. Only once a cop asked for a “fine” for crossing the central line which everyone else did. On asking for an official receipt, he let me go.

The trip was totally epic, and I would say it was the best trip in the Middle East, but it is not classed as the Middle East.

What is there to see? Mosques, churches, synagogues, Spanish forts, Roman ruins, Punic ruins, deserts, mountains, canyons, souks, Star Wars film remains, beaches, museums, cave villages and fortified granaries.

Day #1
  • Flew in and got rental car
  • Sbeitla for Roman ruins
  • Night in Tozeur
Day #2
  • Sidi Bouhlel Canyon for Star Wars canyon
  • Mos Espa for desert film set
  • Chott el Djerid (salt lake) for Lars Homestead (Luke’s house)
  • Drive through Chott el Djerid on a raised road
  • Night in Matmata
Day #3
  • Hotel Sidi Driss which was a film set for Star Wars
  • Tamezret for hill village & Berber Museum
  • Toujane for little carpet factories which are sold without middle men
  • Madenine for town & fortified granary (ksar)
  • Stop in random non-interesting town of Tataouine which name appears in the film
  • Drove to Djerba for: Ksar Hadada, Ksar Ouled Soltane & Chenini
  • Night in Djerba
Day #4
  • Djerba for: active synagogue & abandoned synagogue, Djerbahood, souk, fort, lighthouse, crocodile park, Lalla Hadria Museum, Djerba Heritage, three Star Wars sites & Ali Berber pottery
  • Night in Sfax
Day #5
  • Sfax for: fish market, souks, medina & kasbah museum
  • El Djem for: amphitheatre, museum & small amphitheatre
  • Monastir for: ribat, city walls & mausoleum
  • Sousse: walk seafront
  • Kairouan for: medina, three door mosque & grand mosque
  • Night in Kairouan
Day #6
  • Dougga Roman ruins
  • Bulla Regia Roman ruins
  • Bizerte Spanish fort
  • Night in Tunis
Day #7
  • Zaghouan water temple
  • Zaghouan aqueduct
  • Uthina Roman ruins
  • Carthage for: water cisterns, Tophet burial site, Magon Qtr, Baths of Antoninus, Roman theatre, Roman house ruins, amphitheatre, museum of Carthage, Saint Louis cathedral, Punic ports, Oceanographic museum & Sidi Bou Said village
  • Night in Tunis
Day #8
  • Tunis for: Bardo museum, national military museum, Human Rights Square, clock tower, first president memorial, synagogue & Port of France Gate
  • Night in Tunis
Day #9
  • Tunis for: medina, Kasbah Square, city hall, Zitouna, Tourbet el Bey, Dar Othman & covered food market
  • Night in Tunis
Day #10
  • Flight home

Would I return? Probably not since I ticked off all the sights I wanted to see. Still, this was an incredible ten days.

Tunisia - Tunis Governorate
Tunisia - Zaghouan Governorate

Tunisia - Tozeur Governorate

Tunisia - Tataouine Governorate

Tunisia - Monastir Governorate

Tunisia - Sfax Governorate

Tunisia - Sousse Governorate

Tunisia - Medenine Governorate

Tunisia - Mahdia Governorate

Tunisia - Jendouba Governorate

Tunisia - Kairouan Governorate

Tunisia - Kasserine Governorate

Tunisia - Gabès Governorate

Tunisia - Bizerte Governorate

Tunisia - Ben Arous Governorate

Tunisia - Béja Governorate