Tunisia Explored

12 Days
from AUD$ 6,732

Highlights

  • Visit Tozeur with its medina full of unique brick-patterned architecture and sprawling palm grove
  • Inspect the unique underground homes of Matmata
  • Hike in the Caves of Haouaria
  • Explore the Roman ruins of El Djem and Dougga
  • Discover Djerba – home of the last Tunisian Jews

Come and explore Tunisia – wedged into the top of North Africa. Marvel at the stunning Mediterranean coastline, hidden beaches and mouthwatering seafood. Dive head first into imperial Rome as you uncover some of the world’s best preserved Roman ruins.

Mingle with fascinating cultures and experience a time frozen way of life as you spend time with locals who still live in caves dug deep into the ground. The vast contrasts of natural wonders is extreme yet incredibly beautiful. From rolling Saharan sand dunes, crumbled Berber villages and lush oases to forested bays, natural hot springs and tangles of medinas, you will lose yourself entirely. Haggle in souks whilst sipping on mint tea, float in the aroma of a scented shisha or get scrubbed and steamed clean on the marble slab of a traditional hammam whilst the call to prayer rings overhead. Embrace age old traditions as they intertwine with the chic modern world.

Journey map

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

Welcome to Tunisia!  Upon arrival at Tunis airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Tunis has always been a resilient and forward-looking settlement, one that makes an excellent starting point for any exploration of Tunisia. Now littered with artsy cafes and boutique hotels, the old is entwined with the new making this a buzzing city to explore.

Meals

None

Accommodation

Dar El Jeld, Medina of Tunis or similar

Services

Private Airport Transfer

Day 2 – Medina of Tunis – Bardo Museum

Medina of Tunis

After breakfast, head out to explore the Medina of Tunis.  This tangle of history and character is a great introduction to the city’s infrastructure decorated with ancient palaces, mosques, and Arab-style houses. Here, you will explore the layers of “old Tunisia,” encompassing the Medina itself, the quaint “European” quarter dating back to the early 20th century, and the contemporary charm of the modern suburbs.

Souks and local markets

Next, explore the bustling souks and local markets, where vibrant colours and lively sounds fill the air. Here, discover the exquisite crafts of Tunisian artisans, each piece telling a story of the country’s rich traditions and cultural heritage.

Afterwards, enjoy free time to explore the enchanting streets of the Medina at your own pace. Then, lunch at Dar El Jeld, an ancient Tunisian Palace which has been restored into one of the best restaurants in the capital.

Bardo Museum

Continuing on, head towards Bardo Museum for about 1 hour and 30 minutes’ drive. This museum stands as one of the Mediterranean’s premier archaeological institutions, known for its exceptional collection of mosaics. Housed within a former palace once belonging to the Beys, the rulers of Tunisia. As you explore its halls, you’ll encounter not only exquisite mosaics but also sculptures, ceramics, and a wealth of other archaeological treasures. Afterwards, return to your hotel.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Dar El Jeld, Medina of Tunis or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 3 – Bulla Regia – The family reserve in Thuccabor - Tunis

Bulla Regia

Following breakfast, set off for Bulla Regia, this city was initially mentioned in Latin classical sources when Roman armies caught up with the Numidian king Hiarbas in 81 BC, who sought refuge there. It’s also noted in one of Saint Augustine’s sermons from the end of the 4th century AD, where he criticised the inhabitants for frequenting places of debauchery such as the theatre. Marvel at the rich villas adorned with mosaics, baths, temples, and even theatres. What makes this site particularly intriguing is the presence of homes with two-tier architecture, including underground levels.

Ben Ismail Family reserve (with lunch)

Continue to Thuccabor to visit the Ben Ismail Family reserve near Medjez El Bab in the governorate of Béja. This reserve encompasses around 50 hectares of land surrounding an archaeological site dating back to Roman times, evidenced by the remains of a triumphal arch. Within this picturesque landscape, approximately 5000 olive trees are cultivated. The reserve offers guided tours which include educational walks through the olive groves providing insights into the unique characteristics of these ancient trees.

Visit the olive oil mill and explore the farm where you’ll gain insights into olive oil production. Here, you’ll have the chance to participate in an initiation session for olive oil tasting in the newly renovated room. Afterwards, enjoy some of the region’s culinary treasures and explore the reserve’s shop, offering the estate’s olive oil and other Triumph products for purchase. Then, drive back to Tunis and the rest of the day is yours at leisure.

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation

Dar El Jeld, Medina of Tunis or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 4 – Tunis – Dougga – Kairouan

After breakfast, drive for about 2 hours towards Kairouan with a stopover at Dougga along the way.

Dougga

Make a stop at Dougga, a 65-hectare archaeological Roman site, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.  The site contained a large number of elaborate mosaic floors – some are in situ, but most are housed in the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Most notable of all, however, are the twenty temples found, a truly disproportionate number of temples for the size of the population. At first, it was thought that Dougga was a major religious site, but it has since been decided that the temples were constructed  by wealthy residents as a tribute to their good fortune.

Explore the renowned Dougga theatre.  Built during the 2nd century AD, it’s one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in North Africa. The theatre has a capacity of around 3,500 spectators which is today used for its Drama festival.

Kairouan

Continue to Kairouan, often referred to as the fourth holiest city in Islam. The city is renowned for its Great Mosque, one of the oldest and most important mosques in the Islamic world, known for its stunning architectural features such as its distinctive minaret. Kairouan was established in the 7th century and became a major centre for Islamic learning and culture.

Aghlabiden Pool

Upon arrival in Kairouan, visit the Aghlabiden Pool, a historic water reservoir that served as a vital resource for the sacred city.

The old town (la Medina)

From here, head to the charming old town, known as la Medina, and enjoy leisure time exploring the bustling souks. These markets, divided by trades, have lively activity as vendors and shoppers engage in trade.  Explore nearby tranquil alleyways lined with tall white walls and pale blue doors, where veiled figures move swiftly and occasionally pass by groups of cheerful, playful children.

Afterwards, check into your hotel in Kairouan.

Meals

Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation

Dar Hassine Allani or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 5 – Kairouan – Sbeitla – Tozeur

Great Mosque of Uqba Bin Nafi

After breakfast, head to the Great Mosque of Uqba Bin Nafi also called the ‘Mosque of Uqba Bin Nafi’. Built in the 9th century by Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi, it’s an important Islamic landmark in Tunisia and one of the oldest and most important mosques globally. Marvel at its early Islamic architecture, featuring a unique minaret and prayer hall, and appreciate its profound religious and cultural significance, representing Islam’s spread in North Africa and its lasting influence on the region’s history and architecture.

Zaouia of Sidi Sahab

Next, head to Zaouia of Sidi Sahab, also known as the Prophet Barber, home to the tomb of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Legend has it that this companion preserved three hairs from the Prophet’s beard as relic. Explore this sacred site and immerse in the rich history and spiritual significance surrounding the legacy of this revered companion.

Sbeitla

Later, drive for 1 hour and 40 minutes to Sbeitla. Sbeitla also known as Sufetula, famous for its best-preserved Roman Forum temples in Tunisia, inhabited by the Byzantines before becoming a significant geographical point in the Muslim conquest of North Africa.

Tozeur

Afterwards, transfer to Tozeur through the enormous landscape of Gafsa.  Tozeur is a perfect desert oasis which enchants all who visit. Tozeur is a world apart from coastal Tunisian resorts and houses a medina full of unique brick-patterned architecture and a lush sprawling palm grove that makes for a refreshing sea of green through the desert sand.

Meals

Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation

Diar Abu Habibi or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 6 – Chebika – Tamerza – Mides – Ong Jmel – Nefta -Tozeur

After breakfast, embark on a thrilling 4X4 ride to explore the Canyon Mountain oasis of Chebika, Tamerza, and Midès.

Chebika

Begin your adventure with a 53-minute drive to Chebika. Marvel at the stunning sight of water cascading over an impressive waterfall, creating a wadi surrounded by palm trees nestled at the bottom of a gorge.

Tamerza

Next, head towards Tamerza for about 18-minute drive. Marvel at the town seemingly barricaded by mountains, suspended on the side of a vast canyon. Here, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view over the expansive plains, Chott, and the sandy hills in the distance.

Midès

Then continue to Midès for about a 43-minute drive from Tamerza. Situated as the westernmost oasis, Midès is renowned for its stunning views of a towering canyon. Afterwards, return to your hotel for lunch.

Medina of Tozeur

In the afternoon, explore the Medina of Tozeur, renowned for its unique architecture found only in Tozeur. Its mud-brick buildings, intricately decorated with captivating patterns, offer a charming atmosphere. Here, you’ll gain insight into the daily life and customs of the local community.

Ong Jmal

Continue to Ong Jmal on a  4X4 ride, renowned as the Star Wars filming location. Its Arabic name, “Camel Head,” perfectly reflects the sandstone formation resembling the hump and head of a camel. This iconic site has appeared in movies like Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and The English Patient. Movie enthusiasts will surely recognise this spot!

Camel ride at sunset (Optional)

Here, you’ll have the chance to experience the tranquil beauty of the desert as the sun sets on a camel ride.

Village of Nefta

Explore the Village of Nefta, known for its charming streets lined with traditional mud-brick houses offering a glimpse into the local life and culture of the region. Afterwards, return to your hotel and enjoy dinner.

Meals

Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation

Diar Abu Habibi or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 7 – Tozeur – Chott El Jerid – Douz – Matmata – Djerba

After breakfast, check out at your hotel. You will then be met by your guide and drive for about 2 hours to Douz passing by Chott Djerid, the “Salt Lake,” with a stop along the way.

Douz

Visit Douz, a small town nestled amidst the dunes, known as the “gateway to the Sahara.” In ancient times, it served as a vital stop on the trans-Saharan caravan routes.

Matmata

Continue to Matmata, a small Berber village known for its troglodyte habitations and home to the second most popular Star Wars site in Tunisia. Many Berbers still live in these cave houses. The homes in Matmata are not built on the side of the mountains. Instead, they are created by digging a large pit in the ground, and then around the sides of the pit, caves are dug to be used as rooms. The open pit functions as a courtyard and is sometimes connected to other ‘pit’ courtyards nearby through trench-like passageways forming a large underground maze.

Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a troglodyte restaurant and visit a local troglodyte house to learn about the inhabitants’ way of life.

Then, proceed to Djerba, travelling via the Roman Causeway, the only land entrance to the island, built by the Romans. Djerba is renowned for its Mediterranean beaches and desert towns with a blend of Berber, Arab, Jewish, and African influences. The island is filled with charming, whitewashed buildings, palm groves, and traditional souks (markets). One of its most iconic landmarks is the El Ghriba Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in the world.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Dar Dhiafa or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 8 – Djerba

After breakfast, set off to explore Djerba Island.

Guellala

Visit Guellala, the pottery capital of Djerba, where the art of pottery-making dates back centuries before the Roman era. Explore the traditional pottery workshops, where skilled artisans craft a variety of ceramic items, from bowls and vases to intricate decorative pieces. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

Erriadh

Next, head to Erriadh. This village is where a Jewish community has lived for over a century. Here, explore the famous El Ghriba Synagogue, the oldest synagogue outside of Israel, housing one of the world’s oldest Torahs.

Houmt Souk

Afterwards, visit the downtown area of Djerba, Houmt Souk, meaning in Arabic ‘the market Neighbourhood’. Previously referred to in the Roman era, as the ‘Girba’ which is also the birthplace of two Roman Emperors, Djerba is home to whitewashed buildings, sandy beaches rimmed with turquoise water, and colourful souks.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Dar Dhiafa or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 9 – Djerba – El Jem – Sousse

El Jem

After breakfast, drive to El Jem, a small city built by the Carthaginians and later colonised by the Romans. It was once the centre of the production of olive oil, with age-old techniques still used today by a few hundred inhabitants as a source of life and income. Here, visit the famous Colosseum, this ancient amphitheatre is one of the largest in the world, after those in Rome and Capua. Built by the emperor Gordian around 230 AD, it boasts a seating capacity of 30,000 people and has stood the test of time as a witness to countless spectacular events.

Sousse

Continue to the coastal city of Sousse, known as the capital of the Sahel. Explore the narrow streets of the bustling Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where traditional souks offer a glimpse into Tunisia’s vibrant culture.

Museum of Sousse

Visit the Museum of Sousse, renowned for its impressive collection of mosaics. Marvel at the detailed designs and vibrant colours showcasing ancient life, offering a captivating glimpse into Tunisia’s artistic legacy.

Port El Kantaoui

Next, head to Port El Kantaoui, a charming seaside resort with a picturesque marina. Enjoy a delightful lunch at Le Mediterranean while taking in panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Meals

Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation

Dar Antonia or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

 

Day 10 – Nabeul – Kelibia – Kerkouane – Haouaria – Korbous – Hammamet

After breakfast, set out to explore the cultural and historical gems of Tunisia’s Cap Bon peninsula.

Nabeul

Begin with a visit to Nabeul, renowned as an important handicrafts centre, particularly famous for its exquisite pottery. Explore local pottery workshops and witness skilled artisans crafting intricate designs by hand, carrying on centuries-old traditions. The city is also famous for its production of distilled water from orange blossoms, fragrant roses, and jasmine plants.

Fishing port

Afterwards, visit a charming fishing port nestled near a historic vestige and beautiful beaches. This lively port is distinguished by its 12th-century fort, which commands breathtaking views of the sea from atop a hill. Take in the scenic beauty of the coastline and learn about the port’s rich maritime heritage as you explore its historic landmarks.

Kerkouane

Continue to Kerkouane, an archaeological site overlooking the sea, where you’ll find the best-preserved remnants of the Carthaginian civilisation. Wander through the ruins of this ancient city, which include houses, a temple, and well-preserved ramparts, offering a fascinating glimpse into Tunisia’s rich history.

El Haouaria

Then depart for El Haouaria, located at the tip of the Cap Bon peninsula. This picturesque village is known for its charming blue and white architecture and nearby ancient mines known as the Grottes, dating back to antiquity. Here, you’ll have the chance to witness the local tradition of falconry, celebrated annually with the Hawk Festival, a vibrant celebration of the region’s cultural heritage.

Korbous

Continue to Korbous, nestled on the north coast of the Cap Bon peninsula. This thermal resort is famous for its healing spring waters, renowned since ancient times for their therapeutic benefits. Enjoy the rejuvenating properties of these natural springs, providing a tranquil oasis amidst the stunning coastal landscape of Tunisia. Continue to Hammamet and the rest of the evening is yours at leisure.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Overnight in Hammamet

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 11 – Carthage – Sidi Bou Said – Tunis

Carthage

Following breakfast, visit Carthage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the ancient Carthaginian Empire. Carthage was founded in the 9th century B.C. on the Gulf of Tunis. From the 6th century onwards, it developed into a great trading empire covering much of the Mediterranean and was home to a brilliant civilisation. During the long Punic wars, Carthage occupied territories belonging to Rome, which finally destroyed its rival in 146 B.C. A second – Roman – Carthage was then established on the ruins of the first.

The Cathedral, Byrsa Hills and Antonine Baths

Visit the Cathedral for a panoramic view of its architectural grandeur from the outside. Then head to the Byrsa hills, where you’ll discover the remnants of ancient Roman buildings and the Tophet, an archaeological site holding urns containing ashes and milk teeth from children dating back to the 8th century BC. Continue to the Antonine Baths, a colossal Roman bath complex located on the Mediterranean coast.

Sidi Bou Said

Continuing on,  drive for about 10 minutes to  Sidi Bou Said,  a picturesque small town nestled on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea famous for its stunning blue and white architecture. The entire town is simply beautiful and has inspired many artists to take up residence here.

Baron D’Erlanger Palace

Visit Le Baron D’Erlanger Palace, a historic mansion built in 1912 by Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger, a French painter and musicologist enchanted by the village. Transformed into a museum, it showcases his passion for North African and Arabic music.

Dar El Annabi

Continue to Dar El Annabi, a historic mansion originally built near the end of the 18th century. Transformed into a summer retreat for Taib El Annabi in the 20th century, it now serves as a museum, showcasing typical Islamic architecture on the exterior and offering insight into the lifestyle of a traditional Tunisian family inside. Explore the private library, prayer hall, lounges, bedrooms, Andalusian Garden, and terraces, providing a fascinating glimpse into Tunisia’s rich cultural heritage.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Dar El Jeld, Medina of Tunis or similar

Services

Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 12 – Departure

This morning is yours at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals

Breakfast

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What’s included

  • Return airport transfers
  • 11 nights accommodation including breakfast and dinner
  • Transportation by a private minivan with driver
  • Professional English Speaking Guide
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
Exclusions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Personal porters
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

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Availability

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Availability
Price
Start Date
10th Sep 2024
End Date
21st Sep 2024
Duration
12 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,732 AUD
Start Date
25th Apr 2025
End Date
06th May 2025
Duration
12 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$7,068 AUD
Start Date
08th Sep 2025
End Date
19th Sep 2025
Duration
12 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$7,068 AUD
Start Date
25th Apr 2026
End Date
06th May 2026
Duration
12 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$7,563 AUD
Start Date
08th Sep 2026
End Date
19th Sep 2026
Duration
12 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$7,563 AUD

What our adventurers are saying

Guide was caring. We have loved every minute of our time in Tunisia. The trip was better than we expected.

Robert and Marlene McPherson – Tunisia