"Nice Tunisia !" Top 5 Page for this destination Tunisia by JLBG
Tunisia Travel Guide: 4,883 reviews and 13,264 photos
Tunisia belongs to northern Africa or “Maghreb”. The word Maghreb means in Arab sunset or West, opposed to Machrek, sunrise or East. With Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, the Maghreb is the Western part of the Arab world while the Machrek (Middle East) is its eastern part.
Tunisia is a country with a very long history. For centuries, history of the Maghreb has been strongly linked both to history of Western Europe and of other Mediterranean countries. The Maghreb was part of the Roman Empire and the Roman imprint on Tunisia is extensive and several Roman ruined cities should absolutely be visited.
The way of life of Tunisian citizen is not very different from what it is in other Mediterranean countries and is mostly “occidental”. In the bled (back country), the way of life has remained more traditional. Everywhere, the people are very nice and peaceful. In Tunisia, tourists always feel perfectly secure and welcome.
Tunisia is a very pleasant country to visit and an ''easy'' one, especially when you speak French : the road signs are always both in Arab and in Latin fonts, the people are very friendly and many speak French. Though not a very large country, it has a lot to offer. Along the eastern coast, from Tunis to Gabès, you should make a detour to visit the ''Cap Bon'', Nabeul and Hammamet. Another detour could drive you to the Roman ruins of Thuburbo Majus and to Kairouan. Sousse is a large town and you should prefer to visit Monastir, birth-place of former President Bourguiba, Mahdia with its sardin fishing port. Don't forget the detour by El Djem and it's impressive Roman amphitheater, second to Rome's in size. If you have enough time, a trip to the Kerkenna islands would be a good idea. After the large city of Gabès, you arrive to well known Djerba island. I have slides of former travels in that part of Tunisia and will try to put them on VT some day. I will present here a round trip in southern Tunisia.
We did recently a round trip in southern Tunisia, at the edges of the Sahara desert and mostly in the desert. This route provides a taste of Sahara to those that have never visited this wonderful part of the world.
We flied from Lyon to Djerba. At the airport, we found our rented car. Every evening, the hotel was booked for us in the next town, with breakfast in the morning. For everything else, we were on our own, free to visit what we wanted, free to taste any restaurant (sometimes I should say eating place !) that we wanted. Île de Djerba, then drove to Gabès, Tamerza, had a train trip on the red lizard in Metlaoui, drove to Tozeur (2 nights), across Chott El Djérid, Douz, Matmata and through Medenine, Djerba again.
As I had previously visited Tunisia on various occasions, I have added some older photographies from these travels, when they were still informative.
My Ksar Rhilane page will bring you by sandy trails in the northern edge of the "Grand erg Oriental", far from any tourists ! My Chenini, Douirat and Ksar Ouled Debbab page will bring you to the mountain ksour (plural for ksar) of the Tatahouine district.
BTW, did you know that camels could go to the beach and bath in the sea ? Have a look at my travelogue !
The whole southern Mediterranean was part of the Roman Empire. Tunisia and Cyrenaica (now Lybia) were especially important and gave several Emperors to Rome. The best known was SEPTIME SEVERE with his wife JULIA DOMNA, born in SYRIA. As Victor 1st, several popes were born in Tunisia. The rich plains of the Medjerda, in Northern Tunisia, together with the rich plains of the Mitidja, in Northern Algeria were the main purveyors of cereals to Rome. Tunisia was also the main purveyor of olive oil and wine. There is no wonder then if there are numerous Roman monuments and cities in Tunisia.
The site of Dugga has been inscribed in 1977 on the World heritage list. For more, look at my Dougga page
Bulla Regia is a very special place with superb mosaics that have been left in the houses the adorned. For more, look at my Bulla Regia page
Sbeitla has an impressive forum with three Temples, a Theater in good condition, a poorly preserved amphitheater and several churches. For more, look at my Sbeitla page
El Djem is a gigantic Roman amphitheater, the third after Roma and Capoua for its size (149 x 124 m), inscribed in 1979 on the World Heritage list. My El Djem page is under construction and more will come soon.
A Carthage page should come soon too.
But there are not only well known location. On this page, under "off the beaten path", you will find pictures of a special and nearly unknown site. It is the Roman "limes", the wall that limited the Roman Empire on the south and that ran for hundreds of kilometers on top of the mountains. It is very impressive. However, on the spot, nothing tells what it is. No guide does give any information about it.
Cap Tunisie web site will tell you about other archeologic sites in Tunisia, but they do not have a word about the limes !
A ksar is a fortified village built for protection from looters and plunderers. In Douirat, the protection came from... more travel advice
At first, Douirat seems much less impressive than Chenini. It shows only two rows of houses under a cliff and a white... more travel advice
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