Day 1 Depart USA
- Enjoying an al fresco dinner overlooking the Bay of Tunis
- Exploring the extensive Roman ruins at Dougga with your personal, knowledgeable guide
- Discovering the 14th Century medina at the Oasis in Tozeur
- Visiting the Troglodyte homes that served as the location Luke Skywalkers “ farm” home and the galactic bar scene in Star wars
You depart on your overnight flight to Tunisia, connecting in Europe and arriving in Tunis in the late morning.
Day 2 Tunis and Sidi Bou Said
Upon arrival in Tunis you will be met by your guide who will take you the nearby town of Sidi Bou Said whose doors and windows are painted a unique shade of blue which stands out in contrast to the whitewashed buildings. After exploring the town you are delivered to your deluxe boutique hotel. After freshening up you head for a delightful restaurant overlooking the bay where a welcome dinner awaits.
Day 3 Tunis and Hannibal’s Carthage
After breakfast your guide will meet you at your hotel for an exploration of contemporary Tunis and ancient Carthage. Our first stop today is the Bardo Museum which is housed in the Bey of Tunis' former palace. Famous for its Roman mosaics taken from archaeological sites all over the country, it is widely considered to be one of the best collections in the world. You will next visit the medina in the old city of Tunis with its narrow streets and interesting shops. You will stop for lunch in the medina. After lunch you will be taken to Carthage which is not far from modern day Tunis. With your knowledgeable guide you will start exploring the ruins of both Punic and Roman Carthage. Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians in 814 BC and you will see some of these early settlements on Byrsa Hill. After Hannibal's failed invasion of Rome, the old Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC and a new Roman town built on top which became the city through which Rome controlled Africa. Recent excavations have uncovered some of the original homes and also two areas of the famous port from which Carthage ruled the Mediterranean. Tonight you have dinner at a typical Tunisian restaurant.
Day 4 Dougga and Bulla Regia
After breakfast, you are driven to Dougga, the best preserved Roman site in Tunisia and incorporating some of the largest Roman ruins in North Africa. Your guide will take you through the well-preserved complex (better than the forum in Rome, in fact) starting with the theater built in the 2nd Century AD by the Gracchus family, the market place, dominated by Mercury the god of commerce, the Capitoline temple, the forum and the public baths. After a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant you will head to Bulla Regia which was located on the main road linking the key ports of Carthage and Hippo Radius (now called Anabas, in Algeria). St Augustine studied as a young man in Bulla Regia and later served as bishop of Hippo. At the completion of your visits, you return to your hotel where you again have the chance to enjoy dinner overlooking the Bay of Tunis.
Day 5 Sousse, Hammamet and the Oases of Tozeur
After breakfast, your guide is waiting to take you to Sousse, Tunisia's third largest city located on a natural harbor. The site was originally founded in the 9th Century BC as a Phoenician outpost. Changing its name with each rule, Sousse has been known as Hadrumetum to the Romans, Hunericopoli to the Vandals and Justinianopolis to the Byzantines. Eventually it was the all-conquering Oqba Ibn Nafi, leader of the Arab invaders who leveled the town in the 7th century and built the Arab town of Susa. Your next stop today is the town of Hammamet. Originally known for its large number of hammams (traditional Moorish bathhouses) Hammamet has grown into one of Tunisia's most popular tourist and artists centers. Hammamet has attracted many artists over the years including Paul Klee, Andre Gide and Frank Lloyd Wright amongst others. Today many modern artists call Hammamet home. You have some time to explore the town before stopping at the hotel to pick up your luggage and then to an early dinner before catching a 10PM flight to Tozeur. You arrive in Tozeur later in the evening and go straight to your hotel.
Day 6 Tozeur, Tamerza and Chebika
Tozeur and its oases were one of the Roman outposts and a stopping point for the caravans coming from the sub-Sahara to trade with the coastal cities of the Mediterranean. It now owes its fame and affluence to the stately palm and its world renowned dates known as "fingers of light". The beauty of this oasis, its fabulous 14th Century medina and botanical gardens attract visitors from all over the world, including you. You will spend time exploring the Medina and the Dar Cherait Museum housed in a former palace. After lunch you switch vehicles and take a 4wd jeep into the mountain oases areas. If you have your bathing suit with you, you can take a refreshing shower under Tamerza's waterfall or you can hike in the silent tranquility of Chebika's balcony oasis and look out over hundreds of miles of desert. You return to your hotel to freshen up before going out to one of the local restaurants for dinner.
Day 7 Douz, Matmata and Djerba
Today will be an unusual day. You will cross a great salt lake, ride a camel across sand dunes and see the locations where the first two "Star Wars" movies were filmed including the intergalactic bar (without patrons unfortunately) and end up on a palm-lined island resort.. You leave the hotel after breakfast and begin the crossing of Chott El Jerid, a dried salt lake covering 2,000 square miles. From the narrow causeway though the dried lake you are likely to see the famous mirages of the Sahara. On either side of the causeway the sparkling salt crust extends as far as the eye can see. Your route is varied however since 7 miles into the journey, sand replaces salt and a further 16 miles brings us to an oasis of palm trees. You arrive at Douz, one of these Oases where you have the opportunity to take a desert camel ride before enjoying a refreshing lunch. After lunch you drive to the troglodyte "city" of Magmata. These "homes" consist of a courtyard, 15 to 30 feet deep from which a labyrinth of small rooms for sleeping, grain storage and family gatherings are cut into the soft rock and interconnected by narrow passageways. The interiors are whitewashed and are quite cool in summer and people still live in them. Star Wars fans will recall that this was the "farm" that Luke's aunt and uncle owned and was also used as the location for the intergalactic bar scene. George Lucas returned to Tunisia for the second Star Wars and for "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Much of "The English Patient" was filmed here as well. After your fulfilling day you head for the ferry that will take us to the "Polynesia of the Mediterranean", the Island of Djerba. Your historic boutique hotel welcomes you.
Day 8 Exploring Djerba
Today you will have the chance to explore the island with your guide. You will start with the main city, Houmt souk ,since your hotel is located here, you will then visit Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa. You will then have the opportunity to visit the open air markets where potters and silversmiths still practice their craft. Moving into the countryside you discover orchards of figs, apples and pomegranates and groves of olive trees whose gnarled trunks bear witness to their age. After an interesting and delightful day you have an early dinner than catch an evening flight to Tunis. This time your hotel is located in the medina.
Day 9 Kairouan and El Jem
This morning you head out for Kairouan "the city of 50 mosques". Kairouan is Tunisia's holiest city and the 4th holiest Islamic city in the world after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It is here that Islam gained its first foothold in North Africa. Although legend indicates otherwise, Kairouan was most likely founded on the site of an earlier Roman settlement. You will spend some time at the great mosque, built in the 9th Century and in the Medina where would famous Kairouan carpets of pure wool are woven and sold. Your next stop is El Jem one of the most visited towns because of its Roman Amphitheatre. This monumental edifice was built between 230 and 240 AD and is the largest Roman monument left in Africa. It ranks number three in the former Empire after Rome and Verona. Since it was one of the last large amphitheatres built, its architectural design is an improvement over that of the Coliseum in Rome. You return to your hotel to freshen up before setting out for your farewell dinner.
Day 10 Return to the USA
After breakfast you are driven to the airport for your flight back to the US where you arrive back later the same day.
Private Luxury Tour - Tunisian Heritage ULTU01 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Sidi Bou Said, Tozeur, Jerba, Tunis
Additional Pricing Information
- All air transportation as part of the program offered including private and charter aircraft. (On those programs requiring private aircraft flights, you will be limited to 33lbs of luggage which can be stored in the safari luggage which we provide to you. Additional luggage will be stored for you for the rest of your trip. In the private camps, daily laundry is available (and, in most cases included).
- Luxury rail travel as indicated
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- On Safari, only private camps are used and include all meals and all game viewing in most camps, house beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks (indicated on itinerary)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable taxes and service fees
What's Not Included
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
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