7 Days in Tunisia - Ideas?

Jan 6th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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7 Days in Tunisia - Ideas?

Hey everyone,

I will be traveling to Tunisia for 7 days in May (most likely May 9-May 16) as a precursor to some time I will be spending in Italy immediately afterwards.

I was hoping I could get some opinions on the best ways to spend those 7 days. I am in general looking for interesting and beautiful things, not so much beaches or resort-oriented travel.

I will be flying into Tunis with one friend (both males in our mid 20's) and am definitely interested in spending a little time there to see the Bardo museum and wander the medina. I would also like to see Carthage and Sidi Bou Said while I'm there. How many days would you allot for all of that? Again, I don't have any desire to spend any extended time on a beach, but rather want to experience Tunisian culture and the more unique elements of the North African landscape.

From there, I'm open to any ideas. I would like to venture south somewhat, though I do need to be back in Tunis on the morning of the 16th to board an overnight ferry to Salerno.

So, if I spend say the first 2 days in Tunis (including seeing Carthage, SBS, etc.), what else could I do?

El Jem and Sousse sound like great places to see, but there's a certain allure to venturing further south to a place like Tozeur or Douz. And of course there are many other places of interest as well.

So, I am asking for your help! I am an experienced traveler in Europe and North America, but this will be my first time in North Africa. I have also spent some time in Nicaragua, and I'm comfortable traveling in places that are not overly touristy or developed.

Any thoughts on what to consider "can't-miss" that is feasible in my timeline would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

noirblood is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Would appreciate any advice or insights anyone might have on my question.

noirblood is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 10:34 PM
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Hi noirblood,

It has been 6 or 7 years since my trip to Tunisia, but I did pretty much what you describe during my week there. I flew into Tunis, spent 2 nights there. The first afternoon I went to Carthage which is great but didn't have time for Sidi Bou Said but I have heard good things and wish I could have gone. The next day I spent at the Bardo (don't miss) and the medina.

I then took the train down to Sousse and spent 2 days there. Besides the sites there I took a couple half day trips out to El Jem and Kairouan.

Next, I took the train to Gabes and continued by bus to Matmata for the next 2 days. If you are looking for unique landscapes this is the area you don't want to miss. I hired a car and guide for a day to take me all around. Some of my favorite stops were Hadada, where part of Star Wars, the Phantom Menace was filmed, and Chenini. My guide and his mother own the Berber museum in Matmata and after our trip we made a traditional couscous dinner right in the museum !

I really enjoyed my trip, it may seem a bit rushed but I did get to see a lot. I was traveling in dec so heat was not a concern, not sure how it will be in May.

Hope that gives you a little help, if you have any other questions, I would be glad to try and help.
kellyee21 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:21 AM
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I also visited Tunisia for several days before a repeat visit to Italy -- I visited in December 2005 and flew Alitalia, which made the Italy stopover simple.

Like you, I avoided the beach (not because I don't like the beach, but because I don't like to fly someplace to sit in the sand -- I have access to plenty of nearby beaches), and based myself in Tunis, from where I did day trips to Sidi Bou Said, Carthage, Sousse, El Jem and Dougga, plus visited Tunis's medina and the Bardo museum.

If I recall correctly, I only had 4 or 5 days, so I didn't make it to the south -- I will visit that region on another trip.

I have also been to Nicaragua, and both countries are very easy through which to travel.

I posted a trip report and photos on this forum, but likely by now descended to the bottom, but if you are interested, you may be able to find that thread by searching for Tunisia or Carthage.
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Owen, this is the link to my Tunisia info.
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Thank you both for your responses. Its extremely helpful to get your opinions!

I will read up on your trip report and will continue to see what's possible in the 7 days I have.

I'll make sure to post a report up here after the trip as well.

Thanks again!

noirblood is offline  
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