Would you like to know where to go in Tunisia ? Here is my travel itinerary in 12 places to inspire you on what to do in Tunisia, see and visit in this small country in North Africa.
A trip to Tunisia for a diversified itinerary
I recently returned from my first trip to Tunisia . A week to travel from north to south, from east to west, this small Maghreb country. I knew Morocco, having been there twice, and I expected it to be similar. What was my surprise to have a completely different experience. Tunisia covers a small territory and yet it enjoys an incredible richness in terms of the things that can be seen and discovered there, the diversity of its landscapes, its rich history of three millennia and the beautiful variety of experiences that you can live there.
In one week in Tunisia , it is obviously not possible to see everything. But as the distances are relatively short, it is possible to discover many places and attractions. I therefore present to you a small overview of what to see and where to go in Tunisia if you plan to visit this country as well. I consider this itinerary in Tunisia to be more suitable for a 2 week trip to be able to enjoy more of each place.
Where to go in Tunisia: the different regions to visit during a trip to Tunisia
As I said earlier, this small Maghreb country is a very varied country. When you travel to Tunisia and move from one region to another, you end up in a completely different universe. Before telling you about my itinerary in Tunisia and what to do and where to go in Tunisia , here is a small overview of the different regions of the country.
Tunisia is divided into 3 major regions : the North, the central coast and the desert region of the Sahara which occupies the largest area of the country.
The northern region of Tunisia
In the northern region of Tunisia is the capital of the country, Tunis. It is in this region that we also find Cap Bon, an agricultural area where the best wines of the country are produced. Along the Gulf of Hammamet are some of the most popular seaside resorts in the country, such as Hammamet and Sousse. From a historical point of view, there are many traces of a rich and exciting history in this region, including the archaeological site of Carthage, that of Dougga and El Jem, to name a few. It is also in this region that Kairouan is located, the first Islamic city founded in North Africa. So many riches to discover in this region. Many are my favorites in this region that I was able to visit in Tunisia .
The region of the central coast of Tunisia
The central coast of Tunisia, unfortunately I did not have the chance to visit it during my trip to Tunisia . But it seems to me to have many attractions, mainly for seaside stays. It brings together high places of tourism in Tunisia such as Djerba, the Kerkennah islands with their fine sandy beaches or Gabes, the only coastal oasis in the entire Mediterranean. Second largest city in the country, you can also discover Sfax, with its commercial port and its ramparts.
The Tunisian Sahara region
The largest region of the country, the Sahara region is the one that fascinates visitors. With its landscapes of dunes, its semi-arid deserts of sand and rocks where camels roam, its mineral mountains, its mountain oases with its millions of date palms, its salt plains, its Berber and troglodyte villages and its ksours ( desert castles) that stand on top of mountains, it is a timeless universe that is sure to seduce. It is not for nothing that this region charmed George Lucas and served as the setting for many Star Wars scenes. A region that I was able to visit on my itinerary in Tunisia , but that I promise myself to explore more during a future stay.
Itinerary of top 12 places to visit
To know where to go in Tunisia , here is my itinerary in 12 places to inspire you to know what to do in Tunisia, see and visit in this small Maghreb country in North Africa.
1. Discover the medina of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia
Accommodation in Tunis
Dar Ben Gacem Kahia : A beautiful establishment in the medina of Tunis. You will be at the heart of the city’s main attractions. This Dar, highly rated by travellers, is spacious and bright and offers a beautiful roof terrace. A charming place. For my part, I stayed the day before my return, at the Golden Carthage Hotel Tunis . This large establishment facing the Bay of Gammarth is well located for the airport. It includes a thalassotherapy center and a beautiful swimming pool which you can enjoy during your stay. Alternatively, you can view all accommodation in Tunis here.
2. Immerse yourself in history at the archaeological site of Carthage
Very close to Tunis, there is one of the great archaeological sites to visit in Tunisia, Carthage . Carthage is an ancient capital of a great empire of the sea. This place, first founded by the Phoenicians, was under Roman domination after the victory of the latter which followed what is called the three Punic wars.
3. Visit the charming village of Sidi Bou Said
If you have the time, settling down on a terrace to drink a mint tea or a coffee, book in hand, must be a moment of pure happiness that I promise myself to do one day during a future trip to Tunisia . Do not hesitate to test the bambalouni , a large donut covered with sugar, very popular in this village. A delight to share… or to eat alone for the greediest.
Accommodation in Sidi Bou Said
La Villa Bleue : As I said earlier in our good place to eat, the Villa Bleue is a beautiful establishment in Sidi Bou Saïd. This small luxurious establishment has 13 rooms and suites and offers a view from the heights over the Gulf of Tunis. It has a swimming pool and a spa available to customers. For less expensive accommodation with modern decor and an incredible view, you can stay at La Demeure . A beautiful establishment in Sidi Bou Said. For smaller budgets, there is La Suite which offers breakfast and a kitchenette in your room. Here you can see all accommodations in Sidi Bou Said .
4. Discover fish in the medina of Hammamet
The city of Hammamet is located on Cap Bon, in the northeast of the country. This destination, to put on your itinerary in Tunisia , is first known for its seaside side. But it also has a charming medina that you shouldn’t miss. 5000 people still live in this medina, a small fishing spot. In its narrow streets are piled up the white and blue houses, giving an unparalleled charm to this architecture.
A small local curiosity that embellishes the buildings are the cute fishes painted on the walls as a sign of protection. Artwork from a local article, Zarrouk.
Walk on the ramparts of the Spanish Fort of Hammamet
Accommodation in Hammamet
The Sindbad : I slept in this magnificent accommodation north of the medina of Hammamet. This establishment is located by the sea. Its rooms, distributed through pretty gardens, are superb. The Sindbad has several swimming pools and restaurants, including those by the sea, a beach, a spa center, etc. A great address to remember and test for your stay in Hammamet. You can also view all accommodations in Hammamet here. Try to avoid the Yasmine Hammamet area where the big springs are. It lacks charm for my taste.
5. Let yourself be intoxicated by the particular energy of Kairouan
Accommodation in Kairouan
Hotel Continental : There are few choices of accommodation in Kairouan and yet it is a city in which I would settle for at least one night to enjoy it more. This 3-star hotel seems to be well located in addition to offering all the necessary amenities for a pleasant stay. There is an on-site restaurant, parking and swimming pool. See all the accommodations in Kairouan here .
6. Be captivated by the magnificence of the capitol in Sbeïtla
7. Marvel at the mountain oases: Chebika, Tamerza and Midès
Accommodation in Tozeur
Dar Tozeur : A guest house that makes Tozeur dream is that of Dar Tozeur. Behind the door that opens onto an alley of the medina is an establishment of great beauty. Several houses were used to build this establishment of only a few suites overlooking an interior garden with swimming pool. You can also see all accommodations in Tozeur here.
8. Immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe at Ong Jmal
When we reach the “neck of the camel” we have a superb view of the desert around
9. Cross the salt plains (chott) and visit Tozeur
On our route in Tunisia, en route to Ong Jmal, we crossed the Chott el-Gharsa , a dry saline depression where rainwater collects before evaporating again creating a new layer of salt. On these desert expanses, it is not uncommon to see mirages. But the biggest Chott in the region, we saw it on our way to Douz, the gateway to the Sahara. We crossed the area of Chott el-Jérid, the largest salt plain in the Maghreb. With the rain of the last hours, a layer of water covered the ground. It looked like a lake had appeared on either side of the road. A phenomenon that is still rare given the unusual rains in the region. It is on this road that I have seen the most original “poops”. The Chotts are part of the landscape of this arid region of Tunisia near Tozeur.
Accommodation in Douz
Camp Mars : If you want to test the experience of a night in the desert, located on the hill of Timbaine, Camp Mars offers accommodation in traditional tents with a view of the sand dunes, guided tours and excursions in the desert. There are other options for desert camps or accommodation in Douz that you can view and book here. If you prefer a hotel in Douz, I tested the Sahara Douz hotel , which is pretty and offers all the necessary comforts, including a beautiful swimming pool and a buffet for breakfast and dinner meals included in the price of the room. .
10. Visit a troglodyte house in Matmata
From Douz, we took the road east towards Matmata . We first crossed a rocky desert. A no man land where the only human presence seems to be the few cars that drive from time to time on this long strip of asphalt, thus breaking the homogeneity of the landscape. The closer our itinerary in Tunisia gets to Matmata, the more the landscape changes. The plain gives way to a landscape of mountains. We are in the Dahar region , a mountain range located in the south-east of Tunisia between the first dunes of the Sahara and the beaches of the Mediterranean coast.
Here, while some men have settled in hilltop citadels, others live squarely underground. This is the region of troglodyte houses . This type of negative construction (removing materials with a pickaxe rather than adding them) is very original. Near Matmata, we had the chance to visit the tercentenary house of a family, that of Toufik and his wife Khadija.
Accommodation in Matmata
At the Tijma Union Trait : You can book a cave dwelling at the Tijma Union Trait in Matmata. With mountain views, this property has a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, bar, garden and terrace.Good address
11. Explore the ruins of the famous El Jem Roman amphitheater
12. Discover the medina of Sousse and Port El Kantaoui
Accommodation in Sousse
Pearl Marriott Resort & Spa: The 5 star hotel where I stayed. It is 100 meters from Boujaafar beach. The hotel offers regular rooms and suites. The suite, with its living room and sea views is incredible. Jaz Tour Khalef : An address tested by one of my collaborators. Located near Port El Kantaoui, this hotel is at the entrance to the city of Sousse. It is set in a 10-hectare park and faces the sea. It has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Here is the link to see all the accommodations in Sousse and those in Port El Kantaoui if you prefer this area.
As I told you before, these places are the ones I had the chance to visit during my week-long trip to Tunisia . But this country has so much more to offer. You could therefore start from this suggested Tunisia itinerary and add other places to it. For example, going back there, I would add Bizerte, Dougga, one or two nights in the desert in Douz, Tataouine, Chenini and Djerba for sure. Not to mention that I would like to spend more time in the Dahar. I have also seen that the Tourist Office of this region has just set up a long hiking circuit through the mountains and villages. It’s up to you to see what interests you, how much time you have and what type of trip appeals to you the most. These 12 placesare therefore a starting point for knowing where to go in Tunisia. Inspiration to know what to do in Tunisia, see and visit in this beautiful North African country.
Practical information for a trip to Tunisia
How to get to Tunisia
To get to Tunis-Carthage in Tunisia, there are direct connections from Montreal with Tunisair. The flight takes between 8-9 hours and you will travel at night for the outward journey and during the day for the departure. Meals are good. Plan for traffic jams if you want to sleep, as flights to and from Tunisia have many families.
To get to your accommodation in Tunis from Tunis-Carthage airport or to return there , you can book your chauffeur service. Same thing for Djerba airport if you arrive or leave from there. There is also the transport service between Sousse and Tunis-Carthage airport .
Accommodation in Tunisia
In addition to all the suggestions throughout the article for each place on the Tunisia itinerary, you can also look at the online booking site Booking which I like and use a lot.
Time needed to visit Tunisia
For a trip to Tunisia such as the one I did, I would say a minimum of 10 days is required, ideally 2 weeks. For this itinerary in Tunisia, one week was too short and we didn’t have enough time to land or visit each of the places.