North African Adventure Tour
Private Tour of Carthage, Dougga, Thuburbo Majus and MoreA grand 10 day tour starting daily or weekly on Thursday in Tunis. We’ll take you through Carthage, Dougga, Thuburbo Majus desert oases, curious troglodyte dwellings, Islamic splendors, a Roman amphitheater, a medieval synagogue, and unspoiled beaches. You’ll appreciate the breathtaking beauty of a land that has drawn wanderers over the centuries. Compare with the Honeymoon version.
DAY 1: TUNIS – Choose your own arrival date/ Daily arrival – Year round. This is a private tour – Private vehicle, private chauffeur.
Our local staff will meet you upon arrival at Tunis Carthage International Airport. You’ll be assisted with the formalities, and escorted to the fine Hotel El Hana International. There will be time to relax and recuperate from your journey, and enjoy the excellent facilities. If you wish, you can go on an adventure into the center of Tunis to start your exploration of the winding alleys of the souk, filled with treasures of beaten brass and basketry and carpets, and merchants who will welcome you with traditional mint tea.
DAY 2: THUBURBO MAJUS – DOUGGA – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
After breakfast at the hotel, we start our full day to Thuburbo Majus. This town of Libyan and then Punic origin sided with Carthage and thus had to pay a tribute to Rome. Thuburbo Maius reached its apogee in the 2nd c. with 10,000 inhabitants and and an impressive array of of monuments: the forum, built in 161-2, the capitol (168) and a number of temples (Temple of peace, Temple of Mercury, Temple of B’a alat, Temple of Caelestis, Temple of Saturn) of which one later became a basilica. We’ll tour as well the market, Roman bath and the amphitheater. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before proceeding to Dougga: A Numidian city, mentioned in the 4th century B.C. by Diodorus the Sicilian as Tocai, tukka was from the 2nd to 1st century B.C. one of the residences of the Massyle Kings (MASSINISSA, MICIPSA,JUGURTHA). In Roman times the municipal land was split into two parts; the Numidian city, and a pagus (rural area) under the authority of Carthage. Whole again, thugga was a municipium in 205 and honorary colonia in 261. With some 5,000 residents, thugga had a municipal bourgeoisie which endowed her with a number of rich monuments. The monuments are incredibly well preserved, allowing us to imagine the infrastructure this small Proconsular town possessed: 12 temples, 3 of which were transformed into churches in the 4th Century, 3 Roman baths, numerous fountains, aqueducts and more. Thugga slowly lost its glory, though it still enjoyed brief periods of revival in the 3rd, the 4th and 6th centuries (Byzantine fortress). Though it was never deserted, archaeological research required the removal of its residents to a new Dougga lying below classical thugga. Return early evening to our hotel in Tunis in time for dinner.
DAY 3: CARTHAGE, SIDI BOU SAID (200 Kilometers) – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
We’ll marvel at the ruins of Carthage, a true metropolis of the ancient world, as seen by its theater, circus, baths, port installations, and extensive urban plan. We’ll lunch at a fine local restaurant, then speed forward in time to the middle ages as we visit the picture-perfect Moorish village of Sidi Bou Said. With its whitewashed walls and narrow lanes, it’s the perfect setting as we stop for traditional mint tea. Back in Tunis we’ll stop at the Bardo Museum to view the most extensive Roman mosaics in the world. We’ll then head for the Medina, the old quarter of the city, with its warrens of shops filled with wares ranging from the humdrum to the exotic.
DAY 4: HAMMAMET, SOUSSE, EL DJEM, SFAX , GABES, DJERBA – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
After breakfast we will set off to explore! Hammamet is a cosmopolitan port where sun-worshippers from all over happily coexist with fishermen and traditional ways. We’ll stop at the port of El Kantaoui and then proceed back into time to venerable Sousse, once the Phoenician City called Hadrumatum. We’ll stroll through the medina, the old quarter, cooled by sea breezes, and visit the museum as well as the Ribat, a stronghold of the warriors of Islam. Continuing to Sousse, once the Phoenician city of Hadrumatum, we walk through the medina (old city), cooled by breezes off the harbor, and visit the Roman catacombs. Our next stop is El Jem which boasts a Roman coliseum very similar to the famous one in Rome. Our busy day continues with a drive to the coastal city of Gabes, a Roman outpost of old and a traditional market center where, for centuries, goods from across the sea and across the desert have changed hands. We’ll visit the oasis, where palm groves and gardens flourish. We’ll then cross to Djerba, an island where Ulysses once encountered the legendary Lotus-Eaters.
DAY 5: DJERBA – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
Today we explore the old quarters, including the synagogue of Hara Sghira, Hara Kebira with its modern Jewish community, and Guellala, with its craft stalls, and to see the waterfront and fishing fleet, and the lively town of Houmt Souk. After a lunch stop we’ll cross back to the mainland.
DAY 6: MATMATA, KEBILI, DOUZ – ( 300 Kilometers) -Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
Our route takes us through a terrain of increasingly sparse grasses and shrubs, into the desert to Matmata. We’ll stop to look in on a community of miniature underground houses where the earliest settlers sheltered from the extremes of the desert above — as do the Berbers of today. We’ll enjoy a full day of desert adventure first visiting the village of Kebili, largest of a cluster of oases, islands of life in a harsh landscape, and then proceed to Douz, fabled as the Gateway to the Sahara. There a special treats waits, the opportunity to sample a caravan trek! This close encounter with a camel is entirely at your option!
DAY 7: TOZEUR – (280 Kilometers) – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
We set off across the Chott El Djerid, a great dry salt lake, for Tozeur. Here, we will wonder at the ancient irrigation works. We’ll learn more about oases today. Despite the dryness of its surface, great aquifers underlie the Sahara. Where they spill their riches out in springs, they create the green havens of Tunisia’s oases. We’ll see a dramatic example as we explore the irrigated fields around Tozeur and motor overland to the great mountain oases of Chebika and Tamerza (in 4 wheel drive). We’ll return to Tozeur late afternoon after which you’re free until dinner. You can choose to enjoy the unique desert resort comforts at your hotel. Or, you might decide to wander the streets of Tozeur, look in on daily life, admire the classic North African houses built around patios on terraces above a river fed by springs, and shop for baskets and capes of camel hair.
DAY 8: TOZEUR, GAFSA, SBEITLA, KAIROUAN, TUNIS – Private vehicle, private chauffeur (BLD)
We’ll delve more into Tunisia’s rich and varied past today as we motor overland through pleasant, rolling coastal lands. At Gafsa, we’ll see the Roman pools of Capsa, the ancient crossroads between desert oases and the cultivated coastal lands. We’ll wonder at the Roman ruins of Suffetula, as well as the great mosque. Later in the day, we’ll reach Kairouan, an ancient, holy, and vibrant city noted for its historic mosques and centers of learning. We’ll lunch at the five-star Hotel La Kasbah. Kairouan also is noted for its souk, and the crafting of carpets and leather goods. Of course, there will be time to check out these wares, before we depart to Tunis, or Hammamat where a night’s rest and dinner await us at the Hotel.
DAY 9: At Leisure – (B)
Full day at leisure or relax on the beach.
DAY 10: DEPARTURE – (B)
After breakfast our local personnel will escort you to the international airport where you’ll start your homeward journey. Private vehicle, private chauffeur.
|RATES per person in US$:
Choose your own date. Daily Arrival – Private tour / private guide
|Sharing in Double or triple Occupancy:||$ 3240.00|
|In Single occupancy:||$ 4460 .00|
- Round-trip transportation between airport, all transfers are always on a private basis, private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur.
- Hotel Accommodations as mentioned in itinerary, in comfortable three or four-star (first-class) hotels, with private facilities.
- Meals as indicated from preset menu (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
- Guided sightseeing as indicated in air-conditioned coach, including all admission fees
- International air transportation. Optional excursions, such as camel ride.
- Any meal not specifically mentioned beverages, and personal expenses.
- Gratuities for local personnel.
- Travel insurance (available upon request).
- Airport taxes.