Tunisia


Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia
Star Wars Earth Base
For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Tataouine, Tunisia
Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse
The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Djerba, Tunisia
The Tunisian Island of Conviviality
The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia
A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery
In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
Chebika, Tamerza, Mides, Tunisia
Where the Sahara sprouts from the Atlas Mountains
Arriving at the northwest edge of Chott el Jérid, the large salt lake reveals the northeast end of the Atlas mountain range. Its slopes and gorges hide waterfalls, winding streams of palm trees, abandoned villages and other unexpected mirages.
Ras R'mal, Djerba, Tunisia
The Island of the Flamingos that the Pirates Seized
Until some time ago, Ras R'mal was a large sandbar, home to a myriad of birds. Djerba's international popularity has made it the lair of an unusual tourist operation.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
Djerba, Tunisia

The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
Tunisian Atlas Oasis, Tunisia, chebika, palm trees
Chebika, Tamerza, Mides, Tunisia

Where the Sahara sprouts from the Atlas Mountains

Arriving at the northwest edge of Chott el Jérid, the large salt lake reveals the northeast end of the Atlas mountain range. Its slopes and gorges hide waterfalls, winding streams of palm trees, abandoned villages and other unexpected mirages.
Ras R'mal, Flamingo Island, Djerba, Tunisia, the anchorage
Ras R'mal, Djerba, Tunisia

The Island of the Flamingos that the Pirates Seized

Until some time ago, Ras R'mal was a large sandbar, home to a myriad of birds. Djerba's international popularity has made it the lair of an unusual tourist operation.

Mapa


How to go


VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES

Portuguese and Brazilian citizens do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CARE

Tunisian authorities require a certificate of yellow fever vaccine to visitors who come from a destination with risk of transmission of this disease. Vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid fever is indicated. 

For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).

Following the events of the Arab Spring, the situation in Tunisia is one of the most stable in North Africa. Even so, it is still not advisable to travel to different parts of the Tunisian territory, namely the extreme south and certain parts of the east and west of the country, on the borders with Libya and Algeria. More information at UK Government (Foreign Travel Advice). 

TRIP TO TUNISIA

Fly directly from Lisbon to Tunis with the tunisair. The flight lasts around 2h 40 and starts at €300.

Must Do's


  • money
  • Sidi Bou Said
  • Dougga/Kairouan
  • Tozeur
  • Douz
  • Ksours (Berber castles) around Tataouine
  • Matmata
  • mahdia
  • El-Jem
  • Djerba
  • Sousse

Explore


INTERNAL FLIGHTS

The airline TunisAirExpress operates domestic flights between Tunis and Tozeur, Djerba and Gabes. 

TRAIN

the national railway company SNCFT  manages the operation of sophisticated and comfortable trains between the capital Tunis and Sousse, Sfax and Monastir. Any of the available classes – Grand Confort, First and Second – guarantees pleasant journeys gradually with less refinement and more affordable prices, in the order of €7, €5 and €3 from Tunis to Sousse, the shortest of the routes.

A card called Carte Bleue allows buyers to travel across the country for 10 to 14 days with the restriction that they only use short and long distance trains, in the latter case, with a prior reservation and an additional payment of less than €1.

SHIP

There is a ferry service that transports vehicles and connects Jorf with the island of Djerba. The trip takes about 15 minutes and costs around €0,50.

CAR RENTAL

Mainly in its north, Tunisia has excellent motorways. quality, in certain parts with multiple tracks in both directions. Others main roads have only one lane in each direction and roundabouts at intersections. FORgradually improve in quality the further south you go from Gabes. Taking these conditions into account, in a situation of political and social stability, Tunisia is one of the best countries in North Africa to rent a car and explore the country.

Air-conditioned compact car rentals are usual for from €26 per day, provided they are booked in advance and outside the high season. If you venture to explore the semi-desert south of the country, do so with a rugged 4WD vehicle. Until some time ago, companies rent-a-car they did not provide insurance of their own. Check if the situation remains and try to investigate if there is a possibility of your credit card filling this gap. Otherwise, if you want to travel more peacefully, you will have to obtain, on the internet, insurance separately from the rental contract.

TRUCK

Buses also benefit from the quality of the roads. SNTRI – Société Nationale du Transport Interurban manages bus trips from the capital Tunis to the four corners of the country. In high season and during Tunisian holidays, places are very popular. As a price reference, the journey from Tunis to Sousse costs around €4. From Tunis to the island of Djerba it costs between €14 and €18. As the name suggests, buses known as car comfort assure smoother journeys – with air conditioning, TV etc – at only slightly higher prices.

OOTHERS

Mini-bus style vans Tunisians call louage they take routes similar to those of buses, or other routes where neither buses nor trains are present. As a rule, they are faster than buses but do not work with timetables and only depart when full or when the driver considers the number of passengers to be sufficient. They have surprisingly low fixed prices per journey, in the order of €3 per 100 km, possibly even less.

When to go


Overall, Tunisia's climate is Mediterranean, with extremes of heat and cold, especially winter in the country's desert interior. The ideal time to visit Tunisia coincides with the intermediate months of March to May and October and November.

Summer – when maximum temperatures in the desert regions of the southern interior exceed 40°C daily and can approach 50°C is the peak season for beach resorts on the Mediterranean coast that are packed with European sunbathers. 

 

Money and costs


The currency of Tunisia is the Dinar (TND). There are ATMs in cities and in the main beach resorts of the country. Payment with credit cards is a conventional practice in the most sophisticated establishments and businesses, certainly in those belonging to multinational companies.

ACCOMMODATION

In most Tunisian cities, the most affordable accommodation is concentrated within the medina, where inns, pensions and even the residents' houses are rented for daily rates in the order of €15 to €20 per double room. Intermediate hotels have daily rates from €30 to €50. The most refined hotels and resorts have prices starting at €50 and can go up to €150, in the case of those belonging to the most reputable international chains. 

Prices for all types of accommodation vary a lot depending on the time of year. 

FOOD

It has the same base ingredients from other countries in North Africa and a series of dishes and snacks that define the national cuisine:  shorb Frik, coucha, khobz tabouna, brik, mlift, tunisian salad, hArissa, fricasse and bambaloony. Tunisian restaurants are divided into three types. Those frequented by Tunisians who are the most genuine and the most accessible. Those regularly frequented by foreigners who rarely resist making some concessions to please tourists more and have much higher prices, and those who are part of the best hotels and resorts that do both, with prices substantially higher than in any restaurant in road.

INTERNET

Barring recent changes, many cities have their own public Wi-Fi networks, called Publinet. Access costs around €0,35 an hour at relatively slow speeds 2 Mbits in Tunis, significantly slower in other cities. 

Different mobile internet solutions are provided by telecommunications companies competing in the country, the Tunisia Telecom and Orange Tunisia (both sites in French).