This special tour concentrates on Tunisia’s abundance of archaeological and historical sites, thus focusing on the central and northern regions of Tunisia. With our cadre of knowledgeable specialists, this small group tour offers the opportunity to visit sites that are frequently overlooked by visitors to Tunisia.
Participants will have the opportunity to stay in wonderful boutique and heritage properties during this tour, plus enjoy some wonderful Tunisian cuisine & wines.
Day 1, Friday – Arrival Tunisia
Upon your arrival in Tunis, you will be met at the airport by your Tunisian specialist and transferred to your hotel in the charming seaside town of La Marsa. Once you have had an opportunity to refresh yourself at your hotel, you can do some light touring with your guide if you wish.
Visit the clifftop village of Sidi Bou Said, whose gleaming houses and stunning location above the Gulf of Tunis make for a wonderful stroll through its maze of lanes and alleys. The village has attracted generations of European artists and writers and is often called a “living museum.”
Join your guide for dinner tonight for dinner to learn about your upcoming days in Tunisia. Overnight in Tunis- La Marsa. (D)
Day 2, Saturday – Carthage | Bardo Museum | Tunis
This morning, visit the world-famous Bardo Museum whose earliest exhibits (Punic) date to the 7th century B.C., and whose most exquisite exhibits (Roman and Byzantine) are mosaics from sites all over Tunisia, many virtually intact.
After lunch, explore the vast site of Carthage, founded in 814 B.C. by the Phoenicians and sacked by the Romans in 146 B.C. It was not until the 1st century A.D. that Rome rebuilt the city, and within a few years, it expanded and prospered to the point where it was second only to Rome. Your visit will include the tophets, Punic ports, Antonine Baths, Byrsa Hill, cisterns, and the Carthage Museum, which houses an unparalleled collection of Punic artifacts. Overnight in Tunis- La Marsa. (B, L)
Day 3, Sunday – Cape Bon, Nabeul Museum, Kerkouane, Tunis
This morning you depart the Tunis area southwest to the Cape Bon peninsula, a fertile agricultural region that was developed by the French as the heart of Tunisia’s wine industry. As you travel the Cape Bon you will have numerous opportunities to stop, with some of the nicest places to visit including Nabeul, where there is a small but good archaeological museum, as well as the small historical towns Kilibia, Kerkouane with Tunisia’s most expansive Punic remains and El Haourira. Late day return to Tunis-La Marsa. Dining suggestions to provided. Overnight in Tunis-La Marsa. (B, L)
Day 4, Monday – Uthina, Zaghouan, Thuburbo Majus, Kairouan.
This morning you drive south, less than an hour to Oudna (Roman Uthina), which is one of Tunisia’s more recently excavated sites that is still a work in progress. See the fine amphitheater and nearly a dozen villas with many mosaics, cisterns, and storage areas. as well as visiting Zaghouan, the Roman aqueduct and the nearby Temple of Water. Following these sites, you will drive to Thuburbo Majus, another well preserved Roman site where the archaeological remains show the Punic origins, built over subsequently by the Romans. Continue on to Sousse. Dinner and overnight in Sousse. (B, L)
Day 5, Tuesday – Sousse, El Jem, Kairouan
Following your morning visit seeing the older part of Sousse, you drive southwest to El Jem, one of the most extraordinary sites in Tunisia thanks to the marvelous, 3rd-century A.D. amphitheater in the heart of the town. Nearby is the museum of El Jem, which houses some lovely mosaics and the remains of some recently-excavated luxury villas. Following your visit to El Jem and lunch, you drive approximately 40 miles to Kairouan. Kairouan’s location along the old caravan routes provided a base for a flourishing crafts industry, which lives on today in its rugs and textiles. Walk through the heart of the city’s medina, past sellers of carpets, leather goods, brass works, and spices to the Great Mosque, which has been rebuilt several times since its original construction in the 7th century. Dinner and overnight in Kairouan. (B, L)
Day 6, Wednesday – Kairouan, Bulla Regia, Tabarka
This morning you start with a visit to the Great Mosque of Kairouan, where construction started in the 7th century, with columns that were brought from various places within Tunisia. Check out of your hotel and depart Kairouan by 10:15, as you have a number of hours ahead of you until your next primary site in northwest Tunisia, taking rural roads as the terrain changes from semi-arid to the green, lush farmlands of northwest Tunisia.
The primary highlight today is Bulla Regia, an unusual and very well preserved site that features underground Roman villas; a Temple of Apollo, the oldest extant structure on the site and a 4th-century theater. Departing Bulla Regia via scenic mountain roads, you eventually arrive at the seaside town of Tabarka and check-in to your resort hotel. Dinner and overnight at the 5* La Cigale Tabarka Hôtel. (B,L,D)
Day 7, Thursday – Dougga, Tunis
Following breakfast, drive along scenic country roads to Dougga (ancient Thugga), Tunisia’s most extensive site. Covering some 60 acres on a steep slope some 2,000 feet above the plain, we have purposely saved Dougga for the end of your tour, as it is surely a highlight…if not THE highlight! Dougga was known as the “city of temples.” Visit the theater, which accommodates almost 3,500 people; the Temple of Saturn, under which was found evidence of a pre-Roman sanctuary dedicated to the Carthaginian god Baal; the Temples of Augustan Piety and Mercury; and the grandest structure; the Capitol that was dedicated to the gods Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, and to the glory of co-emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
Following your visit to Dougga, you return to Tunis, a drive of approximately 2 ½ hours. Your final night in Tunisia will be spent in a boutique hotel within the kasbah in what was formerly a mansion of a wealthy family. Your farewell dinner, in a restaurant within the medina is a 15-minute walk from your hotel.
Overnight in Tunis. (B, L, D)
Day 8, Friday – Tunis departures
Transfers will be arranged to the airport for your departure flights.
Upcoming Dates in 2019
December 13 – 20, 2019
Tunis: Dar el Marsa, La Marsa-Tunis. ★★★★★
Newly opened in early 2014, Dar el Marsa brings a new type of boutique hotel to Tunisia unlike any previously existing in the country. Situated in La Marsa, an upscale seaside area of Tunis that is home to many affluent Tunisians, diplomats, and expats, Dar el Marsa’s overlooks the seaside. Within a short walk of the hotel are many cafes, restaurants, and shops. The former summer home of the Ottoman Bey, now housing restaurants, is a three-minute walk. Dar el Marsa has spa facilities and a beautiful rooftop terrace and pool, in addition to a gourmet restaurant within the hotel.
Sousse: Hasdrubal Thalasso & Spa ★★★★
A resort and spa hotel, within a short walking from the yacht basin of El Kantoui and its man restaurants and shows. Recently renovated.
Kairouan: Dar Alouini Hotel de Charme
The first of its kind in Kairouan. Very new but a level of sophistication not found elsewhere in Kairouan.
Tabarka: La Cigalle ★★★★★
Recently opened with a high standard of amenities and service in this northwest region of Tunisia, this seaside resort hotel is among the few in the region.
Tunis: Palais Bayram Hotel de charme (or similar)
An old, restored mansion on a quiet street within the medina, with many spaces to enjoy, in addition to the individual rooms, each configured and decorated individually. http://www.darbengacem.com/
Iconic Journeys Worldwide reserves the right to make itinerary changes, if necessary.
With Tunisia, their respective tourism ministry attributes the number of stars. We suggest that one should deduct one to two stars to be commensurate with international standards.
$3,895. Per Person. NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT!
* Meals included as indicated by B, L, D. Any other references to meals are for logistical purposes, only.
* Itinerary as shown, including domestic air
* Hotels as described or comparable properties with TWO SINGLE rooms.
* English speaking guide and private vehicle throughout the itinerary, as noted.
* English speaking specialists in Tunisia
* Private vehicle with driver
* Any purchases of a personal nature, hotel expenditures such as laundry, mini-bar, business center related expenses and spa expenses.
* Gratuities to guide and driver
* Alcoholic drinks not included during group meals.