Coming to Tunisia to explore the southern part is always a good idea for those who crave for satisfying their sense of curiosity while guaranteeing safety. But, how to do it in the best possible way?

The answer is: road trip. Taking a road trip in a new country is more thrilling and memorable. It’s a different, yet rewarding, way to discover yourself and the new surroundings. 

If you’re already convinced that the South of Tunisia deserve a road trip, Wildyness team guides you through the best 3 road trips to go for. 

 

Road Trip South Tunisia 1: Gabes - Douiret - Chenini - Tataouine

Start off your trip from Gabes, in south-east Tunisia. Gabes is the starting point for your Saharan adventure. 

For those who want to be next to the Mediterranean, Gabes is the only coastal oasis of it. It combines the Mediterranean vibes with the unique tropical ones.

The choice of Gabes comes mainly for its vast palm grove of more than 300 000 palm trees. It  is a real enchantment, one that you will witness throughout your journey. 

 

Credits: Adam Chamakh

 

This gateway to the Sahara desert allows you to discover the ancestral traditions of Gabes. You may want to visit the museum of arts and popular traditions and of troglodyte dwellings so you don’t feel like you’re stuck in the road.

You will also want to discover  the ancient methods of agriculture still used in this arid environment. A whole new world you don’t want to miss. 

For your gifts and souvenirs, we recommend that you take a short break in the Henna souk of Gabes. There are many options for spices, Henna powder, bkhour and koufas for reasonable prices. 

 

Douiret, a Village Full of Magic

From Gabes, follow the road of Mereth, Koutine, Ghomrassen towards Tataouine for 2 hours 42 minutes.

20 kilometers from there, the desert appears in all its implacable harshness. The old city of Douiret is widely known for its unusual landscape, its troglodyte houses and its original traditions. We highly recommend  a small tour to Ksar Ouled Debbab. 

 

 

For lunch, stop at Dar Othman in Béni Khedech to taste the traditional dishes of the region and watch the meals being prepared. If you did your research well, you’re certainly looking to try the Couscous. At Dar Othman, you will discover another variety to the famous couscous: Melthouth. 

Here are the phone numbers of the restaurant if you want to give it a try:  +216 22 308 629 or +216 22 337 101. 

Then continue your journey to Douiret, where you must visit its ksours and troglodyte houses. Their ruined ghorfas possess exceptional charm and an architecture that blends with the mountain. 

 

Chenini: Authenticity and Originality Guaranteed

In the heart of the parched landscape of these mountains, Chenini is a dream destination for anyone passionate about ancient architecture. After a 33 minutes drive from Douiret, you will start to see a vast stony plain from which emerge rocky peaks. The village climbs along a long cliff and has at its peak a breathtaking panorama.

 

Credits: Mekki Tounekti

 

 

The Berber culture is well-preserved. The language used there is a mix of  the Amazigh language and the Tunisian dialect. You will have the chance to hear one of the now extinct languages. 

Be sure to go see the mosque of the seven sleepers. This architectural masterpiece is quite singular, with its troglodytes space juxtaposed to the prayer room. Next to this characteristic monument of Chenini, take a break at Dar Kenza.

The lodge, formed in a set of caves, welcomes you in both a modern and traditional Berber setting.  This original architecture will enable you to spend a magical afternoon in one of the most beautiful villages of Tunisia.

Enjoy your leisurely afternoon and taste a traditional mint tea!

 

Chennini

 

Tataouine, an Unusual Landscape

To end your road trip in style, head to Tataouine, whose originality is a must-see. Located about 25 minutes away from Dar Kenza, renting a 4*4 is recommended so you can comfortably visit the region.

Visit Ksar El Ferich, Ksar Mgabla, Ksar Aouadid and Ksar Ouled Soltan. The redundancy of “Ksar” comes from its meaning. “Ksar” refers to “castle’ in standard Arabic. Brace yourself to observe the troglodytic houses, some of which are still in good condition. 

 

Credits: Zoubeir Aljane

 

From there, Ksours of Tataouine gives you the best sunset view.  It is absolutely magical! We highly recommend it. 

As the night falls, it is time for rest. For accommodation, we recommend that you spend the night in the guest house Tataouine les bains or Dar Aicha, located about 30 minutes from the ksours.

If you’re looking for more options, here is our guide about Guest Houses in the South of Tunisia.

 

Tataouine

 

Road Trip South Tunisia 2 : Tataouine - Nefta - Tozeur

Tataouine, a Spectacular Region

For this second road trip, we have prepared a really special path. A visit to three Saharan regions whose culinary and landscape particularities will tempt you to hit the road. 

To begin with, Tataouine is a very popular destination for any admirer of the Sahara desert and its ancestral life. Dazzling with its refined charm, it’s a good starting point. From the ksours in the direction of Nefta, you can visit  Ksar Bir Lahmar, ksar Laaraf and Ksar Hadada, the closest to the Algerian border. Be careful not to get too close to the border.

tataouine hike

 

Nefta, the oasis city of Jérid

4 hours 45 minutes away from Ksar Hadada lies Nefta, our second location for this roadtrip and the closest city to the Algerian border. Be careful not to get too close to the border.

Countless palm trees dominate this oasis and curl up in a basin called the Corbeille. At the top of this vast natural basin, you will find a panoramic and plunging view, crowned by a water source which extends on 300 hectares. To get there, follow the road to Jemna and Chott Jerid for 5 hours and 19 minutes. All along the way, make sure to admire the brick facades painted with sandy colors.

You might recognize some of the decors of the Star Wars saga. We love to get lost in these magnificent oases. For a more complete and enriching visit, contact the association of sustainable management of the oasis Ras El Ain. After a few hours of walking, you can have lunch at Dar Hi or at the Villa Dar Zargouni. These two addresses offer very high quality service in an authentic and traditional setting.

 

Tozeur, symbol of the great Tunisian south

After this relaxing break, it’s time to head towards the last leg of this road trip. 23 minutes after leaving Nefta by car, take the road to Tozeur. On your way, you will be able to visit the Chak Wak museum, the old district Ouled El Hedef, the paradise gardens, the souk and the palm grove. After this amazing tour, rest and finish your road trip in style by spending the night at Dar Nejma, Dar Saida Beya or Dar Horchani, where you can also have dinner.

 

authentic dinner tozeur

 

Road Trip 3: Tozeur - Bouhlel - Bouhedma - Gabes

Tozeur, the treasure of the south

This last itinerary passes through Tozeur, Dgoumès, and Bouhedma, towards Gabes. An unusual circuit which is full of good surprises. In a purely desertic landscape, take a bike ride in the palm groves of Tozeur with a local guide. How about a tour in the Edden Palm museum? This will give you the opportunity to discover the authenticity of this exceptional region.

 

Dghoumès and its immense canyons

Our second destination is the canyon of Bouhlel. Located about 10 kilometers from Tozeur, you will be fascinated by its beauty, calm and serenity. Those gigantic canyons are located just above Chott Jérid. For ecological tourism, this region plays an important role in the conservation and preservation of a very diverse fauna and flora of the Sahara.

To get to this true Saharan treasure, the journey only takes 15 minutes from Tozeur, near the region of Bouhlel Sdada.

 

The national park of Bouhedma

The penultimate station is Bouhedma. A fantastic place located 100 km from Sidi Bouzid. Covering an area of 16,488 hectares, the Bouhedma National Park is a nature reserve recognized by UNESCO that possesses a huge diversity of fauna and flora. You will be amazed by the beauty of this magical place. Bouhedma Park represents the unique remnant of an ancient pre-Saharan savanna. This park contains unexpected archeological treasures such as the Roman hydraulic diversion work of Oued Haddaj.

If you are concerned about the current state of the planet, it is essential to respect and protect this park, as it serves as a refuge for many different species. This is an ideal picnic spot. In order to enjoy this tranquility and landscape, buy everything you need before going to the park to take a well-deserved break and enjoy the view.

 

Gabes, a place of well-being

After a day full of discoveries, what could be more enticing than taking a hot bath? To do so, we recommend Dar El Ferdaous. This hostel has 6 rooms with high quality service and free secure parking for your car.

 

An enriching experience awaits !

There are many hidden treasures in the south of Tunisia: gigantic canyons, souks, and many other discoveries to make! So, are you looking forward to planning your road trip in the south? What are you waiting for? Your off-the-beaten-path adventure awaits, follow the guide!