History never fails to amaze us. Getting your nose into a history book or scanning an online article about historical facts can be very exciting and intriguing. Visiting places where civilizations flourished but didn’t survive can be mind-blowing. Tunisians always pride their country for surviving 4000 years of civilizations. Archaeological sites are there to testify this. Some of them are part of the UNESCO national heritage sites.
WildyNess team rounded up a full list of archaeological sites every traveler wants to explore and puzzle over. Every region has a blatant living page of history. And this is why we went through archaeological sites region by region to allow you to unfold the rich history of Tunisia.
Eight kilometers west of Siliana, Jama is an ancient city that testifies the Numidian era. Dating back several centuries, vestiges and remnants are modest in number and cannot fully testify the importance of the history of the city. But, they will take you back in time and make you curious to know more about Siliniana, the Numidian era and the history of Tunisia. To get to this magnificent destination, take a cab for 12 minutes from the city of Siliana via the P4 road.
Bulla Regia, Jendouba
Located 7 kilometers away from Jendouba, on the RN 17, Bulla Regia is another Numidian archaeological site located in northwest Tunisia.This site holds antiquity and architectural characteristics dating back to the Roman period. A reason why it triggers history and archaeology researches.
Photo Credit: Mohamed Hamdane
Unfortunately, the religious and leisure buildings of Bulla Regia are still unknown to tourists and Tunisians alike. One of the particularities of this site is the presence of underground houses. These villas fitted out in the basement were undoubtedly built to protect inhabitants from the sun.
The visit begins with the thermal baths of Julia Memmia. Then you will head to the modest house of the Treasury, which has a basement that was built during the Byzantine period. Then comes the house of the hunt, whose underground floor is in good condition of conservation, as well as the houses of the new Hunt, of the Peacock and of the Amphitry.
It is best to be accompanied by a professional guide so that he can explain to you all the secrets of this city, a former royal Numidian residence.
Located in the northwest of Siliana, Makthar is a town on a plateau at the northern edge of the Tunisian ridge. The archaeological site of Mactaris adjoins the ancient city and is located at an altitude of 900 meters. It is a beautiful example of resistance to Romanization, unlike most regions of Tunisia.
Photo Credit: Nachoua
To get there, you will have to go to Bab Alioua to take a bus from Bab Saadoun to El Ouesletia. After a 2 hours 40 minutes drive, you have to take a 46 minutes cab to Makther for the exceptional visit of this unique archaeological monument. You can also inquire on the spot to find another cheaper way of transportation.
By car, the trip is very easy and takes 2 hours and 23 minutes. You just have to take the road of the Military Hospital in the direction of exit West towards the A3 road of Beja.
After 38 minutes of travel, leave A3 and follow the road C28, C29 and C49 towards Siliana. Then continue to P4 towards P12 in Makthar.
Ain Tebournouk, Nabeul
Grombalia in the governorate of Nabeul, Ain Tebournouk hosts a little known archaeological site called Tubernuc. Nabeul is usually known for its beaches and harissa. But, few know that the region has a very interesting archaeological site of Roman origin. If unknown historical places hit a sensitive cord, this is a place worth visiting.
This exceptional site, which does not lack in interest, presents vestiges that extend over a very large area. Located only 37 km away from the capital Tunis, one can even find public baths dating back to the 1st century.
Medeïna, El Kef
Located 45 km south of El Kef, The Numidian and Roman site of Althiburos is deemed the actual Medeïna. Although it’s in the center of the city, the site is little known. His popularity doesn’t account for its richness in vestiges of great archaeological value.
Photo Credit: Histoire de la Tunisie
The Medeïna of El Kef consists of a forum, a portico, several approaches, a tetrastyle temple, an arch of Hadrian, a beautiful monumental fountain, the building Asclépieia, a theater and a series of mausoleums which are at the limits of this incredible Numidian site.
Located in the center-west of the governorate of Kasserine, the archaeological site of Haïdra is also an untrodden place. It houses the ruins of a triumphal arch as well as several mausoleums, underground baths, multiple churches and Byzantine fortresses.
Photo Credit: IssamBarhoumi ID 42-21 (photo was cropped & resized)
This place is absolutely a must-visit!
Ksar Lemsa, Kairouan
Ksar Lemsa is an archaeological site located in the governorate of Kairouan and which belongs to the ancient city of Limisa. This site is mainly known for its Roman theater and its Byzantine fortress.
Overlooking Oued Maarouf and at the foot of Djebel Bouja, you can enjoy an extraordinary visit while observing the remarkable nature of this region.
Henchir Mest (or Henchir Mist), Siliana
Henchir Mest in Siliana is the oldest municipality of North Africa. This ancient site located in the governorate of Siliana is adjacent to the small town of Krib on about twenty hectares.
Photo Credit: Zaher Kammoun
Crossed by a road, the site is delimited by two triumphal arches, a mausoleum and the remains of thermal baths. In an excellent state of preservation, there are also towers, curtains, cells and two large cisterns.
Located 42 minutes away from the city of Siliana, you just have to follow C73, then P5 in the direction of Henchir Mest.
Sidi Khalifa, Sousse
Sousse is known for its beaches and nightlife. It’s that city that combines a quiet day and a busy night. Located in Sousse, Sidi Khalifa is named after the village it’s located in. The village comes near the city of Bouficha, 117 km from Tunis. This archaeological site is located around the mausoleum of the patron saint and boasts a multitude of ancestral architectural techniques that are made exclusively with local materials.
This hidden paradise adjoins an ancient site of Roman origin called Pheradi Majus. Once on top, the view of the sea and nature is extraordinary.
In the northwest of Tunisia, Chemtou is an ancient site in the governorate of Jendouba. The city still possesses all the buildings likely to be found in a Roman city such as an amphitheater, a theater, a forum with a basilica and a fountain, a nymphaeum, thermal baths and several other ancestral elements.
In this magnificent archaeological site, you can also visit the Chemtou museum to discover the history of the city SMITTHUS, famous for its Numidian marble.
The archaeological site of Sbeitla is located in the heart of the city of Kasserine. Currently, it covers about twenty hectares installed on a plateau near exploited springs.
Consisting of the capitol, the temple of Minerva and Juno, a Roman forum, large public baths, a theater, forts and several arches, this site is easily accessible.
You just have to take the direction of Kairouan towards Gafsa. Then, go through Chebika, Hajeb el Ayoun and finally continue towards Sbeitla.
Ain Tounga, Beja
About fifteen kilometers from the city of Testour, Ain Tounga is an archaeological site not far from Dougga. While Dougga has all the lights on it, Ain Tounga is a bit unpopular. If you have Dougga in mind, try to visit these two sites and enjoy a great experience. Ain Tounga has many Byzantine and Roman monuments.
Kouchbatia / Djebel Gorra, Beja
Located between Beja and Teboursouk, Djebel Gorra combines the characteristics of a real archaeological and that of a natural paradise. Very famous for its orchards, it is considered as an important and obligatory stopover in all the tourist tours crossing the region.
Located at an altitude of 850 meters, it hosts a very large necropolis with dolmens. At the foot of Jebel Gorra, there are remains of an ancient Roman city called Kouhbatia.
Ksar Toual, Siliana
Ksar Toual Zammel is an archaeological site that deserves special attention despite the fact that it is neglected and poorly maintained. The ruins of Ksar Toual are located in a unique landscape characterized by its exceptional greenery. For archaeology fans, this little-known site is a must-see and the perfect way to end your tour.
Archaeological Sites, Where Past Can Make Us Think of the Future
The archaeological sites of Tunisia are mostly in open air. You will need to bring a hat to avoid getting too much sun. For a comfortable visit, equip yourself with good shoes. You have no more excuses to not discover these wonderful wonders filled with history! Schedule a day of discovery in these archaeological sites and fully enjoy this exceptional experience.