Staying home on weekends seems to be a waste of time while you’re in Tunisia. Whether you’re looking forward to a calm time or a crazily active escape, El Kef caters for your needs. Wildyness team compiled for you a list of hidden treasures of the beautiful city of El Kef.
The governorate of El Kef is located 168 km from Tunis and 150 km from Tabarka. This city built on the side of a mountain enjoys a superb panorama at more than 700 meters of altitude. On one side are forests of pine and cork oaks, and on the other side are beautiful hills. The village is well known for the quality of its water and the purity and freshness of the air. Despite the neglect and lack of resources, El Kef has managed to keep its authenticity and unique charm over the years. This makes it today a hub of some of the most interesting treasures.
The Cultural and Historical Circuit of El Kef-Medina
Established by the Museum Lab association, the main objective of this tour is to give cultural tourism in the region an effective and sustainable development dynamic. This allows us to document the traditions of the local population and preserve the historical monuments of this beautiful city. The lab offers unconventional tours where the stories of people, places, and civilizations are highlighted.
The Medina of El Kef holds many architectural treasures. After a co-financing campaign by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, a cultural and tourist circuit has been developed in the old Medina of El Kef.
Beyond the valorization of a historical heritage long marginalized, the conception of this project is at the origin of a new evolution in El Kef. This enriching tour will allow you to make the most out of your visit by discovering the hidden treasures of the Medina and the story behind each monument and corner. All of this cultural and historical output comes compounded with sightseeing.
The Dam of Oued Mellègue, a Great Evolution in the Agricultural Sector of El Kef
Built between 1949 and 1956, the dam of Oued Mellègue is located about 7 km west of the city of Nebeur. However, as it was not able to meet all the needs in drinking water and irrigation of the inhabitants, a new dam was built upstream of the current dam of Oued Mellègue.
The dam, of the multiple vault type, has a height of 65 meters and a crest length of 470 meters. To know more about this hydraulic work, we strongly advise an on-site visit to realize its importance in the hydraulic network of Tunisia. Connected to several dams in the North, the Oued Mellègue dam guarantees water stability and an acceptable salinity level.
During this visit, do not hesitate to go to the nearby Hammam Mellègue. This prestigious archeological site 12 km from El Kef is now one of the most famous thermal stations in Tunisia. Like most thermal stations, this site is appreciated for its therapeutic virtues and especially for the respect and use of ancestral practices, as well as the conservation of its monumental structures.
To visit this large dam of major hydraulic importance in Tunisia, it is advisable to go by car, because it is difficult to find a direct means of transport to this destination. To do this, simply take Avenue Ouled Haffouz towards the A3 towards the governorate of Jendouba. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit on the A3 and continue towards P6 in the direction of your destination at Village de Muthul.
If you prefer to travel by train or by bus, we advise you to go to the station of Tunis or to the bus station in Bab Alioua and take the transport to Jendouba. Then, finish your journey by taking a cab to the Oued Mellègue Dam.
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Jugurtha Table, an Exceptional Site
If you’re a lover of hiking, Jugurtha Table is your destination while you’re in El Kef. With breathtaking 360 degrees views, we recommend that you do the hike to discover the plateau and its caves. The circuit is rich in dolmens that attract geology and history enthusiasts as well as photography lovers.
Jugurtha's table is an impressive geological site located in the territory of the municipality of Kalaat Senan. Held on a plateau of 80 hectares and at an altitude of 1200 meters, this place was the refuge of the ancient Berber prince Jugurtha during his resistance to the Roman conquest.
Its classification on the UNESCO world heritage list recognized this place as one of nature's miracles. This can be another reason why you have to visit it. This tabular mountain is only accessible from its northern face. The rest is a vast cone, not very practicable and cluttered with huge blocks of rocks that have detached from the impressive cliffs above.
To go there, the departure is made from Tunis by taking the A3, P5 and P18 in the direction of the C79 and Kef. The table of Jugurtha is 247 km away from Tunis, the equivalent of a 3h 30 minutes drive on extraordinary landscapes.
There are many incredible landscapes in El Kef as well as Djebel El Kef, Djebel El Goraa and Djebel Kesra, but the landscapes of Kalaat Senan are even more unique by their dimensions, form and historical weight. Nowhere else in North Africa will you find such a concentration of natural wonders and cultural witnesses on the same site.
The Kasbah: a Marvelous Citadel
The powerful reliefs of the Atlas Mountains offer stunning views from the Ottoman fortress of El Kef. Overlooking the hill of Djebel Eddir, this historic building hosts several festivals and various cultural and artistic events such as "Le Kef chante la Tunisie ''.
Built in the 1600 by the Ottomans, the citadel is considered as the shining jewel of this quiet city and has remained intact despite many invasions, watching over the city like a guardian angel that protects it from external threats.
To visit this extraordinary monument and immerse yourself in its past, all you have to do is to climb the hill nestled at an altitude of 735 meters atop of Jebel Eddir. The latter will be in front of a gigantic portal in the middle of a thick wall with windows of enormous dimensions. The Kasbah is still today the pride of the inhabitants of the province of El Kef, thanks to its preponderant role in history.
El Kef: an Open-air Museum
El Kef is a relatively unknown place at the heart of Tunisian, which hides real treasures that speak of a unique and diverse cultural history.
This magnificent city nestled on top of the Atlas mountains and the steppes of the high plateaus is rich in historical and cultural landmarks, which do not cease to impress visitors from around the world.
However, the beauty of its nature is not the region’s only attraction. El Kef has preserved over the years countless ancient remains including the Ottoman fortress.
Do not hesitate to discover this wonderful city full of charm and authenticity and spend an extraordinary weekend visiting its surroundings. We promise that this city will impress you with its many hidden treasures and the generosity of its inhabitants.