El Kef, known as “El Kef El Alia” or the highest, is a little gem located in the northwest of the country.

Secluded from the hectic city, El Kef offers to its visitors mesmerizing natural landscapes, well-preserved historical monuments, and a unique culinary experience.

If you’re looking for a one-day trip from Tunis or curious to visit the untrodden cities in Tunisia, El Kef is the place you want to be in. 

Tempted to know more about El Kef, its charm and breathtaking nature? WildyNess team is here to guide you through your journey planning.

Here are our 11 magical places to discover in El Kef, we want you to know about, before taking your road trip. 

 

Get Lost in Beautiful Alleys of the Medina 

 

The Medina of El Kef is located in the region of the High Tell at an altitude of 735 meters. Its beautiful narrow streets make you want to stroll there the whole day to discover the scattered history in its walls, ground, and houses.

 

Medina El Kef

 

Vibrantly filled with history, ancient and modern, The Medina includes the Kasbah, the church of Saint Peter, the Basilica, the Roman cisterns and the Zaouïa. Each of these reflects and belongs to an iconic historical period of Tunisia. 

In Medina, you can purchase handcrafted items and traditional crafts from the artisanal stores there. These stores are run by local craftswomen who believe in this art and strive to conserve it through generations. 

 

Visit The Temple of waters

 

The water temple is a majestic thermal complex of the High-Empire located at the foot of the Kasbah rock. Although it is currently entangled in modern buildings, this construction offers visitors three essential elements: the thermal baths, a large apse, and the remainder of an early Christian chapel. 

For history lovers and adventure seekers, the water temple allows you to discover the cisterns around the great spring of the Ras al-Ain region.

 

Stop at Basilica Saint Peter

 

Also called Dar El Kous, the Basilica of Saint Peter is a very popular Byzantine church in El Kef. Built on the site of an ancient pagan temple, the basilica has an oriental style very close to that of the Sidi Baccouche mosque and the Ghriba synagogue. 

 

Basilica Saint Peter

 

It is a significant symbol of a culture that embodies diversity and that is known for the coexistence of several religions in one region. 

 

El Ghriba Synagogue

 

El Ghriba Synagogue, also known as Ghribet el Yahood, is a monument located in the center of the Hara district, which was mainly inhabited by Jews.

 

This synagogue belongs to three Ghriba Synagogues located in North Africa and distributed in Tunisia and Algeria. As the myth goes, these synagogues were built by three sisters who lived in these three separate places: Djerba, El Kef, and Annaba. 

 

Ghriba El Kef

 

It used to be a place that gathers crowds of believers who come from the east of Algeria and the west of Tunisia. That was in the times when the festival of Sukkot had an importance for the Jewish residents.

The festival was three to four days of religious ceremonies, festivities, and feasts that brought together not only the Jewish community but also a large number of Muslims. 

Unlike the Ghriba Synagogue of Djerba, the Ghriba Synagogue in El Kef is neglected and lacks all aspects of maintenance. This makes the monument may collapse at any time. Nevertheless, we recommend taking a look at it and visiting the region to see how religions coexist smoothly. 

 

Drink a Coffee near Sidi Bou Makhlouf El Kef

 

From the plaza under the kasbah, the stairs lead you to this tiny treasure: a  Sufi mausoleum that was used to be a conservatory of traditional and spiritual music.  The place of Sidi Bou Makhlouf borrowed its name from the Zaouïa built at the foot of the ramparts of the Kasbah in the city of El Kef.  

 

Sidi Boumakhlouf el Kef

 

Sidi Bou Makhlouf, the town’s patron, was a saint originally from Fez, Morocco two centuries ago. Now, His name is eternalized everywhere in El Kef whether with this mausoleum or in the countless businesses that chose his name for their brands.

 

Discover the Corners of The Kasbah El Kef

 

Among the many vestiges of El Kef, the Kasbah is deemed one of the most important historical monuments of Tunisia. The Kasbah, located at the top of El Kef, is more than a touristic place.

The monument infuses the pride of its inhabitants and reminds them of their leading role in the region over the past centuries. Resistant, resilient, and smoothly evolving, this is what it stands for. 

 

Kasba El Kef

 

It is an Ottoman fortress that consists of two separate forts. The first is a small fort on the western edge of the fortress whose construction dates back to 1601. 

The second is the large fort, located to the east, which was built by the Mouradite ruler Mohamed Pasha in 1979. The Kasbah has a large courtyard surrounded by huge rooms, a mosque, a seraglio, and various other rooms. 

Overlooking Jebel Dyr, the top of the Kasbah offers a breathtaking view to visitors, a panoramic view of the whole city of El Kef and its surroundings. Make sure not to miss the sunset from this spot. 

This place is easily reachable by car.  After arriving at the city of El Kef, follow the Ennarjess road in the direction of the Hassan Harbouch road and park your car here

 

Explore Zaouïa el-Rahmaniya

 

Also known as  he Museum of Traditional and Popular Arts and as the legend goes, the Zaouïa el-Rahmaniya of El Kef was created under the order of Mohammed Abderrahman El Guechtouli. As a saint and leader, together with his descendants, they founded a great religious dynasty: the Sufi brotherhood. The group was later dissolved after the independence of Tunisia. 

 

This old zaouïa of the Muslim brotherhood of the Rahmaniya includes the museum of traditional and popular arts. This ethnographic museum dominates the square that leads to it thanks to the particularity of its shape and its exceptional architecture made of imposing domes. 

 

Visit the Museum of Arts and Traditions

While you stroll in El Medina, make sure to pay a visit to the museum of arts and popular traditions. With a unique architectural specificity, the building takes you back in time to explore how the city dwellers used to live. The main focus of the museum is to highlight the culture of Amazigh nomads. 

 

Museum of arts

 

This is done by exhibiting real objects collected throughout the decades to help you picture their lives.  Among its important collections is an extraordinary collection of jewelry dating back several centuries. 

 

25 minutes after leaving the city of El Kef, go around the Sidi Bou Makhlouf mosque and go to Kasbah street. From this street, you will enjoy a superb view of the two white domes of the mosque. On the right, the street of the Kasbah will lead you to the complex Sidi Ali Ben Aissa, where the museum of arts and popular traditions is located.

 

This magical place allows you to discover the history of El Kef and its daily life, as well as the traditions of this region, all in a spectacular setting. Feel free to take a tour with a guide who works at the museum for a detailed and interesting experience.

 

Check the Village of Handcrafts and Artisans

The village of artisans in El Kef is a meeting place for creators. This place is a homage to the rich and varied ancestral artisanal techniques transmitted from father to son. 

El Kef is known for its magnificent craft. The ancestral know-how transmitted throughout the centuries makes the handicrafts produced high in quality. Do not hesitate to buy some of these handicrafts to participate in the conservation of this village but also in the local economy, all the while enjoying carefully made products.

In the different village streets, you will find baskets, handmade carpets, jewelry, traditional clothes, embroidery, cousins, and many other local treasures. 

 

Join the Fairy Tale Tour 

 

The Fairy Tale Tour is a cultural heritage tour created by the Museum Lab association. The tour starts with a visit to the Jewish cemetery where the local guide will explain the famous story of Mrs. Brad. Then the tour continues to the Christian cemetery and the Muslim cemetery. 

 

architecture Kef

 

El Kef is a region that accepts religious differences and has welcomed all three religions equally for centuries. 

Then the tour continues to the church Ksar El Ghoula, where the local guide will explain the famous story of the magic mirror that predicts betrayals, and the consequences it may have caused. 

You will then continue to Lachgeya, which is a series of three separate mountains that symbolize fertility and the sexuality of women. This destination is characterized by a very impressive history that the local guide will be sure to tell you in detail. 

The fairy tale tour continues with a visit to Borj Errouah and Msalla, where Muslims and Christians used to pray together in the same place; especially in times of drought. 

Currently called Rue Jendouba, a visit to Bab Ghdar is then scheduled. Then, the tour alternates with the famous story of Sidi Selem Elawah, then the Zaouia Rahmania, the Kasbah, Sidi Boumakhlouf, Ghriba, Lila Aicha, Dar Kehia, and Rass Al Ain. 

A tour filled with adventure and impressive history awaits you, all with a local guide. Don't hesitate to take this tour in order to fully enjoy your visit and learn lots of new things about the past of El Kef, but also about its present.

untold legends kef

 

Where to Savor the Best Borzguène and the Rfissa in El Kef?

 

The region of El Kef is well known for its culinary dishes rich in flavors. The Borzguène and the Rfissa are dishes well anchored in the tradition of this magnificent region. 

Borzguène is a sweet and sour dish prepared with Masfouf seeds, sugar, dried fruits, dates, milk, butter, and steamed leg of lamb flavored with rosemary. 

The Rfissa is a kind of mlaoui, Tunisian homemade bread, cut into small pieces, sprinkled with rosewater sugar syrup, and served with cut dates. 

To taste these dishes which make, among others, the reputation of the region of El Kef, go to these restaurants El Walima, Dar Boumakhlouf, Dar Sidi Abdallah, Dar Chennoufi, Dar Alyssa and the restaurant "Petit Bateau".

El Kef is a terraced city surmounted by a fortress and which has kept multiple traces of its rich history, its craftsmanship, its architectural footprint, and its rich taste. Do not hesitate to visit this incredible city with your friends or family.