In 2016, I spent two months in Tunisia, living and interning in Tunis with Linagora as a programmer on an auto-transcribing project for the French language. I’d planned a two week long trip at the end, but it was finally reduced to just a week. My plan was to continue back up north, going to Sfax, El Djem, El Kef, and Bizerte. Seeing as I didn’t get the chance to do this, here’s the road trip I’d recommend to journey throughout Tunisia.
I did the trip without a car, and this proposed itinerary is largely doable by louages, the 9 seater long distance shared taxis between cities, except for the leg between Tozeur and Tataouine. In some smaller cities, you might have to wait longer for the 9 seater to fill up. I did strike up a few conversations with young adults my age in the louages (in French), and also in local grocery stores.
I also traveled alone in most places (other than Djerba and Hammamet), and did feel rather safe in most places – the attention from some men in various cities can be a little annoying, but most will let you go if you tell them “la, shukran”.
Being able to speak French definitely helped, especially in the north of the country, and I also found that being able to read the Arabic script was very very useful for figuring out city names in bus stations, louage stations, street signs, etc. Being able to greet people and say thank you in the Tunisian dialect is also a good practice!
Here are all my posts about the various places I’ve visited:
Tunis : First impressions
Carthage & Sidi Bou Said : Ruins and tourists
Kairouan : City of mosques
Djerba : the untouched coast
Kerkouane : Punic ruins by the sea
Dougga : City on a hill
Sousse : a sea of blue
Tozeur : Oasis town
Chebika, Tamerza, Mides, Chott El Jerid : Desert landscape
Douz, Matmata, Hotel Sidi Driss, Ksar Hallouf – Different ways of living
Campement Zmela : peace in the Sahara
Guermassa, Ksar Ouled Soltane, Ksar Hadada – Old places, new stories
Chenini – Life in the mountains