Tunisia – The rose of the desert

I was very tired. Working all day and having kids was difficult for me, so I decided to have a break. Tunisia was a country I always wanted to visit. Without a second thought, I booked a week’s holiday package with my family in a luxurious hotel in Hammamet, having heard that this town is very popular for its beaches, the blue waters, and the water sports.

It was a chance for me to have a rest being all day at the beach sunbathing, drinking cocktails and being pampered with spa treatments.

After about two hours’ flight, we arrived in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia from where we started our journey. We had a tour walk tour of the city. We got lost in Medina with the souks, the perfumes, and the colorful clothing. We also visited the National Bordo museum. It was very interesting, mostly for those who love history. Next stop was Didi Bou Said, a fantastic town only twenty Km from Tunis. We saw blue and white traditional houses, little narrow streets and… magic in the air! We drunk mint tea at ‘cafe des nattes’, a typical Arabic coffee shop which is located at the top of the hill with traditional Tunisian furniture and smell of hookah!

TIP:

  • Don ‘t forget to buy a bird cage, colored in white and blue, like the roofs of the village.

Four days past when someone of our group announced that it would be a good idea to go to Sahara desert. On our long road trip, we first visited the famous Roman amphitheater El Djem and Monastir which was the natural scene of the movie ‘Jesus of Nazaret’.

 

Dessert Jesus of Nazaret

Then we went to Matmata. It was an interesting village where the residents live in traditional underground ‘troglodyte’ structures. It’s a popular tourist attraction and most of the population lives on tourism and exhibitions in their houses. Late in the afternoon we finally arrived at Douz, Known as the ‘gateway to Sahara’. We stayed at ‘Sahara Douz’hotel and our suite was overlooking the palm groves and the dunes of Sahara. Absolutely fantastic!

 

The next morning we ate breakfast and we had a great four wheels safari adventure across the desert, which included a  visit to the set of Star Wars film that was filmed there many years ago. We were bumped and thrown about, went up dunes and down. We had so much fun and the more the kids screamed the more dunes and bumps we went over!

Then the caravan… We put on some robes and turbans to defend against the sand and sun although the temperature was 40C.

The caravan was ready. It was moving slowly and I enjoyed it. I really couldn’t believe my eyes! There was nothing around me and all I could hear was the footsteps of the camels. So peaceful! The most dramatic scenery in the world! The magic of the camel ride lasted for one hour and then we went to the famous mountain oasis. It’s located at the bottom of an old Berber village with palm trees and a waterfall. The best way to see Chebika and the palms, was the rocky path that leads to the ruins of the old city, forming a canyon of 15 meters high. Then we went down and saw a small waterfall. The miracle of the desert!

The next morning we woke up at 4.30 am. This early wake up was so that we could get to the salt marshes to watch the sunrise. Fortunately, the day wasn’t cloudy so we had the full effect of the Sahara sunrise and the views of the salt lake were amazing! After that, we took the road to the airport. I can’t express how wonderful this trip was, but even if it started with some problems, it continued and ended with the best way!

I would really love to go back someday, and I will!

Efi Konstantinidou
Travel & Lifestyle Blogger
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