The Canyons of Midès
The Canyons of Midès are unmissable. Midès is one of the most beautiful mountain oases in Tunisia, with a magnificent gorge that stretches for 3 km. The groove is distinguished by its round shapes and strong color contrasts. In these gorges with desert landscapes, one can observe fossils and colorful minerals that are millions of years old.
It is located near the Tunisian-Algerian border and about sixty kilometers from Tozeur and about ten kilometers from Tamerza.
Located on the Saharan limes linking Tébessa to Gafsa, the ancient Midès was used by the Romans to signal the approach of invaders using mirrors.
Midès is also the Tunisian “Far West”. For the canyons of course, but also for the proximity to the Algerian border. Canyons once surrounded the village on all sides, like an ocean liner stranded on a spur. A true natural fortress.
Clinging to the edge of a canyon where fossils and colored minerals are found, the new village of Midès is at the heart of the nearby palm grove which provides dates, oranges and figs.
The old village of Midès was abandoned in 1969 following deadly floods that killed more than 400 people in Tunisia, but its ruins still seem to hang above the void.
The setting for the desert scenes in the film The English Patient, the canyon of Midès unfolds astonishing layers of stratified rock shaped by erosion and the impetuous course of the wadi which winds between the stone walls. Ocher and pink, this mineral landscape blazes at sunset, making the contrast between the bare rock and the sparse clumps of vegetation, palm trees or acacias even stronger.