Discovering Tozeur: An Oasis of Experiences

Tozeur, situated at the crossroads of the Atlas Mountains and the vast Sahara Desert, stands as the largest among the Jerid region’s five oases. This vibrant city, built gradually around its expansive palm grove, proudly serves as the capital of its namesake governorate.

Located approximately 450 kilometers southwest of Tunis, Tozeur boasts a rich religious heritage, historically attracting numerous scholars. Ibn Chabbat, for instance, bequeathed the city an intricate irrigation system for its palm groves, while the esteemed poet Abou el Kacem Chebbi composed his iconic work, “Ela Toghat Al Alaam,” within its boundaries during the French protectorate era. Tozeur’s contemporary topography pays homage to these luminaries, as well as to the revered marabouts.

In this article, we will unveil the diverse experiences that await you in Tozeur.

1. The Tozeur Medina (Old Town)

One of the essential Tozeur experiences is exploring its historic medina, adorned with distinctive brick-pattern architecture and cradling a sprawling palm grove that weaves a lush oasis amidst the desert sands. Known also as the old Ouled el Hadef district, Tozeur’s medina stands as one of Tunisia’s best-preserved, surrounded by magnificent stone walls crafted from the region’s signature material, the briquette. As you enter the city, you’ll be enchanted by the charming, well-preserved narrow alleys that make navigation without a map a delightful experience.

2. The Chott Djerid (Salt Lake)

The Chott Djerid salt lake, encompassing an expansive area of approximately 5,000 km2, stands as North Africa’s largest salt plain or sebkha. Renowned not only for its size but also for the mesmerizing mirages it produces, Chott Djerid has been the subject of legends recounting entire armies that disappeared into its depths. Extending almost a hundred kilometers from east to west, Chott el-Jerid stretches between Nefta in the west and El Hamma in the east. Nestled in a syncline hollow, it marks the boundary between Tunisia’s mountain ranges and the Saharan plateau.

3. The Mountain Oases

Tozeur’s mountain oases offer an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. These oases, nestled within the Saharan Atlas, beautifully juxtapose the arid desert with the verdant palm groves and natural springs gushing from the mountain’s sides.

4. Chebika

An hour’s drive northwest of Tozeur, beyond the salt lake of el-Gharsa, lies the mountain oasis of Chebika, nestled amidst desolate rocks. While the houses have been replaced by more modern concrete structures, Chebika’s palm grove continues to thrive at the base of these ancient structures. As the sun sets, the vibrant green palm tree tops strikingly contrast the surrounding ochre summits. Enthusiastic hikers can extend their journey to the Tamerza oasis.

5. Tamerza

Today, the ruins of Tamerza, also known as the “Sleepy Village of Tamerza,” attract travelers in search of remnants from a forgotten Berber land. Only the marabout remains in use. Occasionally, the Tamerza Palace & Spa, an enchanting hotel integrated into the mountainside, hosts mystical evenings adorned with 5,000 candles. Just beyond the ruins, the El Horchane wadi showcases planed, bare earth, which transforms into flowing water during heavy rains. Waterfalls cascade from the mountains, and panoramic hiking trails offer walkers breathtaking vistas. This region of mountain oases served as the backdrop for scenes in the film “The English Patient.”

6. Midès

Midès, one of Tunisia’s most exquisite mountain oases, features a spectacular 3-kilometer gorge distinguished by its rounded forms and vivid color contrasts. In this desert landscape, one can uncover fossils and colorful minerals that date back millions of years. Situated near the Tunisian-Algerian border, Midès lies approximately 60 kilometers from Tozeur and just 10 kilometers from Tamerza.

7. Mos Espa Village (Star Wars)

The Mos Espa Star Wars site represents the spaceport on the planet Tatooine, immortalized in George Lucas‘s iconic science fiction saga, “Star Wars.” Constructed in the early 1990s in Ong Jmel, near Nefta in southwestern Tunisia, the site played a pivotal role in the filming of one of cinema’s most legendary blockbuster series. Hollywood’s selection of this site was far from arbitrary; it exemplifies the industry’s commitment to authenticity and detail.

8. Ong Jmal (Star Wars)

Ong Jmal, named for the camel’s neck-shaped rock that dominates its landscape, features the Chott el Gharsa saline depression, known for generating mesmerizing mirages. It also encompasses Mos Espa, the hometown of Anakin Skywalker (the future Darth Vader), and served as the backdrop for the initial “Star Wars” film. Ong Jmal, situated 20 kilometers from Nefta and approximately the same distance from the Algerian border, offers an otherworldly experience reminiscent of the “Star Wars” universe.

Djerba, a wonderful island located in the south-east of Tunisia and tourist destination par excellence!

Many first-time visitors always ask the same question: What are the things to do in Djerba?

On the one hand, the island of Djerba offers a large choice of on-site activities such as quad biking, buggy, camel rides etc … But on the other hand, given its position in the south , Djerba offers several tours to the desert, over 1 day, two days or several days!

In this article I will give you a little idea of ​​the things to do in Djerba