Tunisia: History, Culture, People & Palaces

10 days / 9 nights


 Land only per person (based on double occupancy) May 8-17, 2017

Among the world’s newest democracy is Tunisia…where the media-dubbed “Arab Spring” began, in January 2011. While the other countries that were inspired by Tunisia have seen their countries fall apart in chaos, or worse, Tunisia’s parliament completed their new Constitution in December 2014 and subsequently held free and transparent elections in what has been a rather peaceful transition to democracy.

Tunisia’s relationship with the United States dates back more than 200 years and today, the U.S. sees Tunisia as an important ally in fighting extremist, Islamic terrorism.

This very special tour will allow participants to see some of the wonderful archaeological ruins, attend a once-a-year festival of celebration that brings together Muslims and Jews on the island of Jerba, dine at some of the country’s top restaurants, stay in 5* resorts, a restored palace in the Kasbah of Tunis and most importantly, meet Tunisians!

 Space is limited on this deluxe tour, but priced to provide excellent value and the passion of the tour itinerary’s designer, 7 time Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s “Top Travel Specialist” for Tunisia…Gil Travel’s own, Jerry Sorkin.

Join the Gil Travel Group in Tunisia!

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10 days | 9 nights | 9 touring days

Included services in our tour rates:

  • 9 nights accommodations
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • All sightseeing and cultural activities stated in the itinerary
  • Local English-speaking guides

Not included services in our tour rates:

  • International Airfare (please contact an agent: 1-800-223-3855)
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guide and driver
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry, souvenirs, toiletries, etc.)
  • Travel Insurance (Strongly Recommended)

Note: No credit/refund for any unused services.


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Day 1 - Tunis arrival
Monday, May 8

Upon your arrival in Tunis, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your beautiful seaside resort hotel in the seaside suburbs of Tunis. The location, on the Bay of Tunis and just minutes from Carthage and Sidi Bou Said, provides a wonderful setting to introduce you to the Mediterranean atmosphere.

Restaurant - Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said

The remainder of the afternoon is free for rest and relaxation from your flight. At 6:30PM, you rendezvous in the reception area of your hotel with your guide and enjoy an opening night dinner with your guide and traveling companions in a very enjoyable restaurant, introducing you to the joys of Tunisian cuisine.

Overnight in Tunis-Gammarth. (D)

Day 2 - Tunis environs
Tuesday, May 9
Bardo - Tunis

Bardo Museum

This morning, you start your day with a visit to the Bardo Museum, a former Ottoman palace housing one of the finest collections of Roman and Carthaginian mosaics in the world. This will help set the stage in learning about Tunisia’s history during Roman times.

From the Bardo, you return to the seaside suburbs of Tunis where you will visit Carthage, the most famous (though by no means the largest) of the ancient sites in Tunisia.

US War Cemetery - Tunisia

US War Cemetery

You will also have an opportunity to visit the US War Cemetery in Carthage, the only US war cemetery in North Africa and an opportunity to learn about World War II history in Tunisia, where many battles were fought.

Following your visit to the ruins of this ancient Phoenician city, you continue to the nearby picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said, where bougainvillea covered windows and where the architecture was inspired by its Andalusian settlers.

Lunch will be in a wonderful setting near the seaside.
Following Sidi Bou Said, return to your hotel for some leisure time, where you can enjoy the amenities of your hotel, including booking a spa. You group for dinner at 7PM in the reception area.

Overnight in Tunis-Gammarth. (B, L, D)

Day 3 - Northwest Tunisia
Wednesday, May 10

This morning you depart Tunis for the northwest part of the country, taking scenic, rural roads, with your first main destination being Bulla Regia. This well-preserved site has numerous examples of underground architecture, as well as mosaics, in situ.Bulla Regia

From Bulla Regia, you drive north southeast to Dougga, Tunisia’s largest Roman site. Covering some sixty acres, Dougga was known as the city of temples and its existence is thought to date back to the 4th century B.C. These ruins are among the best-preserved and most expansive in the world. You will have ample time to walk among the ruins, which provide a beautiful rural scenery.Bulla Regia

Following your visit to Dougga, you return to Tunis by early evening.

Overnight in Tunis-Gammarth. (B, L, D)

Day 4 - Tunis/Kairouan/El Jem/Tunis
Thursday, May 11
Kairouan - Tunis


You depart Tunis to go to the region of Kairouan, often referred to as Tunisia’s “Holy City” and site of the first mosque in Africa.

Following your touring of Kairouan, you drive some 65km southeast to El Jem to visit one of the largest and best preserved coloseums of the Roman Empire There is also a small, but excellent museum near the coloseum which you will visit, as well. Return to Tunis by early evening.

El Jem - Tunis

El Jem

Dinner in Tunis. (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Tunis
Friday, May 12
Le Grand Synagogue - Tunis

Le Grand Synagogue – Tunis

Today we visit the heart of Tunis, including the medina and what was the hafsia, the old Jewish quarter. Dinner tonight will be in La Goulette, another seaside town that is bustling with families and diners from around Tunis coming to enjoy the many seafood restaurants that line La Goulette’s main street. Formerly, a community mixed with Christians, Jews and Muslims, while many of the minority populations are now small in number, there remains a Catholic church, as well as a synagogue, both of which are still in use.

Dinner and overnight in Tunis. (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Tunis
Saturday, May 13
Sunset in Tunis

Sunset in Tunis

Today is a free day for you to relax at your seaside resort, order a massage, or explore some of Tunis on your own. Instructions will be provided as to how to get around on your own using taxis, a very economical and efficient means to explore metropolitan Tunis.

Rendezvous at the hotel in the evening and depart for dinner.

Overnight in Tunis. (B, D)

Day 7 - Island of Jerba and a special Jewish Festival
Sunday, May 14

This morning, you check out of your hotel and take a morning flight to the island of Jerba, (sometimes spelled: “Djerba”).

Ghriba Synagogue - Jerba

Ghriba Synagogue

Upon your arrival to Jerba, you start the day with an island tour of Jerba. The island has a special character. Included in your touring of the island is the Ghriba synagogue, one of numerous synagogues on the island of Jerba, where the Jewish community dates itself to over 2,000 years. Today is also the Jewish festival Lag B’omer, which comes once a year. It is celebrated in a unique way on the island of Jerba, which historically brought Jewish pilgrims from all over Tunisia and the region to the Ghriba synagogue on this day. Legend has it that the earliest Jewish arrivals came to Jerba more than two-thousand years ago and the foundation stones of the Ghriba or below the present structure.

Candle Lighting during Lag B'omer - Jerba

Candle Lighting during Lag B’omer

Participants will have the rare opportunity to witness this once a year celebration which still brings Jews from around Tunisia who are also joined by the non-Jewish population in the celebration. It is a festive event, with live music, lots of beer and grilling of kebobs and other Tunisian dishes. You will have plenty of time to watch, participate and mingle.

Your island tour eventually brings you to Houmt Souk, Jerba’s main market town which is Mediterranean in feel, small in scale and a great place for those who had been waiting to go shopping. The remainder of the afternoon is unstructured.

Dinner and Overnight in Jerba. (B, D)

Day 8 - Jerba/Tunis
Monday, May 15

hasdrubal-jerba-p1050220Your morning is free in Jerba to relax and enjoy your seaside resort hotel and/or return to Houmt Souk for more shopping. We will provide suggestions for lunch. Late afternoon return flight to Tunis.

Your hotel is a restored palace in the medina. It is the palace of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Tunisia. The palace is beautifully located in the oldest part of the medina of Tunis. This historic 18th century palace houses a rare collection of Iznik tiles. The property has hosted celebrities, journalists and international media since its recent inauguration. The property is an all-suite hotel. Dinner within the Kasbah.

Overnight in Tunis. (B, D)

Day 9 - Tunis
Tuesday, May 16
Medina - Tunis


This morning you will have an in-depth walking tour of the medina seeing some of the side streets and hidden palaces that are seldom seen. Lunch will be in a restaurant in the medina area that is seldom visited by tourists, overseen by its warm and hospitable host.

The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure to further explore the medina or enjoy walking among the many streets in the adjacent neighborhood of nouvelle-Tunis.

We rendezvous tonight for yet another special dinner in the heart of the Kasbah.

Overnight in Tunis. (B, D)

Day 10 - Departure from Tunis
Wednesday, May 17

Transfers will be arranged to take you to the airport for your return flight to the US via Europe. (B)

(B) Breakfast  (L) Lunch  (D) Dinner

Note: All itineraries are subject to change
* A minimum of 10 passengers is required for tour service.


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Click on the name of a hotel for more information

Hotel star ratings reflect Tunisia Ministry of Tourism ratings and may not be commensurate with international ratings. The narrative reviews are those of Gil Travel.

TunisGolden TulipLocated in the northern suburbs of Tunis, near the seacoast and less than ten minutes from Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and La Marsa, some 20 minutes from the heart of the city, the Golden Tulip is a deluxe hotel with beautiful interiors, spacious rooms, several restaurants, very nice spa and fitness club and architecturally, very attractive. Not on the ocean, but near the ocean and many nice suburban dining areas, on a hill overlooking the sea, five minutes from the ocean. The hotel also has an excellent fitness center on site, as well as two outdoor swimming pools. Service is nice, but not deserving of being classified as 5* service.
TozeurEldorador Ksar RougeOwned by the same French company that owns the Sangho Hotel in Tatouine, the Ksar Rouge provides comfort in a well-designed setting incorporating architectural styles indigenous to the oasis region. Very hospitable staff and setting.
JerbaHasdrubal Thalasso & SpaOne of Tunisia’s best managed hotels, the Hasdrubal Thalassa is also a nice change of pace from Jerba’s many very large hotels. The Hasdrubal Thalassa is architecturally very attractive, with very nice landscaping. Nice rooms and a very nice restaurant. Highly recommended for stays in Jerba.
KairouanLe KasbahBeautiful interiors both in the common areas and within the spacious guest rooms, utilizing Tunisian tile work and native handicrafts. Located within the heart of Kairouan with architecture that borrows one of the historic walls of the city. For dinner, there is a buffet restaurants, an “al la carte” restaurant, as well as a very nice coffee house. The service standards and the infrastructure are not that of a 5* hotel. Le Kasbah is the only hotel in Kairouan even approaching the standard of a nice hotel. However, our honest appraisal, constantly updated by client feedback is that the advertised “wi-fi” rarely works and is located in the lobby, clients have commented about the lack of place for shower hose, etc. This having been said, it is the best of Kairouan.
TunisDar Ben GhacemAn old, restored mansion on a quiet street within the medina, Dar Ben Ghacem’s owner, made every space within the property an esthetic nook. Antiques, Tunisia contemporary paintings and crafts are found throughout the property, thus making many spaces to enjoy, in addition to the individual rooms, each configured and decorated individually. There is also a rooftop terrace where clients can view the architecture of the medina. Breakfast is served with clients having the option to eat with others or find their own quiet spot…of which there are many. Excellent service…with a smile!
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