Kairouan old town
The city of Kairouan, known for its oriental-style old town, is located in the central, northeastern area of Tunisia about 150 km southwest of Tunis and is the capital of the governorate of the same name. Its old town was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 1988 and, with its numerous mosques, lively markets and winding alleys, is a stage destination for trips through Tunisia and the destination of many a study trip. However, after 2010, Kairouan has also developed into a Salafist stronghold.
The main mosque – the symbol of Kairouan
Other mosques, such as Al-Ansar, which dates back to the 7th century and is the oldest in the city, or the three-gate mosque, which has a richly decorated facade, are further witnesses of former Islamic architecture.
Markets, graves and a fountain
With the Sunday market, one of the once numerous markets in the area of the old town has survived the transition into modern times. Today’s market in Kairouan, which is atypical for oriental-Islamic cities and not near the main mosque, consists mostly of vaulted alleys and can be closed by 16 gates.
Among the surviving grave sites, the one projecting the Prophet Mohammed out. Also known as the “Barber’s Mosque”, it can be reached through a Turkish-style corridor.
Finally, it is worth visiting the Rūṭa fountain on a trip to Kairouanto pay a visit. This city fountain was built around the year 800, long before canals and large cisterns stored the water coming from the mountains in the 10th and 11th centuries and were used to supply the 100,000 inhabitants.
Monastir old town
The gateway to Tunisia
The Tunisian Monastir is located on the southernmost part of the Gulf of Hammamet. Located 165 km south of Tunis, the city is one of the most important ports in Tunisia, an important university city and, last but not least, the country’s most important tourist center.
Monastir is one of the first Arab settlements to be established in the Ifrīqiya region (Tunisia, East Algeria, Tripolitania). The city was built on the ruins of the ancient town of Ruspina, which was an important base for Roman campaigns. In the Middle Ages, Monastir developed into a mystical refuge with the construction of the Ribat, an Islamic fortress monastery. The historical and cultural importance of the city can still be felt today.
The Ribat is one of the most fascinating sights in Monastir. One of the oldest fortifications in North Africa, the structure towers over the city and offers a wonderful view over the coast and the old town. In the upper area of the fortress there is now a remarkable Museum of Islam, which, among other things, exhibits rare papyrus scrolls and old Koran manuscripts. In addition to the Ribat, the Bourguiba mosque and the mausoleum of the Bourguiba family are particularly worth a visit.
Above all, Monastir’s old town Medina combines modernity with history. It impresses with its narrow streets and old houses, which gives it its very own atmosphere. To experience this in a special way, you can take a horse-drawn carriage through the large old town area.
But trips to Monastir also offer many opportunities for modern tourism tastes. White beaches, luxury hotels and active sports opportunities allow a wide range of design options. The climate is balanced almost all year round, but the best travel times are between June and September.
Monastir opens up a fascinating world between modernity and history to the traveler. Especially the old town Medina lives from this contrast and invites you to explore. Due to the historical significance, interesting study trips are also offered here, which can easily be combined with a relaxing holiday.
Mountain oasis in Tunisia
Chebika is an oasis at the foot of the Djebel el Negueb mountains in Tunisia. It was once a Roman outpost, but later became a place of refuge for the Berbers who, in addition to dry farming, also ran oasis farming here. Today only a few hundred people live in this area, which is close to the border with Algeria. Many scenes from the popular films “Star Wars Episode IV” and “The English Patient” were filmed in this region.
Chebika is located about 50 kilometers from the city of Tozeur. From here, tourists can plan regular tours to Chebika by four-wheel drive vehicles. On arrival in Chebika, visitors are usually taken by local guides on foot to the small waterfalls that flow through narrow gorges. The water enables the cultivation of palm trees. The lush green of the palm trees between extraordinary rock formations provides impressive views and attracts many visitors who stop here on bus trips through the south of Tunisia. Vacationers should take their time to gaze at the river that flows from the rocks and waters the palm trees.
After a subsequent ascent to the mountain, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surroundings, the oasis and the salt desert of Chott El Jerid. No wonder Chebika is also a popular hiking area. Advanced hikers can also undertake multiple mountain tours while staying overnight in tents.