Day 1: Arrive Tunis. Land at Tunis International Airport under your own arrangements (We recommend the flights offered by British Airways from London Gatwick). On arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Accommodation: Stay for 3 nights at the Dar Said Hotel (Standard Room)/The Residence Hotel (Sea View Room).
Day 2: Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. Begin the day with a guided tour of the ruins of ancient Carthage. The fame of this ancient city and capital of an empire once resounded across the ancient world. Here Dido wept for Aeneas, Hannibal set forth to conquer Rome, and St Perpetua was tossed by bulls. Visits will include Byrsa Hill, the Tophet, the Punic Ports and Antonine Baths. Following lunch visit Sidi Bou Said, perched high on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the most picturesque villages in Tunisia.
Day 3: Bulla Regia and Dougga. Some of the greatest treasures of the Roman world lie inland from Tunis in what was the ancient province (and former kingdom) of Numidia. First visit Bulla Regia, once capital of the 2nd century Numidian king Micipsa, and see the well preserved Roman underground villas; then this afternoon continue to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dougga, and explore what are arguably the finest Roman ruins in Tunisia.
Day 4: Thuburbo Majus, Zaghouan, Arrive Kairouan. Today visit the Roman ruins of Thuburbo Majus, a fine example of a provincial African city, and the Temple of the Waters at Zaghouan, then continue to Kairouan; a city that was founded in 670 AD and is revered as the fourth holiest city in the Muslim world. This afternoon there will be a walking tour of historic souqs and monuments of Kairouan’s medina, and a visit to the Mosque of the Barber and Aghlabid pools lying outside the walls. Accommodation: Stay for 2 nights at the La Kasbah Hotel (Standard Room)/La Kasbah Hotel (Standard Room).
Day 5: Kairouan, Sbeitla. Continue your Kairouan sightseeing this morning with a visit to the fortress-like Great Mosque of Obka with its distinctive square minaret, then drive into the pre-desert to Sbeita. On arrival explore the extensive honey-coloured ruins of Roman Sufetula which include one of the most instantly recognisable views in the country: that of three well preserved Capitoline temples facing a Triumphal Arch of Marcus Aurelius.
Day 6: El Djem, Arrive Sousse. Drive to El Djem this morning to see the magnificent Roman amphitheatre. The structure is in a better state of preservation that the Coliseum in Rome and has huge outer walls rising to a height of three stories. El Djem’s museum, home to a magnificent collection of mosaics, is another highlight. Next, continue to the coastal city of Sousse, a town noted for its white sandy beaches and impressive walled medina. This afternoon explore Sousse’s UNESCO World Heritage listed old city and Ribat fortress. Accommodation: Stay for 2 nights at the Movenpick Resort & Marine Spa (Sea View Room)/Movenpick Resort & Marine Spa (Sea View Room).
Day 7: Mahdia and Monastir. Today, visit the scenic whitewashed town Mahdia located on a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. The town is named after Obaid Allah, the founder of the Fatimid dynasty known as the ‘Mahdi’, who moved his capital to Mahdia in 916. Further up the coast is medieval Monastir. On arrival, visit the Ribat fortress and Habib Bourguiba’s (the first President of Tunisia) impressive mausoleum with its 18 carat central golden dome, then return to Sousse.
Day 8: Hammamet, Nabeul, Kerkouane, Arrive Tunis. This morning there will be walking tour through Hammamet’s small but strikingly attractive medina, prior to continuing to Nabeul the centre of Tunisia’s colourful pottery industry. Next, drive to Kerkouane located near the tip of the Cape Bon peninsula. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is of supreme importance to archaeologists as it is the most complete example of a Punic (Carthaginian) settlement. Arrive Tunis late this afternoon. Accommodation: Stay for 2 nights at the Dar El Medina (Pageantry Room)/The Residence Hotel (Sea View Room).
Day 9: Tunis and The Bardo Museum. An immersion in medieval North Africa awaits you this morning when you visit the thronging souqs and grand monuments inside Tunis’s walled Medina. Discover the beautiful Zitouna mosque; the covered glittering gold souq; and the lavishly sculpted 18th century royal mausoleum, the Tourbet el Bey . After lunch in an beautiful old house, continue to Tunis’ famed Bardo Museum where a world class collection of brilliantly executed Roman mosaics and sculpture is on display.
Day 10: Farewell to Tunisia. Transfer to Tunis International Airport.
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