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Moez Sghaier - Private Guide in Tunis

 Member Since 2009 

THE KSAR REGION & BERBER SOUTH: 2 Day Trip from Djerba

Culture and History tour in Djerba, Tataouine, Chenini, Douiret, Ksar Ouled Soltane, Matmata, Toujane

Tour Price : $315 Duration : 2 days Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Arabic Discount: $55 USD per person for groups with 10 persons or over

 

  THE KSAR REGION & BERBER SOUTH (2 days from Djerba)   (Cultural/Alternative)

A 2 Day Tour to the Ksar Region, to see the most splendid ksour and Berber villages of the region – including the most famous and undiscovered, off-the-beaten track places. This area is known as the  “Berber South” or the Land of the Ksars. This mountainous area is dotted with medieval ksour – monumental fortified granaries. Local tribes used these for storage and defence right up until the mid-20th century. Similar to beehives, each ksar is composed of a series of individual cells – ghorfas – superimposed on one another - some as high as 8 stories!  The region is scattered with these strange but magnificent monumental ksour from ancient times.

DAY 1: TATAOUINE – KSAR BENI BARKA – The MAZTOURIA LOOP – KSAR OUELED SOLTANE - DOUIRET

We depart from Djerba via the 6.7 km Phoenician causeway. We make a brief stop in the center of Tataouine, to buy our picnic supplies in the central market and visit a patisserie where horn of the gazelle” pastries are made - a local specialty. Our first stop is Ksar Beni Barka – perhaps the oldest and finest example of a mountain ksar. Although the ksar dates back to the 14th century, Beni Barka is known to have been inhabited since the 3rd century, during the Roman era. It originally had over 750 ghorfas, up to 4 storeys in height. On the lower slopes, one can see the abandoned troglodyte village – a once prosperous settlement in its time with 8 olive presses and 3 mosques; it was strategically located overlooking the Oued Zondag valley – the main route of the caravans which passed between Ghadames (Libya) and Gabes. A 15 minute ascent by footpath, leads us the monumental gateway  or skifa– in an excellent state of preservation. We spend some time exploring this massive complex and enjoying the breathtaking views.  We go off-the-beaten-track to discover the lesser known ksars and villages of the Maztouria Loop – with a series of 3 small ksour, all dating to different eras, from the 10th-18th centuries, and each one different from one another. Many of the ghorfas still have inscriptions and Amazigh symbols in situ. Next is Ksar Ouled Soltane, believed  to date to 1699 (or earlier) and once had over 300 ghorfas, 5 storeys in height (only 4 storeys exist today). In excellent condition, it was also shooting location for the Star Wars film series.

We continue to the ancient Berber hilltop village of Douiret. Some time to explore this  fascinating place, with its ancient mosques, and traditional rock-cut homes, and enjoy the spectacular views. 

Overnight in a charming B&B  in an ancient home with rock-cut rooms, on the slopes of the kela’a (citadel) of Douiret in either:

MEALS Included:  Picnic Lunch, Dinner (included at the hotel)

 DAY 2: DOUIRET – CHENINI – KSAR HADDADA – TOUJANE – MATMATA – DJERBA

This morning we visit the nearby hilltop Berber village of Chenini. Some time to explore the village with its rock-cut homes, olive presses and ancient mosques. To Ksar Haddada, the most famous ksar in the region – as it was an important film location for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. We drive northwards into mountains to Matmata, named after the Berber tribe which inhabited this area since at least the 16th century. We arrive at the village of Toujane, scattered across two sides of a deep gorge – the road flanked by 2 looming fortresses (kala’a) which once protected the medieval caravans. Ascending a pass of 585m above the plains, we then come to Matmata. The people here have traditionally lived in circular, underground pit dwellings carved out of the rock, complete with courtyards, kitchens and bedrooms. We visit a troglodyte home belonging to a local family and the most famous troglodyte dwelling (now Hotel Sidi Driss) which was used as a film set in the original Star Wars movie (1977).  

Return to Djerba in the early evening via the ferry at Ajim.

Meals Included: Breakfast at the hotel

Additional information

Tour information:
Tour Price: $315
Duration: 2 days
Group Size: 2 tourists
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Arabic
Tour package includes:
Airport Transfer :NO
Hotel pick-up:YES
Drop-off :YES
Tour Transportation (car, van, limo, boat, etc…):YES
Food and Drinks :NO
Other services (fees apply):
Attraction tickets (concerts, theater, museum, circus...) :NO
Translation services :NO
Reservations (hotels, restaurants, airline) :NO
Visa support :NO
Additional information:
This tour must be booked at least 7 days in advance of your travel date :YES
Tour groups must include a minimum of 2 passengers :NO
Tour prices are flexible and based on your requirements :YES
This Tour is Kid Friendly :YES
Attractions:Djerba