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Well-trained horsemen perform at the Festival of the Sahara in Tunisia. Photos by Sony Stark.
festival of the sahara

Read More about Tunisia on GoNOMAD

The Festival of the Sahara: Galloping Stallions, Camel Wrestling and Rabbit Chases

Here in America, the circus keeps audiences at bay under big tents and atop tall grandstands. But in Tunisia, festivals encourage visitors to submerge themselves in the experience by staying close to the action.

Every December, two dusty towns in the inhospitable southern region of Tunisia, far from the Mediterranean Sea or the rainy hills of the northwest, share festivals dedicated to oasis life. Tozeur and Douz, about 65 miles apart, schedule festivals back-to-back to honor their ancient history of nomadic life, camel caravans and traditional music.
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Tunisia's El Ghriba Festival: A Journey of Understanding

The island of Djerba, floating off the southeast coast of Tunisia, is a popular destination for relaxing in a traditional hammam, grilling your body on a sandy beach or haggling over handmade Andalusian pottery.

Few realize that only a few miles away is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world; some say it dates back 2,500 years to time of King Nebuchadnezzar.Read more

Hollywood's North African Mirage: Seeing Beyond "Casablanca"

Ksar Soltane
Ksar Soltane.

Whether creating the fictional planet of Tatooine for "Star Wars," the legendary dunes of "Lawrence of Arabia," a romantic adventure for "The English Patient," or a Roman coliseum for the recent blockbuster, "The Gladiator," the desert sands and colorful cities of North Africa have long been favorite locations for Hollywood's dreamweavers.

Perhaps it's the light--dry, clear and bright--that attracts filmmakers. Or maybe it's the varied landscape--moonlike wastelands, towering sand dunes, lush, palm-filled oases and snow-capped mountains--that creates any cinematic geography, real or imagined.Read more

Tunisia Will Seize Ya

Sidi Bou Bay view
Sidi Bou Bay view.

Parts of Tunisia out-Greeks Greece and out-Romes Italy, white-washed houses trimmed in blue, cascading down to the translucent Mediterranean at Sidi Bou, practically a suburb of Tunis. Meanwhile the world’s best-preserved Roman ruins and mosaics pepper the country like polka-dots.

Plus the locals are friendly, secular Muslims better acquainted with form-fitting denim than the scarves called "odious rags" by the Tunisian President. Read more

Read More GoNOMAD stories about Tunisia:

Tunisia's El Ghriba Festival: A Journey of Understanding

Traveling Tunisia: Exotic Souks, Ancient Ruins and Star Wars Villages
Tunisia Photo Gallery
Desert Driving: A Guide to Overlanding the Sahara
Festival of the Sahara in Douz: Tunisia's Legendary Event
Sleep Like a Sheik in Tunisia: Pansea Ksar Ghilanek
Star Wars Slumbers: Sidi Driss Hotel, Matmata, Tunisia
Savoring a Saharan Spectacle: The International Festival of the Sahara, Douz, Tunisia

Explorer Guide: Tunisian Sahara


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