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The Sahara Desert seems to have always been there. This portion of land covered with reddish sand remains unmoved by the passage of time, reasserting nature in its primeval state, resisting the presence of man nearly everywhere—except at a few oases. Everything else is of the desert. This is an incredible travel experience that will last for many years in the pupils and the memory of travelers entering the Sahara.

South of the western edge of Tunisia, acting as a border with the desert, the cracked clay of Chott el Djerid stretches over 100 kilometers. With the passage of time, some of the water sources in this area became rivers and, aided by man, wherever water was more plentiful and near the arid mountains, settlements began to form such as the oasis of Chebika, surrounded by the characteristic vegetation of these zones. The city of Douz, right on the edge of the desert, seems to be struggling against the sand dunes, while dromedaries await the arrival of tourists for an adventure they will not forget.

Nearly on the Mediterranean shoreline, the region of Tataouine is crossed by desert plateaus and many valleys with villages literally hanging from the mountainous walls, for instance Toujane. Further north we find homes carved in stone around Matmata and its strange setting. Rooms and entire dwellings are carved out underground, seemingly piling up in an incredible labyrinth of impossible passages and stairwells.

Going south, the source of Ksar Ghilane is barely a faint murmur amidst the agitated voices around it. A white town with a nearly military distribution welcomes travelers at this obligatory stop for those wishing to face the desert. This old garrison commands a view of the dunes and was used to protect goods from the frequent raids of earlier ages. Today, for many, it serves as a first point of contact with the Sahara, either as a way of knowing oneself or simply as the beginning of an adventure. In any event, Ksar Ghilane will not leave you unchanged.

But Berbers not only live on sand and rocks. The huge oasis of Tozeur, one of the largest in the country, is well appreciated in this region dedicated almost exclusively to cultivating dates. It is truly a haven of peace and vegetable calm, nurtured by its waters. The railway is the best option for those wishing to visit the mountains in the north of the region. The wooden train, which bears the name of Le Lézard Rouge, meanders along the gorges of the Oued Seldja and opens your view to sunny landscapes amidst the cliffs, taking you back one hundred years to the early 20th century.

 

Spending the night: Dusk and dawn are the two most important times of day in the desert. In between you can enjoy a starry night in a Berber tent. You can stay as long as you wish and can afford, also depending on how spectacular the offer may be.

 

“The hotels of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Tunisiaoffer you a calm or adventure-filled vacation by the Sahara Desert, always with great comfort and complete services for our guests to fully enjoy their stay in Tunisia.”