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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Ancient Carthage & Desert Oases TN

Visiting: Tunisia
Tour Duration 12 Days
  • Tunis
  • Kairouan Mosque
  • Carthage
  • Tozeur
  • Sahara
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Busy
  • Tour Comfort: Standard

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10 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Ancient Carthage & Desert Oases tour available at present.

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6 Richard Boyd, 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The Roman remains, not simply El Jem, but also Sbeitla and Dougga.

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8 Paul Littlewood , 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Mainly watching life go by from the bus window. I also enjoyed the stand-out hotels that Explore sorted out, mainly the one in Suchitoto and Granada. The last day in Sarapiqui was great, being in the jungle, gorgeous river running by, and sleeping in the jungle.

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8 , 30/09/13


Peter Lawless

Tour Name

Ancient carthage and Desert Oases

Tour Code


What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The ancient colosseum of El Jem, exploring the underground passage ways that were used to hold animals, gladiators was very impressive. The archaeological Museum at El Jem houses an impressive collection of mosaics, more intimate than the Bardo, it's laid out in the style of a Roman villa. The fish Market in the medina in Sfax is quite something.

Tour Leader Name


How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Excellent organiser, always went out of his way to make sure everyone on the trip had a good time.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Take a torch, be careful of your packs and belongings when walking through the medinas. Two of the hotels had swimming pools. Try the hamman at Tozuer 5 mins walk from the hotel: 2 Dinars to get in and 5 for a massage and defoliation - a great experience. Exchange your money at the airport, it's the same exchange rate; I exchanged £200 - more than enough. Most of the hotels had free Wi-Fi. The food is good. Try the Harissa (spicy chilli paste) served as an appetiser. The Brik, I have never seen it before, is deep fried pastry filled with egg and various other fillings.

10 , 15/08/13


David Reynolds

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The Roman towns towards the end of the holiday- Sufetla, Bulla Regia and Dougga.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Ahmed was an excellent guide. He looked after us non-stop and was full of information. I was surprised that he didn't joon us for meals, but preferred to sit with the driver separately.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

If you like Roman remains and some sun close to home out-of-season, this is the holiday for you. Be prepared to keep on the go. We had only two two-night stops and sevfen one-night stops, and we were on the coach for hours, but the pace was acceptable,m with some late starts. Be carfeul with your camera in the desert. At least two of our party had cameras that failed because of sand getting in them.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

A less exotic but more accurate title for the tour might be "A coach trip round Tunisia". You don't see much of Carthage because there isn't a lot of it left. The Carthaginian naval base is interesting, though. The hotels were OK and the meals out cost less than the trip notes suggested. The food became predictable. If you're not comfortable with barely cooked eggs, beware of the "briks" that frequently appear on the menu. The underground hotel was extremely basic. It gets away with it only because it's underground nd therefore "interesting". The Roamn remains are something special, as are the two museums full of mosaics.

Our Response

Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry you saw this as something of a coach trip – there is a lot of travelling, caused by the geography of Tunisia – it’s a long thin country, so it is a bit of a journey from one end to the other. We’ve noted your comments on the underground hotel too – yes we agree it’s basic, but it tends to be listed as a highlight by many customers, due to its quirkiness.

10 Helen Worsley, 29/10/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

I could not pick out one place or event as it was all excellent. Sfax did not have as much to offer but you have to stop somewhere en route south.

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0 Mike, 18/11/11
My wife and I went at a strange time for the Tunisian tourist industry.  Our holiday was taken in  September 2011 after the ‘Arab Spring’ and just before Tunisia’s general elections.  Consequently it made tourists nervous and so we found ourselves in a country, practically devoid of tourists – that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it felt strange to go to sites and stay at hotels with no other tourists around.  So, this review is written in the context that there was no hustle and bustle at the tourist spots we went to, although on the flipside, various tourist attractions were closed to lack of numbers eg The Red Lizard Train. Anyway, accommodation wise, it was all very good.  Nothing salubrious, nothing too basic, but always mostly with a bit of character.  Having said that the ‘cave hotel’ was on every bodies memory list as being something that was totally different from other hotels.  Shared bedrooms (male and female separate) and shared bathroom facilities.  The hotel is situated in Matmata, which felt a very isolated place to stay at.There was also a thermal swimming pool at one of the more posher hotels we stayed at (can't remember where). It was lovely and warm with an equally lovely thin coating of slime around the pool edges - that's as a result of the minerals in the water and not due to it not being cleaned. Thoroughly recommended. Food wise, the cheapest meals we were able to get were in Tunis 7 TD for a 3 course meal which is roughly £3.50.  Elsewhere, expect to pay about 12 – 15 TD for 2 courses.  Strangely (well, it was to me) you could have chips in every restaurant.  Restaurants were easy to find except in Matmata, where a meal is provided as part of the tour.  Having said that, there’s not much choice in the number of restaurants available (except in Tunis), but what there is available is perfectly satisfactory, although watch out for ants falling from the ceiling in the restaurant directly opposite the hotel in Tozeur.  It was an isolated incident, but just added a bit of extra entertainment at the meal table! Excursion wise I think everybody agreed that the 4WD trip to Star Wars was a great one to go on, particularly the dune busting bit!   We’ve been to many Roman ruin sites in other countries, but hadn’t expected to see underground Roman houses – definitely a first for me and well worth visiting – it’s on the agenda anyway and I believe that's in Bulla Regia. Tunisians were very friendly to us – stopping their cars to let us cross the road, when they didn’t have to, were nice gestures throughout Tunisia, although don’t expect that to happen in Tunis. All in all, the holiday was one of the best we’d been on – made all the better because it was one of the cheapest 12 days holidays we’d been on, but most of all because of the group we travelled with got on so well. There were some good people in our group, that allowed each other to have their own time when they needed to but coalesced as a group again when the occasion warranted it. (TN - 20th Spetember 2011)
0 R and P, 14/06/11
An excellent trip with a variety of experiences. Although the people of Tunis seemed to be somewhat reseved, elsewhere the Tunisians were very friendly and helpful. We "lucked into" being invited to an engagement party in Sfax...wonderful experience. We had no idea of the extent of the ancient ruins in Tunisia until we took this trip. If you want a history/cultural experience with some great scenery along the way, you should consider this tour. Highlights for us: The wonderful El Djem and Sbeitla ruins; the view across the fertile valley at the Dogga site; the very nice towns of El Kef and Kairouan, the incredible mosaics (in a number of locations), the beauty of the Barber's Mosque. The camel ride was good. Of the "optional" trips the Mountain Oasis was good (and nice scenery) and the "Star Wars" tour was reasonable. Optional tours can be a bit expensive depending upon how many people want to go (to share a vehicle). Our Explore guide was excellent and the Tunisian guide was a powerhouse of knowledge and had a keen sense of humour. Together they were a great "guiding" team.   A great tour; we really enjoyed it! (TN - 12th April 2011)
0 EW, 17/05/11
This was a fantastic trip and it's a shame that more than half of the people originally booked to travel decided to cancel - their loss. There were very few tourists (except for a handful of French) so we generally had the sites to ourselves and the locals were glad to see us. Wherever we went people were greeting us and thanking us for visiting their country.     4 months on since the Revolution in Tunisia people were optimistic about the future.    The Roman sites were exceptional and all had something different to offer. The local guide was absolutely fantastic and very knowledgeable and the local tour company used by Explore couldn't have been more helpful.     One of the previous reviewers mentioned pickpockets on the tram - the itinerary has now been changed so that the group minibus takes you to the Bardo museum, instead of public transport. The only public transport we used was to get to Sidi Bou Said and although you do need to be alert on the packed train, it was really no different from being on a packed underground train in London.     This was a fascinating and well balanced tour and I really recommend it. Don't be put off by the fact that they recently had a Revolution - tourism is a big part of the Tunisian economy and they need to get back up and running. (TN - 12th April 2011)
0 Peter Growns, 18/11/10

The best thing about the holiday were the Roman ruins, both the colosseum of El Djem and Dougga.  The latter stunningly situated on a hill overlooking the surrounding plains. 

The overnight stay in the troglodyte hotel was also certainly not an experience to be missed.  As for advice for future travellers, wear a money belt for the trip in Tunis to/from the Bardo Museum because they will almost certainly be attempts at pick-pocketting on the trams to/from the museum.  Almost everyone had an attempt made upon them and although I had nothing stolen, all my security pockets on shirts / trousers had been unzipped and/or unbuttoned.  It was not a very good start to the trip, but the rest of the trip was superb and more than made up for that first morning.  All round, an excellent holiday. (TN -15th October 2010)

0 Liam Curran, 21/09/10
Seeing the almost complete "ruins" of the 3rd biggest Roman amphitheatre ever built was awe inspiring. To think of the "games" that used to be held there was daunting. (TN- 1st April 2010)
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