TUNISIA MOTORCYCLE TOUR
17 Day Motorcycle Tour of Tunisia. Discover this incredible country with your professional tour guide. Enjoy quiet roads and unspoiled scenery
Home of the ancient city of Carthage and film location for Star Wars the movie, Tunisia was once an important player in the Mediterranean, thanks to its location in the centre of North Africa, close to vital shipping routes but more importantly for us, it has stunning scenery and endless roads filled with gorgeous scenery and hidden oasis on route
Tunisia and Morocco are a couple of our favourite locations, with friendly welcoming locals who are willing to invite you into their home and drink tea with them, to friendly passers by who will stop and chat for a while or show a general interest in where you are going and what you are doing.
Tunisia is far more than just a magnet for hotel tourism, the lands that stretch throughout northern Africa are laden with intriguing archeological sites of interest. Scattered about the country are some of the most beautiful and incredible landscapes as well as some amazing cities and towns. Star Wars was filmed here also, the filming for the first three movies way back in the late 70’s and 80’s was carried out in Tunisia and the sets built and used for the filming still remain to be seen, as the sets were made on site and no one dismantled them.
Tunisia is just 80km from the furthest southern point of Italy and has had over the millennia always had very close relations with Italy. Some relations better than others, but nonetheless, Tunisia has been and always will be linked to Italy. Many of the historical sites in Tunisia are of Roman origin. Many of the modern agricultural settlements and civil engineering was brought to Tunisia by Italian entrepreneurs.
Tunisia offers a multitude of interesting sites, cities, towns, incredible scenery, ancient history that goes back to prehistoric times and reaches into the future having hosted the film sets of Star Wars.
Our motorcycle tour scrapes the northern rim of the Sahara desert. 95% of the tour is on good tarmac. We only occasionally leave the tarmac for compact gravel or sand to reach some of the oasis and Ksars.
Road conditions are generally good, but using a sports bike is not recommended, adventure style bikes are better suited for this tour to give you a more pleasurable experience!
The emphasis of this trip will be on exploring new roads and experiencing Tunisia through its landscape, culture and history as seen when traveling by motorcycle.
Itinerary is approximate depending on ferry times which are released early 2019 – Itinerary may change slightly to improve the tour experience
DAY 1 - CALAIS TO VOSGES
Approx 6 hours without stops
DAY 2 - VOSGES MOUNTAINS TO FURKA PASS
220 – 250 miles
6 hours without stops
DAY 3 - FURKA PASS TO GENOA PORT
Taking in the rest of the Swiss Alps we make our way casually to Genoa where we will board our ferry around dinner time for the 24 hour sailing across to Tunisia. You will be provided with a cabin and there is plenty of facilities on board. The crossing is usually calm as the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian sea’s are sheltered by bordering countries
4.5 hours riding without stops
DAY 5 - TUNIS TO EL JEM
We start our ride south and after a quick blast on the Tunisian highway, we reach the city of Sousse where there will be time to have a look at the Great Mosque of Sousse, a popular tourist attraction. We then continue and head for El Jem. This was a very important Roman settlement. Witness of this is the 2nd largest still standing Roman amphitheater in the world after the Colosseum in Rome, holding 35,000 seated spectators.
A masterpiece of ancient architecture and UNESCO heritage since 1979. We continue our descent to the south of Tunisia until we reach the city of Sfax in the evening.
4 hours without stops (Mosque and Amphitheater to see today!)
Motorway and A type roads, some hard dirt roads
DAY 6 - STAR WARS FILM SET
We head for Matmata today. After a visit to the troglodytes dwellings during late morning and to the Hotel Sidi Driss, the famous interior set for Star Wars, we continue further southwards towards Ksar Ghilane were we stay the evening in traditional dwellings in the desert. The accommodation is basic by functional for the next couple of nights as we are in the desert, this will be followed by two nights in a luxury hotel
4.5 hours riding without stops
Optional mountain trail road
DAY 7 - KSAR GHILANE
After an amazing ride through the canyons, our first port of call will be Ksar Ouled Soltane, the stunning architecture of Ksour rise up before you. Hidden away in the middle of nowhere, looking like huge rock-coloured beehives, these “desert castles” (“ksour” is the plural of “ksar”) were once meeting points for the region’s semi-nomadic people who stored their harvests there, safe from looters, in overlapping store rooms called “ghorfas”.
Next stop is Chenini where we visit the tombs of the seven dormants. The setting is amazing. We head back north to Matmata and follow the road to Ksar Ghilane where we return to our accommodation again and the gate to the Sahara. Basic, functional accommodation this evening
6 hours riding without stops
DAY 8 - TOZEUR
We spend the morning in Ksar Ghilane. You can enjoy sleeping in and a stroll on the dunes, or rent quad bikes to reach the abandoned foreign legion fort just outside of the oasis. You will be able to experience riding on sand without having the pain of getting bogged down in it.
We then head for Douz just before lunch. Then we cross the massive flat Salt Lake of Chott El Jerid to reach Tozeur, our new base for the next two nights. Whilst crossing the 50 mile long straight the colors, from white to pink of the salt formations, to the crystal clear blue sky, and the sheer vastness only capped by the northern mountains, make it an awesome straight line ride. We arrive at our luxury hotel in Tozeur, tomorrow is a rest day, so we are here for two nights. Enjoy!
4 hours riding without stops
DAY 9 - REST DAY
Rest day in Tozeur. You can shop in the souk and take a trip to Nefta. Nefta is a few km south of Tozeur and is the second most holy place in Tunisia after Kairouan. It has 24 ancient mosques and is set in a palm grove of 100,000 palm trees.
A loop ride through the mountain oasis of Chebika, Tamerza and Mides, set in some stunning mountains, is also possible if you wish or take time out to relax!
DAY 10 - KAIROUAN
We head north now out of the Sahara. Heading for the town of Sbeitla. Here we shall visit the remarkable Roman archaeological site of this town before continuing north to reach Kairouan
5 hours riding without stops
DAY 11 - TUNISIA
We ride to Tunis today the capital of Tunisia and give you the opportunity to relax the afternoon before catching our ferry back to Italy which leaves at 18.00
2 hours without stops
DAY 12 - RELAX - FERRY TO ITALY
DAY 13 - GENOA - SWISS ALPS
DAY 14 - REST DAY
DAY 15 - 17 - HEAD FOR CALAIS
13th – 29th October 2019 TBC
Why October? October is a cooler month to tackle Tunisia, any earlier and it is too hot, any later and we experience poor weather in Europe, so it’s an ideal time to go
|Solo rider sharing a twin room||Only £2,395|
|Rider and pillion sharing double or twin & Private cabin||Only £3,695|
|Solo rider with private room & Cabin||Only £2,995|
- 14 nights quality hotel accommodation (2 – 5* rating)
- 14 breakfasts provided
- Return overnight ferry crossing from Italy to Tunisia
- Overnight cabin on ferry (both ways)
- Eurotunnel return fare
- Daily GPS maps for a GPS device (Some Tom Tom and Garmin Sat Navs may need additional maps)
- Professional, advanced motorcyclist and first aider tour guide 24/7
- Full itinerary of the tour
- 1 x FREE evening meal during the tour
- 1 x FREE welcome drink on first night
- FREE Exclusive T-shirt and gifts
- Tolls or parking fees
- Border fees or Green cards
- Visa’s or entry fees
- Meals other than stated
- Meals onboard ferry
- Attraction / entry fees
IS IT SAFE?
Currently, Tunisia is statistically safer than what Europe has been in the last two years! Since July 2017, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) have retracted their advice to avoid travel to Tunisia, it is and has been for sometime a safe place to travel. Tourism in Tunisia accounts for their main source of income, without it they lose jobs and living conditions deteriorate. As such, the welcome you receive from the Tunisians is incredibly humble and hospitable.
Police and officials are very relaxed with British tourists and many will simply smile and welcome you to their country when moving through checkpoints that are scattered all over. As with any travel into countries that face risk from terrorism, vigilance is the key. There are areas advised by the FCO to avoid and these account for only 10% of our time in Tunisia in the south near Tataouine. However, if our security advisers inform us of any issues in the slightest, the route will be altered and the area avoided
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
The weather during the time of our tour is a comfortable 20 – 30 degrees centigrade. Being a desert region and the fact we will be visiting during the cooler months, temperatures are more than manageable. It can be dusty in places so it is advised to bring a bandana when riding in these areas as well as a hydration rucksack so you can have quick and easy access to water on the go
DO I NEED A VISA OR VACCINATIONS?
British passport holders don’t need a visa for visits of up to three months. On arrival, security checks are sometimes carried out on British passport holders who were not born in the UK. This can take a few hours and you will need to be patient until clearance is given. These types of checks rarely take place on departure.
There’s no provision for free medical attention for foreign nationals. All doctors’ fees, medication and hospitalisation in private clinics have to be paid for on the spot. These costs can be quite high. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. We strongly recommend checking your travel insurance policy or take a look at Holiday Safe motorcycle specific insurance
If you’re bringing prescription medicines, you must carry a note from your GP confirming that the medication has been prescribed for an existing condition. If you have any specific concerns about taking certain types of medication with you to Tunisia, contact the Tunisian Embassy in London or email us and we can look into this on your behalf
WILL I NEED SEPARATE MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE?
In Africa, most insurance companies in the UK do not cover you in the event of an accident, however, at the border we will obtain our green cards (or third party insurance papers) that will allow us to travel on third party insurance. Some UK insurance providers do provide an “add-on” for places such as north Africa but if they don’t, you will either need to source temporary cover or try Holiday Safe, our associate insurance providers
IS THIS TOUR ONLY SUITED TO ADVENTURE RIDERS?
No, however, we wouldn’t recommend you bring a sports bike. There are some dirt and compacted gravel roads but no “off roading” as such. You are required to bring a reliable well serviced motorcycle though of 500cc and above. An ideal choice would be an adventure style bike from 500cc upwards for comfort and reliability