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 glorious scenic roads filled with gorgeous scenery and beautiful countryside vistas on route, perfect for the adventure motorcyclist
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
6 hours without stops
DAY 3 - ITALY TO GENOA PORT
As we ride away from the base of the Alps we make our way casually to Genoa where we will board our ferry around dinner time for the 24/30 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. Please ensure you pack some snacks and plenty of drinks as there may be delays and food and drink at the port may also be limited.
Ferry departs at 18.00 – Check in 16.00
3.5 hours riding without stops
DAY 4 - ARRIVE IN TUNISIA
Our arrival into Tunisia will be around dinner time, once we have passed through customs (which is often relatively swift), we will head for our hotel just outside the center of the city of Tunis this evening.
5 -20 miles
20 – 40 mins riding
DAY 5 - TUNIS TO EL JEM - SFAX
We start our ride south and after a quick blast on the Tunisian highway we arrive at 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 7 - RIDE TO TATAOUINE & DJERBA
We head further south today to our first port of call which 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 then to Djerba where we will be staying the evening and tomorrow is a rest day. The hotel is a 4/5* with pools and is near the beach.
7 hours riding without stops
DAY 8 - REST DAY
Today is a rest day. Put your feet up, relax, or go on an organised trip!
DAY 9 - SALT PLAINS
We head for Douz then we cross the massive flat Salt Lake of Chott El Jerid to reach Naftah where we will stay in a spa hotel. Whilst crossing the 50 mile long straight of the plains 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.
DAY 10 - KAIROUAN
First port of call is Omg Jamal, the Star Was set where the Phantom Menace was filmed deep in the heart of the desert. A tarmac road, often covered with sand in places takes us out to the middle of nowhere for a short time to view this incredible place. Then we head for the town of Sbeitla. Here we shall visit the remarkable Roman archaeological site of this town before continuing north to reach Kairouan where we stay for two nights in a lovely hotel to explore this UNESCO world heritage site
5 hours riding without stops
DAY 11 - DAY OFF THE BIKES TO EXPLORE
Take the opportunity to explore this amazing city
DAY 12 - SOUSSE AND MONASTIR
4 hours riding without stops
DAY 13 & 14 - TUNIS & CARTHAGE
Today, Carthage is a wealthy suburb of Tunis, its villas surrounded by gardens full of red hibiscus blossoms and purple bougainvillea. The scanty remains of the once mighty Phoenician city of Carthage lie scattered across the neighborhood. Despite their ruinous state, these UNESCO World Heritage Site remnants are one of the top things to do in Tunis and definitely worth a sightseeing trip from the central city to take in the atmosphere of a glorious, long-gone past and admire their beautiful setting backed by the sea.
DAY 14 - FERRY TO GENOA
DAY 15, 16 & 17 - HEAD FOR CALAIS
17 Days, 14th – 30th October 2019 (confirmed)SOLD OUT
|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