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Overview

An awe-inspiring journey

Embark on an extraordinary trip to Tunisia, a legendary land packed with ancient historic treasures of profound cultural and religious significance. We’ll stroll through such outstanding archaeological sites as the extensive ruins of the Roman town of Dougga; the remains of the often-besieged seaside capital city of Carthage; the superbly preserved Roman amphitheater of El Djem; and the medina of Tunis, with its maze of mosques, monuments, palaces, fountains and shops.

Joined by professor Abbas Milani we’ll also have a chance to discuss with local contacts the Jasmine Revolution that began in Tunisia in 2011 and sparked the Arab Spring.

Dates

March 20–April 3, 2023

Duration

15 days

Price

From $8,595 per person

Trip size

26 participants

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Abbas Milani

Iranian Studies

An expert on Iranian studies, Abbas Milani has illuminated the cultures, politics and societies of countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and northern Africa for scores of Stanford travelers.

“This is our second trip with Abbas. We decided to go on the Emirates trip mostly because of him. He's knowledgeable, accessible and compassionate.”

— John White, ‘66

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Itinerary

Roman ruins, seaside villages and history in the making

On this in-depth exploration of Tunisia, visit a total of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, covering the Phoenician, Roman and Islamic periods. Journey from northern Tunis inland to the magnificent oasis of Tozeur, located on the edge of the Sahara, and then to Djerba on the southern coast.

  • Tunis, Tunisia

    Arrive in Tunis and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner of local specialties at our hotel.

    Accommodations:

    Dar El Jeld Hotel

    Included meal: Dinner
  • Carthage and Sidi Bou Said

    This morning tour the extensive archaeological digs around legendary Carthage. After lunch, visit the lovely, whitewashed village of Sidi Bou Said, overlooking the Gulf of Tunis and a source of inspiration to generations of artists. Also stop at the former palace of Baron d’Erlanger, a showcase of Moorish architecture with an acclaimed collection of North African musical instruments.

    Accommodations:

    Dar El Jeld Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Dougga and Bulla Regia

    Archaeology dominates the day as we head west to the hillside town of Dougga, site of impressive Roman ruins, complete with temples, theaters, baths, residential quarters, warehouses and cisterns. After lunch continue to the ruined city of Bulla Regia, known for its unique underground Roman villas, where recently uncovered mosaics are said to be the finest in situ mosaics in the world. Return to Tunis in the evening.

    Accommodations:

    Dar El Jeld Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Tunis Medina

    This morning walk through the Old Town of the capital with its mosques, palaces and lively bazaars. Dine on a lunch of local specialties in a former mansion of the medina, then enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. This evening we meet a local journalist who shares firsthand experiences of the Jasmine Revolution and discusses the revolution’s origins and its effect on today’s Tunisian society.

    Accommodations:

    Dar El Jeld Hotel

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tunis / Cap Bon / Sousse

    Depart Tunis this morning for our drive to Sousse. En route, stop in Bon Cap, the African continent’s northernmost point, to visit Kerkouane, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Africa’s only ruins of a Phoenician city. Then head south along the picturesque coastline to the wine region of Bou Argoub, where we taste grand crus at a chateau dating back to Tunisia’s French colonial era.  Continue to Sousse, idyllically situated on the Mediterranean Sea and famous for its 11th-century kasbah.

    Accommodations:

    Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Port El Kantaoui

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Sousse and El Djem

    Tour the lively medina this morning and later visit the Sousse Archaeological Museum, famed for its superb collection of mosaics. After lunch in the city, venture to well-preserved El Djem, a 3rd-century Roman amphitheater—the largest in Northern Africa and comparable to the Roman Colosseum.

    Accommodations:

    Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Port El Kantaoui

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Sousse / Kairouan

    Travel inland today to Kairouan, formerly the Arab capital of all Northern Africa and still one of Islam’s most sacred sites. Visit the Great Mosque, the oldest religious monument still in use in North Africa, and the Barber's Mausoleum, an example of Andalusian architecture. Also see the 9th-century Aghlabid Basins, one of the most astounding hydraulic systems in the Islamic world. After lunch, take a stroll through the medina, stopping at Bir Barouta, a camel-driven well and the city’s oldest, dug in 796 CE.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel La Kasbah Kairouan

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Kairouan / Tozeur

    Today we depart for our journey to Tozeur, located deep in Tunisia’s interior, on the edge of the Sahara. Along the way, stop in Sbeitla to visit the ruins of Sufetula, a well-preserved ancient Roman city. Explore the temples, arches and bath complexes and marvel at the Byzantine mosaics that still adorn multiple basilicas in the complex. After lunch, continue our drive to Tozeur.

    Accommodations:

    Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Mountain Oases

    Spend the morning exploring the unique mountain oases of Chebika, Tamerza and Mides in the Djebel el Negueb hills along the Algerian border. Return to Tozeur for lunch, with free time to relax at our hotel. Later this afternoon, transfer to the filming site of the first Star Wars movie to witness sunset over the Sahara and enjoy a private dinner under the stars.

    Accommodations:

    Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tozeur and Oasis Culture

    This morning, stroll through Ouled El Hadef, Tozeur’s 14th-century medina, where uniquely constructed buildings present beautiful brick patterns. Afterward, take a horse buggy ride into the Tozeur oasis, Tunisia’s largest, where we learn about oasis culture as we enjoy a private lunch accompanied by traditional southern folklore. Enjoy leisure time this afternoon.

    Accommodations:

    Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tozeur / Djerba

    Depart early this morning to cross the great salt lake Chott el Djerid, an immense flat stretch of white that gives rise to desert mirages. Stop for lunch in the hilly region of Matmata with its dozens of giant wells used as dwellings by local Berbers, who dug them ages ago to escape the desert’s heat. The giant pits were later featured in the original Star Wars. Continue east to the southern coast and travel by ferry to the idyllic island of Djerba with its mix of Muslim, Berber and Jewish communities.

    Accommodations:

    Radisson Blu Palace

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Foum Tataouine

    Head outside the city to the region of Foum Tataouine to see the Berber settlements that are fortified with stacked ghorfa (vaulted rooms used for grain storage) built atop outcrops of rock. Highlights include Chenini, the south’s most picturesque ruins and the nearby Cave of the Seven Sleepers; Ksar Ouled Soltane, the restored ruins of a 15th-century ksar (fortress) once featured in Star Wars; and the 11th-century Ksar Kedim, with its mysterious geometrical bas-reliefs.

    Accommodations:

    Radisson Blu Palace

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Djerba / Tunis

    This morning, visit the Hara Seghira Synagogue, one of the oldest, holiest Jewish monuments in North Africa and today a site of a major annual pilgrimage. Continue to Guellala, the cradle of pottery on the island, and see the fashioning of terra cotta vessels at a local workshop. Then drive to the island’s main town of Houmt Souk in time for its weekly outdoor market. After lunch, transfer to the Tunis airport for our flight back to Tunis and enjoy dinner on our own.

    Accommodations:

    Four Seasons Hotel Tunis

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • The Bardo

    Spend the morning exploring the immense National Bardo Museum, situated in a former palace of the Bey of Tunis in the suburb of Le Bardo. The museum is world-renowned for its archaeological and Islamic collections, including exceptional Roman mosaics. After lunch on our own and time at leisure, gather for a panel of guest speakers who will discuss Tunisia’s political, economic and social issues. Return to the medina this evening for a festive farewell reception and dinner.

    Accommodations:

    Four Seasons Hotel Tunis

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Tunis / Home

    Transfer to the Tunis airport for flights home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

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Pottery of Tunisia

Pricing

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The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

old ruins of dwellings down a cobblestone path

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