Tunisia Roman sites by Road

Oyibo

LE
Gentlemen, Ladies,

Can any of you shed light on travelling around Tunisia - I am planning a summer break there: Driving to Genoa, catching a ferry to Tunis, and spending about a week travelling around the place mostly looking at Roman sites. El Jem looks like a 'must'.

We'll be travelling in a hopelessly impractical car - 1938 design, no four wheel drive of course. Looking at staying in decent hotels, but would prefer ones with character, rather than the usual beach resorts or major chains.

My wife and I are both, err, well travelled, so know the usual rules about Islamic countries, and security issues. But we'd appreciate any tips (of pretty much any kind) about where to go and what to do (and of course, what to avoid).

Thanks in anticipation,

Oyibo
 

Emsav

RIP
RIP
Just make sure you are booked on the M/S Tanit NOT the M/S Carthage if sailing from Genoa (Gênes). The ferry from Marseilles is better by far - operated by a French crew. PM me - can possibly assist you.
 

Oyibo

LE
Many thanks Emsav - Marseilles is probably easier for me, an I have driven there before (and my Italian is crap, but my French passable).

PM to follow shortly.
 
Many thanks Emsav - Marseilles is probably easier for me, an I have driven there before (and my Italian is crap, but my French passable).

PM to follow shortly.
Found this old thread while searching for something else; did you go @Oyibo? I found the drive to El Djem well worth the trouble, but was very thankful that rather than being in my own vehicle, I was in a hire car (which of course are all 4WD and sports suspension).
 

Oyibo

LE
Found this old thread while searching for something else; did you go @Oyibo? I found the drive to El Djem well worth the trouble, but was very thankful that rather than being in my own vehicle, I was in a hire car (which of course are all 4WD and sports suspension).
Afraid not - I went to Corsica instead. Given what you said about the roads, it's probably a good thing as my only car at the time was a Morgan.

Still want to go though.
 
Afraid not - I went to Corsica instead. Given what you said about the roads, it's probably a good thing as my only car at the time was a Morgan.

Still want to go though.
I can't remember what it was we were driving, but even at low speed, I was getting a concussion injury from the number of times my bonce bounced off the roof. The Roman amphitheatre at El Djem is epic though! We made two trips to Tunisia in the early 2010s, and from an historical sight-seeing POV, were well worth it. Unfortunately the security situation there now has taken it off our list of destinations. Corsica though, is a place we really enjoy, and will return to again.
 
Last edited:
I can’t offer any advice on transport, but do second the advice on El Jem. There are also some spectacular sites in Carthage.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
I used to run 'Adventure' trips to Tunisia amongst other destinations, El Jem is great but there are lots of Roman ruins and artefacts scattered all over the country. There is an Oasis at Ksar Ghilane with a Roman fort (Kisavar) nearby, there's also the Zaghouan aquaduct, which is / was one of the longest Aquaducts the Romans built.
 
I worked on an archaeological project at Lamta (Roman city of Leptiminus), but there’s not a lot to see above ground. That said, the beach there was worth a visit for the remains of the Roman guarum vats. In its heyday it was a major producer of the stinky fish sauce.

There was a decent local museum with a selection statues, mosaics and artefacts, and every other town seemed to have something similar.
 
I've got some bad news I'm afraid, the Roman empire ceased trading in 476 so you won't be able to get into any of them sites, they'll all be boarded up.
 

Oyibo

LE
I've got some bad news I'm afraid, the Roman empire ceased trading in 476 so you won't be able to get into any of them sites, they'll all be boarded up.
Why weren't we told? That's a disgrace.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
I've got some bad news I'm afraid, the Roman empire ceased trading in 476 so you won't be able to get into any of them sites, they'll all be boarded up.
That explains the lack of maintenance!
1590706510574.jpeg


Kisavar fort, Ksar Ghilane is in the tree line at XIII o'clock
 

Oyibo

LE
That explains the lack of maintenance!
View attachment 477462

Kisavar fort, Ksar Ghilane is in the tree line at XIII o'clock
That's exactly the type of place I'd love to see - It really gives an insight into how life must have been for the soldiers
 

Oyibo

LE
Didn't you ever stay at Montgomery lines ?
Yup! Until moving to New Normandy Barracks. I must say that the Roman barracks look far more agreeable and better built than Montgomery Lines. The Roman barracks are still standing (somewhat) as well!
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
That's exactly the type of place I'd love to see - It really gives an insight into how life must have been for the soldiers
It's a long way to go, you'd need to like driving - and sand, and beer, you really need to like beer...
Excuse No.2 Son in the photo...
1590707303540.jpeg


1590707328514.jpeg


1590707346210.jpeg
 
I don't see a gift shop or a caff, where you going to get a " I visited ancient Rome " tea towel or some Gladiator Fudge ?
 

Oyibo

LE

Oyibo

LE
I don't see a gift shop or a caff, where you going to get a " I visited ancient Rome " tea towel or some Gladiator Fudge ?
At the top of the sand dune. There's also an ATM there
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
I don't see a gift shop or a caff, where you going to get a " I visited ancient Rome " tea towel or some Gladiator Fudge ?
Here's the mobile shop just about to embark at Marsailles, think they must have had engine trouble because we got there a while before they did
1590708212112.jpeg
 

Latest Threads

Top