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Détente et joie

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L'été s'annonce !!!

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LA TUNISIE A LA CARTE

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LA TUNISIE A LA CARTE

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BETWEEN RUINS IN 15 DAYS

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DNT TTC
Sun Plus Day One Arrival to tunis carthage airport . meeting with the guide and drive to the selected 4 stars hotel in tunis , Accommodation and diner. Day Two breakfast at the hotle and Morning visit to the world-famous Bardo Museum, full of colourful mosaics with lively detailed scenes of Roman life, and mythology. Study a section of the Carthage aqueduct at Jebel Oust, where the water channel emerges from ground level to be carried on graceful arches across the Oued Meliane. Continue to the nearby ruined city of Oudna, once one of the largest in North Africa, but only now being excavated and displayed for visitors. Day Three A whole day spent exploring Carthage. Although the remains of the once-great city have been overlain by Tunis, substantial areas of excavation allow fascinating glimpses of the past. We see the Byrsa hill excavations and museum of the city; the tophet where the cremated remains of thousands of children were buried and dedicated to the gods; the harbours; baths; wealthy houses; amphitheatre and water cisterms which received water from the aqueduct. By the end of the day you will be able to piece together a picture of a huge and magnificent city, and its transition from Punic to Roman capital. Day Four Drive east to the fertile Cap Bon peninsula and the Punic settlement at Kerkouane. This was destroyed during the 2nd Punic War, and not overbuilt, so provides a rare glimpse of life in North Africa before the Romans. Continue to Nabeul to see the newly redisplayed museum, which has some very fine mosaics from wealthy houses found nearby. We also visit the site of these houses, and the extensive garum production tanks, for making the uniquitous sauce made of fermented fish, which lie beside the sea. Day Five Drive to Dougga, perhaps the most famous site of Roman Tunisia. The beautiful golden capitol dominates, but there are many more temples, wellpreserved houses and baths, and the presence of Numidian tombs emphasises the native beginnings of the town. Terraced into a hillside with sweeping views of the Tell, this is a wonderful situation. Day Six Bulla Regia to explore houses with underground rooms, some of them with wonderful mosaics still in situ; continue to Chemtou’s rich red marble quarries, with remains of the slave camp where the workers once lived, and an excellent site museum. The forum of the town overlies Numidian tombs of high status - perhaps a deliberate choice of position by the Romans? Day Seven Into the foothills of the Aures Mountain, where the first fortress of the 3rd legion Augusta was established in the 1st century BC at Haidra. When the legionary base moved west, it became a wealthy town, and the fine paved street now leading to nowhere through an elaborate triumphal arch is a most evocative site. A huge Byzantine fortress, with several churches within it, dominates the site, and a small French fort over the road emphasises the continued strategic importance of this pass through the mountains. We continue south, via Kasserine, to Sbeitla (modern Sufetula). Day Eight Sufetula, with not one but three temples of golden stone dominating the forum (main picture above left), and with a rich Byzantine overlay, including the remains of some very fine churches - some of the earliest in North Africa. There are some exceptional mosaic baptisteries here. We continue south towards the salt lake chotts in search of evidence of the Roman frontier system. Day Nine Long drive south into the desert to the oasis of Ksar Ghilane. The nearby fort is likely to have had Roman beginnings, and it can be reached by a camel ride into the real sand-sea desert (about 40 minutes each way). Day Ten Through the region of the ksour (fortified granariesof typical Berber construction) to the ruined Roman town by the sea at Gigthis, very little-visited but under continuing excavation and producing some very interesting detail. Day ElevenEl Djem, To visit the huge amphitheatre (above), the museum and wealthy Roman townhouses. Museum and medina in Sousse. There are more superb mosaics to be seen in both these museums. Day Twelve A day in Kairouan, to explore reservoir pools, mosques and medina, including the Great Mosque, with re-used Roman stones and columns. Free afternoon which may be spent in the lively souk with a fine selection of local crafts. Day Thirteen Either have a relaxing day in Kairouan, or drive north-west to the Roman city of Makthar, with exceptionally fine paved forum. Day Fourteen Drive north again, to the Roman town of Thuburbo Maius, on a gentle plain surrounded by low hills. Continue to Tunis, where there will be time to take a last walk though the medina, and see the Zitouna mosque, the oldest in Tunisia (from the courtyard only - entrance is forbidden for non-Muslims). Day Fifteen Flight home from Tunis - if flight times allow, we will arrange a second visit to the Bardo Museum.