If you’re anything like me, this fantastic 10 day Tunisia itinerary will have you falling head over heels for this north African country!
Bringing you the best of what northern Tunisia has to offer, if you thought this country was just about the desert and Star Wars, think again!
In fact, exploring the north of Tunisia surprisingly became one of the most active holidays I’ve ever had!
From climbing to caving, cycling to hiking, not to mention exploring incredible historic sites and eating my body weight in delicious food, the north of Tunisia absolutely offers a super authentic slice of this country away from the crowds.
So if you’re looking to get off the beaten track and experience landscapes that range from amazing mountain meanders to cute coastal corners, the north of Tunisia is the place to travel in my opinion!
And this is especially true if you have just 10 days for your Tunisia itinerary.
With most of the destinations I recommend located only a few hours travel apart, this is the perfect itinerary if you want to see the true diversity of this county in a short timeframe.
So strap in for my epic 10 day north Tunisia itinerary, which will have you experiencing the best of this much underrated destination…
- Ultimate Tunisia Packing List
- Best Time to Visit Tunisia
- Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia: Complete Travel Guide
My trip to Tunisia was sponsored by the Authentic Tunisia campaign but, as always, all views are my own.
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Day 1 – 2: Sidi Bou Said
Stay: Hotel Dar Said
I highly recommend flying into Tunisia’s main international hub – Tunis-Carthage Airport – if you’re going to be following this itinerary.
Located just outside the country’s capital, right on the coast, this is the perfect place to arrive into if you want to start exploring the country straight away!
Boasting the cheapest international flights to Tunisia (compared to some of the lesser-known airports in the south), Tunis-Carthage Airport is not only easier on the purse strings, but easier on the travel time too, as your first stop on this itinerary – Sidi Bou Said – is just a 20 minute drive away.
Sidi Bou Said is a stunning spot in the district of Carthage – once the ancient capital of Tunisia.
Awaiting UNESCO-approval, it’s a beautiful coastal town famous thanks to its whitewashed and blue coloured buildings and incredible carved doorways.
If you like Chefchaouen in Morocco, you’re going to love Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia!
Even though it’s one of the country’s most popular tourist spots, Sidi Bou Said is far from overcrowded with tourists (welcome to one of the great delights of travelling in Tunisia) and filled with locals sipping coffee at streetside cafes.
It’s also located right on the coast, so you can enjoy wonderful sea views and cooling breezes from many of the restaurant rooftops.
On your first day in Sidi Bou Said, I absolutely recommend just strolling the stunning cobbled streets of this beautiful town, snapping, eating and caffeinating to your heart’s content!
Founded in 1207, the town is famed for its bohemian heritage with many well-known artists and thinkers, including Matisse and Simone de Beauvoir all having visited.
Although less than 20km away from the capital of Tunis, Sidi Bou Said is wonderfully relaxed and calm – which also makes it a great place to begin your Tunisia itinerary and acclimatise.
If you want to learn more about the history of the stunning town, then head to the Museum Dar el-Annabi or Palace Dar Nejma Ezzhar before heading out for a drink or bite to eat with the best view in town at Café des Delices.
On your second day in Sidi Bou Said, I then recommend visiting the famous, UNESCO-listed, archaeological site of Carthage, which are very close by.
Founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, Carthage became the capital of the African province under the Roman Empire and an extensive Mediterranean trading port.
Trips to the impressive Carthage Ruins can be enjoying independently (don’t miss the views over Tunis) or with a guide.
I recommend the latter if you really want to understand what you’re seeing, so check out this great half day option, or this fab guided cycling tour – both of which you can book in advance (helpful if you’re on a tight itinerary!)
Otherwise, you can explore the site yourself by catching public transport there from Sidi Bou Said (bus or the train), paying the minimal entrance fee at the gate (around 5€ for 1x day full site access) and strolling around the several sites and museum to your heart’s content.
In the afternoon, I’d then either head to explore the historic Punic Ports or, alternatively, hit the beach!
There’s a lovely sandy one just below Sidi Bou Said – it’s down a steep road and is next to the small harbour.
Here you can hire sunbeds or umbrellas if needed, as well as watersports gear if you’re feeling more active.
Day 3 – 4: Al Huwariyah
Stay: Dar Villa Zembra
On day 3 of this top Tunisia itinerary, it’s time to leave Sidi Bou Said behind and head to your next destination – the local town of Al Huwariyah.
Only a few hour’s drive from the Carthage region, Al Huwariyah is located at the top of the Cap Bon peninsula with stunning sea views from the cliff areas at its edge.
A great spot for active adventures, you can enjoy cycling, hiking, caving and kayaking from this lovely place, thanks not only to its green elevated hills, but also its coastal landscape too.
In the summer, Al Huwariyah is very popular with local Tunis folk looking to escape the city – and I always trust the locals when it comes to finding a good place!
They come of course to enjoy the natural surrounds of Al Huwariyah, as well as the town’s wonderful food – it’s a huge farming and fishing centre in Tunisia, famous for citrus in particular, as well as for the production of that national Tunisian treasure, harissa!
Don’t forget to try some while you’re here, as well as to get out and enjoy a day trip to the nearby national park island of Zembretta, visit the Byzantine Fort at Kelibia (and neighbouring Café du Fort), scuba dive or take a boat trip to some of the cliff caves, kayak the shores around Crique El Mteris and cycle the 20km coastal loop.
For the last 2 activities, eBikes and kayaks can be rented from the fantastic company Escapade, who can also provide amazing picnics to accompany your adventures.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you can also take guided sunset hikes from, or personal fly yoga sessions at, the wonderful Dar Villa Zembra where I suggest you stay.
This independently owned and beautifully decorated guesthouse is an oasis of peace and good vibes, and if you just want to chill by the pool, then this is a perfect spot too!
However you choose to spend your time here, just don’t miss the delicious, healthy and huge home-cooked meals served up at this guesthouse every night.
Day 5 – 6: Zaghouan
Stay: Dar Aida
Next up on this top Tunisia itinerary, it’s time to head inland to the stunning town of Zaghouan.
Another stunning historic spot, the centre of this old town – where you should definitely stay FYI – is another cobbled-street delight filled with tiny atmosphere alleys and beautiful doorways.
Originally a Berber village, in the 11th century then town was expanded by Moorish families fleeing from Catholic-turned Andalusia.
Many of the stunning Mosques and gates were built by this community, whose legacy survives until today.
Taking a city tour here is an absolute must when it comes to understanding the fascinating layered story behind Zaghouan – including the importance of the pomegranate dye here, as well as the area’s role in the Roman Empire rule.
The best place to delve into the latter of these is the magnificent Water Temple – which is just a short drive from the city centre.
Here your guide can explain to you the importance of the natural source of water found near Zaghouan, and the impressive aqueduct system that was created to supply inhabitants as far away as Carthage, with fresh water.
Finish up your day at the amazing Zriba El Alia – an abandoned Berber village that you can walk around and take in the expansive desert views.
Wandering this ancient site really does put it all into context and, if you keep your eyes peeled on the drive back to Zaghouan, you can even spot some of the still-standing aqueduct ruins too.
Then with the sightseeing out of the way, it’s time to spend your second day in Zaghouan enjoying the beautiful natural surrounds.
In particular, the important Djebel Zaghouan National Park is a must visit on this Tunisia itinerary.
Here you can enjoy ziplining or, even better, climbing with the wonderful Tunisian start-up Defouli.
These guys lead me successfully on my first every rock climbing experience and thanks to their brilliant equipment and amazing guides, I absolutely loved it!
Finish up with a sunset kayak on Lake Sidi Madyen – again Defouli can help you arrange and provide a wonderful picnic too!
You can then end your day with a traditional home-cooked meal at your cute accommodation – Dar Aida.
The lovely lady who runs this tiny place has a fascinating story to tell about her ancestry (thankfully she speaks great English) and cooks delicious Djerbian Rice – a Tunisian classic!
Day 7 – 8: Siliana, Kesra, El Kef, Maktar, & Testour
Stay: Dar Saida, El Kef
On day 7 and 8 of your Tunisia itinerary in the north, it’s then time to head even further inland and really get off the beaten track.
The towns of El Kef, Siliana, Kesra and Testour all lie to the southwest of Tunis and can be explored together over a couple of days if you have a car or guide.
Between them you can enjoy the amazing Roman ruins of Zama, cooking classes with local women and caving in Grotte ain Dhab, which is one of the continent’s most significant caves, so vast that it’s entrance still hasn’t be found!
Other must-visits in the area include the archaeological sites and museum at Maktar (with its prehistoric and Roman temples), the famous Dougga archaeological site, local women sheep-wool weaving workshops near El Kef and the ancient town of Kesra, which is situated 1100m above sea level and tis he highest inhabited town in Tunisia.
A traditional Berber village, Kesra is famous for its figs and olives, so definitely make sure you try some here if you haven’t already!
One of least economically developed regions in the country, social enterprise Domaine Essarj, who operate out of Siliana, can arrange many of these amazing activities and accommodation in the region for you.
Slightly further north, the beautiful town of Testour is also filled with historic treasures and the nearby huge dam of Barrage Sidi Salem offers some lovely walks and great valley views.
Day 9 – 10: Sousse + Day Trips
And finally, it’s now time to wind down with the last couple of days on your Tunisia itinerary.
And there’s no better place to do that in my opinion than along the country’s glorious sandy coastline.
If it’s resort-life you’re looking for, Hammemet is the classic Tunisian package holiday destination.
It’s pretty built-up and touristy, but if you just want to relax by the pool and enjoy a good hammam experience, this could be the place for you.
Otherwise, I recommend in and around the city of Sousse, which has lovely sandy beaches and a bit more of a local feel.
There’s lot of great day trips also available from Sousse, so if lying all day on the sand isn’t your thing, including the quaint fishing village of Hergla (famous for its halfa weaving), the ancient city Kairouan (with its enormous and very important Mosque) and the UNESCO-listed Roman amphitheatre of El Djem (incase you’ve not had your fill of historical sites!) in your Tunisian itinerary, are all great options.
Otherwise, grab a sun lounger and just relax!
Top Travel Tips for Tunisia
Best Time to Visit Tunisia?
The spring and autumn months are the best times to visit Tunisia in my opinion.
With a Mediterranean climate, traveling to this country in either April, May, September or October will allow you to enjoy a pleasant climate perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing without being too hot or cold.
How to Get There?
Flights to the country’s main international airport, Tunis-Carthage, arrive from cities across Europe and beyond.
As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best flight deals.
The airport is just a short drive from the capital Tunis and the glorious town of Sidi Bou Said, making it the perfect arrival and departure point for this north Tunisia itinerary.
How to Get Around?
Trains, domestic flights and buses all allow you get around Tunisia.
However as this itinerary will have you visiting many off the beaten track spots, hiring a car is really the best way to travel the county.
Check out these great Tunisia rental car deals.
Top Tunisia Tours
Alternatively, if you’d rather not travel Tunisia independently, these top Tunisia tours are another great way to experience the country.
5 Key Packing Items
Located in North Africa, Tunisia is a diverse country boasting coast, mountains, deserts and ancient cities.
Make sure you’re prepared with these top 5 packing items…Water To Go bottle Windproof Jacket Versatile Trainers Lightweight Day Pack Mirrorless Camera
Learn what else you should take in this Tunisia packing list,
Travel Insurance for Tunisia
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Travel Money in Tunisia
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in Tunisia… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay. Get yours here.
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So there you have it, the best 10 day Tunisia itinerary focused on the north of this country.
If you’re looking to get off the beaten track and explore the real Tunisia, then this is definitely the road map for you.
And tell me, are you planning to visit Tunisia soon?
Have any questions about doing so?
Then don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments box below and I’ll get straight back to you…