Although many might think of Tunisia as a popular destination for all-inclusive vacations, it’s so much more than that! With stunning coastlines, rugged mountains, and endless deserts, Tunisia is an absolute dream for adventurous travelers.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the entry requirements for Tunisia before you start packing for your trip!
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and into the wild, here are some of the best parks and nature attractions in Tunisia:
The Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert, spanning a total of 11 African countries (including Tunisia!) is one of the most mysterious yet beautiful places to visit on the entire continent.
If you think that there’s nothing to do in the desert, then buckle up, because you’re in for a surprise! The Sahara feels like an endless sea of golden sand, rolling dunes, salt lakes, and mystical oases that pop against the sandy backdrop. With all of this, it’s no wonder that the sunsets seen here are unlike those in any other country.
There’s so much to do in the Sahara, but the most popular attractions include camel and jeep rides on the golden dunes; visiting local nomadic camps; or night tours that include campfires and stargazing.
The cave town of Matmata
One of the most architecturally-interesting natural attractions in the south of Tunisia is Matmata. Although it seems fairly ordinary when you arrive, the real surprise happens when you look down and see hundreds of underground homes!
Known as troglodyte houses, locals have been living in these ‘cave houses’ for centuries because they offer protection against the extreme desert conditions. They seem to do their job really well, because when it’s 100F+ outside, it’s a much more comfortable temperature of 70 to 75F inside the caves.
Fans of the Star Wars saga might notice something familiar after looking at the photos — and you’re right: one of the houses served as Luke Skywalker’s home in the 1977 movie!
Although the majority of the houses fell into disrepair, some fans restored the abandoned scenery in the mid 90’s (including the original Skywalker house) so that visitors can come and see these amazing houses for themselves.
For many, a trip to the Atlas Mountains is a chance to enjoy its unique landscapes, epic hiking opportunities, and jaw-dropping panoramas. In fact, the Atlas Mountains are considered to have one of the 25 best treks in the world!
The name of the mountains comes from Greek mythology: Atlas, who was one of the titans, was sentenced to holding the world on his shoulders as punishment. After some time, Atlas became so tired that he asked Perseus to allow him to see Medusa’s head. If you remember history, it was said that anybody who looked directly at Medusa was turned to stone, which is exactly what happened to Atlas — and thus, the Atlas Mountains were formed.
Chott el Djerid
Everybody knows about mirages in the middle of the desert, but Chott el Djerid is definitely not one of them!
This alluring pink lake is more than 1.5 times bigger than the Great Salt Lake of Utah and, thanks to its location near Douz, a great introduction to the Sahara Desert (mentioned above).
During the year, the lake dries up and leaves small mirages in the hot summer season, before filling up again in the rainy season. You can also catch an amazing phenomenon in the vicinity of this lake called “desert roses,” which are flower-like stone sculptures formed from minerals from the surrounding salt marshes.
With lush vineyards, citrus groves, and beautiful seascapes along the entire coast, Cape Bon makes for one of the most picturesque regions of Tunisia.
You can spend days relaxing on the azure beaches of the Gulf of Tunis and tasting delicious local wines. Of course, there’s also plenty of adventurous outdoor activities like water skiing, parasailing, and boat trips. Fans of history are going to love visiting the UNESCO site of Punic Town of Kerkouane and its Necropolis, which I’ve written above a bit more in my UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tunisia.
To relax after a long day of exploring Cape Bon, head over to the Ain Atrus hot springs, where mineral water pours directly down from the mountains and into the sea.
El Feidja National Park
Finally, there’s no better way to enjoy Tunisia’s nature than with a trip to El Feija National Park. Spanning some 2,700 hectares, the park is home for many rare animals such as the great Barbary deer, the African golden wolf, and the Berber boar.
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