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What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Volendam, The...
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What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

In a couple of weeks we are going for a short trip to Tunisia. However, yet again Eid ul-Fitr fall exactly in the middle of it. From previous experience in Morocco we know that many places close down for a couple of days and public transport gets rather frantic.

We are thus thinking to settle down for a day or two somewhere, but are wondering what might be the better place to be least affected by the national holiday. Is one of the more touristic Medina's better or should we go to a place like Tozeur where we are dependent on tours rather than the liveliness of the medina's? We are also considering to check out Djerba at this time as it seems to be so dependent on tourism. Any suggestions?

Note, we are in Tunisia for sightseeing and not for the beach.

Thank your all for your help.

Antwerp, Belgium
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1. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

The first two days absolutely everything will be closed... In the medina also. Third day it depends a bit on the owner...

We were in Tozeur in april and thought it was horrible hot then already. So I don't know if a longer period in Tozeur will be pleasant in the heat of August.

Tozeur is a lovely town, actually more a large village, but to see something you depend on public transport or the local travel agents.

Like you stated already public transport will be the absolute minimum. Don't know if the private travel agents will offer trips them days. In the tourist office of Tozeur we met a very nice woman that speaks excellent English, maybe you can contact them for more information.

I suppose you fly to Enfidha or Tunis... Are you going to rent a car ?

Tozeur is about a day driving from there.

If you have a car you could also following trip

- Sfax

- El Jem

- Sousse

- Monastir

- Kairouan

You could base yourself in Mahdia, a nice costal town, where you spend your time with El Aid

ps - i speak dutch, i suppose you too?

Volendam, The...
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2. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Thank you for your reply. Presumably "tourist attractions" like museums or Le Jem circus are closed during the Eid as well?

We often visit North Africa or the Middle East around August, so we're used to the extreme temperatures. I'll probably mail one of the hotels/tour operators to see if they can offer something reasonable for around the Eid. I can't find the contact information of the tourist office of either village in this regard. Alternatively, we were going to to visit Mahdia anyway, but I don't understand why you recommend it specifically for during the Eid?

We are probably going to do everything by public transport unless absolutely necessary. We did visit Tunisia before and visited the cities you listed, but will probably repeat a few of them.

ps - Yes, I speak Dutch :)

Antwerp, Belgium
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3. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

I recommended Mahdia because at least you can enjoy the sea wind in the horrible august heath while nothing is open... But if you are used to it... I would hate it to sit in overfull busses and louages in the heath of the summer. Thought it was bad already in May.

I think most tourist sites will be closed indeed. Bit like with Christmas in Belgium or Holland I suppose.

You could also choose to do a more in land trip: Dougga, Tabarka, Bulla Regia, Sbeitla,... and then along Gafsa to Tozeur. But then it will maybe more difficult to find places to sleep... The Sufetula hotel in Sbeitla is basic but we enjoyed it. We also had a good hotel in Tozeur, basic but friendly people and clean. I did a review about it, but can now not remind the name...

Antwerp, Belgium
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4. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

•Tozeur

•Office du tourisme: av Abou Kacem Chebbi

216.76.454088

Gosport, United...
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5. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Hi Maenan. In Tozeur you stayed at Residence el Arich.

We stayed at Warda Residence. I did a review, it was v.basic, overpriced for what you got, and when we were there it was full of university students of a field trip.

Out eventful train travel getting to Tozeur and the bus returning to Sousse always gets a good mention when discussing travel with fellow independents.

I don't think I'd fancy too much long distance travel by Tunisian bus or train during the summer either.

I'd rather visit Mahdia during Eid el-Fitr than a couple of months later for Eid el-Adha. The way the local children treat the sheep, particularly in broad daylight in the Mahdia cemetery before the sacrifice is brutal.

Wiltshire
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6. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Hire a self drive car before the Eid tl Fitr starts you can then at least have a drive out to El Jem.the arena will be closed but you will be able to see inside from the outside in places around it. You do not mention where you will be staying(resort) Also Uthina and the Aquaduct nearby that cannot be closed. Uthina did not have gates the last time we were there but that was a while ago. Dougga you should be able to get in there there are two ways in.Carthage some will be ok the baths area may well be closed but they cannot close most of the site .All the Museums will be closed. The festival is rather like Christmas in regards to what may be open. The answer not much.You will need a good map to get around should you choose to drive.Micheline is a good one.another is Freytag & Berndt a German publication. On both ancient sites are marked with a triangle of three dots. WE have driven to over 30 sites over the years.

Edited: 11 July 2013, 07:23
Volendam, The...
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7. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Thanks all.

First of all, we were not going to base ourselves in one particular city and are not going to stay in resorts. So in this aspect we are not bound at any place during the Eid. Also, our trip to Tunisia has been more or less a last minute decision, so we are unfortunately a bit unprepared, but still we have been there before.

As far as I can see from your posts there are a few possible options:

1. Wind down for a few days in Mahdia

2. Try to arrange a tour at Tozeur/Douz

3. Visit Roman sites in North Tunisia. I'll need to look into the possibilities of hiring a car as only my wife has been able to obtain a driving license around a year ago. If we will do this, we'll probably base ourselves in Le Kef and visit places like Haidra and Maker. We already did Dougga and Sbeitla last time around. Uthina is also an option if we'll stay in Tuniss.

4. I'd still like to know if Djerba is a good option as I don't know little about the place.

Antwerp, Belgium
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8. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

Never have been in Djerba so have no idea.

When we lived in Tunisia earlier this year there were big fights in the mountain areas between El Kef and the Algerian border.

www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=59140

Don't know how the situation is now.

9. Re: What to do during Eid el-Fitr?

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