Tunisia | The Punic Wars & Roman North Africa
This is where dramatic events changed ancient history - the superpowers of Carthage and Rome clashed in three Punic Wars. Lasting more than 100 years the conflict ultimately resulted in the destruction of Carthage and assured Roman ascendancy. Join us to explore the ruins of the Roman era, which stand, still majestic, in the beautiful, verdant North African countryside.
We travel from the ruins of Carthage itself to the magnificent Roman towns and monuments of Roman Tunisia. These are places which should truly be on the wish list of every archaeological traveller: the amphitheatre at El Djem; the beautiful, remote site of Dougga and vast intricate mosaics, which bring the world of Roman Africa vividly to life.
- Carthage vs. Rome: a clash of superpowers which changed the ancient world forever.
- See some of the world’s finest mosaics in the Bardo & Sousse Museums
- Unrivalled classical archaeology: from the capitol at Dougga to the amphitheatre at El Djem.
- Special Access
- Low Single Supplement
- All Inclusive
Today we arrive and drive to our hotel in Tunis, the country’s historic capital.
This morning we begin with a visit to the Bardo Museum, one of the largest in North Africa and situated within a former Royal Palace. Pore over archaeological artefacts that illuminate the history and heritage of Tunisia and discover the extensive collections housed here. After lunch, we tour a variety of sites in Carthage including the Byrsa Hill remains, the museum, and the enormous Roman Antonine baths. We will also explore the harbour, tophet and amphitheatre before enjoying dinner and returning to our hotel.
Today we discover the gorgeous, authentic coastal town and stone quarries of El Haouaria and also the Punic town of Kerkouane. Both are steeped in fascinating history, but the latter is a UNESCO World Heritage site and its visible ruins date back to the end of the 4th and first half of the 3rd century BC. We will enjoy a picnic lunch while enjoying scenic views over Kerkouane and then we will move onto Nabeul Museum, where we can view a diverse range of mosaics that depict mythological scenes along with terracotta and marble pieces. The artefacts here at this modestly-sized museum will enlighten us about life in ancient Neapolis. Later, we return to our hotel for dinner and to recharge before another day of captivating touring.
In the morning, we will head to Dougga. This is another UNESCO World Heritage site and it is home to some phenomenal ruins that hint at the grandeur and sheer scale of their former glory. Time permitting, there may be an opportunity to stop at either Mejez-el-Bab war cemetery or Ain Tounga, which is home to the remains of the ancient city of Thignica, en route. Upon arrival in Dougga, which is perhaps the most famous site in Roman Tunisia and stands majestically against a steep hillside, we traverse the aesthetically pleasing Capitol Temple ruins and the many houses that surround it.
Our day begins at the lesser-visited, beautiful archaeological site at Oudhna (also referred to as Uthina). We will stop for lunch and then continue our touring at the large Roman site of Thuburbo Majus. This atmospheric, ruinous Roman city remains virtually untouched and boasts temples, mosaics and other important examples of architecture. From here, we will drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kairouan.
In Kairouan, we explore the town’s historically rich Medina on foot. Admire the Great Mosque with its fusion of pre-Islamic, Byzantine and Roman architecture, and the Aghlabid Basins, which are water cisterns that were built in the 9th century. We travel to Sousse and then stop for lunch before visiting the Archaeological Museum. From mosaic flooring to the collection of steles and urns found in the Tophet of Sousse this museum boasts a broad range of artefacts and after our visit we will walk through the nearby souk to an international tourist shop.
Today we reach the spectacular amphitheatre at El Djem, which is a real highlight of our tour and, perhaps unsurprisingly, another UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the largest in the Roman world and encapsulates the grandeur of the Romans, and the huge drum of the seating area still dominates the modern town. There will also be time to visit the site museum of Roman Thysdrus at El Djem, which is home to an exceptional collection of mosaics. In the afternoon, we return to Kairouan and enjoy some free time to explore the area at our leisure.
On our final morning, we will drive to Tunis via the striking Zaghouan Aqueduct, which once carried water to Carthage. Upon arrival at the airport, we can enjoy lunch independently before boarding our flights home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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