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 Planning a Possible Trip to Tunisia from the UK
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By: Squire (offline) on Wednesday, May 30 2007 @ 08:18 AM PDT (Read 13058 times)  
Squire

Hi all

I've been thinking about planning a trip to Tunisia for many years now, and finally I think the time is right! I want to go and check out the Star Wars locations (mainly those from the original trilogy, but also the new trilogy if they're in the neighbourhood!) I've looked at a lot of archived sites, and worked out where to go for which location, noted GPS co-ordinates etc. It's looking like Nefta, Tozeur (and the nearby desert locations), Matmata, Djerba and maybe Tatouine will be our initial locations.

Does anyone have (or know if someone else has posted on the internet) an example itinerary?

What I'm interested in seeing are timescales, suggested hotels, suggested methods of transport, contact information etc. I've heard about a Star Wars Tunisia guidebook, but I've since discovered that that too is out of print.

No doubt I can source alternative information in time, but seeing as this is the first time we've done anything like this before, it would be most reassuring to hear advice from someone who has actually done it! I have to convince my fellow travellers that this IS a good idea!! ;)

Any help would be appreciated, as would any other tips or information anyone might care to volunteer!

Thanks in advance



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By: Admin (offline) on Wednesday, May 30 2007 @ 10:16 PM PDT  
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Hi Squire,

First of all, I'm glad to hear that you're planning your trip to Tunisia and I'm sure you'll have a great time. Good luck.

If the guidebook you are referring to was the one written by Jeremy Beckett titled "Tatooine Tours: On Location" then you're right that it is out of print. Most of the information in that book was covered in his site I believe, which is now being hosted here. There is also an itinerary you can see on the site, just click on the "TRAVEL PLANS" link:
staticpages/index.php?page=realtales

Mark Dermul has a lot of information from his 3 Tunisia trips on this site
http://www.tatooine.tk/
and there is an itinerary from the 2005 trip here:
http://users.skynet.be/mark.dermul/tato ... /route.htm
and he has a guidebook for sale here:
http://users.skynet.be/mark.dermul/tato ... ources.htm

The links section on this site also has a lot of other great websites to check out:
links/index.php?category=Tunisia

On my trip we took a bus from Tunis to Tozeur where we stayed for about 3 days. In Tozeur we rented a car and hired a guide at the Tozeur tourist office. We were able to see a lot of sites on day trips from there like Star Wars Canyon, Mos Espa, Lars exterior, the Dunes, etc. The next place we stayed was Matmata at the Sidi Driss hotel for 2 nights. From there we made some other day trips to Ajim, the Ksars, etc. If you have any specific questions I would be glad to try and answer them. Also if you speak French it would definitely help and of course a Tunisia guidebook would come in handy especially if you have time to see some other non Star Wars related sites.

Bill


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By: Squire (offline) on Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 04:54 AM PDT  
Squire

Thank you for the quick response!!

Yes, that's the guidebook I was referring to! I have a saved search on ebay, just in case!

I'll have a look at those weblinks, currently trying to colate all of this information into single document, for my "sales pitch." Theres a couple there that I hadn't found!

Thank you for all the info, very helpful! Looks like I have some reading to do!
:D


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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, June 02 2007 @ 03:56 AM PDT  
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Squire,

The 'Tatooine Tours: On Location' book is very good and covers all the original and prequel locations. There is a scanned version of the book which appeared on the alt.binaries.starwars newsgroup a few years ago, it might be worth asking there or seeing if it is on any P2P network ?
A good Rough Guide or Lonely Planet guide book should solve a lot of your itinerary/hotel issues.

The flights from the UK to Tunisia mostly go to Tunis, North, or Monastir ,middle of the country, whilst all the locations are in the South.
Tunis Air (office in London) TunisAir.com.tn do a very reasonable 60-70 GBP internal return flight Tunis-Djerba. Very reasonable car hire in Tunis can be got from CamelCar.com.
Flights direct to Djerba are common from Paris and Brussells (and others) if you can get to those airports.

If you decide to travel by bus and/or shared taxi, it can be a very quick way to get around but be prepared for some early morning departures.
If driving be VERY aware the roads can be dangerous (Tunisia has a unique view on overtaking, especially when approaching oncoming traffic) and remember to always drive on the Right ! (I've driven on the left, force of habit I guess, and did I get a shock!)

The mother of all GPS files is in preparation for this site so check back for that.

Hotels should cost no more than 10-15GBP/night unless you want swimming pools, *censored*tails and 3 course evening meals.
The Mark Dermul website is one suggested itinerary, though you may want to spend longer in one place or another.


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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, June 02 2007 @ 06:26 AM PDT  
ColinK

Quote by: ColinK

"The flights from the UK to Tunisia mostly go to Tunis, North, or Monastir ,middle of the country, whilst all the locations are in the South."


Well it looks like things have changed a little since I last looked. Now another alternative is to simply book a package holiday to Djerba (looks like Panorama & MyTravel offer these) and use that as a base. Or perhaps they do a flight-only offer ?


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By: Squire (offline) on Saturday, June 02 2007 @ 07:15 AM PDT  
Squire

Thanks for the info ColinK, very useful!

I didn't realise you could get a package deal to Djerba - the only expedition then would be out to the salt desert locations, everything else would (I presume) be in day-trip driving distance from Djerba. We went to Tunisia a few years back on a package holiday, and took the 2 day safari - so we did get to see Sidi Driss. I remember the coach ride through the hills and that was an experience in itself!! I think it was that trip that made me think I must return one day and do it properly!

I think it's just a case of gathering information now on where to stay, how to get around etc. Then begins the task of convincing my friends that this trip is possible!!

I'm pretty confident of finding the locations now, have collected a lot of maps and things from various sites - although that GPS list sounds very handy! Will keep an eye out for that!

Anyone recommend a good hotel in the Nefta/Tozeur region - for use as a base for the desert sets?


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By: ColinK (offline) on Saturday, June 02 2007 @ 04:59 PM PDT  
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I've only stayed in Tozeur (not Nefta) but I recommend a courtyard room with air con at the Residence Warda. It has on-street parking and is only a short distance from the ONTT tourist office. Price includes a small breakfast.
I've had another recommended to me, the Residence Essalem.
Rough Guide has most accommodation listed. Good road maps of Tunisia can be got in UK bookshops.

Tozeur has the usual Tunisian banks and a cashpoint machine on the main shopping street, but worth knowing is that when the banks are closed you can always change currency at the Post Office.

Tozeur would be a good base for the igloo, the dunes, camel rock + Mos Espa (guide or special day trip required, tourist office or hotel should help you out), possibly the Ep1 props scrapyard (a Nefta scrap dealer took most set pieces), Star Wars canyon and the nearby Raiders Of The Lost Ark / English Patient locations. 2 days should be enough, unless you also decide to take in the local beauty spots like Chebika and Tamerza or a ride on the 'Red Lizard' train.

As you say, everything else is withing day-trip driving distance but spending the night at the Sidi Driss is a must !


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By: Squire (offline) on Monday, June 04 2007 @ 01:18 AM PDT  
Squire

I'm guessing that you pre-booked Sidi Driss well in advance of your trip?

I remember the Red Lizard train - we went on that as part of our excursion package last time - absolutely fantastic trip into the canyons in squeeky wooden cariages!! Very atmospheric. If I do make it back to Tunisia for this trip, I plan on going on that train again for sure!!



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By: steinninn (offline) on Monday, June 04 2007 @ 10:34 PM PDT  
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I didnt like the Sidi Driss. You can stay at a cheeper hostel just a short walk north called Hotel Berber. The food is better and service is cheeper and better. You can still go to Sidi Driss without sleeping, just buy a coke in the bar so that you don't look rude.


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By: ColinK (offline) on Thursday, June 07 2007 @ 12:38 AM PDT  
ColinK

Quote by: Squire

"I'm guessing that you pre-booked Sidi Driss well in advance of your trip?"



No, not at all. Although the hotel does get coachloads of visitors they all move on to the posher hotels or other towns. All the times I stayed there, there was either a couple of other car travellers or a French school party.

As for NOT staying the night, yes it is very basic with communal toilets and showers, and yes it is battered and run-down, BUT this is the Sidi Driss !! Any time spent in Matmata away from the Sidi Driss is wasted time as far as I'm concerned.

If you stay somewhere else, you can't eat your evening meal in the homestead crater, wander around the set at 2am stareing up at the crystal clear black starlit sky, enjoy a bread and coffee breakfast listening to the birds chirping and donkeys braying as the sun appears over the lip of the crater.....
What a thing to miss out on.


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