Tozeur

Tozeur


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Tozeur is an oasis town and has been a very popular place since Capsian times (from 8000 BC). It has a very relaxed old town with many narrow streets, a museum well worth a visit, an enormous palmeraie (palm forest) on the northern edge of the Chott el-Jerid and a zoo. Tozeur lies about 435km (270mi) south-west of Tunis and a very spectacular road from Kebili, crossing the Chott el-Jerid (a salt lake), leads to it. The bus station is on Ave Farhat Hached, and the louage station is opposite.

The town's old quarter, Ouled el-Hadef, was built in the 14th century AD to provide housing to the El-Hadef clan, who were very rich because of the caravan trade. The old town is a maze of narrow, covered alleys and small squares, and is famous for its traditional methods of brick making. There's a small archaeology museum here that is worth a quick visit.

Another museum, the Dar Charait Museum is very impressive. It has a big collection of pottery and antiques, as well as an art gallery. There are rooms set up as replicas of Tunisian life, past and present. They include the bedroom of the last bey, a palace scene, a hammam and a Bedouin tent. The museum attendants are dressed as servants of the bey.

The palmeraie can be explored by foot, by bike (for rent at the entrance), by camel or by horse-taxi. It is the second largest in the country, with around 200,000 palm trees on a 10 sq km (4 sq mi) area, so take your time. It's a classic example of tiered oasis agriculture and it is watered by over 200 springs producing more than 60 million liters of water per day. The Paradise Gardens are a collection of different species of trees and bushes and are well signposted. Next to the Paradise Gardens is a small zoo, where animals (these also includes snakes and scorpions) are taken out of their cages to be shown to the public.


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