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Treasure hunt at Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 24 - 2009

Sidi Bou Said is located on the outskirts of Tunis, Tunisia’s capital. The town’s name comes from its patron saint, the 13th century great mystic, Abu Said al-Beji. Perched on a hilltop, the windswept village offers up some of the most breathtaking views of the Carthage coastline and Bay of Tunis. This charming town is a gem of Tunisian life from days gone by, and is almost biblical in its architecture and lifestyle. In the 19th century, the village became the place to be seen for Tunisia’s fashionable crowd when Nobel Prize winning author André Gide boasted of its beauty to the rest of the world.

The first thing you will notice when you enter the town is how colorful everything is. The tiny streets are filled with whitewashed houses, all with dazzling sky blue doors, window shutters, flower pots and more. Glimpses of the Mediterranean and beyond offer a beautiful deep blue backdrop to this lovely centuries-old town. The freshness of the blue and white paintwork is set off perfectly with the abundant bright pink cascading bougainvillea, cacti, and towering palm and eucalyptus trees.

Winding your way along and up narrow cobble stoned streets you’ll experience shops spilling over with leather bags, local jeweler, pottery and wooden curios, you are sure to work up a sweat and a thirst for something to wet your whistle. Not to worry relax with a cup of mint tea on the terrace of Café des Nattes.

Sidi Bou Said has a large cachet among musical and visual artists. Indeed, it was Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger, the early 20th century painter and musicologist, who bequeathed to the village its blue-and-white color scheme. D’Erlanger’s summer palace, the Nejma Zahra, has now been turned into a wonderful museum, known as the Centre des Musiques Arabes et Mediterraneennes.

Disney will be offering a “Treasure Hunt” shore excursion of Sidi Bou Said that will allow guests of all ages to have a lot of fun while learning the ancient history of the village. Each guest will be given a map and a booklet with instructions and details that will help with a successful treasure hunt. Among the tour highlights – visits to two former palaces, a famous fountain, bargaining with shop owners for trinkets, and a pit stop in a cafe.

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One Response to “Treasure hunt at Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia”

  1. James says:

    Nice to read this as we went in 1980 and it was very quite in Nov. I for got the hotel but their were only 2 on the beach and the other one was closed. We had a nice time and did many trips as hotel had a but into Tunis ever day.


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