Are you looking for smaller sites to add to your Tunisia itinerary that are accessible and worthy of your time? One of my favorite places that fits this bill is Takrouna. This ancient Berber village outside of Sousse is perched on a hilltop surrounded by neatly cultivated olive groves. Takrouna offers wonderful views of the rugged hills of Zaghouan and the blue Mediterranean in the distance.
Whether you’re seeking to learn about culture and history, or hoping to engage the human element of travel, here are three great reasons to visit Takrouna.
Visiting Takrouna: Insight Into Berber Culture
The first reason I love visiting Takrouna is because it gives perspective and insight into Berber culture. The Berbers, whose formal name is the Amazighs, were the earliest inhabitants of North Africa. Berber villages are not as numerous in Tunisia as they are in Morocco or Algeria. And yet much of Tunisian culture today is built on the foundation of its Berber heritage. As you stroll through Takrouna and hear about the Berbers’ centuries-old customs and traditions, you can begin to imagine what life was like in Tunisia for its earliest inhabitants.
Visiting Takrouna: Perspective on History
The second reason I love visiting Takrouna is because of the perspective it gives on history, both ancient and modern. The Berbers have built villages on hilltops across North Africa. Learning about the history gives me a sense of the delicate interplay between them and the civilizations that traversed Tunisia through the centuries.
A visit to the Mausoleum of Sidi Abdelkader El Jilani helps me understand Sufism and the unique expression of Islam in North Africa.
And for more recent history, Takrouna and the surrounding plains were the site of a memorable WWII battle. In April 1943, as the Allies were making their push to Tunis, the New Zealand 5th brigade heroically took Takrouna after fierce fighting with Axis forces. A Commonwealth war cemetery at Enfidha honors the lives lost in this important segment of the North African campaign.
Visiting Takrouna: A Chance To Engage
Lastly, I love visiting Takrouna because of the chance to engage with locals from this unique village. Although Takrouna is largely a historical village, the few remaining residents are passionate about preserving its heritage.
After making your way toward the top of the hill, you’ll come to the residence of Nizar and his family. They’ll invite you in for tea and freshly baked tabouna, a bread made with semolina flour. This is an opportunity to experience the human element of travel — hearing about Takrouna and Tunisia through the lens of those who call it home.
The small souvenir shops are worth visiting. They offer an opportunity to engage with the locals, and the authentic, hand-made souvenirs represent Takrouna and Berber heritage.
Visiting Takrouna – Easy Access For Travelers
Takrouna is accessible from Tunis or Sousse, and you can easily add it on to other aspects of your itinerary. Whether you’re on your way to explore southern Tunisia, or to big name sites such as Kairouan or El Jem, Takrouna makes a great stopover and is a wonderful site to add to your Tunisia tour. I hope you like it as much as I do!
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Austin learned the power of authentic travel during a year home-stay experience in Brazil. Since then, he’s been passionate about connecting deeply with other cultures and helping fellow travelers do the same. He and his wife have lived in Tunisia for several years. He continues to be surprised by the hidden gems the country has to offer, as well as the hospitality and kindness of the Tunisian people.
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