According to allcitycodes.com, Douz is like a curtain that separates civilized Tunisia from primitive Tunisia, pulling back which, you freeze in amazement at the silent majesty of the Sahara desert. The Tunisians themselves call this small city – the gate to the Sahara, and in confirmation of these words, on the very edge of Duza, in front of the Great Dune, there is a monument in the form of a key. It’s very hot, very quiet and insanely beautiful. Duz sinks into the soul primarily due to the emptiness of the surrounding space: a resident of the metropolis, whose gaze is used to clinging to high-rise buildings, is simply unable to believe that there is such space in the world. And in Duza, you can try the most delicious dates, spend the night under the starry sky and fly on a hang glider over the oases.
The desert and everything connected with it is undoubtedly the main attraction of Douz. As a consequence, all local excursions are held in the Sahara.
6 things to do in Duza
- Meet the sunset on a camel’s back during a caravan ride through the desert.
- Fly on a hang glider over the endless Sahara.
- Dial the smallest Sahara sand – strictly no more than 1 kg in one hand.
- Buy a desert rose.
- Try dates from a palm branch growing right on the territory of the hotel.
- Swim in the pool with hot thermal water, pleasantly fragrant sulfur and other useful elements.
Weather forecast for Douz
In summer, Heat reigns here with a capital letter. It will always be under forty in Duza, and on some days it will be under fifty. Be sure to wear long sleeves, preferably linen or cotton, and a hat, and do not forget to generously smear your body with sunscreen with a maximum SPF factor. Summer nights are comfortable here. In winter, there are large differences in day and night temperatures in Duza: during the day it can be about + 20, and at night the temperature will stay around zero.
The easiest way to exchange currency is at the reception of hotels in the tourist area. There are several bank branches in the city: you can also make an exchange or withdraw money from an ATM there.
Duz is famous for the famous variety of dates “deglet en-nur” (“dates of light”), so named because the skin of the fruit is so thin, and the pulp is so sugary that the stone is translucent in the light.
Shopping: what to buy in Duza
A popular Duza souvenir is the “sand rose”, which looks like a light beige stone with many facets. This is a gypsum formation that is obtained from salt and sand crystals melted in the sun, much like it happens in the manufacture of glass. The cost of a sand rose is from 1 to 5 TND depending on the size.
Douz is also famous for dates, especially the famous local variety “deglet en-nur” (“dates of light”), so named because the skin of the fruit is so thin and the pulp is so sugary that the stone shines through in the light. You can buy dates already packaged in boxes or a whole bunch. Make sure that the dates in the boxes are on the branches; it is not recommended to take them loose – it is likely that they were collected when they fell.
Numerous souvenirs directly or indirectly reminiscent of the desert: bottles of colored sand, camel figures, dried horned vipers and scorpions, sheshi – cuts of fabric for the construction of a local turban, Berber silver jewelry and rugs in a specific southern style.
Entertainment and attractions
The desert and everything connected with it is undoubtedly the main attraction of Douz. As a result, all local excursions are held in the Sahara: from an hour-long camel ride through the nearby dunes to two-week caravan tours in the heart of the desert, to the ancient Roman fort Tisavar and the sacred mountain Tembain. The degree of comfort is also offered for every taste: camel and foot crossings, quad and jeep trips. If you come to Douz on your own and want to explore the desert, contact any of the city’s travel agencies. Avoid private guides who will probably come to you to offer their services: the level of organization of their excursions leaves much to be desired.
There is one unforgettable entertainment in Duza – flying over the desert and oases. In the animation center “Pegasus”, next to the festival square, two enthusiastic pilots, an Italian and a Frenchman, ride everyone on a hang glider. The cost of a 10-minute flight is 90 TND, at your request, the pilot can go deep into the desert, fly over the hotels of the tourist zone or fly around the oases. Here you can also ride a kart and contemplate the desert from a camel’s back (about 15 TND per hour).
In Old Douz, a visit to the Sahara Museum is highly recommended, the meticulously assembled exposition of which tells about the methods of setting up a Berber awning and camel branding, primitive carpet weaving and traditional Berber facial tattoos. Sand from different regions of the Sahara (from white to pink and almost chocolate) and samples of camel wool of different breeds are stored in transparent boxes. On Fridays, the city hosts a weekly market where you can buy various interesting and authentic gizmos and even ask the price of a camel – what the hell is not joking!
- What is the best way to go on an excursion to the Sahara: with a private guide or with a tour operator
- Is it possible to go hiking in the Sahara
The annual Sahara festival takes place in Douz at the end of December. This is a noisy, crowded, colorful event that attracts not only tourists, but also local residents. The program of the festival includes a marathon of racing camels of a special breed “megari”, a championship for finding truffles in the sand by saluki dogs, folklore performances, performances by equestrian groups, a fair and much, much more.