Cycling Adventure. Abctour and Desert Soul sand-lovers are returning to the pleasant Tunisian south. First on bicycles and at the end, just like that... a bit on foot, a bit in a car. Would you fancy joining us?
YOUR DEPARTURE POINT – TUNIS – DOUZ
Flight from your departure airport via Tunis to Djerba in the southeast of Tunisia and evening transfer to the camp in Douz where your bicycles will be already waiting for you. A light snack and overnight in the tents.
DOUZ – STAR WARS
First day on the bicycle, the route will take us through a cute oasis of Hamma and its date-palm groove to a salt lake and cross it (it's dry) to a film-setting built for the Star Wars film shooting back in the 70's. The last stage will bring us to amazing rock formations next to the so-called Camel's head that downhill-enthusiasts will love it! We'll spend the first desert night in the Desert Soul Mobile Camp waiting us set on a new location. Dinner and overnight.
Distance cycled: 60 km
Total ascent: 100 m
Surface: compact sand, tarmac, gravel.
TOZEUR – CHEBIKA OASIS – REDEYIF – METLAOUI
We will leave the camp in the morning in two assistance vehicles towards the mountain oasis of Chebika, but unload the bikes some distance before reaching the oasis and pedal to it through its date-palm grove. After visiting the pools in the shade of palm-trees under the surrounding high rocky walls, we'll keep cycling over a mountain pass (gravel, tarmac, and concrete) to the town of Redeyif. There, we'll enjoy a marvellous view over the salty lake of Chott el-Gharsa from the top of a road, built by general Rommel corps during his North African campaign. A 7-kilometre descent will follow on concrete plaques and gravel, then we'll continue a bit on tarmac and gravel to a dry riverbed where the next mobile camp will be already waiting for us among interesting rock formations. Dinner and overnight in Desert Soul Mobile Camp tents.
Compact sand, tarmac, concrete plaques, gravel, sandy river bed.
METLAOUI – SIDI BOUHLEL – DOUZ
Due to soft sandy surface, the first stage will be covered by our all-terrain vehicles and unload the bicycles near the Daqqas village to slowly pedal through the streets of this tiny village to give you some insight into the pristine life of the villagers, followed by a short ascent to the Sidi Bouhlel sanctuary for breathtaking views and a spectacular crossing to the northern side of the Jebel Askariya Mountains. This stage done on gravel, compact sand and rocks will be a bit more challenging from the navigational point of view, but can be covered also in a 4x4 car.
The route will then lead us on the northern side of Africa's largest salt lake, the Chott el-Djerid, following clearly-marked gravel and sandy pistes. At Souk al-Ahad a hot sulphur spring, turned into a local villagers' "spa" will welcome those feeling like washing some dust off and experiencing a true local atmosphere.
The rest of the daily stage to our next camp-site at Douz will be covered on tarmac in Desert Soul assistance vehicles. We're staying in a town this day so the dinner is in your own organization, but we can suggest a restaurant or two in downtown. Overnight in a camp in Douz.
Tarmac, gravel, round rocks, sandy pistes.
DOUZ – EXCURSION TO THE DUNES
Day-off in Douz which is hosting a weekly fair on this day. We'll head for the centre with our assistance vehicles in the morning and enjoy the colours of this cheerful fair. In the afternoon, we'll head to the nearby dunes and take a walk on sand. If you wish, you can rent quads or make a short trip on a camel. Dinner in your own organization (we suggest to dine all together in a local restaurant), overnight in the camp in Douz.
DOUZ – N.P. DJEBIL
We'll leave Douz on this day and head southwards across the desert. The piste is occasionally crossed by half a metre high shifting sand tips. The landscape is open desert with no roads or settlements, stretching southwards all the way deep into Libya. Depending on our pace, we'll reach our bivouac at the Alkhafair well cycling or with assistance off-road vehicles. Dinner and overnight in the Desert Soul Mobile Camp.
Gravel, tarmac, compact sand and sandy pistes.
N.P. DJEBIL (TRIP TO TEMBAINE AND BACK)
This day is dedicated to the visit to Tembaine Mountain which is the remainder of the great continent of Gondwana. The trail is only 30 kilometres long, but we will cross two stretches of dunes that will require the bicycles to be carried over. You can feel the soft breeze and observe complete silence with a sight of endless dunes, stretching to the east, south and west as far as the horizon. From the mountain, we'll return to the location of our last camp, have dinner and spend the night.
Stony desert, dunes.
N.P. DJEBIL – KSAR GHILANE
This full-day stage will lead us through an open desert landscape (gravel), over a stretch of dunes and past three coffee shops to the famous tourist oasis of Ksar Ghilane, known above all for its thermal pool surrounded by bars selling beer. Spending some time in the warm water will be much welcomed after the long desert stage. On this day, the Desert Soul kitchen will have an evening-off so dinner will be a question of individual organization in the nearby restaurant. Overnight at the oasis camping site.
Day-off around the oasis pool. We suggest a stroll to the Roman fort, renting quads, or doing an excursion with camels or on horse-back. Dinner in own organization and overnight in the oasis camp.
KSAR GHILANE – BIR SOLTANE – MATMATA
A completely different desert stage will be experienced on this day to reach the Berber settlement of Matmata, known for its underground troglodyte dwellings. Desert tarmac road will be our way for the first 58 kilometres and frequently crossing dry flood channels will give some dynamics to it. The following 53 kilometres will be staged on gravel roads and open pistes in the first part, only to later give way to impressive bare mountains, surrounding us when already approaching Matmata on a 300-metre ascent. Dinner can be served in a local restaurant and the night will be spent in twin rooms at a local hotel. If we still have any energy left, we can check a nearby hotel where George Lucas also staged some shoots for his Star Wars film.
MATMATA – TOUJANE – BENI ZELTEN – DJERBA
We'll start the day with a winding 20-kilometres ascent on a tarmac road to later head off the road and descent on a gravel piste through a picturesque canyon to the village of the Zelten tribe. After a short photo-stop at a nearby citadel, we will enjoy nice views through a valley of olive-trees to the village of Tounine and keep on until almost reaching the sea at the town of Mareth where the allied forces unsuccessfully tried to break the well-established German defence-line on the Zigzaou river during the WW II offensive.
Hard surface and olive-groves will be the setting of our last stage to reach the ferry to the Djerba island, to later give way to nice local island roads to a 4**** hotel on the beach where we'll spend the last two nights in Tunisia. Self-service dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day-off in a hotel with swimming pool and access to the beach. Depending on wishes, we can cycle or take a taxi to Houmat Souq, the main town on Djerba. Self-service dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DJERBA – TUNIS – YOUR FLIGHT DESTINATION
After the breakfast, a transfer to the Djerba Zarzis airport will follow. From there, you'll fly off via Tunis to your airport in Europe or elsewhere.
End of our services.
Thanks to two assistance vehicles on all stages, it will be possible to cover part of the stage on a seat in the assistance vehicle in case of technical failure that can't be overcome, or fatigue.
Payments: 50% upon registration, remaining sum latest 45 days prior to departure.
Our package includes:
Transport of bicycles and personal luggage from Slovenia to Tunisia and back; air-ticket Europe – Tozeur and Djerba – Europe; all breakfasts from day 2 through 13; 4 dinners, prepared in the Desert Soul Mobile Camp; 1 evening snack on day 1; 2 self-service dinners in a hotel on Djerba (2 half-boards in a 4**** hotel on Djerba); mid-day snacks on days when cycling (8x); DS tents and sleeping-mats rental for all nights which are not spent in the hotel; 3 overnights at a camping site in Douz; 1 overnight in twin rooms in Matmata; possibility to take a shower each night (even in the desert); we can wash your sports laundry at the end of day 4 and 8 of the Adventure at 40°C; two quick-assistance vehicles on daily stages (food, water, transportation of your clothes, tools, spare inner tubes, first-aid case ...); assistance truck with kitchen, electrical generator, air-compressor (bicycles cleaning, tyre inflating), washing machine and washing line, water, food; travel medical insurance & assistance.
The package does not include:
Meals not listed under the "Our package includes" section (lunches and dinners when in the settlements of Douz, Ksar Ghilane and Matmata); energy drinks nor sports nutrition supplements; bicycle rental (150 – 190 eur); spare parts (i.e. inner tubes, tyres, etc.); transfers to and from European airports; exit tax from the country, implemented by Tunisia on October 1st, 2014 for every foreigner leaving the country, paid in person by buying the exit stamp, "timbre fiscal pour la sortie", costing 30 TND (approximately 14 EUR) on the airport before crossing the emigration control; other individual expenses.
What do I need as a participant, apart of the Desert Soul equipment?
Mountain bike (it can also be rented) with at least 2.2-width tyres; a sleeping bag that will provide you with a comfortable sleep at temperatures down to 8°C in November and March (down to 2°C in December and February and down to 0°C in January) – a tent and a sleeping mat is provided by us; cycling equipment for maximum daytime temperatures between 20 and 28°C; light clothes for during the day and warm ones for the evenings; head-lamp for the camp (we won't be cycling in darkness); good mood and reasonable physical shape for the planned stages; each participant will receive ahead of time all the necessary information about the trip, as well as what to take with you and what to leave at home.
Additional information: Desert Soul (Tilen Gabrovšek) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales agent: Abctour d.o.o. email@example.com