Running Adventure in Tunisia
Day 1: YOUR DEPARTURE POINT – TUNIS – DJERBA – MATMATA
Flight from your departure airport via Tunis to Djerba in the southeast of Tunisia and evening transfer to Matmata where the first night will be spent in a multi-bed apartments. For dinner, we suggest a nearby restaurant with local atmosphere.
Day 2: MATMATA – KSAR GHILANE
Running day I
The morning will be spent exploring the village known for its underground dwellings and the hotel that staged some of the shoots in the Star Wars saga, afterwards spectacular landscape will be crossed driving towards the desert where we'll stop a couple of kilometres before reaching the oasis of Ksar Ghilane and start our first running stage. First day's distance to cover will be adapted to the fact that in mid-winter you probably won't be in a perfect running shape. Suggested distances to choose from will be 4, 5, 8 and 10 kilometres.
Upon your arrival to the well-known oasis, a natural pool with thermal water will be at your entire disposal for swimming. We suggest you to have dinner in the camp restaurant next to our Desert Soul Assistance tents, ready for the overnight.
Distance: 4-10 km
Surface: compact sand, tarmac, gravel.
Day 3: KSAR GHILANE - DESERT
Running day II
We'll start the day by driving over low dunes to the 4-kilometres-distant Roman-period fortress. There, we'll get ready for running and start by a gentle descent, followed by a shorter sharp climb. Afterwards, the landscape will be first slowly descending only to continue afterwards over ondulating terrain. The surface type will be closest to gravel. We'll come across another ascent and for the finish, a shorter sequence of low dunes will separate us from the bivouac.
The route will be marked by the DS Assistance mother vehicle that will already wait for you on a romantic spot between the dunes, specially chosen for your first truly desert bivouac.
Half-an-hour after your departure, the "sweeper-vehicle" will leave the start, slowly approaching you. When it overtakes you, you can stop running and board the vehicle. If you decide to still cover the whole distance to the bivouac running, there will be another vehicle taking care of your safety. It will not overtake any member of the DS party and thus always remain the very last element on the track.
Depending on our arrival time to the bivouac (Desert Soul Assistance tents), you'll be able to entertain yourself with additional sports games or simply wander around the bivouac a bit and let your senses fly with the beauty and tranquillity of the desert. Cold showers will be available as part of the DS Assistance.
Desert Soul dinner will be cooked for the first time on this evening. It will be served under the star-scattered Saharan sky.
Distance: maximum 20 km
Surface: gravel, sand.
Day 4: DESERT – TEMBAINE MOUNTAIN
Running day III
On the last (third) running day before a two-day break, we'll discuss your fatigue and overall impressions and, having in mind the previous day's distance covered, decide what distance you would like to cover today.
For the start, we'll drive across a less interesting desert area only to save our running stamina for the last kilometres before the magnificent table mountain Tembaine, rising over the surrounding plains and sand sea to be a perfect beacon from far away. The aim today will be to reach all the way to the mountain running. The track will be partially gravel, partially sandy, but not to soft. Three sand stretches will have to be crossed on our way.
As always, our team in support vehicles will take care of your safety. After reaching Desert Soul bivouac, showers will be again at your disposal. We plan to jump into the New Year under the table mountain, or even on the top of it, as we'll be only five days short of the full moon so it will be high on the sky, romantically illuminating the surrounding desert landscape. It will be a chilly night.
Distance: 12 km suggested. Maximum 17 km.
Surface: compact sand and dunes.
Day 5: TEMBAINE – DUNES
Day for relaxation – driving across the dunes
We'll spend our first rest day in the vehicles and, if you desire, occasionally playing in the dunes. But first of all, we'll head toward a well to top-up our water supplies. Then, our truck drivers will be trying to find the best passages between the dunes. Our main heading will be north-west across the sand sea and a couple of hours before the sunset, we pitch our bivouac and cook the dinner. It is our habit in the desert to spend the evening after the dinner drinking desert tea late into the night and chatting by the camp-fire.
Distance: rest day in the sand sea
Day 6: DUNES – DUNES
Day for relaxation – driving across the dunes
It will be our second successive rest day, still in the dunes. The last bivouac in the sand sea is planned to be pitched a couple of hours before reaching the civilization so we'll enjoy another charming night in the true desert.
Distance: rest day in the sand sea
Day 7: DUNES – DOUZ
Running day IV
Shortly after we "dig ourselves out" of the dunes and spoil ourselves with Tunisian "capucin" in a village café at the edge of the desert, we'll make a stop in a nearby village where we cooperate with a charity institution. If you bring along some school material or medical supplies, we'll donate it to the institution without fanfare. The interested persons will receive guidelines about the items that make sense and those that don't prior to our departure to Tunisia.
After the visit, our next running stage starts. Running on tarmac or shoulder will be probably welcome after several days of softer surface. On this day, the longest planned distance will be 25 km, but you will be able to choose a shorter distance as well. The stage covers running along tiny salt lakes, past sand dunes and through oasis with date-palm plantations. The last couple of kilometres will cross the town of Douz where locals will almost certainly cheer you for the last stretch to the camping site where hot showers will be waiting for you. We'll spend another night in our tents. Dinner will be served in a local restaurant.
Distance: maximum 25 km
Surface: tarmac and shoulder.
Day 8: DOUZ – SOUQ AL-AHAD – TOZEUR
Running day V
The beginning of the day will be at leisure in Douz only to continue with a drive to the market town of Souq al-Ahad where you'll be part of the buzz and fuzz of a real Arabian non-touristy market where all sorts of articles, from spark plugs over tea to sheep, are being sold.
Running will be split into two stages this day: the first one will take us through a shady maze of paths through a charming date-palm grove, while the second will lead us over a mountain pass between impressive rock formations surrounding us. Depending on the general mood, the latter stage can also be carried out as hiking.
Overnight in a 4**** hotel in the town of Tozeur will be a refreshing change this night.
Distance: 2 x 5 km
Surface: compact sand; round rocks, gravel and sand.
Day 9: TOZEUR – ONG JMEL
Running day VI
We'll spend the morning in Tozeur, on its streets and in the oasis where you can take a ride on a horse car or visit a local zoo, (un)organized by local standards, which shows a whole array of desert fauna plus a camel that adores drinking coke from the bottle. In the afternoon, we'll get out of the town towards a film set, put up for the Star Wars film shooting in late 70's, which is slowly being covered by the surrounding dunes. From there, we'll run on a solid surface through the desert to a magnificent location of our last desert bivouac.
Distance: 5 – 10 km
Surface: compact sand.
Day 10: ONG JMEL – CHEBIKA – TAMERZA – DOUZ
Day for relaxation – an excursion to the mountain oasis
The day will be dedicated to regeneration and rest. We'll drive northwards and visit mountain oasis of Tamerza and Chebika without rush, then continue over the salt lake Chott al-Djerid back to Douz and spend our last night in our tents in the local camping site.
Day 11: DOUZ – MATMATA – BENI ZELTEN – TOUNINE – DJERBA
Running day VII
To get past Matmata, we'll drive slightly more than a hundred kilometres over the desert, then the last running stage on this tour will be scheduled around noon: a run through a valley, characterized by olive groves and palm-trees past the Berber villages of Beni Zelten and Tounine. The track here runs on a pretty low altitude over undulating terrain not far from the Mediterranean coast so we'll be already exposed to its gentle climate. After this stage, the programmed running will be wrapped and we'll drive to our hotel on the island of Djerba where we'll spend the last two nights. Buffet dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Distance: 10 km
Surface: tarmac and shoulder.
Day 12: DJERBA
Day for relaxation
Day-off in a hotel with swimming pool and access to the beach. Depending on wishes, we can head for Houmat Souq, the main town on Djerba. Self-service dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 13: 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.
The planned running distances are orientative. The participants can switch running for a ride in one of the support vehicles that will be at all times close to the group.
Why taking part in the Running Adventure in Tunisia?
to enjoy sunny weather when it's cold winter-time back home,
to breathe fresh air on a daily basis and to do something good to your body and soul,
to maybe find out you'll capable of more than you thought,
to have some great time driving across the sand sea in a truck and playing in the sand,
to enjoy discovering magnificent desert landscapes,
to spend pleasant evenings by the camp-fire under the desert sky full of stars,
to meet Tunisian culture and hospitality.
28.12.2014 - 09.01.2015
Cost per person with 14 participants:
In winter season 2014/2015 1390€
Our package includes:
Transport of personal luggage from Slovenia to Tunisia and back; air-ticket Venice – Djerba and Djerba – Venice; all breakfasts from day 2 through 13; 4 dinners, prepared in the Desert Soul Mobile Camp; 2 self-service dinners in a hotel on Djerba (2 half-boards in a 4**** hotel on Djerba); mid-day snacks on days when in the desert; DS tents and sleeping-mats rental for all nights which are not spent in the hotel; 1 night at a camping site in Ksar Ghilane; 2 overnights at a camping site in Douz; 1 overnight in multi-bed apartments in Matmata; 1 overnight in a 4**** hotel in Tozeur; possibility to take a shower on every running day (even in the desert); two quick-assistance vehicles on daily stages (food, water, transportation of your clothes, first-aid case ...); assistance truck with kitchen, hot water, electrical generator, 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; other individual expenses.
What do I need as a participant, apart of the Desert Soul equipment?
Running gear; a sleeping bag that will provide you with a comfortable sleep at temperatures down to 10°C in November and March (down to 4°C in December and February and down to 0°C in January) – a tent and a sleeping mat is provided by us; running gear 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; 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