Matmata Travel Guide

  • Matmata
    by katalin
  • Matmata
    by katalin
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by katalin

Matmata Things to Do

  • Heading to Gabes.

    After the visit of Matmata, and after visiting the Ksours, we were ready again for a long 4wd´s drive to Gabes.

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  • Grounding Semoline Flour.

    During our visit to the Troglodyte house they showed us how they ground the semoline flour, a hard task.

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  • Troglodyte Houses.

    After visiting the Sidi Idris Hotel, we were taken to a real Troglodyte Home, we visited the house, and were invited to tea and Tunisian bread (yes, we didn´t have to pay or buy anything) and talked a little with the family, then we visited some of the caves used as bedrooms, living room and kitchen. Of course our tour operator has some kind of...

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  • The Sidi Idris Hotel.

    Once used as a set of the Disco scene in the first Star Wars movie, now is a hotel with 20 rooms, each room is a cave dug from the rock, the hotel also has a bar and a restaurant and lots of visitors.

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  • Matmata - Star Wars setting

    Matmata's fame comes from the unusual houses – instead of building the houses, they were dug vertically into the ground. Matmata is so great that it is about to become destroyed. The town is a must-see for tourists to Tunisia, and from early morning till late afternoon bus load after bus load arrive in this small village. The landscape of Matmata...

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  • Star Wars

    When in tunisia a must see is the Underground Village of Matmata the place where the original Star Wars was filmed.

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  • Landscape outside Matmata

    The land around Matmata is very scenic. We travelled all the way from Houmt Souk in Djerba and passed some great sights along the way. Many people find Matmata too touristy given the number of visitors following in Luke Skywalkers footsteps. There are equally interesting towns (such as Haddej) nearby, with fewer visitors and equally good...

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  • Berber Museum 2

    Our guide seemed very modern, informative, confident and not quite how I imagined a Berber to be. She spoke fairly fast, accented French so I couldn't understand every word though she also had some English, more words than sentences though. It was a bit akward at the end and she didn't seem in a hurry for us to go and was even talking animatedly by...

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  • Berber Museum

    The highlight of Matmata was our visit to the Berber Musem nearby where we were given a guided tour of a typical troglydyte house by a local woman whose family have lived there for years. These houses are designed to be cold in summer and warm in winter using the Earth as a natural insulator. And it does get hot here. In March when we visited it...

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Matmata Hotels

See all 8 Hotels in Matmata

Matmata Restaurants

  • Another day, another dinner

    Someone else on VT has described this restaurant as overpriced. I suppose they have a point, but this is a tourist town, there's little competition and you only have to look at the number of tables to realise that this is not an ordinary Tunisian diner. That's before you clock the stickers for a multitude of 4x4 'desert safaris' adorning the...

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  • Overpriced Local Restaurant

    Chez Abdoul was a little disappointing. There was no menu outside, though it seemed fairly busy, and as it had been mentioned (though not exactly recommended) in our Rough Guide, we decided to chance it. It was an interesting variation having to choose our courses from a long list in French given by the waitress but this also meant we had no idea...

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  • "Sidi"

    We eat there the local dish "couscous" but we didn't eat a lot because ....we didn't like it :-(So they brougth us another dish with baked patatoes and a piece of "meat" and eggs.

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Matmata Nightlife

  • kazander's Profile Photo

    by kazander Written Feb 4, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Hotel Sidi Driss has a small little bar where you can have a drink which is the exact spot where they filmed scenes for Star Wars. We met many fellow travellers there.

    Dress Code: no dress code

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Matmata Transportation

  • Where are the louages?

    If you're travelling via Gabes, note that the louages for Matmata do not leave from the main louage terminal. , but from about 400 metres away in Rue Ali Jemel, by the Esso petrol station. (Incidentally this is not where the current (Feb 2005) Rough guide tells you to go: it's just around the corner.) I think this may be because the louage stop...

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  • Matmata to Medenine : Toujane and Aït...

    The soil is more rocky and stony than in Matmata and the inhabitants have no been able to carve their houses in the soil but they have used the rocks and the earth to built them. The village, though large is visible only when getting close. Otherwise, it melts completely into the landscape as seen on the previous photo.

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  • Matmata to Medenine : Toujane and Aït...

    The road from Matmata to Medenine is not in very good condition and in some places, in 2002, it was under repair that looked as a lengthy process. ! On the way, there are only few villages, the main being Toujane and Aït Tounine.Click to enlarge the picture, otherwise, you will not see there is a large village.

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Matmata Local Customs

  • silvia-m.b's Profile Photo

    by silvia-m.b Written Jan 20, 2003

    When I was inside this dwelling I enjoyed with the pleasing aroma around! Great food and nice to smell!

    Inside a troglodite dwelling

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Matmata Warnings and Dangers

  • Visit a Berber House

    As soon as we parked our car in Matmata we were approached by a local who said hello and asked were we french - no, german - no, american - no, italian-no, english-no,etc. He asked did we want to see a typical Berber home, then recommended Chez Abdoul for lunch and suggested after our meal we would like to see a typical Berber home. we were used to...

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  • Water

    Most guides books, if not all tell that you should only drink bottled water. This is certainly a wise advice and you have better follow this precautionary principle. However, I did not and when we camped across Tunisia, we always picked tap water where it was available, as here, near Matmata and had never any problem.

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  • Slow Down! Sheep in the road...again

    Often on the roads near the smaller town you will have to wait for the sheep or goats to cross. I suppose they have the right of way. The sheep herders are in no hurry they take their sweet time, but hey, who cares? What appointment do you have to keep?

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Matmata Tourist Traps

  • Matmata Museum: troglodyte dwelling...

    Around Matmata the thing to see are the troglodyte dwellings. The Sidi Driss Hotel is one made famous by the Star Wars movies. You can go there and still see some of the Star Wars elements built into the walls, but now painted a nice bright yellow so you can identify them. This isn't the scam, as you can freely wander in and take pictures. Around...

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  • Hotel Sidi Driss

    As tourist traps go this is laughable. It's virtually labelled TOURIST TRAP and exists almost solely for tourist who want to be trapped. Yes, it's the STAR WARS (tm) place. Outside, a coach park, souvenir stalls, a handful of tour guides and some camels, who must really hate the rock-strewn landscape. Inside, you can see a bit of Star Wars...

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  • It won't make you laurence of Arabia

    The rather obvious tourist experience camel ride will mean you are transported just a few hundred feet down a lane to meet one of the camel drivers relatives who will proudly show you around her all mod-cons cave. Have some small change available for the inevitable extras and treat it as a chance to get to know a local a little better. After all...

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Matmata What to Pack

  • Proper shoes.

    Much of the surounding landscape is fairly rough and stony. Sure they were on the way out, but a relatively short walk into the surrounding country reduced my shoes to about 5% health, holes in the soles. They had the first shine of their life (black suede) in Sfax and, carefully walked in, just made it home.

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  • Fighting the Heat - Part I

    Travels to places like Tunisia involves a lot of fighting the heat, especially if you, like me (I am still surprised as to why I did that), go there right in the middle of the summer. Here’s a list of useful items to take:- Hats and other covering: Large brimmed hats that provide head covering and some shade. For women, they are also a proof of...

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  • Matmata Hotels

    8 Hotels in Matmata

    1 Reviews

Matmata Off The Beaten Path

  • Mosque in Matmata

    We parked near this mosque so it was the first thing of interest we saw in Matmata. Like most mosques in Tunisia's smaller towns, this was closed to non Muslims so we could only admire it from outside. The brilliant white colour of the mosque looked spectacular against the landscape of Matmata.

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  • Troglydyte homes on the road from...

    Outside Matmata we passed more troglydyte houses, so if you didn't get your fill of these unique dwellings in Matmata, there are plenty more opportunities on the way to Douz.

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  • Bee-hives

    These drum looking "things" are actually bee-hives. They are made with the trunk of palm tree that has been hollowed out by one end. The open end is sunk in the soil, in the rear. The front end has just a small hole to allow the passage of bees.

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Matmata Favorites

  • Unique Landscape

    It is easy to see the attraction of this area to the Star Wars filmmakers as the landscape is dramatic and the caves built into the ground only add to the effect.

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  • Matmata and Star Wars

    Star Wars: Don't expect neon lights or signposts to point you in the right direction. If our tour guide had not given us directions, we wouldn't have even know that the Star Wars locations were here! Each of the "buildings" is connected to the main entrance by underground tunnels. From above ground, they appear to be enormous holes in the ground...

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  • The road to nowhere

    It just looks like the road to nowhere, "lost in space". There is nothing in front and you have left nothing behind, just a rocks all around. The desert landscape is amazing, pure magic, far away from all my previous "knowledge" about the deset. This is where we can learn how small the menkind is.

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Explore Deeper into Matmata
Hotel Sidi Driss
Things to Do
Inside Hotel Sidi Driss
Things to Do
Visit a Berbe House
Things to Do
Troglodyte houses
Things to Do
Star Wars Fans will love it
Things to Do
Behind the dam
Transportation
Riding on a camel tour
Tourist Traps
Leaving for a camel tour
Tourist Traps
Actual troglodytic house
Things to Do
An unsophisticated "well house" ?
Things to Do
Out of the tunnel
Things to Do
The entrance
Things to Do
A hole !
Things to Do
Improved barn or sheepfold
Things to Do
Dwelling any more ?
Things to Do
The everyday's rutine
Things to Do
The dining room
Things to Do
The inneryard
Things to Do
The corridor
Things to Do
Waiting what ?!
Off The Beaten Path
Matmata to Medenine
Transportation
Matmata to Medenine
Transportation
A sophisticated ''well'' house
Things to Do
Never trust to your agent
Tourist Traps
Bus
Transportation
The entrance
Things to Do
The Berber Museum
Things to Do
The Berber Museum
Things to Do
The Berber Museum
Things to Do
The Tourist strikes back - impact of tourism.
Favorites
Louage travel
Transportation
When is the best time to visit ?
Favorites
Watch kids play and enjoy life in this area
Off The Beaten Path
All photos cost money
Tourist Traps
Troglodyte restaurant
Restaurants
To Matmata
Transportation
a moonlike landscape
Favorites
troglodyte homes
Things to Do
Map of Matmata

View all Matmata hotels