South of the town, Nefta's oasis stretches as far as the Chott El-Jerid, and is worth a wander to see the small oasis villages and the tiny zaouias and marabouts dotted around among the palms. Follow the road from behind the Sidi M'Khareg mosque in Oueled ech-Cherif, and this will take you to Sidi Bou Ali mosque, which was a hive of activity as I...more
Splitting Nefta in two, La Corbeille is a tiny stream in a deep and wide valley filled with palm trees. From certain places, it lcan seem as if Nefta's domes float above the palms, with the shimmering Chott el-Jerid salt pans beyond. It looks peaceful, and the stream relatively harmless, but in the 1990s, heavy rain caused severe flooding and many...more
"The White Quarter" is probably the most visually stunning part of Nefta, situated on the opposite bank of La Corbeille (see tip below). Here you'll find Nefta's busy market, narrow alleyways, and lots of architectural gems...in particular I liked the white-washed mosques overlooking La Corbeille. Unfortunately, El Baydha was also badly hit by the...more
On the other side of the main road, the Ez-Zaouia quarter was probably once a very nice place to visit with lots of old buildings and mosques perched on rocks overlooking the palm-filled Corbeille. Unortunately, the floods a few years ago hit Ez-Zaouia hard, and you can see a lot of flood damage still...some of the roads running alongside the...more
Oueled ech-Cherif's main mosque is an impressive building on the edge of the quarter overlooking the oasis. You can't enter unless you are muslim, but the tall minaret is worth a look...and is a useful building to know if you get lost, as it is visible from many places in town.To find it, face the Hotel Habib in the square and turn right through a...more
Nefta has four old quarters, and the easiest to find, if not the most spectacular, is Oueled ech-Cherif. From the main road where buses and louages drop you off, take any road off to the left...the nicest ones are entered through archways, and recent tourist maps have been drawn on the wall to help you, although it is probably easier just to dive...more
The heart of the old quarter of Oueled ech-Cherif is this shady palm-filled square, surrounded by old brick houses. On one side is the Hotel Habib (where I stayed...see Hotel tip), and on the other, a large cafe with many tables outside, a great place for a wake-up espresso or people watching in the late afternoon. It's a sleepy sort of place,...more
Nefta is quite a conservative little town, so I was quite surprised to find a large bar on the edge of Oueled ech-Cherif, next to the oasis. Bar el-Firdouss was a very popular place, with a tiny indoor section packed with locals watching football and drinking Celtia beer. The best bit is outside though, as the bar owns a large palm-filled garden, with tables and chairs spread out all over the place. A good place for cat lovers too. Unfortunately, the bar closes early, before sunset.
Favorite Dish: Beer and soft drinks are cheap, but you can also get some great food here too...sandwiches, salads, chips, etc... all the standard Tunisian dishes. You'll also be assigned your very own oasis cat, who'll hoover up any crumbs that might fall.
Nefta is only half an hour from Tozeur, but couldn't be more different. Tozeur is a busy desert town which thrives off tourism and is now something like an Aladdin-themed fairground buzzing with tour groups. Nefta is very much a laidback yet conservative town where tourism takes a backseat. Given the proximity to Tozeur, I'm surprised more tourists...more
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