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Matmata sunset

Matmata is a village in the south of Tunisia, famous for its troglodyte (cave) dwellings. Scenes from a number of Star Wars movies were filmed here.

Get inEdit

  • There are regular daytime services by louage (shared taxi) or bus (8 daily) from Gabes (40 km north-east).
  • SNTRI provides a daily bus service from Tunis Sud station (leaving at 21:30, 23.800 DT) via Sousse (leaving at 23:15, 16.870 DT) and Sfax (leaving 02:00, 10.610 DT), arriving at Matmata at 05:00 (Mar 2017).
  • By car - Matmata lies about 45min inland (south-west) from Gabes on a sealed road. Douz lies about 1 hr 30 min to the west. It's an 1-hour drive from Medenine across mountain roads, passing the historic town of Toujene.

Get aroundEdit

Map of Matmata

Matmata is very small, so you can easily walk between places.

SeeEdit

  • Hotel Sidi Driss. where scenes from the Lars homestead in Star Wars were filmed. Accommodation is simple (the bedrooms are formed from individual caves hollowed out from the rock, with shared bathroom facilities), but unique; visit for a day trip or spend the night (see below).
  • Ask your hotel if they can arrange a tour of a traditional troglodyte (cave) dwelling; many such properties are located around the village and are today still inhabited by local families. You may give the family a small tip (no more than 5DT)
  • There is a small museum behind the Hotel Sidi Driss, displaying local history. No written information in any language is available, so better come with a guide. DT3 per person (February 2018)
  • 1 Village of Tamezret. The stone village, 10 km west of town on the Douz road makes an interesting side trip.  

DoEdit

BuyEdit

EatEdit

There are a few restaurants serving typical Tunisian cuisine in the town center (where the three roads meet).

DrinkEdit

  • Hotel Sidi Driss. The bar in this hotel serves local beer and is frequented by the villagers and tourists alike. English is spoken. See Sleep section on how to get there. DT3 for a beer.

SleepEdit

  • 1 Hotel Sidi Driss, 6070 Matmata Ancienne (Regular daytime service by louage (share taxi) or bus (8 daily) from Gabes (40 km). Specify Matmata Ancienne as some services terminate in Matmata Nouvelle 15 km distant), +216 75 240 005. Is the must-stay location in Matmata for any Star Wars fanatics. The hotel has about 20 rooms/caves, shared bathroom facilities, a restaurant and small bar. The rooms are very basic, and there are reports of bugs. The bar plays loud Arabic music 4-11PM and serves Celtic beer for 3DT. From 30DT/night per person including simple breakfast.
  • 2 Hotel Les Berberes, Near the city center, +216 75 240-024. Another traditional underground cave hotel. Similar to Sidi Driss, but said to be a bit cleaner. Don't expect a fancy hotel, but it's a very interesting experience to sleep in a cave. Breakfast is included, full board can be arranged. DT20 per person in double, DT30 including full board.
  • 3 Diar El Barbar, Route de Benyahya, km 2, C104 (West of Matmata along C104 road), +216 75 240 074. Partial cave hotel with a pool. A bit out of town, this hotel offers more amenities than some of the very basic places in town, for a higher price. Cleanliness has been questioned by some guests.

Go nextEdit

Tounine, Beni Zelten, Matmata Nouvelle, Mareth, Douz, Bazma

  • SNTRI provides a daily bus service leaving from Matmata at 20:30 to Sfax (arriving 23:30, 10.610 DT), to Sousse (arriving at 02:15, 16.870 DT), and to Tunis Sud station (arriving at 04:00, 23.800 DT) (Mar 2017).
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