While on vacation a few years ago, my partner and I were in the wonderful African country of Tunisia. Amongst the other places we visited, the bizarre in the capital has incredible bathrooms and a door leading out to the desert, a place where getting lost is an adventure and an authentic satisfaction.
The truth is that although there were multiple stores in Tozeur, I couldn't find any typical product that characterised the city different to any other place. The stores are spread both in the narrow streets of Ouled el-Hadef neighborhood, as in Av Habib Bourguiba and around Ibn Chabbat. What you can find in them: Desert Roses, tunics and chilabas, wicker baskets, bowls or ceramic tiles decorated, copper kettles, carpets, jewelery in silver or alpaca, boxes of dates (perhaps most typical south of the country), and all kinds of souvenirs. As always, haggling is essential.
Most shops in Douz shops are around the Place de la Liberation, where the market is too. The craft products that can be purchased in these shops are not too different from those which are usually found in other souks in the country: typical suits; Berber jewellery; ceramics and leather goods, Bedouin blankets, cages. The most typical thing to buy in Douz are natural "deglat Ennour" dates which are grown in an extensive palm grove and also desert roses (some are animpressive size). It is best to visit Douz on Thursdays as there is a colourful and crowded market and a cattle fair where you can buy goats, sheep, donkeys and even camels.
The souk is in the Medina. We arrived by taxi from the hotel and immediately saw the streets that go up and down, twist and hide secret bargains. Some traders display ceramic suns, others serve couscous on huge plates as they watch us pass. I was going to take out my camera, but I was told to keep it in the bag because of all the people and because it wouldn't remain in my hands very long. We were caught by the arm to go into a stall. Ne me touche pas!!, I said, with almost no success. Outside, the colour continues while the people try to grab our attention with counterfeit European brands, and some Spanish ones.
November 7th Avenue is the main artery of the Medina, which winds its way through the crowded souks. Almost all of the construction is from the 17th and 18th centuries and it still retains some traditional Tunisian craft workshops, as well as the many souvenir shops. You should go through the Medina from south to north from the Bab el-Khouha to the Bab Tunis gate, past the El Maalek mosque. In this street, there are all kinds of usual tourist trinkets in the souks (perfumes, clothing, jewellery, hats, spices, camel leather handbags, copper pots, etc.) and quality carpet shops (Kairouan is the capital of the carpet and kilims factories).
Life in El Jem revolves around the gigantic Roman amphitheater. In stands close to the modern city, the mosque, and a "craft center". This is actually a set of outdoor stalls, which sell the classic tourist souvenirs including imitation tiles, straw hats, coats, cloth bags, necklaces and henna tattoos.
Guellala is the capital of ceramics. It is a small Berber village located 19 km from Houmt Souk. I discovered it during one of my trips on the island of Djerba. The pottery is characterized by its yellow background, forms and geometric patterns or figurative designs in copper verdigris. The potters and ceramists in this area have a long tradition of how they characterize their work, and it has been maintained over time. The artisans have an original way that they work: the famous "magic camels and other stuff like couscous dishes, lamps ...
This quaint Tunision village with its cobbled streets and narrow alleys is usually crowded with tourists, so it's full of crafts and souvenirs, where you can buy things of all shapes and sizes, from the typical postcards and T-shirts to the peculiar cages, hand decorated tiles or thumbnails and doors plaques that you can see on every house in the village. You can also find robes, pottery, basketry or olive wood and even, recreations of Roman mosaics. The prices of such items are very affordable, but do not forget bargaining is a must. However, if you are looking for something unique and handmade, you can visit any of the many art and jewel galleries.
The city of Kaiouran, Tunisia, is the most Arab of all Tunisian cities and the 4th holiest city of Islam. We were accompanied by a man who took us through the most typical streets and places where people still work by hand. They sell their wares in the typical markets of Medina and the souks. we were specifically watching different artisan weavers of blankets, scarves or pashminas. All weavers are men as women can only work at home, weaving carpets manually.