It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia

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Famous Tunisian Star Wars Sites – Should You See Them?

We are completely aware that you may not be able to meet your travel needs right now due to the ongoing pandemic. However, we want to help you get through these tough times by sharing some of the most interesting and beautiful sites that the Star Wars movie franchise was filmed at in the country of Tunisia. Throughout the first six installments, except for Episode V, numerous sites have been used to help depict the home of Luke Skywalker, which is Tatooine. One of the most unique locations is the Hotel Sidi Driss, which is located at Matmata. This is actually one of the smallest villages in Tunisia. 

Apart from this site, we will be going through a number of others that have been vital for the Star Wars series – click Next to see the list!

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Engaging Cultures

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The Matmata Hotel Sidi Driss

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Among the most popular sites has to be the Matmata village. It is well-known for the troglodytes that were used to depict the tunnel dwellings that highlighted the area where Luke Skywalker grew up. Even decades after filming the initial scenes, this site remains realistic, and we assure you that walking here would feel like you are the protagonist of the classic Star Wars series. One of the coolest things about this Hotel Sidi Driss is that it is incredibly cheap, costing only $20 per night, and you can visit it throughout the whole year. Additionally, the five pits and the well-built stairs will allow you to relive the scenes you have seen on the big screen.

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Luke Skywalker’s Childhood Home

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

As we have mentioned above, the Matmata village was made to depict the place where Luke Skywalker grew up with Uncle Lars and Aunt Beru. If you plan to stay overnight, you will need to get used to the fact that there aren’t any windows in the cave dwellings. Not only that, but the beds are cots, which aren’t the most comfortable thing that you could lie on. However, the whole idea is that you feel like you are on the actual set, which is the main reason why these are the features of Hotel Sidi Driss.

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One of the Most Popular Hotels in Tunisia

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although Tunisia is a huge and beautiful country, one of the most visited hotels in the country is the Sidi Driss, which is known for the first few Star Wars installments. You shouldn’t expect a lot of modern comforts and conveniences while staying here, but you can be happy that you had the chance to visit the Star Wars world, as it is so unbelievably unique.

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Drink a Beer or Two

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

What kind of tourist stay would it be if you didn’t have a chance to drink a beer or a few with the locals and imagine that you were able to discuss life philosophy with Master Yoda? The bar that is integrated into the hotel will not only help you cope with the hot Tunisian weather but also give you an opportunity to sit down, relax, and try to act as if you were on the set back in the 1970s. 

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25 Miles Southwest of Gabes

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Pinterest

One major feature that the Matmata village is famous for is the underground and troglodyte homes that served as the perfect setting for what the Star Wars crew was looking for. It is located about 25 miles southwest of the popular town of Gabes, and as such, it is an area that you certainly shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you are an avid fan.

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Well-Preserved Sites

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Engaging Cultures

Why are we so eager to promote this place? Well, because it is so well-preserved. It is safe to say that, unlike many filming locations of Star Wars and other popular movies, those at the Hotel Sidi Driss and other filming sites in the village have done a fantastic job when it comes to making sure that it is available for visitors 24/7 year-round.

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Lars Homestead

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: 20th Century

While the pictures of Luke growing up and spending his time with an aunt and uncle were filmed at the Matmata village, the exterior was set at a dry salt lake known as Chott el Djerid. While around 200 miles away from the initial filming location, the main reason why producers decided on this site was because of the dust that is kicked up by the wind and the dry salt setting. At the end of the day, the idea was that Skywalker’s homestead has a unique, almost supernatural appearance.

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The Neck of the Camel

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Mosaic North Africa

The Mosaic North Africa agency takes you on one of the best trips that you can take while in Southern Tunisia – the Ong Jemel rock. Along with the Matmata village, this is one of the most important locations in Star Wars given the fact that it has been featured both in Episode II – Attack of the Clones and the initial installment Episode I – The Phantom Menace. What you are most likely to remember it for is the place where Sith Probes were initially released by Darth Maul – one of the main antagonists in this movie series.

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Near Nefta

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Travel Earth

The “camel’s neck”, or Ong Jemel stands as one of the most impressive Star Wars locations because it was used to depict the settlement of Mos Espa. This site was shown numerous times throughout the Phantom Menace installment. As it is incredibly popular and close to the town of Nefta, we are happy to say that it is accessible year-round. Most importantly, it is still completely preserved almost more than 40 years later.

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Need a Land Cruiser

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Consequence of Sound

While we said that you shouldn’t have a lot of issues when it comes to visiting this filming location, you should keep in mind that it is much better to hire a professional driver that will be able to take you through the desert with a Land Cruiser. This is because of the fact that the terrain may not be the best if you aren’t used to driving around in sandy and dusty settings. Plus, being with a tour guide is a wholesome experience and another reason to search for a local Tunisian agency. 

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Sidi Bouhlel

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Mosaic North Africa

Another fantastic tour that you can take is the location that is iconic in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope. This is the canyon known as Sidi Bouhlel. It is extremely beautiful, but unless you are in a vehicle, it can be quite exhausting and even dangerous to visit this location. One of the coolest things is that this site in Tunisia was used for filming English Patient, as well as Indiana Jones the Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

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A New Hope Popular Site

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Pinterest

Just as we have already said, the main reason why this site is extremely popular is because of the fact that it was used for filming many iconic scenes in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope. As it is set just around 15 miles down the road of Kebili outside of the town of Tozeur, it is a canyon that you are likely to visit if you opt for one of the popular tours that you can book both through local and international tourist agencies. 

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Obi-Wan Kenobi

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Star Wars

If you are still trying to figure out whether you recognize this filming location or not, we will try to help you by saying that it is the spot where Star Wars protagonist Luke Skywalker met with Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time. Additionally, it is where the Jawa Traders were passing through all the time. With this in mind, you can be quite sure that famous producer, director, and screenwriter George Lucas simply loves this canyon, as he used it for a few scenes in the Indiana Jones series, as well.

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Ksar Ouled Soltane

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Atlas Obscura

While there are more than a couple of sites that try to showcase the best tourist attractions for Star Wars fans in Tunisia, we have to say that most tourists miss out on the Ksar locations. While the Ouled Soltane is a massive, unique structure that the Berbers built in order to store grain and other essentials, it was used as one of the main filming locations for the slave quarters where Anakin was held in the Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Keep in mind that the Ouled Soltane is located just 15 miles outside of Tatooine, which is one of the most popular towns in Tunisia.

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Ksar Hadada

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Roderick Phillips

There have been two different sites that were used as the slave quarters in the first installment of the popular film series. Much like the Soltane, this one is quite close to Tatooine, being only 20 miles northwest of the town. Most importantly, it is a site that you can easily access by car, and that is why most tourist agencies include it in the itinerary for Star Wars fans who are interested.

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The Berber Underground Town

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @Skadr / Getty Images

Although we have already listed it, we feel a dire need to repeat that you should start your tour with the Matmata village, given the fact that it is one of the sites where the whole Star Wars plot begins at the Lars homestead. It is a beautiful location that is highlighted by the troglodytes and a number of tunnels that you will enjoy running through, feeling like you are a child once again. With more than 20 rooms, a bar, and a restaurant, you shouldn’t have a tough time feeling like you are at home while spending your time at the Hotel Sidi Driss.

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Tatooine Slave Quarters

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @Thierry Monasse / Getty Images

Again, one of the most recognizable Tunisian towns is Tatooine. No, it may not be an official filming location, but the fact that it is so close to the Ouled Soltane and Hadada Ksars, which served as Mos Espa and Anakin’s slave quarters, is the main reason why we think you should visit this site. Most importantly, you will experience fantastic food and the friendly people that inhabit this area. It is especially important if you are looking to use your visit to Tunisia to explore as many locations that are related to Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace as possible. 

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Tozeur – a Unique Star Wars Base

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Petit Fute

You aren’t looking at a site that was directly used for iconic Star Wars scenes but rather a town that acts as a fantastic base if you want to be very close to the most important locations of this movie series. By staying at Tozeur, you will be able to enjoy Sidi Bouhlel, Chott el Djerid, and the Mos Espa set. Furthermore, all of these sites have been used for filming scenes, such as the Jinn and Maul duel, the Tusken Raider Attack, and the final shots of Star Wars Episode III.

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Djerba Island

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @Keren Su / Getty Images

Set incredibly close to the southern coast of Tunisia, this attractive island is a place where multiple Star Wars scenes were filmed. If you were interested to know more about the cantina in Mos Eisley that Obi Wan-Kenobi and Luke Skywalker visited in Star Wars Episode IV – a New Hope, you can do that by hopping to the town of Ajim. Also, the mosque that is next to the town is where Obi spent his exile, which is probably one of the toughest scenes that we all had to go through as Star Wars fans.

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Mos Eisley Cantina

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

As we have mentioned above, one of the most important filming locations for Star Wars is the coastal town of Ajim, which is set on Djerba Island. Given the fact that one of the most iconic scenes of the Millennium Falcon flying away from the Mos Eisley cantina was filmed here, it is a site that you can’t miss. Also, you are sure to love the beautiful setting that the island offers, as well as the architecture of the mosque that was used to record how Obi-Wan Kenobi’s exile house looked from the outside.

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Tosche Station

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

Set at the Sidi Jmour, which is a popular beach on the attractive Djerba Island, are more than a few recognizable scenes. What you should be focusing on is the white building, which is currently used as a shack for fishermen and looks just beautiful, especially when you pair it with the Mediterranean sea. While most scenes from this site have been released in the Special Edition, if you are a die-hard fan you will recognize the Anchorhead Tosche Station as one of the coolest structures in the whole movie.

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Mos Espa Slave Quarters

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

If you are taking an official tour and going through the numerous locations that Tunisia has to offer, it is incredibly likely that, as you leave Djerba Island using the Roman causeway on your way to the mainland, you will then be instructed to visit the Slave Quarters where Shmi and Anakin lived. While we have already mentioned the Ksar Medenine as one of the coolest structures that were initially used by Berbers, you should also pay huge respects to how Ksar Ouled Soltane was built given the fact that it stands as the second slave quarters site that Star Wars directors used.

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Ksar Hadada

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

The Ksars were used as Mos Espa slave quarters, which was the case with the Hadada, as well. You will remember this location in the scene when Anakin was building a podracer to escape while Sjm and Qui-Gon Jin were watching him from a terrace. If you are someone who thinks the Phantom Menace installment is the best out of all the Star Wars episodes, then it is a site that you have to visit!

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Star Wars Canyon

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

Once you are done with the Matmata village, Ksars, and Djerba Island, you should move on to visit the aforementioned site where more than 9 popular movie scenes have been recorded. We are talking about where the attack of the Jawa Traders took place, as well as where they buried the Jawa Rock, and where the Tusken Raiders were attacking. This is also where the R2D2 kidnapping scene took place, which is probably one of the most important scenes of A New Hope.

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Nefta – Lars Homestead Exterior

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

Used in more than a couple of installments, including the Revenge of the Sith and Attack of the Clones, the Lars Homestead igloo is one of the coolest locations in this series. The dry salt lake is perfect for filming a setting that doesn’t look like it is set on planet Earth. In our opinion, it is one of the best spots to take a photo at, as there are a plethora of ideas that you can get creative with and create memories while proving that you are a true Star Wars fan.

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Nefta – Mos Espa

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Silverscreen Tours

While you are already near the town of Nefta, you should visit Mos Espa, which is the place where the Queen’s Royal Starship settled, as well as the location of the pod-racing arena. Not only that, but in this area, you will find the popular Sebulba’s cafe, as well as Watto’s market, a couple of attractive streets, and even the spot where Qui-Gon fought Darth Maul. 

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Miraculous Lake

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Lonely Planet

We are aware that we have listed the Chott location more than a couple of times now, but what you should know is that it isn’t cool solely because of the numerous Star Wars scenes that have been filmed there. It is also thought to offer healing properties. Keep in mind that the sequences when R2D2 was searched for by Luke Skywalker were filmed here. 

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Tatooine Towers

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: Lonely Planet

One of the most intriguing sites to visit when it comes to Star Wars tours has to be Mos Espa, which isn’t only highlighted as a site of evocative scenes but also by the cool towers that have been built for the set. What you should keep in mind is that a lot of tours don’t stay that long at this location, which is something that you will want to be informed on, given the fact that there truly is a lot that Mos Espa has to offer. 

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A Pilgrimage Through Tatooine

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

At first, you may think of the two items that are in the picture above as towers, but these are moisture vaporizers that we are sure you will recognize if you are a true Jedi. The fact that it is the best place to relive the Star Wars and Mos Espa vibe makes this location one that you shouldn’t miss out on. The coolest part of it all is that you can actually dress in a “Jedi” cloak for a mesmerizing picture that will allow you to share the experience you had in Tunisia. 

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Sand Dunes Throughout

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

One of the most important locations was put into question a couple of years ago when sand dunes started appearing all over the place. This is where fans’ true love for the series showed, given the fact that fans from all around the globe collected the money to finance the excavators that would preserve this filming location and remove the sand dunes. 

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Attention To Tourists

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

As a tourist, you will be approached by a number of souvenir sellers that are presenting their products as licensed and related to the Star Wars franchise. While it is up to you to decide whether you want to get some memorabilia from Mos Espa or not, we recommend that you ask around and see what seller offers the best quality for the given price in this area.

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Salem Ben Said

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

A true inhabitant of Mos Espa and Tatooine is Salem, who has been in the business for more than 30 years. Not only does he do his best to sell Star Wars related items but also cool jewelry, dried scorpions, and popular Tunisian artifacts. Frankly, he is a man that you definitely want to pay a visit to if you are looking to hear a cool story, as well as learn more about the area that numerous scenes were filmed at. 

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Orphan Dining Room

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

As we are closing this list out, we want to get back to one of the most evocative filming locations – the orphan dining room that appeared in numerous installments. The fact that it is not as popular for tourist visits as it once was makes it more attractive and closer to what it originally looked like when George Lucas and the crew were filming.

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Run-Down

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

Apart from enjoying different tourist destinations, if you are also interested in figuring out some lesser-known details, then your stay at Hotel Sidi Driss is sure to make that happen. Wandering around, you are sure to find spaceship debris, as well as plastic pipes and buttons that were used as the crew was wrapping up the initial installments. 

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A Prop Saber

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

We have to agree that one of the coolest weapons that ever appeared on a film screen is the lightsaber. While it looked extremely powerful whenever Luke Skywalker used it, the one that you will find in a room of the Matmata village is just a prop and nothing but a regular plastic rod. However, we are sure that getting to hold even this out-of-order lightsaber is an experience that speaks for itself.

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The Guardian

It Is Worth Seeing the Famous Star Wars Sites in Tunisia
Image Source: @E. Lehmann / DW

In the end, we want to say that if you are already visiting the Matmata village, as well as exploring the Hotel Sidi Driss, you will want to meet the guardian of the filming site, Masoud Rashid. As someone who has been here for more than a few decades, he has a few stories to tell of how it all looked when the film crew was there, as well as what it is like to maintain one of the most important Star Wars sites in Tunisia!

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