Tunisia's "gateway to the Sahara" is relaxing and somewhat scenic, but it's not a place you would want to stay for a week. Other than the sand dunes, the large oasis and the Thursday market, there's not much to see and do in the small village. Douz serves mostly as an overnight stop for packaged bus tours or as an embarkation point for treks into the desert. Every December during the Festival of the Sahara, the little village is overrun by crowds from across Tunisia (and across the world). The festival, however, isn't all that impressive: Unless you are an aficionado of camel fights (the beasts wrestle each other using their necks), we suggest you skip it.

The nearby village of Zaafrane (6 mi/10 km south of Douz) is where the Great Eastern Erg (a sea of sand) begins. Hour- or weeklong camel treks into the desert are easily arranged there. 100 mi/160 km west of Jerba.

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