Gafsa and Gabes – Two Historic Cities in Southern Tunisia

port in gabes

There are numerous historic cities in Tunisia which hosts attractions such as ancient Roman ruins, amphitheaters, aqueducts, basilicas, mosques, temples, baths, etc. Those historic sites are must-see and are included in our popular Best of Tunisian History 8 Days Tour. There are also some less famous historic cities in Southern Tunisia that are also worth the visit such as Gafsa and Gabes. Here are a bit of information on what to expect when visiting these historic cities in Southern Tunisia.  


Gafsa is a city in the south west of Tunisia and home to the mining industry. It lends its name from the Mesolithic Capsian culture and is currently the 9th largest city in the country. The historical findings in Gafsa suggest traces of the Mesolithic civilization that occupied these regions more than thousands of years ago. An important feature in this city is the ancient Roman pools that are still used today. In 688AD, Gafsa was conquered by Oqba Ibn Nafi but he encountered serious resistance by the local Berbers. During the Second World War, Gafsa was heavily bombarded and part of its Kasbah was destroyed. Gafsa also hosts one of the largest phosphate mines in the world, which was discovered in 1886 and it is still functioning today.


Gabes is the 6th largest city of Tunisia. Main industries are cement, chemical products, brick and oil refineries. The city also houses the biggest port in Tunisia that is used to ship the mineral products from Gafsa. The nearest railway station to the Libyan border is in Gabes.  The climate in Gabes is warm-summer Mediterranean with hot and a dry season followed by a cooler temperatures. Gabes is the ancient Tacapae of the Roman province of Tripolitania.

port in gabes
Port in Gabes

Visit the Historic Cities in Tunisia

Tunisia has plenty to offer history buffs with many ancient cities and abandoned ruins packed full of fascinating heritage and history. A good place to begin your research is to browse through the tour itinerary of our Best of Tunisian History 8 Days Tour which is specifically designed for history buffs. Then, you can contact one of our Tunisia Travel Experts to customize your tour itinerary with additional visits to historic sites such as the World World II sites in Tunisia or touring the archaeological museums in Tunisia. You might even want to add in a few Star Wars sites to your Tunisia tour itinerary!

About the author

Kevin Dyck is the founder of Mosaic North Africa and has over 11 years experience living in North African countries. He is an Arabic speaker with a passion for travelers to encounter the diverse cultures and natural beauty found throughout the North Africa region. He currently lives in and works for MNA from Tunis, Tunisia.
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