Star Wars location spotting in Tunisia

When you say Star Wars, most people think of galaxies far far away. But all these exotic planets from the movies were filmed on earth. Four of the Star Wars movies were partially filmed in southern Tunisia (the planet Tatooine in the movies) and the good thing is that many of the locations are still in relative good state.

You can stay in Luke Skywalker's home (now a hotel) and wander around the desert bumping into moisture vaporators and other Star Wars stuff around the Mos Espa set.

Because Star wars is not well known in Tunisia, this article will introduce you to some famous locations from the movies and show you how to get there. So when you go on vacation to Tunisia, check out some of the locations over there. Sometimes you’ll think you are on Tatooine instead of Tunisia.

Hint: Open a new tab showing Google Maps next to this page. Copy/paste the given Lat/Long coordinates in Google map's searchbox to see the Star Wars locations on a map.

Djerba

Djerba is a Tunisian island. It's well known for its resorts and beach vacations. Two movie locations can be found on the western side of the island. Ben's hermitage and Toshi Station.

Ben’s hermitage
Lat/Long coordinates 33.740833,10.734951

This little house is actually used by fishermen as a storage. In Episode IV it can be seen as the house of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Ben’s hermitage
Ben’s hermitage (Photo by Hoylen Sue)

Toshi Station
Lat/Long coordinates 33.831411,10.747936

Sidi Jemour is a temple, located some miles north of Ben’s house. It was seen in the movie as Toshi Station in Anchorhead, in a shot where the landspeeder rushes into Anchorhead on its way to Mos Eisley.

Anchorhead
Toshi Station in Anchorhead (Photo by eckart1)

Tozeur

Tozeur is an oasis and a city in south west Tunisia. The city is located North West of Chott el-Djerid, in between this Chott and the smaller Chott el-Gharsa. With hundreds of thousands of palm trees, Tozeur is a large oasis. The dates that are exported from Tozeur are well known. From Tozeur you can make trips on a camel, explore the Sahara and get to know the Chott el-Djerid, where you can see fata Morgana's. Furthermore Tozeur is the place to be for Star Wars fans, because there are lots of movie locations around the city: the Lars Homestead exterior, the Mos Espa set, the Sith infiltrator landing site and Star wars canyon.

Lars Homestead Exterior
Lat/Long coordinates 33.842823, 7.779038

Luke's home is located 35km out of Tozeur at Chott El Jerid. Chott El Jerid is part of the vast dry salt lake flats that cover 5,000 sq km on the West side of central/southern Tunisia near Algeria. The little igloo is standing here in the middle of nowhere. Because the Lars Homestead interior scenes were shot somewhere else, the crew had to dig some craters next to it, to make you believe there's actually an underground structure in the movie.

Lars Homestead
Lars Homestead exterior(Photo by Hoylen Sue)

The igloo was taken apart after the shooting of the first trilogy but was rebuilt for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Some memorable scenes were shot here, including Shmi Skywalker's funeral in Attack of the Clones, and the final shot of Revenge of the Sith. It's a good idea to visit this location near the evening. When the sun sets in the middle of the desert and with the little igloo as the only structure nearby, you'll get a spectacular view.

Lars Homestead sunset
Lars Homestead exterior sunset(Photo by Könczöl Gábor)

Mos Espa
Lat/Long coordinates 33.994296,7.842677

This set was built from nothing in the middle of the desert, and still stands. This is not a typical studio tour. Most Tunisians haven't even seen the Star War's movies, but they recognize that there's more value in just leaving the props alone and keep them in good state, than removing them.

Mos Espa
The Mos Espa set(Photo by Srdjan Djordjevic)

You can see the whole town: the gates of Mos Espa; the Pod-racing arena; the gallery and the Mos Espa streets with Watto''s shop, the market and Sebulba's Café. Get there early in the morning and you could have the place to yourself.

Mos Espa
The Mos Espa set(Photo by maciekke)

A few hundred meters away from the set you'll find the Yardangs: protruding bits of sandstone that look like shark fins peeping out of the desert. The Jedi duel between Qui-Gonn and Darth Maul in Episode I was shot here.

Yardangs
Yardangs(Photo by Vitaliy Kebin)

Sith infiltrator landing site (Oung Jmel)
Lat/Long coordinates 34.015353,7.911444

About 6km East of the Mos Espa set lies Oung Jmel, better known as the camel head rock. This was the site were Darth Maul arrived on Tatooine and released the Sith Probes to search for Queen Amidala’s ship. The same location was used for Maul flying over the cliffs after having found Anakin and Qui-Gon.

oung jmel
Sith infiltrator landing site (Photo by Jennifer)

Juntland Wastes
Lat/Long coordinates 34.033572,8.281771

23km North-East of Tozeur you can find Sidi Bouhel, better known as the Juntland Wastes in the movies. This canyon was used in 1976 for no less than 9 shots. Lucasfilm named it "Star Wars Canyon". Also the canyon was used in Raiders of the Lost Ark and in The English Patient.

Star Wars Canyon
Star Wars Canyon (Photo by Roger Noguera Arnau)

In front of the canyon entrance, you'll see the Sandcrawler parking lot. The inside is a narrow gorge walled by two hundred foot high cliffs and a wide, flat wadi that runs from Jebel Krefane down to the chott. In the gorge Luke was being attacked by Tusken Raiders, and met Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time. Just outside the mouth of the gorge Imperial Stormtroopers attacked and massacred the Jawas who sold the droids on to Uncle Owen.

Jawa Rock
Jawa Rock in Star Wars Canyon (Photo by Roger Noguera Arnau)

Tataouine

Ksar ouled soltane
Lat/Long coordinates 32.788361,10.514989

Our next destination is Tataouine, located in the south of Medenine. The planet Tatooine got its name from this town, and that's about the town's only contribution to the movie. Most of the scenes were shot in the hills and villages surrounding the town. A little further south is located Ksar Ouled Soltane a beautyful ghorfa (grain storage facility) that was used to as a background for some of the Slave Quarters shots in Episode I.

Slave Quarters
Ksar Ouled Soltane (Photo by Michael)

Medenine

Anakin Skywalker's home
Lat/Long coordinates 33.347272,10.492051

Medenine is the major town in southeastern Tunisia. The main attraction in Medenine is Ksar Medenine, an ancient Berber fortified granary. North of Ksar Medenine is the granary that acted as the slave quarters in Episode I. It was used as the exterior the Anakin Skywalker's home in many shots.

Skywalker Alley
Skywalker Alley (Photo by Bernard Gagnon)

Matmata

Lars homestead interior
Lat/Long coordinates 33.54253,9.967341

In Matmata you can actually sleep in Luke's home. The Hotel Sidi Driss served as the interior of the Lars homestead. Aunt Beru's kitchen is still there, but except for some fiberglass and wooden frames, and the fresco on the dining room ceiling, you won't find any props. Even so, it is easy to get excited when sitting in the very same dining room that the Lars family used. The hotel also has a well stocked bar with lots of Star Wars memorabilia and a Star wars inspired menu.

Lars homestead interior
Lars homestead interior (Photo by Jean-Marc Matthey)

Tunisia

Not only the Star Wars sites are worth a visit. Tunisia has lots of other things to offer. When you like to travel and want to see different desert landscapes, just rent a car and off you go.

Tunis
Tunisian desert (Photo by roger beau)

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Comments

Hi all, we flew to Tunisia to visit those sites and it was amazing!

Here is our travel scheme:

Day 1: Arrive Tunis.
Stay overnight in Tunis. Catch a flight to Jerba the day after.

Day 2: Fly to Jerba (45 minutes), visit the island

Day 3: Jerba
Ben’s hermitage
Toshi station
• El Ghriba Synagogue
• Houmt Souk

Day 4: Tataouine
Drive to Tatouine from Jerba. (2 hours)
Ksar Soltane
Chenini and Douret Berber villages

Day 5: Medinine, Mathmatha
Depart Tatouine to Douz
(Tataouine to Medinine is 1 hour, then 1.5 hours to Gabes, and then 45-min Mathmatha. then 1.5 hours to Douz. Total driving about 5 hours).

Medinine
Anakin Skywalker’s home – Ksar Medenine

Matmata
Lars Homestead Interior – Called Hotel Sidi Driss
*Tamezret mountaintop village

Arrive Douz

Day 6: Douz, Sahara Desert.
Overnight in Douz. Possible overnight in Sahara Desert.

It is possible to drive to Tozeur via Gabes and skip Douz, saving a little time, but you would miss Mathmatha. If you want to see Mathmatha and Tozeur in the same trip, then you have to pass through Douz. Also, if you are interested, there is a terrific wonderful village called Toujane on the way from Medinine to Mathmatha.

Day 7: Tozeur
Drive to Tozeur
(takes about 1 – 1.5 hours to Tozeur from Douz)
Lars Homestead exterior is on the way in the Chott el Jerid
Ong Jemel / Mos Eisli / Sith inflitrator landing site – This is a minimum one-hour drive from Tozeur on a dirt and sand road. To get there you hire a LandCruiser (with driver) and they do some off-roading too. It’s a lot of fun. Cost is about 40 – 50 TD per person, if I remember

Day 8: Tozeur
Juntland wastes. These are in the opposite direction as Mos Eisli near the popular Chebika and Tamerza mountain oasis. It’s possible to see Ong Jemel and Mos Eisli and the Chebika mountain oasis in one day, but it’s a lot of hard driving. I don’t think you would want to come straight from Douz and try this.
• Tozeur oasis
• Chebika, Tamerza

Day 9: Fly to Tunis from Tozeur

Good luck!

Day 10 probably get beheaded on youtube

Don't be a fool.

This is so awesome! How much did the entire trip cost you?

@ Ashley

we've spent around 1500$ a person in Tunisia (domestic flights, drivers, food and hotels included)
not included are the international flights, because that price is depending on where you live.

Did you visit The Cantina and Star Wars Canyon? Those places are amazing.

well done david thanks for info thinkin a doin similar next month! kudos!

umm, what about the Krayt Dragon skeleton?

On your http://www.losapos.com/starwarstunisia page you've spelled Obi-wan as Obi-one.
Other than that, great pics!

thanks for the remark :)

This is awesome. One day I'm going to do this. You've inspired me.

Great article, I just would add a map just to have an idea of how far are the locations between them.

I don't know if anyone tried this or not but the Lon/Lat of the Lars Exterior is 33.842823, 7.779038

LosApos edit: That's correct. I'll update the article.

very nice photos. great.

Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

These are great pictures of beautiful places.

Great places! Want to visit :)

Wow that's beautiful. I'd love to visit sometime and feel like I'm on the Star Wars set! Looks like a whole different world.

this is such an interesting feature. thank u so much. i certainly wish to visit gabes, tunisia someday. not only the place i wish to visit but the man that i love...

Hi,

I am very interested to see all of these and will be travelling to Tunisia in a few days. Can I ask is Mos Espa and Juntland wastes accessible by a normal car? ie. are there paved roads to access these locations? It appears as though there are on google maps.

When we did the trip there were no paved roads and we used a 4 wheel drive, but that was 4 years ago. Maybe they built a road to these locations by now.

Congratulations,

very good article, well written and beautiful photos

Thank you fpr posting

yeah true and i'am from tataouuine the place that they filmed the "star wars" and i'am veryyyy proud of these ,that i'am from tataouine,.... :D :) ♥