Desert sights in Tunisia
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Douz is the most convenient place to get a taste for the Sahara, though it's really only a taste. The Sahara desert proper starts 50km south of the Zone Touristique. Unless you're planning a longer excursion into the desert, the action centres around the great dune. It can't compare to the sand seas of the Grand Erg Oriental, but is a gentle introduction for those with limited time.
Not that you're counting, but the palmeraie here is the largest of all the Tunisian desert oases, with almost half a million palm trees. A wonderfully productive place, it turns out a remarkable assortment of fruit and vegetables - as well as prized deglat ennour (finger of light) dates.
The best way to explore it is to walk out along one of the two roads leading south through the palmeraie from the western end of ave des Martyrs. The roads link up at the Zone Touristique.