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From Pottery to Museum Visits: Top Things to Do in Tunis Village, Fayoum

December 17, 2020
Photo by Mary Aravanis.

It may be a small village, full of dirt roads and minimal infrastructure, but Tunis Village in Fayoum is by far one of the most charming spots in Egypt. Fayoum itself is vast and full of wonderful activities and sites – from camping in the desert and visiting the majestic Magic Lake, to visiting the waterfalls of Wadi el Rayan and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi el Hitan (Valley of the Whales). In addition to all this, it’s also relatively close to Cairo; one can get there using Go Bus or take their own car as it’s an easy two hour drive away. 

However, if one decides to plan a visit to Fayoum, they must absolutely take a few days to unwind in the beautiful village of Tunis. Tunis Village is known for its wonderful pottery, most of which are also taken to be sold in certain areas in Cairo. The village is full of little pottery workshops scattered here and there, and there is even a Pottery School. 

Photo by Mary Aravanis.

Other than the pottery, which is in and of itself mesmerizing to witness and wonderful to be surrounded by such amazing craftsmanship and artistry, Tunis Village has a number of things to see and do. To top it all off, most of the places where one can stay in the village, also offer charming and relaxing accommodation – often in the midst of luscious green views. A few examples of wonderful places to stay in Tunis Village include Barefoot in Tunis, Sobek Lodge and Kom el Dikka Agri Lodge. 

Pottery Making and Buying

As previously mentioned, Tunis Village is absolutely thriving with locally produced pottery. It is a traditional local craft that has been passed down through generations, so it’s only natural that the people of Fayoum have mastered it and produce beautiful pieces that can only be called works of art. 

As soon as one enters Tunis Village, they will notice a pottery store or workshop in almost every nook and cranny. Although most of these places produce almost the same style of pottery and designs, one must make sure to browse through as many of these stores and workshops as possible, as they never know what hidden gem they may come across. 

Photo by Mary Aravanis.

Prices of pieces vary according to size and style of finishing, however for the most part, the pieces are greatly affordable and extremely worthwhile. When it comes to having a go at pottery making, one may opt for a one day course at almost any workshop in the village, from which one may produce one or two pieces and may come back to get them in a week. What would be ideal though, it to spend a couple of days taking a thorough pottery making course at one of the workshops. 

A great place to learn is the Fayoum Pottery school of course, however there is also a wonderful well-known workshop and store by the name of Ibrahim Samir Pottery, located by Sobek Lodge. 

The Caricature Museum

The Fayoum Art Center and Caricature Museum. Photo by Mary Aravanis.

This museum is truly one of Tunis Village’s gems. The Caricature Museum, which is a part of the Fayoum Art Center, offers a unique collection of caricature-style artwork dating back all the way to the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Egypt, up until the present day. 

This wonderful establishment was opened by renowned Egyptian artists Mohamed Abla, and acts as both a haven for young artists to come and allow their creative juices to flow, as well as an insightful venue that offers anyone who is interested a unique look through Egyptian history.

A collection of old Egyptian hand drawn magazine covers from the early 20th century. Photo by Mary Aravanis.

From old 1920s hand drawn magazine covers to politically charged cartoons, the caricature museum showcases a wide and diverse selection of Egyptian talent; including of course, artworks by one of the most famous caricature artists in Egypt, George Bahgoury. 

Horseback Riding By Lake Qarun

One thing that is surprisingly abundant in Tunis Village, is horse stables. As one walks through the village, they will notice that horseback riding is constantly on offer. There are plenty of stables around the village, and locals who are well versed in riding and taking visitors on short (or long) excursions. 

View as one drives by Lake Qarun. Photo by Mary Aravanis.

One has the option of choosing between various trip lengths – the shortest being a half hour, and may also choose what path to take. One of the best experiences however, would undoubtedly have to be horseback riding by Lake Qarun. The view is magnificent, most especially is done during sunset hours. 

Enjoy a Local Meal

The food is Fayoum is delicious! Most of the food on offer in most places around Tunis Village is very local, and absolutely mouthwatering. Most places offer a traditional Egyptian feteer (Egyptian pie) for breakfast, alongside cheese and honey; while lunch usually consists of rice and molokheya (jute mallow) with the option of chicken, duck or pigeon. 

Lunch at Sobek Lodge. Photo by Mary Aravanis.

There are a few places that also offer other varieties of food, and one of the best places for a different kind of meal is Ibis Restaurant and Cooking School. Kom el Dikka also offers great local food, as well as Sobek Lodge, from which one can also enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Qarun. 

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