I got to Matmata, this hotel is pretty quiet in November. There’s almost no one here apart from a few tour buses with French and Chinese visitors show up and people get off to take pictures and then leave. Part of the fun of this place is actually sleeping on site.
Ok, so the big thing you notice is this is what historians call a “Trogolydyte” home. This Berber people native to North Africa actually cut this huge hole in the ground and then dig holes in the side walls to make actual rooms.
Including the toilets
Here’s another hole in the ground. The Sidi Idriss hotel is made of 5 main holes which have tunnels in between them, so with at least 20 bedrooms. This gent is one of the local Berber people, he is wearing a traditional hooded woolly coat which some still do, but many wear most western clothes.
When you look outside, you will see the igloo entrance thing is nowhere to be seen. This is because it isn’t here. Star Wars director George Lucas used two different places for Luke Skywalker’s family home, and the desert with the entrance and outside antennae masts are actually somewhere in the Sahara a few hundred kilometres away. I didn’t get to see these as you need a tour guide or a rental car to go and find them.
This is hotel is fascinating, as it’s not just from the best-loved movie ever but from a completely unique type of dwelling is fun to explore and stay here. The surrounding town and landscape are beautiful and largely unspoilt.
1. Plans – 2. French Connection – 3. My hotel in Djerba – 4. El Griba synagogue outside – 5. El Griba synagogue inside – 6. Markets – 7. Christianity in Tunisia – 8. Ferry to mainland Tunisia – 9. Getting to Matmata, Tunisia – 10. Sidi Idris Hotel New Hope Star Wars filmset – 11. Secrets I learnt about the famous Matmata Star Wars set – 12. Cave homes for would-be Jedis – 13. More what you don’t see in Star Wars at Hotel Sidi Idris – 14. How hospitable is Sidi Idris? – 15. ATM machines and drought – 16. Matmata Nouvelle (New Matmata) – 17. Tunisian butchers and fisherman – 18. Libyan and Algerian neighbours – 19. Jewellery businesses in Djerba – 20. Tunisia and Israel relations – 21. Hara Kebira, Jewish school, soap and TV repair shops – 22. Jewish community of Hara Kebira – 23. Going home