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Tunisia, air/9 nights, from $2,169

Pass through deserts and sand dunes, explore ancient ruins in Dougga and Sbeitla, and take an excursion to Djerba island.
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on a major carrier to Tunis; two nights at El Mouradi Gammarth hotel near Tunis; one night at Dar Ismail in Tabarka, two nights each at Eldorador Ksar Rouge in Tozeur and at Yadis Djerba Golf Thalasso and Spa, and one night each at Marhaba Royal Salem in Sousse and at Golden Yasmin Méhari in Hammamet; nine breakfasts and four dinners; guided sightseeing, including a tour of the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Bardo and Dar Cherait museums, and Djerba island; entrance fees; all transfers; hotel taxes; fuel surcharges; and the services of an English-speaking tour manager and local guides; from $2,169 per person—plus airport taxes and fees of about $195.

When: Nov. 18, 2010; add $30 for Oct. 21, Nov. 25; $60 for Oct. 7; $70 for Sept. 2; $180 for Dec. 23; $630 for May 27.

Gateways: New York City; add $54 for Miami; $163 for Houston; $184 for Atlanta; $215 for Chicago; $378 for L.A.; $640 for Seattle; additional gateways available.

The fine print: Airport taxes and fees are about an additional $195 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $295. Group size ranges from 10 to 20 travelers. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fare between New York City and Tunis was $946, with taxes, for travel in mid-to-late November (Alitalia). For an additional $1,418, this Gate 1 Travel package includes airfare, plus nine nights' hotel, some meals, guided sightseeing, entrance fees, all transfers, fuel surcharges, airport taxes, and hotel taxes. You'll also benefit from having experienced tour leaders guide you through remote towns where English may not be commonly spoken.

More: Optional activities include a horse-drawn carriage tour of mountain oases ($125 per person with lunch), a camel ride in Douz ($24 per person), and a half-day excursion to Guellela village with a visit to a privately owned ethnological museum ($49 per person). A pre-tour night at El Mouradi Gammarth starts at $140 per room per night.