Tunisia

Tourists travel to Tunisia for its sun-kissed Mediterranean beach resorts, the sandy dunes of the Sahara and its archaeological wonders, which include the remains of the ancient empire of Carthage.

Situated on the balmy shores of the Southern Mediterranean, Tunisia is only 3 hours flight from London and is where Europe, Africa and the Middle East meet. Roman ruins, medieval medinas, French colonial boulevards, beautiful beaches, vast tracts of olive trees, and brilliant green oases set amongst the seemingly endless Saharan sands characterise the diversity present in the most Westernised of North African nations.

Tunis, the capital city, is a good introduction to the country where the tangled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage medina are crammed with infectious chaos and sweet smelling spices. The Bardo Museum situated in the suburbs of Tunis houses the finest collection of Roman mosaics in the world, while nearby at Sidi Bou Said, is a picture perfect whitewashed village dramatically perched on a cliff top which has been an inspiration for artists since its ‘discovery’ in the early 20th century.

Tunisia’s Roman ruins are amongst the finest in the Mediterranean. Without doubt the most well-known ancient site in the country is Carthage, once capital of an empire. Here Dido wept for Aeneas, Hannibal set forth to conquer Rome and St Perpetua was tossed by the bulls. Further afield, in the ancient province of Numidia, is the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dougga (ancient Thugga). To the south, the enormous amphitheatre at El Djem is more complete than the Colosseum in Rome, while in the desert are the stunning honey-coloured remains of Sbeitla.

Sandwiched between the Mediterranean and the Sahara desert lies the pride of the ‘Tunisian Riviera’, the sophisticated resorts of Hammamet and Sousse. Here sweeping sandy beaches along with historic medinas and top class hotels are to be found. It is impossible not to relish the sandy beaches and crystalline waters that this region so plentifully supplies.

Southern Tunisia is a land noted for its dramatic desertscapes, wide expanses of glistening salt pans, astonishing Berber architecture, Eden-like oases and the rippling dunes of the Sahara. It is also a road less well travelled with exciting opportunities for adventure. Here you may discover the stunningly beautiful mountain oases; visit the desert Star Wars film set at Ong Jemel; and stay overnight in a remote oasis brushed by the desert sands. Just off the coast is the sun kissed isle of Djerba with its ten thousand palm trees rising from the sea like a mirage. The island was known as the ‘land of dreams’ in Homer’s Odyssey and is the perfect place to wind down in style following a rewarding Tunisian adventure.

 

All who visit Tunisia are amazed by the sheer wealth and diversity of things to see and do in the country, and many leave this modern, progressive Muslim country vowing to return.

Inspiration & Further Reading

 

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