Outside of Europe but just a short flight away – not much farther than the Balearic Islands of Spain – Tunisia offers great value for money even compared with the rest of North Africa as well as a favorable exchange rate with the dinar, meaning it’s cheap too! Its long clean, white, sandy beaches are lapped by the Mediterranean, and for those who want more than beach-time, there are ancient ruins, desert adventures, golf courses and sumptuous spas.
The capital of Tunisia, Tunis is a bustling city with a pretty medina, souks and a wide selection of restaurants and cafes. It is close to the ruins of Carthage and the gorgeous village of Sidi Bou Said. This white-walled, blue-shuttered, flower-filled town was once the haunt of artists but is now popular with tourists, who come to sip mint tea and watch the world go by. Holidaymakers can stay in Tunis or Sidi Bou Said for a city-break type holiday, or can chose alternative to stay in the nearby beach resort of Gammarth where UK holidaymakers can go sightseeing or out for dinner while retaining the best facets of a relaxing beach holiday.
Hammamet is where beach tourism in Tunisia began. It has a lovely old medina with a castle by the sea, and a choice of hotels from the top end of the market to the bottom. The primarily low-rise properties front the big, wide, sandy beaches that are particularly fine and there are lemon trees and bougainvillea everywhere. There’s a good range of bars and restaurants, and it has a traditionally Tunisian feel. The neighboring Yasmine Hammamet is a newer, purpose-built tourist resort with a marina and wide boulevards filled with bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. It has a much more European feel than Old Hammamet. Both resorts have good upmarket options and are great for couples, though families can enjoy the resorts too.
SOUSE & PORT EL KANTAOUI
White beaches stretch down the coast for the six miles between Sousse and Port el Kantaoui, so staying in one of the hotels in between means clients can make the most of both resorts. Sousse is an old town with a stunning ninth century fortress, a good museum, and busy souks and cafes, bars and shops. Port el Kantaoui offers more in terms of entertainment and nightlife than any other Tunisian resort. It was purposely designed to mirror Puerto Banus on the Costa del Sol for the yachting set. Nowadays it has a well-rooted feel, with pretty Moorish architecture and lots of facilities in a compact area. These two present one of Tunisia’s livelier options and can suit young couples and families.
Skanes is a suburb located outside the historical Arabic port town of Monastir. The resort location is home to golden, sandy beaches as well as historical sites and ruins. This area has been the setting for such movies as the Monty Python film, The Life of Brian, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The area surrounding Skanes will take you back in time if you visit the markets and eateries outside the resort area. Stop by one of the cafes where locals meet over coffee or smoke water pipes. Besides visiting the cafes surrounding the resorts, travelers enjoy such beach-friendly activities as sailing, swimming, diving, water skiing, jet skiing, or para-gliding. Golf is also a popular pursuit as well as horseback riding!
Located in north-eastern Tunisia, Monastir is a major tourist resort. With its attractive marina and old fishing port, the city is an excellent base for a beach holiday, offering a wide range of activities such as water sports, fishing, excursions and golf. Whatever the season, you will find an ideal climate to enjoy some of Tunisia’s finest sand beaches and crystalline water, along with a dizzying choice of waterfront hotels and restaurants featuring both international and local cuisine
The quietest and most relaxing place in Tunisia. This island is suited to couples and honeymooners looking to kick back in one of the lovely upmarket hotels, surrounded by swaying palm trees. Visitors can slowly explore the white Moorish buildings and small squares of the town of Houmt Souk, and check out the Berber villages in the island’s interior.
Tunisia is predominately a Muslim country, so please make sure you’re properly dressed when out and about. Revealing outfits are a no-no, especially for women. Pack lightweight cotton clothes in the summer and a jumper or jacket for cooler winter evenings. Cover up when sightseeing or walking the streets – women shouldn’t go out scantily dressed. Baksheesh (tipping) is a way of life in Tunisia. It’s customary to leave a small tip for every little service, so do keep a pocketful of small change!