RECENT WORLD events may have made you a little wary of travelling in North Africa at the moment, but if you are sensible and sensitive you’ll discover that Tunisia is a hospitable land, with a list of attractions that would do justice to a country twice its size. Whether you prefer long walks along miles of sparkling beaches, exploring ancient sites and legendary cities, a game of golf or just a long lazy day relaxing by the pool, Tunisia has it all.
With over 1,200 kilometres of coast, it’s no surprise that tourism tends to centre around the seaside resort areas, such asSousse, Monastir, Hammamet, Nabeul, Djerba and Tabarka, all of which offer fine sandy beaches and crystal clear water, along with a wide variety of waterfront hotels, usually with fantastic pool areas. And when you tire of the pool, you’ll find that most hotels have all kinds of house sports on offer, from windsurfing, sailing and diving to fishing and boat rides.
Sousse lies on the eastern coast of Tunisia. Over the centuries, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs settled in this lovely fertile city, each leaving their imprint and heritage. Away from the beach, there is a Medina with tiny colourful shops overflowing with silver jewellery, wool blankets, copper and carpets: bustling with activity under the towering walls of the ribat. Sousse stretches along miles of sparkling clean sea to the Port El Kantaoui resort, which includes a modern marina, and an 18-hole golf course, set in a traditional village-like setting.
Hammamet, the ‘Tunisian Saint Tropez’, is relaxed, friendly and full of contrasts, from the fishermen in brightly painted boats setting out at dawn, and the bustling medina, to the fashionable boutiques, where traditional tunics and caftans rival designer labels.
An island of palm trees rising from the sea like a mirage, Djerba is ringed by miles of fine sandy beaches and luxury hotels. Inland you’ll find Roman sites, a pirate’s castle, the ancient synagogue of the Griba and several, fortress like mosques. Food lovers will appreciate the island’s seafood restaurants, famed for their fresh fish and traditional dishes.
Tabarka has been famous for its coral fishing since ancient times and is now home to the recently built Montazah-Tabarka resort, which has an 18-hole golf course set in a superb 270 acre forest, overhanging the sea.
Away from the resorts, culture lovers can find ancient Roman, Arab, Berber and Phoenician sites. Highlights include the Roman era hot springs at Hamman Mellegue, the famous Roman ruins of Carthage and El-Jem and, a must for film fans, the space-age set of Star Wars at Matmata. It is also worth stopping in Tunis, a capital rich in history, including the ancient medina with fabulous souks and the Bardo Museum with its world famous mosaics, all set alongside the vitality of a modern city.
PDM verdict: Fantastic beaches, ancient heritage and hospitable people. Tunisia has enough to tantalise the most hard to please tourist.
From cost effective villa rentals to luxury hotel accommodation, PDM offers a wide range of options in the Tunisian resorts mentioned in this article, so call us for more information.
Tunisia’s climate offers a season for everyone’s taste. Sailing, surfing, diving, golfing, exploring archaeological sites, deserts and oasis is a pleasure from October to May, when the average temperature ranges from 12 to 28° C.
March through to May brings spectacular displays of wild flowers throughout the countryside and October to December offer warm seas and plenty of sunshine. Warm weather is the rule from June through to September and August brings the peak of the summer heat.