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Tunisia

GENERAL

Overview

Tunisia is the most northerly of Africa's countries with its tip separated from Sicily by just 155km of sea. Tunisia holidays offer diverse landscapes from the beautiful Mediterranean coastline with its hinterland of deep green forest to the undulating sands of the Sahara.

While Tunisia's important Ottoman and colonial heritage is still very much in evidence, it is rapidly emerging as a modern and progressive country. The coastline is bordered by white sandy beaches and azure waters and the main resorts have grown around the Gulf of Hammamet area with the country's third largest city Sousse at its heart. This beautiful coastline is the perfect place to relax and unwind and a lovely base from which to enjoy the intrinsic charm of Tunisia with its traditional colours, scents and sounds.

The resorts on the coast offer every conceivable amenity - wonderful golden beaches, watersports, excellent golf courses and a wide variety of shops, restaurants and bars. You will experience pretty marinas where fishing boats jostle with luxury yachts and historical sights around every corner so that there really is no need to wander further afield. However, for those with even a passing interest in getting to know this country a bit better, it would be a mistake not to soak up some of the culture inland, and excursions to some of the most well-known sights are available including the magnificent Sahara desert.

Places to go

Roman Amphitheatre Better preserved than its Rome equivalent, the Amphitheatre at El Djem was the setting for the film Gladiator.

Desert safari tours

Many different tours are available from the coastal resort areas into the desert, taking in such sights as the Amphitheatre at El Djem, Berber Caves, camel rides in the Sahara, the Chott el Jerid (a huge salt lake) and the Holy City of Kairouan. Two and three day tours are the most common.

Tunis

Tunisia's beautiful capital is split into two distinct areas, the old city or Medina and the new city or Ville Nouvelle. The city is home to some wonderful attractions such as the Zitouna Mosque (the largest in Tunisia), the Bardo Museum and the Belvedere Park.

Things to do

Water wonderland You will be spoiled for choice with the sheer volume of water-based activities available in and around the resorts from paragliding to boat trips and Aquaparks. Check out Flipper Aquapark in Hammamet.

On dry land

Pay a visit to some of the excellent theme parks such as Carthageland in Yasmine Hammamet or Hannibal Park in Port el Kantaoui. There are also excellent golf courses including a 36 hole PGA approved course in Port El Kantaoui, camel rides, safaris and much more.

Souk up the shops

All the resorts offer excellent shopping from the many souvenir stalls to craft shops and souks (markets where haggling is obligatory), with the best selections found in the medinas of Sousse, Hammamet and Tunis. Tunis is a bustling capital and you certainly won't be short of shops to explore in its labyrinth of streets and alleyways.

Top holidays resorts

Hammamet

Hammamet, the 'garden resort', is a lovely mix of fragrant orange and lemon groves and pristine white sandy beaches with great spots for sunbathing and sampling the watersports on offer.

The resort is perched on the Cap Bon Peninsula just 40km from Tunisia's capital city Tunis. Hammamet's walled medina (old town) is an enchanting place to visit with winding alleyways filled with street vendors. You can stroll through the streets at your leisure or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Hammamet offers bustling shops and plenty of cafés and restaurants while the nightlife is low-key and mainly hotel-based.

With its blend of traditional charm and yet modern facilities, Hammamet is perfect for those that enjoy culture and excellent amenities in equal measure, without compromising on either. Hammamet is also very family-friendly and children will enjoy the resort's Flipper Aquapark as well as the safe beaches.

Port El Kantaoui

Port El Kantaoui is a modern purpose-built resort developed along an expanse of pale sand and around the fishing village of Sidi Bou Said, its glorious sandy beaches offering safe bathing and abundant watersports. The large marina area has a good choice of shops, cafés, bars and offers an enchanting setting for al fresco dining in one of its excellent restaurants as you watch the sun go down.

Port El Kantaoui has modelled itself on an ancient medina complete with narrow alleyways and cobbled streets and it is only the sheer perfection of its crisp white buildings and extensive landscaping that gives away the fact that it is a modern replica. The resort boasts several shopping centres, a zoo and several golf courses including a 36 hole PGA approved championship golf course so there is no fear of running out of things to do.

Sousse

Sousse is Tunisia's third largest city boasting a beautiful water front that leads to a working port area and is ideally suited to those looking to combine a beach holiday with a taste of local culture. A bustling, compact resort, packed with shops and historic sights, Sousse buzzes by day with activity centred within the ancient walled medina (old town). This historic area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is where all Sousse's main tourist sights such as the Great Mosque, Mosaic Museum and Traditional Tunisian House are located, as well as many souks (bazaars), stalls and shops.

It is worth taking a boat trip from the port area, with 'pirate' trips available that will appeal to younger holidaymakers. Alternatively you could take a horse and carriage trip from Sousse to Port El Kantaoui, a novel way to experience the lovely scenery. Unlike the other resorts along this coastline, the hotels are integrated into the cityscape.

Yasmine Hammamet

Yasmine Hammamet is a new resort that has a European feel with its bars and restaurants, a glitzy marina full of beautiful yachts and a mile long palmfringed and fragrant flower lined promenade. In the medina (old town) of the original Hammanet resort you'll find the hallmarks of a Tunisian town including colourful souks, a museum, restaurants and cafés.

Medium and low rise hotels stretch out along 4km of glorious coast and the beaches with their shallow waters are both safe and suitable for children. The resort is home to Carthageland, a theme park inspired by Tunisia's illustrious history, which offers plenty of rides and attractions and will provide hours of fun for young and not so young!

Get a taste for something a little different but very special in Tunisia.

Resort Map

Tunisia holiday guides