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Tunisia Area Holidays

Ancient souks and sunkissed shores

Holidays to Tunisia serve up sun, sea and sand with an exotic twist. This is a country of rolling desert dunes, crumbling ruins and whitewashed villages that have remained unchanged for centuries. But you’ll also find bubbly waterfront resorts with all the 21st century hallmarks. 

Purpose-built towns like Skanes and Port El Kantaoui hug the eastern shores, pairing beautiful sandy beaches with luxe hotels and championship golf courses. In Sousse, you get the best of both worlds – palm-fringed shores and an ancient medina, where merchants tout local treasures in pocket-sized stores, and warren-like alleyways flaunt Arabian architecture that’s stood the test of time.

Move away from the towns and there’s an epic natural landscape to explore. Tunisia borders the Sahara Desert, and camels, quad bikes and 4x4s are all brilliant ways to experience the mesmerising surroundings. For a proper taste of the culture, you can bed down overnight in a Bedouin tent thin enough to see the stars through, and get an insight into the life of the wandering Berber tribes.

 

Three tips for a top trip

Ride a camel

These beautiful animals are friendlier than they look and a magical way to explore the desert dunes, Lawrence of Arabia-style.

Embrace the local food

From flaky brik pastries stuffed with tuna and egg, to chunky bread dunked in the thick and spicy harissa sauce, Tunisian cuisine is a must-try.

Be firm

The locals can be very pushy when it comes to touting you goods, but a firm no and a swift walk away usually does the trick to deter them.

Best attractions to see in Tunisia

The Sahara Desert

Whether you’re crossing the dunes on a camel, or trundling across them on a quad bike, the landscape here is unforgettable.

El Jem

This epic amphitheatre looks just like Rome’s famous Colosseum, but it’s in much better condition than its Italian cousin.

Sidi Bou Said

This immaculate northern village graces many Tunisian postcards – a mish-mash of beautifully painted gleaming white buildings with blue doors and window panes.

Your Tunisia questions, answered

With its beautiful beaches and plentiful activities, Tunisia is brilliant for kids. There’s a huge variety of restaurants in the resorts, too.
Tunisia has a mountainous landscape to the northwest, with the largest mountain, Mount Chambi, close to the border with Algeria. If you’re looking to spend some time inland, then Chambi National Park is a popular place, with mountains covered in pine trees and plenty of hiking and climbing trails. If you’d prefer an easier way to see the mountains, you can take a guided tour, usually in a four-wheel drive.
Tunisian Dinar. Just so you know, it’s a closed currency so you can only exchange sterling once you’ve arrived.
Tunisia has a balmy Mediterranean climate, so between May and October, temperatures soar and you can expect lots of sunshine.
Tunisia has several beautiful beaches. In the north, there are sandy beaches with clear waters and it’s easy to see why some of the most popular beach resorts are found along this coast. The south has more wild, unspoiled beaches, with dramatic desert landscapes. Beaches that come highly recommended include: El Haouaria in Cap Bon, which has golden sands surrounded by green hills; Hammamet, which has white sand beaches that tend to be lively with water sports, and Gammarth in Tunis, known for its soft sands.
Holidays in Tunisia are very popular with families, as the country is very child-friendly and there’s plenty to do. During the day, kids can enjoy attractions from zoos to waterparks, and they’ll love shopping for toys and souvenirs in the local medinas. Most hotels have swimming pools where the kids can cool off and, of course, there are plenty of beaches where they can take a dip. If your child isn’t adventurous enough to try the local cuisine, many restaurants offer kids menus.
Tunis is rich in history, especially the suburb of Carthage, which was an important trading hub in ancient times. It was destroyed by the Romans, who then rebuilt it in their own style. You can still visit the 2nd-century Roman baths and the ruins of Byrsa, which was once a walled citadel. In El Djem, you can visit the El Jem Amphitheatre, built in 238 AD. In Tunis, the Medina of Tunis neighbourhood dates back to 698 and includes mosques, palaces and madrasas.
As a Muslim country, Tunisia doesn’t have much in the way of bars and nightclubs, but there is still plenty to do at night. Cafes tend to be the alternative to bars and you can often hire a hookah pipe to try the local shisha, or simply sit and enjoy a mint tea while you listen to some live music. If you’re after lively nightlife, you should consider staying in one of the larger resorts. Many of the hotels have their own nightclubs and evening entertainment with bars that stay open until late.
Tunisia has different scenery in the north and south so, when you explore the country, there’s a little of everything. In the north, there are pine-tree covered mountains and sandy beaches and, as you drive south, you reach the Sahara Desert, so expect vast sandy landscapes and dunes. In the desert, you can also see Tunisia’s pink salt lakes, and there are many unspoilt beaches where the sand meets the sea.