Blending North African customs and Mediterranean sophistication, Tunisia holidays are unforgettable. Nestled between Algeria and Libya, Tunisia will give you a real taste of North Africa. With idyllic stretches of white sandy beaches, fascinating culture and a rich history, you’ll find more than enough to do in this enticing country. Whether you want a desert safari or scuba diving trip to explore the reefs, holidays to Tunisia will provide you with an experience to remember.
The capital Tunis has a wealth of history, including ancient medina and an archaeology museum, the Bardo, which exhibits Roman mosaics in a 15th century palace complex. Situated along Lake Tunis, just inland from the Mediterranean Sea’s Gulf of Tunis, the city is also home to the ruins of ancient Carthage, which sit in the northern suburbs.
As well as a hive of activity, Tunisia is the ideal spot for relaxation with its sand and sea. In the luxurious resort of Hammamet there are manicured gardens, wide beaches and crystal-clear waters where you can totally unwind. Or for a dose of paradisiacal bliss, head to nearby Djerba. An idyllic spot in the south-east, this resort is famed for its stunning landscapes of palm trees and sand-swept beaches. The perfect destination to kick back and relax in, you’ll find plenty of sunshine here!
If you prefer shopping to museums, you’ll revel in the experience of Nebeul Market. Hailed as North Africa’s largest street markets, you’ll find everything from chocolate to couscous readily available for you to sample. A beautiful showcase of colour, smells and flavours, this bustling market is a wonderful experience – just leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs!
The skies are cloudy and the evenings are getting darker, so do you really need another excuse to catch a bit of sun on a family holiday?…
Tunisia is an ancient province and its amazing past can be seen in the 6th century cities of Pheonician and Punic, where the legendary general Hannibal originated from. The island’s history is also preserved in Sousse, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its labyrinthine medina. The Palmeraie plantation in Tozeur is an enormous green space that boasts over 200,000 date palms, as well as fig and pomegranate trees. You can explore the garden by foot or bicycle or take a calèches, a horse-drawn carriage. Also in Tozeur is the Belvedere Rocks lake. Taking a sandy track from the Route Touristique you will climb steps which have been cut into the highest rock, leading to the salt lake oasis, the chott. Another great attraction is the Sfax Medina which is surrounded by ancient crenulated walls. You can walk through the narrow streets that bustle with everyday commerce and head to the main Souq des Etoffes in the north. On your travels around the medina, don't miss a glimpse of the Grande Mosqué.
Wine and Dine
Tunisian food is fresh and flavoursome, often with a kick, but there are lots of simpler dishes such as rice and casseroles to keep the fussy eaters happier. The traditional dishes mainly consist of Arabic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and French influences. You will find couscous Harissa and Salade Mechouia on most menus. To be sure to find a family friendly restaurant, stick to the busier resorts such as Tunis where you will find pizzerias and simple taverns. Situated in a bright welcoming building in Tunis, Fondouk El Attarine serves up a healthy selection of Tunisian dishes including fish tajines, fresh mixed salads and pomegranate desserts, with traditional background music. On the banks of Lake Tunis, La Bô M offers innovative cuisine using high quality seasonal produce from local markets. The restaurant’s interior is simple and spills out onto a sunlit terrace covered with marble archways. Sat on the cliff top coastal village of Sidi Bou Saïd, Dar Zarrouk inhabits a typical white villa with blue shutters. Overlooking crystal blue Mediterranean, the restaurant’s terrace is the ideal spot for you to enjoy wonderful views and local fare. The highly rated food here consists of freshly caught seafood and twists on traditional dishes.
There are lots of family friendly activities in Tunisia. Make a splash in the water park or head over to a nature park to see the animals in their natural environment. For a walk on the wild side, take a camel ride or go pony trekking in the desert, a real experience to remember. Friguia Animal Park in Port El Kantaoui is home to more than 30 species for you to wander around and see up close from the wooden walkways. You will see wild animals such as lions, tigers and cheetahs, all part of a world program to save endangered species. For more animal sightings, Tunis Zoo is a child-friendly attraction set in a shaded and peaceful park where you will spot everything from monkeys to colourful parrots. There is another zoo in Tunisia where you may want to bring your family. Set in palm groves, the Zoo du Paradis is located in Tozeur and has an exotic garden dedicated to flora and fauna. You will find a selection of desert animals here, like camels, snakes, scorpions, fennecs, gazelles, jackals and lions. Water-lovers will be in their element at Park Flipper which boasts 13 huge toboggan slides and large swimming pools. As Hammamet’s only aqua park, you can relax on the sun loungers whilst the children explore the slides.
Action and Adventure
Adrenaline junkies heading off on holidays to Tunisia need not fear as there are plenty of thrilling activities to keep even the most active traveller happy on their getaway. Head down to the marina for its great diving centre and deep-sea adventures that offer you the chance to head deep into the ocean. The coral reefs beneath the waters’ surface cannot be missed, and provide excellent diving opportunities for all ages and abilities. Find diving centres in Hammamet, Djerba, Hergla and Monastir where you can learn and improve on your technique. Alternatively, take a trip to the beach where a wealth of water sports await you. Tunisia’s coast enjoys a long sailing season due to its gentle yet persistent winds, and therefore also provides suitable conditions for other sports such as windsurfing, pedalos and waterskiing. Hammamet and Sousse offer ample facilities for such pursuits, although you will never be far from sport resorts along the Tunisian coast. Make the most of the Saharan landscape by taking a desert trek around the inland sands. Let a horse or a camel carry you in the direction you choose and see the sights and attractions of the area on a tour with a difference. Or for more adrenaline, hire a jeep or go-kart and jolt your way over the dusty dunes.
Life's a Beach
Located on the Mediterranean coast, Tunisia has warm waters and year-round sunshine. Hammamet and Nabeul beaches are blessed with a vast expanse of golden sand and a diverse range of activity which are family friendly in every way. Salambo is particularly safe for younger children and has ample facilities yet fewer crowds for some quality family time in the sun, sand and sea. Situated on the south-east, on the Djerba peninsula, you will find the best beaches to enjoy the sun and take a refreshing swim in the turquoise waters. The sands are also powdery white, meaning they’re perfect for sun-bathing. If you want a bit more action, Monastir beach offers a range of adventurous activities. Its golden sandy shores and sparkling waters can be explored by camel and boat respectively. You can take a thrilling ride on a banana boat, ride the waves on water skis and surfboards or exploring the surrounding dunes on camel or horseback. In Sfax, Plage de Chaffar offers up a beautiful strip of sand which is popular with Tunisian families. Or if you want to join the tourists, El Haouaria’s unspoiled sands are intermingled with steep cliffs and a rocky coast line, along with wild waters.
The nightlife in Tunisia is very low-key, with most people congregating in the outdoor cafés after dark, smoking hookah (water pipes). Tunis is home to a range of bars and clubs, including Bar Jamaica located on the 10th floor of the Hotel el-Hana International. Along with great lounge music, you can enjoy amazing views. If you want live music, head to Oscars, or if you fancy dancing the night away, Hotel Plaza Corniche has a lively nightclub with brilliant sea views and a packed bar. In Sousse, the most popular nightclub is Bora Bora. The outdoor club is surrounded by trees and has a round bar which transforms into a stage later at night. Also in Sousse is the disco Red Iguana that hosts international Dj sets. The Oasis Club in Hammamet is a huge complex and the biggest in Africa, with seven bars and three restaurants. Whereas Sky Club is a disco-lovers dream and plays summer house music in a friendly atmosphere.
If you are whisking your loved one away on a romantic holiday in Tunisia, be prepared for your senses to be opened. From the exotic climate, to picturesque ports and the jasmine-scented coast, you will both fall in love all over again. You haven’t experienced everything on your Tunisia holiday until you have been scrubbed down in a traditional Hamman. Tunis has several bath houses are located in the medina and offers a truly exotic, sensual and relaxing experience, which you can both enjoy together. Plus, as Hamman is perfect for maintaining sun-kissed skin and ensuring the ideal finale to your holidays in Tunisia. Take a trip to Sousse, the Pearl of the Sahel for a romantic evening. This seaside resort town has an attractive esplanade which you can stroll along, hand-in-hand at dusk. You will hear music coming from the local cafés as it blends with the sound of waves lapping on the shore. Tunisia is awash with green areas and a romantic coast that you and your partner don’t want to miss. Down the path to Tabarka you may mistake it for a fairy tale as you inhale the sweet scent of eucalyptus, whilst taking in the luscious green landscape and Mediterranean azure.
Tunisia is proud of its ancient past, with many stunning historic sites for you to take in on your holidays to Tunisia. The souks and medinas of the country’s bustling centres have a long heritage marked by the mosques, markets and monuments entwined in the tangle of streets and alleyways. Wander the marketplaces awash with colour and let your thoughts float away as you get to the heart of Tunisian culture here. Visit Carthage to catch a glimpse of the fantastically preserved Roman Baths, part of the famed Carthaginian ruins. You will see the more obscure discoveries of the local excavations in the Carthage Museum, from sculptures to ceramics. Although nearby Monastir and Sousse are known as beach resorts, they also have a rich historical heritage of their own. Fascinating museums, an authentic medina and souk allow you to delve deep into the country’s history and discover the stunning architecture of the Byzantine era. You can examine intricate Roman mosaics in the Bardo Museum, or see the jewels, dress and furniture of the country’s ancestors sparkle from a visit to the Museum of Traditional Inheritance.