I recently visited Tunisia as part of a familiarization tour sponsored by the Tunisia Tourism Ministry and Tunis Air. Tunisia is not just a beach vacation location. Additionally, it provides a variety of activities and attractions for adventurous and religious travelers. Tunisia is a must-see trip for foodies.
Tunisia is the southern Mediterranean region’s leading olive-growing country. The country has a population of 11 million and is one-third the size of California, but it is the world’s second greatest producer of olive oil.
Additionally, I’d like to suggest several Tunisian wines that you should sample. Due to the country’s geographical position, it is a unique site near the equator for producing high-quality wine. The climate along the northern coast and the Gulf of Tunis is heavily affected by the Mediterranean, with warm, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, producing an ideal setting for viticulture. The Phoenicians introduced vine farming and winemaking to Tunisia during the Punic era.
North Africa’s country is home to the historic city of Carthage, which dates back thousands of years, as well as the spectacular Sahara desert and gorgeous Mediterranean beaches.
The Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Spaniards, Turks, and French all left their mark on the nation’s historic topography, with well-preserved sites and interesting age-old ruins at every turn. Seven sites have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 46 more planned for inclusion.
The country is still reeling after a terrorist assault in March 2015 that murdered twenty visitors at Tunis’s Bardo Museum. Throughout the journey, I encountered special police in towns and cities, as well as tourist police in bazaars. While I believe there is no danger in coming to Tunisia, every tourist visiting a foreign place should exercise caution and caution during their stay. Finally, we must recognize that no one can promise that there will be no terrorism anywhere on Earth.
While the psychological impact of terrorism is sufficient to impair tourism in the majority of countries, big countries are able to sustain the economic harm caused by excessive ado. However, smaller countries and poor countries that rely entirely on tourism may face financial collapse as a result of terrorism’s influence on the tourist sector, as was obvious following the 9/11 attacks.
As a result, we – as travelers – should not forego travel due to a single assault.
Our first day consisted of visits to Sousse and Monastir.
Monastir is a city on Tunisia’s central coast, in the Sahel region, about 20 kilometers south of Sousse and 162 kilometers south of Tunis. Monastir, with a population of 100,000, is a tourist destination that was formerly renowned as a fishing port. Fly to Monastir – Habib Bourguiba International Airport, which is served by airlines from the majority of Western European nations. It is operated by TAV – Tepe Akfen Ventures Airport Holding of Turkey.
The city is home to a well-preserved Ribat, which was used to survey the sea for opposing ships in defense against the Byzantine fleet’s raids. Numerous ulema congregated in this tranquil city’s Ribat for contemplation. Additionally, the Ribat was used as a setting for the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth and Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.
Habib Bourguiba (born 3 August 1903 – died 6 April 2000) was a Tunisian leader who served as the country’s first President from 1957 until 1987. He is regarded as the father of Tunisians, and when in the country, you should pay a visit to his mausoleum.
Sousse is located on the Gulf of Hammamet, 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Tunis. Sousse has been ruled by five main cultures throughout history. It is a significant tourist destination. The resort town has a capacity of 40,000 beds. It is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Monastir’s international airport. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and moderate, rainy winters.
You should see the Medina, which is encircled by city walls and defenses and is historically significant. It is home to both open and covered bazaars (souks). Visit Ribat Castle, the central mosque, and Casbah’s history museum, which features mosaics from the area’s numerous Roman villas. Lunch and dinner are available at the marina.
Additionally, golf is available here. El Kantaoui Golf Course (shown above) is located in Port el Kantaoui and is the country’s oldest and most well-known course. It is centrally positioned among the most contemporary beach resorts and is adjacent to a plethora of magnificent hotels. The El Kantaoui golf course, built by renowned architect Ronald Fream, spans 130 hectares between sea and mountains. It is separated into two 18-hole courses: the Panorama and the Sea. Visit www.portelkantaoui.com for further details. tn
Our second day began with a visit to Kairouan, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Around 670, the Arabs established the city. It developed into a significant center for Sunni Islamic research and Quranic study, attracting a huge number of Muslims from all over the world. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, commonly known as the Mosque of Uqba, is the most prominent tourist attraction (Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba).
Additionally, you may explore the medina and notable buildings like as the Sidi Saheb tomb and its magnificent pottery. Additionally, it is the primary artisan center for Tunisia’s carpet industry. The ceramic carpet at the city’s entryway is visible in photographs.
Our second destination was Hammamet. Visitors to Hammamet may appreciate the gardens and orange orchards, as well as the medina’s beauty, a Spanish fort, and beautiful beaches. A few kilometers to the south is the new, upscale Yasmine Hammamet resort, which has luxury hotels, a marina, a lengthy esplanade, and “Medina” – a park in the shape of a medieval town, replete with all the features and attractions you’d expect. In Nabeul, you may learn about the renowned local handicrafts (pottery and ceramics, mats and laces) and experience the souks’ bustle. When you wander through the Medina’s narrow alleyways, you may feel as if you’re on a Greek island.
If thalassotherapy and spa are of interest to you, you may stay at the Nahrawess Thalassa Palace in Hammamet, which features a private beach, pools, and a sizable thalassotherapy center.
Here, we visited Hotel La Badira, a Leading Hotels of the World member. La Badira, which opened in December 2014, is intended for elegance and tranquillity and is reserved for adults over the age of 16.
Tunis, Carthage, and Sidi Bou Said are all located in Tunisia.
Our final visit was Tunis, the country’s capital. You may explore the medina, sites such as the Great Mosque and the Tourbet el-Bey Mausoleum – which contains the remains of Turkish sovereigns – as well as palaces and souks, which are teeming with temptations. Another significant draw is the beautiful Bardo Museum, which is renowned for its unparalleled collection of Roman mosaics. You should explore Carthage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the beautiful town of Sidi Bou Said, both of which are only a few kilometers away.
The historic European quarters, constructed around the turn of the twentieth century, have developed into a lovely section of town. This is the city’s focal center and the best location for strolling among the cafés, shops, patisseries, and restaurants. Avenue Bourguiba, which was recently renovated, is the district’s spine. The central market, which is not far from here, is worth the detour for its atmosphere and explosion of scents.
While strolling along Avenue Bourguiba, we stopped to explore the Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul. The cathedral, located at the intersection of Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Avenue de France, just across from the French embassy, is a Roman Catholic church in Tunis. The church’s construction began in 1893 and was dedicated on Christmas Day 1897.
If you become hungry, you might wish to try Tunisian food at Dar Belhadj, a first-rate restaurant located in a traditional Tunisian setting in the heart of the old town. Located at 17 La Medina, between the two souks el Attarine and el Balgagia, and just a few meters from the Ezzitouna Grand Mosque. Visit www.darbelhadj.com for further details.
Carthage, established in 814 BC by the Phoenicians and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by the Romans, preserves some remarkable remnants of its ancient legacy, including the Antonine Baths, palaces, and Roman theatre. Sidi Bou Said, the nearby blue and white hamlet, is a must-see. Sidi Bou Said’s high position affords panoramic views of the Gulf of Tunis.
Luxury hotels, famous restaurants, entertainment venues, spas, and hydrotherapy facilities in the surrounding region contribute to the Cotes de Carthage resort’s upscale image.
The National Museum of Bardo
I feel that the Bardo National Institution is not only Tunisia’s but also the Mediterranean region’s most important museum. You’ll find one of the world’s best and biggest collections of Roman mosaics here. They are from early twentieth-century excavations at archaeological sites around the nation, including Carthage, Hadrumetum, Dougga, and Utica. Additionally, the Museum has a sizable collection of marble statues depicting gods and Roman emperors discovered in different locations, including Carthage and Thuburbo Majus.
While some travelers dislike history and are uninterested in museums, this is not the case here. We were really lucky because our guide, Mohamed Nabli, presented us with the history of the mosaics in such a way that I still remember their stories. I’ve included a video below of him discussing the mosaic’s fascinating tale to us.