Tunisia is a great country that has something to offer to everyone and you should visit Tunisia now more than ever. Each city in this Mediterranean country offers its own unique experience. Are you a history buff? Visit one of Tunisia’s 8 Unesco Sites. Do you enjoy lounging on the beach? You will find some of the best beaches in the world. Are you a foodie? Enjoy Tunisia’s flavorsome cuisine. I just mentioned a few amazing experiences to have during your visit to Tunisia, below are some more reasons to plan your next vacation in Tunisia!
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Is it safe to visit Tunisia?
Firstly, the question always comes whether or not Tunisia is safe to travel to. Tunisia is actually a really safe destination. Living in Tunisia as an expat, I have no problem getting around alone. Tunisian people are friendly and helpful to foreigners. Most importantly crime is at a minimum. Just practice safe habitats like you would in any other country.
Best things about Tunisia
The multitude of experiences are the best things about Tunisia. One day you can be sunbathing on an island, the next you are driving through the Sahara desert or maybe even exploring old roman ruins. There is something out there for everyone. Below I give a few things that I find to be the best things about Tunisia.
Tunisia has some of the best beaches in the world. Being situated on the Mediterranean Sea means that during the summer the water is warm and calm! This makes the perfect condition for swimming. If you are staying at a resort, it will most likely have its own private beach for its guests. Besides swimming in the sea or sunbathing, there are several water-based activities you can do. Jet Ski, Paragliding, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, and sailing a catamaran are some of the fun activities there is to do. You can expect soft sand and strong sun rays, so bring your sunblock!
The Sahara Desert
The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. It spans through Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Western Sahara, and Tunisia. In the Sahara desert in Tunisia, there is plenty to do. You will need to arrange for a private guide to take you through the desert as it is extremely vast and easy to get lost in. I arranged my tour through my hotel, and we visited several sites within the Sahara and around Tozeur. To learn more about Tozeur and the Sahara desert, read “A Guide: What to do in Tozeur Tunisia“.
Tunisia’s cuisine has a rich culinary heritage thanks to its diverse history. The cuisine is rich in spices, such as coriander, cumin, and harissa. Harissa is a traditional spicy chili paste.
Tunisia has an amazing history. Throughout time so many different civilizations have ruled and shaped the Tunisia we see today. Below are just a few of the civilizations that have left their influences on Tunisia.
Carthage was founded in 1100 BC as a Phoenician settlement. The Phoenicians built the city into a naval powerhouse. In present-day Carthage, you can actually still see where they built their port, and even ruins at Byrsa Hill.
Eventually, Carthage would fall into the hands of the Romans in 146 BC, after the Three Punic Wars. Carthage today houses some of the best Roman ruins in the world, such as the Baths of Antonine.
The Arabs took over in the 600s and that was when the Medina was built around the Zitouna Mosque.
In 1881 the French occupied Tunisia. The French ruled over Tunisia until 1956. You can still see and feel their influence today in the culture and architecture of Tunisia.
Tunisia gained their independence and named Habib Bourguiba their new ruler. In 1987, Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali declared Bourguiba unfit to govern and won the presidential election. He ruled for decades until the breakout of the Arab spring in 2010. Since then Tunisia is the only Democracy in the Arab world.
Tunisia has great affordable luxury spas. A hammam is a must-try. A hammam is a steam room where one goes to clean themselves. Generally, you would sit in a steam room, rinsed, exfoliated, and then massaged. The end product is smooth skin.
Things to do in Tunisia at night
Coffee shops are big in Tunisia. There are two types of coffee shops; ones that are male-only, and ones that are for everyone. Typically people meet up with their friends at a coffee shop at night.
Tunisia does have a nightlife. Bars and clubs do sell alcohol. You can even find beach bars in several cities.
You can grab a late dinner at a restaurant. Many restaurants are open later. It is typical that people of Tunisia go out for dinner at later hours.
Unusual things to do in Tunisia
Tunisia, like any other country, has experiences that are unique to its own regard! Below are some unusual things to do in Tunisia if you enjoy traveling on the road less traveled.
This uncommon Berber village rests on a rock that is 200 meters above sea level. It boasts impressive views of the Gulf of Hammamet, Sousse, and the never-ending fields of olive trees that cover Kairouan and Zaghouan regions. Its history dates back 2,000 years, and much of its traditional Berber architecture is still represented in the building and town mosque. Today, most of the original descendants have left in search of education and job opportunities, however, the few Berbers that remain live in the lower half of the village.
Djerba is an Island in Tunisia, and home to around 380 mosques. The mosques on this island are different to how you picture a traditional mosque. They are smaller in size and all white. The most interesting mosque they have on the island are mosques that were actually built underground.
Chott el Djerid – Salt Lake
If you are planning on visiting Tozeur, you might want to drive across Tunisia’s largest salt lake “Chott el Djerid”. Driving across the long stretch road you will be surrounded with gold and pink hues from the reflection of the salt and sun. Chott el Djerid is the largest Salt Lake in Tunisia and the Sahara Desert. This salt lake is located between the Governorate of Tozeur and the Governorate of Kebili. Its surface area is around 7,000 km square. Chott in North Africa is the name for lakes that dry out in the summer and has some water in the winter, and el Djerid means a palm leaf. In the summer, the lake is dry. However, in the winter, a boat is needed to pass through some parts of the lake. There are piles of salt that are collected at the edge of the lake for salt production processing.
Tip: The road is so empty you can stop and take photos in the middle of the road.
Everyone knows the Coliseum in Rome, but not many have heard of El Djem. El Djem is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in the world. Located in the middle of the small village of El Djem, this amphitheater could hold up to 35,000 spectators and is modeled after the Coliseum in Rome. Wandering through this historical site takes you back to the Roman times, and will leave you in admiration of the grandeur and architecture. A plus, they do still host events in El Djem especially during the Festival International de Musique Symphonique d’El Jem that usually takes place during July and August.
Here are my reasons why I think you should Visit Tunisia and pick it as your next holiday destination. The gorgeous beaches, the amazing desert, the delicious food, and the vibrant history and culture!