Modern-day visitors to Tunisia are generally divided into two camps: those who come for its sun-kissed beach resorts on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea; and those who come to experience its archaeological wonders, which include the remains of the ancient empire of Carthage, Rome’s greatest adversary. However, all who visit Tunisia are amazed by the sheer wealth and diversity of things to see and do in the country, and many leave this modern, progressive Muslim country vowing to return.
Tunisia’s Mediterranean coastline has long been favoured by European travellers looking for a sun-filled beach vacation spent on pristine shores. The glittering Mediterranean is perfect for swimming, and provides a lovely backdrop to Tunisia’s coastal cities, with their palm-tree boulevards and unique Arabian character. The most popular beach resorts in Tunisia include Hammamet, with its gorgeous medina (old town) area; Sousse, which is home to some brilliant architecture as well as golden sands and turquoise waters; Djerba, an island-town that is particularly popular with sun-seekers; and Monastir, a historic town that receives seasonal charter flights from Europe. The bustling capital city of Tunis also lies on the sparkling shores of the Mediterranean.
For history buffs, Tunisia must count as one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world. The country is full of excellent historical attractions, and lays claim to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ruins of Carthage, with a history dating back to 814 BC, are the most famous sight – but there are plenty more for visitors to discover, from the magnificent El Djem Amphitheatre to the famous collection of mosaics in the Bardo Museum, to the prime archaeological sites of Dougga and Bulla Regia.
A popular holiday resort destination for tourists, Tunisia has more to see and do than just beautiful beaches scattered along its Mediterranean coastline, and luxurious resorts like Hammamet and Nabeul; there are countless attractions to meet just about every sightseer’s needs.
Start off in the capital of Tunis, a fast-paced modern metropolis of a city juxtaposed by a medieval Medina. Spend a few hours here taking in the history and hunting for bargains and souvenirs in the countless tiny streets lined with vendors touting antiques, pottery, jewellery and other delights. Head to the Bardo Museum to marvel at some of the world’s greatest Roman mosaics, while just a few miles north of Tunis lie the remains of the legendary ancient city of Carthage, which dates back to the 8th century BC.
Heading south towards the Sahara affords visitors plenty of fascinating geographical features like the ‘forest in the desert’ at Ramada, as well as the dry salt lake at Chott el Jerid and the remote ‘end of the road’ oasis at Ksar Ghilane.