A country of great historical importance to the French, Roman and Carthaginian empires, Tunisia has been a jewel in the North African crown for thousands of years. A part of the region known as the Maghreb, Tunisia is famous for its white sandy beaches, ancient ruins and bustling souks and medinas.
With over 1,100km of coastline, the sea has always been integral to Tunisian culture. Regardless of where you find yourself along the coast, you’re guaranteed to be close to a new experience, stunning seaside vistas and amazing food. From the northern, rocky tip of Cap Bon, to the coastal city of Sousse and the southern island of Djerba with its flamingos and deluxe resorts, each region has plenty of options for pure relaxation, exotic activities and cultural and historical sites.
Every city along the North African coast is built around its old town (or medina), and its adjoining markets known as souks. In Tunis, the 1,500 year-old medina will enchant even a veteran traveller with its scents of spices, leather, hookah-pipes and freshly made food merging with the sights and sounds of crowds of street sellers, visitors and café-dwellers. Lose yourself in the ancient, labyrinthine streets and alleys and then head to the Parc du Belvedere for a relaxing stroll among palm, fig and olive trees. The park also houses the local zoo and the Museum of Art, and, for an added glimpse of antiquity, the Bardo Museum should also not be missed. Set in a 15th century palace, the museum is one of the largest in North Africa and holds remains from its Roman and Carthaginian past. Should you want to further explore the country’s history, head south to the Pupput-site in Hammamet, which contains numerous ruins from empires gone by that can be experienced via guides or at your leisure.
For aquatic activities to cool you down in the baking afternoon sun, visit the waterpark Carthageland in Hammamet or the Yasmine Dive Center, where you can go on a boat tour or immerse yourself in snorkelling or SCUBA-adventures that will introduce you to the life beneath the surface.
When the sun begins to relinquish its warmth over the Mediterranean and the evening draws near, it’s time to explore the Tunisian cuisine. Unlike other North African countries, the food here can be quite spicy. A lot of the dishes are flavoured with the popular ingredient harissa, which is a mix of spices that are bunched together into a culinary explosion. Sample the national dish couscous, the spicy and meaty soup known as ojja, as well as the beef-based merguez sausage. Like its food, the country is a great mix of flavours and colours, and every destination along the coast has its own unique mix of these, ripe for your exploration.
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