Holidays in Tunisia
Tunisia Holidays at a glance
At it's northern most tip, Tunisia is frequently the British traveller's first experience of the vast continent of Africa, an early hand-shake with a whole host of sights, sounds, flavours and aromas perhaps unfamiliar to senses developed in colder climates. The islands of Sardinia and Corsica lie directly to the north with Malta and Sicily off to the northeast and Tunisia will happily lend herself to the typical beach holiday, facilitated by a her long Mediterranean coastline and spacious expands of sand. But for the adventurously minded, journeys inland will bring the rewards of incredible extremes of landscape and new cultures to broaden horizons and boggle the mind. An hospitable land of colour and contrast, Tunisia invites you to experience her natural beauty, explore her ancient cities, and witness her lively festivals. The warm friendliness of her people is perhaps surprising when you consider her history is dominated by the successive arrival of Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Turks, Spanish and French. Her independence from France was achieved relatively recently in 1956, with relations still close through economic cooperation, and industrial development.
Tunisia holidays and its resorts offer great diversity making it a firm favourite for British tourists, so if your in search of an Tunisia all inclusive holiday, value family holiday or a budget holiday than Tunisia holidays is the perfect choice.
Tunisia Holidays - Destination Profile
Tunisia shares the Atlas mountains with Morocco and Algeria, and a border through the Sahara desert with Libya to the southeast. An Arab Maghreb country with a population of around 10.5 million, she is named after her capital, Tunis in the northeast. Her delicious cuisine is typical of the region, following the Maghreb staples of couscous and marqa stews - similar to Moroccan tagine - forming the template for most Tunisian meals. Lamb is the favoured meat, and fabulous fresh, local seafood is plentiful. As a Muslim country, alcohol is restricted to an extent, but can be found in some licensed restaurants, resort areas and shops.
Sun-sure beach holidays are popular with British and European travellers with the main resorts lying along the east, Mediterranean coast from La Goulette (close to Tunis) south to Monastir where a variety of watersports are becoming ever more popular. There are secluded, little-known-about beaches to be enjoyed, as well as magnificent unmissable tracts of clean white sand and fresh clean waters. Some of the best are to be found in Djerba, Ghar El-Melh, Rafrafbeach, Sidi El Mekki, Sounine, Sousse and Zarzis.
Away from the beaches there are striking examples of Arab-Islamic architecture to be explored - the Great Mosque of Kairouan to name but one and superb museums to visit, such as the Bardo with its vast collection of pretty mosaics. Discover the hustle and bustle of the bazaars in Hammamet, Sousse and Monastir explore the narrow streets hardly altered through the passage of time but now displaying a fascinating mix of ancient and modern north African culture.
Desert treks are increasingly the way to discover this fascinating country and the towns of Douz and Touzeur are good starting points. Close to Touzeur is the small town of Metlaoui the starting point of a great train journey in beautifully-restored wagons dating from 1904. The luxurious train travels through some of the most stunning mountainous desert landscape.
Value Holidays to Tunisia with Olympic Holidays
Book your holidays to Tunisia with Olympic Holidays a leading specialist tour operator to Cyprus and Greece with over 45 years expertise in offering quality holidays at great value. As well package holidays to Tunisia, we offer an excellent range of flights to Monastir, Tunisia and hotels in Tunisia. For great savings on holidays to Tunisia book online or call our reservations team, lowest price guaranteed!!!
Holidays in Tunisia - Things to see
13th Century Kasbah in Hammamet: Hammamet's centre is a miniature cape jutting out into the sea with the well preserved 13th century Kasbah offering pleasing views over the gleaming domes of the Medina (the old walled city) and the white sands of the coastline.
The Blue Ice - Yasmine Hammamet: Located in Yasmine Hammamet and spread over three floors and is home to a games room, ice cream parlour, coffee shop, self-service restaurant, fast-food restaurant, as well as the main attraction, Tunisia's first ever ice rink, which can accommodate up to one hundred skaters in a single session. During the day the ice rink offers training sessions to those who wish to learn to ice skate, or those just wanting to perfect their style. It is open to adults and children alike. Disco's are organised every night of the week, where skaters can enjoy music ranging from disco and dance to RnB and hip-hop. During the school holidays games and competitions are also organised.
Trip to Carthageland: The theme park Carthageland, which opened in August 2003, takes you through the history of Tunisia, from the Carthaginians, Romans and Berbers to the Muslims of the present. Set in the scene of ancient Carthage, you can go back in time and relive the Punic Wars, the conquering of Rome over the Alps, a journey through Africa and experience the Turkish pirates on a number of thrilling rides. Within the grounds of the complex a small zoo can also be found, as well as some excellent dining facilities (there are five restaurants!) and numerous shops.
Great Mosque of Kairouan: Kairouan is home to more than 50 mosques making it the fourth most important city in the Islamic world. The biggest attraction here is the Great Mosque. Though non-Muslims are forbidden to enter the prayer hall, visitors can peek through one of the 17 heavy wooden doors to see one of the world's oldest pulpits decorated with 250 carved panels. You can also climb the 128-step staircase, made from Christian tombstones, for superb panoramic views of the city.
Bardo Museum: Has a vast collection of pretty mosaics. The beaches at Sousse, Monastir, Hammamet's and Djerba have the finest sand beaches, crystal waters and some provide great water sports facilities.
Lots of Fun Excursions During Tunisia Holidays
Make your holidays to Tunisia extra special and book one of our wonderful excursions, we have a range of excursions that have been carefully selected to cater for everyone's interests. Some of our most popular excursions are:-
2 Day Desert Safari: The ultimate experience to step back into biblical times in the great Sahara. Explore the ancient Roman coliseum of el Jem and venture on the south to discover the amazing sight of the Sahara desert. Visit Matmata, and see lunar landscape and troglodyte dwellings used for the star wars films. You can also enjoy a horse and carriage ride through a palm oasis reminiscent of the English Patient which was filmed in this beautiful region. Travel across the vast salt lake of chott el djerid and then change your form of transport again for 4x4 where you drive up into the atlas mountains to the amazing villages of Chebika and Tamerza with their stunning canyons and waterfall.
Tunis Carthage & Sidi Bou Said: Visit Tunis, the vibrant capital of Tunisia with its incredible Medina. Step back in time at the ancient city of Carthage. Visit the Bardo museum which houses one of the largest and most beautiful collections of Roman mosaics. Then return to the modern day by visiting the chic artists and writers paradise of Sidi Bou Said. Enjoy its quiet back streets and beautiful white houses with blue studded doors.
Kairouan El Djem & Monastir: Visit Kairouan, Tunisia's oldest and holiest Arab city. Marvel at the grand Mosque, one of the oldest, largest and most important mosques in the country. Many of its huge columns taken from Roman sites. Set your spine tingling as you enter the age of Gladiators and emperors at the magnificent coliseum of El Djem, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Boat Cruise: Top up your tan take a dip in the cool Mediterranean waters and admire the amazing coastline on this half day boat cruise. There are also unlimited soft drinks and snacks included.
Camel Caravan: Try the local form of transport and hop on the camel! You can't visit Tunisia without doing this, you also get to visit Hergla, a lovely little seaside village.
Friguia Zoo and Zulu night: Visit Friguia Park, the largest animal park in northern Africa. Stroll along the elevated wooden walkways, admire the panoramic view over the park and see right into the animal enclosures. Then watch the African show and see how the Zulu dancers perform and enjoy the beat of drums.
Sound and Light Show: Be one of the first to see Tunisians only sound and light Spectacular! Be taken through 3000 years of Tunisia's history in a breathtaking historical mural, brought to life by dazzling light and music. With over 100 actors and horseman, a life size galleon and epic battles, we promise you a night to remember.
For further information and to secure your place on all the above excursions, see your Olympic representative in the resort. The best time to book would be at the Welcome Get Together on the day after arrival.
Things to do on a Holiday in Tunisia
Watersports: Tunisia's clear waters, coral beds and diverse sea life make it a popular destination for scuba diving. Tabarka Yachting Club and the International Diving Centre at Port el Kantaoui are recognised by the World Confederation for Diving and offer fully equipped lessons and trips.
Golf: There are excellent courses at Port el Kantaoui near Sousse, Monastir, Tabarka, Carthage at Tunis, Tozeur, Djerba and Hammamet. Players of all abilities will find very high-quality facilities. The Open Golf Championships there have already attracted many leading competitors from all over the world. Created by eminent golf-course architects, the courses are dotted with palm, olive and pomegranate trees, and are next to the sea. The courses are well suited to all players.
Birdwatching: Tunisia has many species of birds, most of which are protected in national parks. The cork-oak forests of Ain Draham, the lake and marshes of Ichkeul near Bizerta, the coastal lagoons round Tunis and Sousse, the rocky hills and steps from Kef to Kasserine, and the oases and deserts of the south all have their characteristic birds.
Health Spas: There are many hot-spring stations throughout Tunisia - mostly in the north of the country. Many of the spas have been used for this purpose since Roman and Punic times. The most important stations are run by personnel specialised in the medical and paramedical fields, and treatments are available for rheumatism, arthritis, a variety of lung and skin complaints, circulatory troubles and gynaecological problems. More information is available from the National Tourist Office.
Film Tours: Tunisia's desert near Tozeur has featured in numerous films, most notably in The English Patient and Star Wars. More information is available from the National Tourist Office.
Eating/Drinking During Tunisia Holidays
Tunisian food has been influenced by the influx of different inhabitants over the years. It remains essentially a mixture of Mediterranean (French, Spanish & Italian) and traditional Tunisian recipes, although the Jewish community contributed enormously to enriching Tunisian gastronomy as well. International cuisine is also freely available in Tunisia.
Tunisian cuisine is based on the use of olive oil and spices with the appropriate quantities of ingredients blended together. All recipes use natural products and simple ingredients of a high quality. These simple ingredients are used to make refined dishes with an emphasis is on fresh, wholesome ingredients. Couscous is the national dish and is served with vegetables, lamb, poultry or fish. The couscous is steamed and served covered in a sauce. The ingredients of the sauce give each type of couscous its own unique taste.
The culture of wine making in Tunisia dates back to Carthaginian and Roman times and has developed over the centuries. Nowadays, Tunisia produces between 300 - 350,000 hectolitres of wine per year. Tunisian wine is widely exported throughout the world. There are two traditional liqueurs in Tunisia: Thibourine and Boukha. Thibourine is made from dates and Boukha is a fig brandy. Celtia is the refreshingly light local beer. International beers are also available in Tunisia. Mint Tea is the traditional drink of Tunisia, served with fresh mint leaves and pine nuts in some regions.
Nightlife: Evening entertainment is generally low-key, with most nightlife centred around hotel bars and discos. However, in some of the larger resorts and towns you will find some excellent restaurants and pavement cafes as well as the odd disco or two where you can let your hair down and dance the night away. In Monastir you will find bars, cafes and eateries clustered around the modern marina and its adjacent shopping centre.
Getting Around on Tunisia Holidays
Taxis: Cheap and readily available in all main beach resorts. Most cabs have meters, or sometimes you can agree a fare in advance.
Buses: Local services are extremely good value and the network covers most of the country.
Tunisia Holidays Shopping
Experience the clamour and hurly burly of a Tunisian souk market. Most of Tunisia's old towns, including Monastir stage these colourful bazaars, packed full of fascinating little shops and stalls.
Outside of the official, quality and price, controlled Artisanat (handicraft) shops, where everything from carpets to birdcages bears a price tag and carpets a stamp of origin and calibre, shopping in Tunisia is definitely an art. Located in the old city (the Medina), the Souks offer a selection of objects of unsurpassed beauty and distinction , excellent arts and craft and traditional work. Remember to haggle with shopkeepers - it's all part and parcel of the fun of a souk. If the hustle and bustle is not for you, Monastir also offers the option of a modern shopping centre.
Weather and climate information
Northern Tunisia has a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers (June-August) and mild, wet winters (December-February). Tunis' high temperatures top out around 32°C (90°F) and drop no lower than 6°C (40°F). The mountains of the northwest occasionally get snow, while the farther south you go, the hotter and drier it gets.
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