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Even Luke Skywalker’s Been There!
— A Guide to Tunisia

One of the most popular holiday destinations in North Africa

Tunisia, in North Africa, borders the Mediterranean Sea and is located between Algeria and Libya. With the Sahara desert and Mediterranean beaches, Tunisia holidays offer all the sun, sea, sand, and sights you need for a relaxing vacation. Here is a travel guide to get the best out of Tunisia:

Weather and climate

In southern Tunisia there are two seasons, comprising a long, hot summer and a brief season of rain. Temperatures can rocket to 450C during summer and cool down to somewhere between 80C and 200C in winter. Northern Tunisia has your classic Mediterranean climate — hot, dry summers and mild winters — and temperatures can climb as high as 350C. Central Tunisian weather mimics that of southern Tunisia than of the northern part of the country, with temperatures reaching 360C during summer. The best time to visit Tunisia is either in spring or autumn.

Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia
Port El-Kantaoui is a tourist complex and a holiday resort on the central Tunisian coast, with beaches, restaurants, boutiques and golf courses.

Where to go

Tunis is the capital city and a gateway to Tunisia’s resorts. Sights not to miss out on include the Bardo Museum and the World Heritage-protected Medina of Tunis. The Roman ruins of the ancient city of Carthage are located in the suburbs of the city. Are you an artist looking for inspiration? The village of Sidi Bou Said offers plenty of inspiration, and you’ll find many fellow professionals there seeking the same.

Hammamet

Once a humble fishing settlement, Hammamet is now a beach resort. There are dozens of top-end to budget hotels, restaurants and bars. A wander through Hammamet’s historic center will provide you with a glimpse into Hammamet’s rich, elaborate architecture from a bygone era.

What to do and see

Market in Tunisia
A colourful market in Tunisia
» Sahara desert: The Sahara desert is an amazing place to explore. Tourists can encounter the rolling hills of sand on camelback or go sand surfing. Ksar Ghilane is located at the starting point of the Sahara desert and home to the Grand Erg Oriental sand dune. The view has served as the background in many Hollywood movies.

» Historic sights: There are many historical sites to visit, several of these being World Heritage sites. These include Dougga, the Roman ruins perched at the top of a hill at an altitude of 571 meters; El Ejem, the ancient Roman colosseum; Medina of Tunis, one of the first Arabo-Muslim towns of the Maghreb; and the archaeological site of Carthage.

» Experience a galaxy far, far away (almost!): Star Wars enthusiasts should not leave Tunisia without seeing the Matmata village, which appeared in the Star Wars movies. Drop by the Sidi Driss Hotel to see some props left by the Star Wars film-makers.

» National parks: Tunisia gives the chance to enjoy nature at its finest, with many national parks, each having their own beautiful eco-system. The Ichkeul National Park, a World Heritage site, is the most famous and contains a wetland home to thousands of species of birds. Meanwhile, the Chambi-Kasserine National Reserve is a UNESCO special reserve, due to the flora and fauna that surround Djebel Chambi, Tunisia’s highest peak. The El Feija National Park is well known for its many reptiles and mammals.

Sidi Bou Said village in Tunisia
A scene from the famous Sidi Bou Said Village, which developed reputation as a town of artists

Language

Although Arabic is the national language in Tunisia, French is usually the language of commerce. Almost all official documents and signs are written in French in addition to Arabic.

Etiquette

Being an Islamic country, you should dress and behave conservatively. Women should cover their shoulders and legs. Avoid public displays of affection, and respect religious rules and traditions. You’ll also only be able to buy (and consume) alcohol in designated areas.

History and heritage for the culture vultures, areas of natural beauty for the flora and fauna appreciators, and even a touch of Hollywood for the science fiction lovers, Tunisia has something for everyone. If none of that grabs your fancy — how could it not, though! — you can worship the sun there instead. Happy holidays!

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