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Tunisia

Welcome to Tunisia!!!  This beautiful country is a well-known holiday destination for tourists looking for a cheap vacation. The country is less famous for adventurers’ destination. And yet, Tunisia is a perfect country for independent travelling and offers many activities (sports activities and historical tours). Small in size but very glorious in terms of its immense history, Tunisia has been influenced by many great civilizations. Carthaginian, Roman, Ottoman, Byzantine and Arabic cultures have all left their imprint. The remains of the ancient monuments bear witness of the great past of this country. The country was also the melting pot of three monotheistic religions. Whereas most tourists rush to Djerba and to the overcrowded resorts of Cap Bon, be adventurous and go discover the south of the country!!!

 

Key Facts

  • Capital city: Tunis
  • Languages: Arabic, French
  • Time difference: GMT/UTC + 1h (+2h in summer)
  • Entry formalities: No need for visa if you stay for less than 3 months
  • Electricity: 220/110 V, 50 Hz
  • Telephone: + 216
  • Health: No specific risks, if not sunburns!!

Money

Generalities: Traveller’s checks, American express, Visa and Thomas cook cards are widely accepted. Cities that have banks and tourist attractions are equipped with cash machines. The use of credit cards to facilitate purchase and payment of goods is now a generally accepted practice and has become widespread. In coffee shops and restaurants, gratuity is expected.

Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)

Budget:  You can find a decent room for 10 USD per day and meal foe 4, 50 USD. If you are on a tight budget, you will be able to manage with 20 USD per day. If you want to enjoy your vacation, you will need 30 – 50 USD per day. With 100 USD per day, you will live like a king!

Daily budget food

  • Economic budget: < 12 TND
  • Average budget: 12-22 TND
  • High budget: > 22 TND

Accommodation

  • Economic budget: < 50 TND
  • Average budget: 50-130 TND
  • High budget: > 130 TND

When To Go And Climate

  • When To Go: The low season lasts only for two months (January and February) when climate is cold and humid. During that period prices of hotels become cheaper. During the touristic season (from June to August), prices go up and you won’t get a rental car easily. In addition, the influx of tourists in museums, beach resorts and cultural sites spoils the atmosphere. Also, the intense heat is not adequate for sporting activities.
  • Climate: Tunisia enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate: hot and dry summers (June – August) with mild & rainy winters (December – February). In Tunis, the capital city, temperatures can reach 32°C, and never goes below 5°C. There is a significant amount of snow in the northwest mountains, and the weather becomes hot and dry when going towards South of the country. Average annual rainfalls vary between 1000 mm in the north and 150mm in the south.

Accommodation

  • Camping: Camping is not very popular in Tunisia. The very few campsites available offer a low quality comfort and welcome mostly camping cars. These campsites charge between 5 and 8 TND. Showers are free or cost only few dinars. Best campsites in the country are found in Tozeur, Ksar Ghilane, Douz and near Kélibia.
  • Hotels:  In Tunisia there are two types of hotels: classified hotels (which received an official designation, from 1 star to 5 stars) and non-classified hotels (with the « NC » sign). Online booking is not a usual practice in Tunisia except for few major luxury hotels. Most of hotels accept a room reservation by email, but others will ask a confirmation by fax.
  • Hotel complexes: There are countless hotel complexes along Tunisian coasts. They are not tailored for independent travelers. Most of tourists who go to these luxury hotels bought the package travel (which includes flight ticket, hotel room and meals). Most of these hotels have bars, restaurants, swimming pools, hammam, excursions bureau, games room, fitness and private beach. The most popular hotel complexes are located at Hammamet, Sousse, Port el-Kantaoui, Monastir and Djerba.

Must See

Relatively small country, Tunisia can be explored very easily. But this doesn’t mean that you will not have enough activities. In a single day you can walk on the beach, discover roman ruins, go into the forests and woods, watch the flamingoes, and share happy dancing moments with locals. Blue sky, crystal-clear waters, and harmonious décor….that’s Tunisia

  • Hammamet: With its hotel complexes, lazy trains and lively nightlife, Hammamet has a very relaxed atmosphere, a well preserved medina and a pleasant city center
  • El-Mansourah: Enjoy the beautiful beach where you can also have your breakfast in a nice restaurant surrounded by lovely natural basins.
  • Mahdia: Mahdia is one of the most beautiful cities of Tunisia. This ancient capital is a charming port city renowned for fishing, sophisticated silk textiles and olives groves. There are many interesting historic sites (ruins of the ancient Punic city, the first Fatimid mosque built in the 10th century, and the Ottoman Fort dating to the 16th century.
  • Djerba: Djerba has splendid white sand beaches, a delightful town with its paved streets (Houmt-Souk) and fascinating history characterized by the diversity of its population
  • Cap-Serrat: This place is one of many wild areas of the coast in the north of the country, perfect for long walks or snorkeling in the incredibly clear waters.
  • Tabarka: Tabarka is Tunisia best place if you want to explore underwater colored landscape during your diving and snorkeling excursions.
  • Melloula: The town of Melloula is situated near the Algerian border. Serrat is one of the most famous beaches of Melloula. The other beautiful beaches of this area are Jebara and Berkoukech.
  • Sidi Bou Saïd: The great beach situated near the marina is the perfect spot to have a relaxing moment after a long day of sightseeing. Walk down the 365 steps through pines and eucalyptus trees and you will witness a view you will remember for long time.
  • Gammarth: Located at the north of Tunis, Gammarth is very much appreciated gateway spot. Enjoy your dinner with your feet in the water (Restaurant «Les Ombrelles»)
  • Carthage: The roman ruins scattered over the swankiest neighborhoods of Tunis are mostly fragmented. If you are interested in ancient history, you will appreciate the stunning view from the top of Byrsa Hill.
  • Bardo Museum: This museum houses the finest collection of Roman mosaics in the world and a striking portrait of the Roman poet Virgil. There are also a beautiful collection of statues, bronzes and objects from daily life
  • Uthina (Oudna): This fascinating archeological site still being excavated contains an amphitheater, a large villa and impressive mosaics in situ.
  • Dougga: Located in the picturesque Khalled Valley among amber-colored fields and olive groves, this ancient roman city bathes in beautiful scenery. It is one of the most protected Roman sites in North Africa.
  • Bulla Regia: Bulla Regia is an impressive archeological site located 65km in the south of Tabarka. One of the many particularities of this site is the presence of underground villas magnificently decorated with mosaics. These villas were built underground probably to escape the beating sun and the heat). http://www.omniplan.hu/2002-Tunisia/TunisiaNorthWest.htm
  • Hammam Mellegue: In this remote village, you will enjoy a relaxing bath in hot rooms (caldarium) used by at least 40 generations.
  • El Djem: This site containing an exceptional amphitheater, the third largest by size, El Djem has also a fascinating museum exposing beautiful and still intact roman mosaics.
  • Sahara: Go to Ksar Ghilane to see the vast sand dunes stretching away to the horizon. http://www.yadis.com/fr.154.campement-ksar-ghilane.html
  • Chott El-Djerid: This huge salted lake has an exceptional beauty with water channels with many different colors from green to pink. Mirages are allegedly seen in this lake.
  • Waterfall At Mides Gorge (Near Tamerza): After an excursion through this spectacular canyon, go refresh under the 10m cascade nearby
  • Jugurtha Tableland
  • This table mountain stands in the middle of the plains like an island. Climb the steps all hand crafted in the rock to the top…..and you will be able to see Algeria.
  • Ichkeul Lake: Pink flamingoes, herons, egrets and storks…this lake will the happiness of birds’ watchers.
  • Cap-Bon: Swim in crystal clear water in natural basins in the quiet beach of El-Haouaria bounded by the shimmering pyrite mountain. You can also dive in Aïn Atrous (near Korbous) natural hot springs
  • Korba Lagoon: This 15km long lagoon in Cap-Bon bordered by white sand attracts many flamingoes
  • Jazz Festival & Tabarka Festival: The world renowned jazz festival of Tabarka (July) has already welcomed famous artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus and Miriam Makeba
  • Sahara Festival: This very popular festival takes place in Douz during November. You can enjoy traditional sports contests, parades, poetry reading and music concerts
  • Hammamet International Festival: This is an annual festival of music and art held in July and August in a huge amphitheater of 1000 seats overlooking the Gulf of Hammamet. Many renowned artists come participate in this international event. Ute Lemper, Mikis Theodorakis, Miriam Makeba made appearances, and more recently, Victoria Abril, Emir Kusturica, Tina Arena, Anouar Brahem, Raouf Ben Yaghlane, Leila Hjaiej and French rap group IAM have appeared.

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