5 Places to Visit in TUNISIA
As the country is recovering from the huge drop and expected to increase its tourist flow in 2018, this travel-inspiring blog post features 5 of the best places to visit in Tunisia.
This is a guest post by Michelle Forest
When I was in Sicily last year, a friend of mine raised his arm to the horizon saying: „There you see, it is North Africa, Tunisia“, with a strange tune in his voice, a sort of question to sort out for me.
I remember that I almost step up on my toes but, of course, I did not see any land beyond the horizon. Since then, I fed my desire to visit this country and collected enough positive information to plan a tour during the cold European winter.
And I must say that, as soon as I put my feet outside the Tunis airport, it was perfect. Instead of European winter, it was a Mediterranean Spring.
Tunis is famous for his souk (bazaar), its typical Tunisian stylish architecture, and the site of Carthage. But I must add that the people are also very kind. There are generally open-minded and regret bitterly the time when tourism was flourishing because this was one of their main incomes after the fruits, olives, the phosphate for agriculture and fishing.
The best way to travel in this country, which has approximately the same size as Bulgaria, is to book a tour with a professional tour guide with a four-wheel drive; preferably a Toyota Land-Cruiser and you will understand why.
It is impossible to mention all the charms of this country but we will try to list the best of them.
1 – Sidi Bou Said
One of the places not to ignore is Sidi Bou Said, the Saint-Tropez of Tunisia. A typical village on the slopes of a hill facing the sea with its complex facades painted in white with moucharabies and nettings in blue and a large variety of ancient doors superbly decorated with iron crafts. From the Cafe des Delices while savouring a tea with pine nuts, one can enjoy a circular view of the Tunis bay.
2 – Dougga
Tunisia is famous for its archaeological sites, one of the most famous is Dougga. I was lucky that bright morning to be the only wanderer among the rests of beautiful amphitheatre and temples, with some structures quite well preserved.
3 – Kairouan
Kairouan is said to be the third place of Islam and it is a matter of fact that the Mosque there is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Hundreds of columns borrowed from antic Carthaginian and Roman structures display a large range of capitals in different coloured marbles.
I will always remember the hotel „La Kasbah“. When he dropped me there while adding: „You will be not disappointed!“. Indeed, I wasn’t. Loved the mosaics and tiling. The rooms were well heated as nights begin to be cooler inland.
4 – Chebika
From the city of Tozeur, I made a tour in Chebika and the oasis in the mountains. Except for the colours of the wadis snaking down the cliffs, I just remember an anecdote. I saw a guy sailing desert roses stones whose eyes were so green that I could not help to ask him: Are you Tunisian? He answered: Yes I am, a Berber. And he added: Why this question? And I said, a little bit confused: Just to be sure!
Indeed, he and few other boys looked so European, almost like Slavs…
5 – Grand Oriental Erg
Then, the desert, the Grand Oriental Erg, a place that since my last trip in Morocco I cannot forget because of the mysterious atmosphere, silencious and empty; just the sky – blue and the dunes – sweet yellow to orange. You, alone, between these two spaces. Nothing else.
I saw a tree in the far, alone in the middle of the emptiness. I walked to it as it was looking just waiting for me. As if we had an appointment…
That night, at the campsite under the moonlight, we had a barbecue. Around the fire, I was seating between Italian 4×4 addicts, a couple of young Chinese living in Paris and some Tunisian families. This was a great moment to speak with so different people the same language.
There are salty lakes nearby that disserve to be seen.
The Coliseum of El Jem is said to be in much better condition than the one in Rome. Very sad to imagine how so many people died here during cruel spectacles.
There are too many stunning places in Tunisia to be able to mention them all. Hammamet at sunset, the olive yards as far as the eye can see, the colourful pottery in Nabeul… and so much more.
I promised myself to come back, which is easy as no visa is required. One of the best things?
I always felt safe in this so alive country.
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