Above: Typical tunisian earthenware at market
Mysterious aromas of spice and incense fill the air of the local Souk markets and the bartering begins upon your arrival to this magnificent country steeped in thousands of years of history. Centrally positioned at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Tunisia bursts into life from sun up to sun-down under the gaze of the North African sunshine. The diversity of this country is not only apparent in the eclectic mix of cultures that have graced it over the past 3000 years but also in the land itself. From the Mediterranean beaches and lush greenery of the capital Tunis in the North to the portal of the Sahara in the South the differences are clear to see. Explore the fascinating Medinas and Great Mosque of Kairouan and seek out relics from the past Ottoman inhabitants or gaze in amazement at the Chott El Jerid salt pan. Sip on a refreshing local mint teas and discover the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are sprinkled across this varied country. A particular site to visit is the Carthage which dates back to the 9th Century BC, a metropolis of Punic civilisation it is key to discovering the Tunisian past. So, come and see for yourself the great mix of cultures that have led to the creation of modern Tunisia!
The old fishing town of Hammamet has become a highly desirable beach lovers paradise which boasts a stretching soft-sandy beach and clear, swimming waters for its thousands of annual visitors to enjoy. Dating back to the 12th Century the Kasbah of Hammamet takes visitors on a journey back in time affording them stunning views over the glistening Gulf of Hammamet and is a mere stones throw from the Arabesque resort and Residence Narjess. Further West, the Roman ruins of Pupput give a clearer insight into the countries enchanting past whilst Carthageland contrasts wonderfully putting a modern spin on a historically significant destination. Hugely proud of its culture Hammamet flaunts its past with bronze statues and beautiful gardens all over the town. The Gafsa and Bardo Museums are the best way to see all this culture in one place with traditional Tunisian mosaics and sculptures creating the perfect centre piece to your holiday! Visitors to the town are greeted by the distinct aroma of jasmine which the locals adore and you'll find it growing almost everywhere. During your holiday to Tunisia you must try local couscous usually spiced up with Harissa (red chilli paste) so be prepared for a little kick to your meal! One of Tunisia's most significant festivals is held at Yasmine Hammamet where live music, poetry readings and art exhibitions wow the crowds during the peak of summer in July! Visit the International Culture Centre between July and August and you'll encounter great culture and musical performances from the world of Jazz and Theatre.
Beginning the journey through the white washed walls and red roofs of Tabarka in the North-West of Tunisia we head to the Genoese Fort, accessible via a 400m causeway and offering superb views of the Mediterranean Sea and Tabarka town. A far cry from the modern tourist towns, Tabarka's cobbled streets and backstreet cafes provide a step into traditional Tunisia and its here you most likely to mix with the locals. Amongst Tunisia's most stunning coastal locations the beach here is a wonderful mix of crystal clear waters, fine sand and intriguing Mediterranean coral that provides the perfect base to soak up the sunshine. On the Southern outskirts of Tabarka lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dougga, a once prosperous Roman town that still flaunts impressive ruins for you to discover. Bulla Regia to the South of Tabarka also owes its existence to the Romans and features wonderfully preserved villas that date back to the 3rd and 4th centuries, a must visit for anyone on a culture hunt! Explore Tabarka's gorgeous marina and dine on local cuisine along the promenade before settling back to your own timeshare apartment at the Corail Royal Marina resort. Home to an International Jazz Festival, Tabarka provides some of the very best in this soulful music style and has played host to artists such as Billy Paul of “Me and Mrs Jones” fame. If you appreciate the more classical side to music then return to Dougga during the July and August period and you'll encounter an International Festival being held in the Roman Amphitheatre.