Tunisia is the most northerly nation in the African continent. It lies at the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, which drop down to grassy hills and plateaus grazed by sheep’s and goats. Wheat, oranges, and olives are grown in the northern valleys or on the rich farmland of the Mediterranean coast. Toward the south of the country, however, the climate and landscape are more hostile. Salt lakes called chorts and desert sands bake in the fierce sun. But the south is productive in its own way, with its oil and phosphates making up half of Tunisia’s exports.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in Tunisia.
stands on a hill at 600 meters and consists of an amphitheater, the Temple of Saturn, public restrooms, public houses that all dates back to the 3rd century AD.
The road to get here is very picturesque there as it crosses on the country almost to Algeria. Look through the window of your vehicle so you won’t miss anything. Olive groves planted in the sand, wheat, vineyards, and visible neat rows of trees on a yellow ground. They are all surrounded by hedges of cactus. There are almost no forests, meandering rivers can be found just around amidst the thickets of trees and shrubs. First you drive on the plateau, but gradually the terrain became more mountainous until you arrive in the site.
Dougga, is a well-preserved city located on several high hills. It is huge, imposing, and stands majestic on a desert land that was once abandoned by its people because of conflicts during the Roman Empire era. You cannot imagine how many wars, events, political and cultural these stones have witnessed. You can wander through its cobbled streets, which can be seen from the gauge wheels as you step into the house of ruins. The mosaic floor in the courtyard is still preserved. Among the rocks and thorns grow some grass that is similar to Aloe Vera. If you love Roman ruins, you will experience its best highlight here. All in all, it is a dreamlike landscape that is well preserved and exciting to see.
Amphitheater (El Jem Colosseum)
The ruined 100 meter
Colosseum of El Jem
, south of Mahdia, is a spectacular reminder that ancient Tunisia was part of the Roman Empire. In those days, the public flocked here to see the chariot races and gladiator fights between people and wild beasts. Strikingly, the amphitheater still survives up to this day and almost intact, although some of its stones were used for buildings in the city and to the mosque in Keyruane. There is a gallery and a city on its underground that is very cool even in summer. Its walls offer a wonderful view of the city. El Jem is famous because of this amphitheater, the third largest in the Roman Empire after the Colosseum and the amphitheater of Capua, a capacity of 30,000 people. Researchers believe that the Amphitheatre of El Jem is in better condition than the Colosseum in Rome.
There are cages for wild animals and a closet for bodies of gladiators that need to be quickly pulled out of the arena. El Jem amphitheater was also formerly used as a fortress. In these place, led the battle against the forces of Arab Berber princess Caen.
It is believed that the amphitheater had an underground passage connecting with the sea but some passes are not really accessible when visited. The amphitheater has also received numerous gun shellings during the height of the French conflict (1956). All this has led to the fact that almost half of the building was completely destroyed. Wall height reaches 30 meters and part of the eats has been restored. In 1979, the El Jem Amphitheater was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Every summer there is a festival of classical music in the open air. And at night it is one breathtaking sight as the lights illuminate its beauty.
The excursion to the
is perhaps one of the most memorable activities you can do while in Tunisia. A two day tour can be arranged to enjoy all the great features of this desert. The desert is so fine, like flour, warm sand, hot air, a caravan of camels with riders in strange clothes that go with you to watch the sunset. This bright, unforgettable experience is not all you can do here. In addition to walking or riding on a camel you can experience in the desert and a terrific and extreme variety of entertainment like; riding bugs, ATV quad bikes, flying in tiny plane, jeep safari can be enjoyed along with your friends. The journey to the Sahara alone is worth going when in Tunisia.
The program is very rich and you will not have time to get bored plus you can obtain enough experience to share with anyone. Enjoy the ride in the desert sands of the Sahara Jeep. Part of the tour package is an overnight stay in a decent hotel with a swimming pool and a tolerable power, quad biking in the desert (probably 40 minutes), a visit to the city of Tatooine (Star Wars movie sets), a short peek to the desert oasis – dead city with waterfall, the meeting at dawn on a red salt lake near the border with Algeria, the chargeable paragliding adventure, and quick look at the caves of the troglodytes (cave dwellers ). In general, it is an incredible and happy experience that is highly recommended.
houses a unique collection of priceless Roman mosaics. The special feature of this museum is that it possesses the largest collection of mosaics in the world that is perfectly preserved and created with exceptional workmanship, with many others that have yet to be exposed. The extraordinary collection of Roman mosaics, that dates back to early Christian, Jewish, and Islamic civilization reopened last year after a major restoration that has allowed to double the exhibition area and a facelift that gave the Bard to the list of museums to live and not just to visit. Moving from one room to another will leave any one truly speechless at seeing the state of conservation and the details of their preservation work. The statues and reconstructions of furnishing started from the ancient mosaic remains that were found virtually intact.
The treasured mosaics that show scenes of hunting or fighting with animals are rich in detail, even the blood spatter of people injured where you can see a different level of detail corresponding to our modern photography. The mosaics are everywhere so much so that before entering everyone is required to wear shoes because many of the covers were placed on the floor and they do not want that part to get spoiled with the passage of tourists. The property is well cared for and guides are available to help you understand the different styles and various shrines. A trip to Tunisia is necessary to fully understand this wonderful museum.
Medina of Tunis
Medina of Tunis
is a very picturesque place in the old town with great selection of souvenirs, clothes, carpets, crafts, vivid rugs, spices, jewelries, potteries, copperwares, brass, wicker baskets, dried fruit, fresh vegetables, and food to buy. To advance in the Medina of Tunis is like drowning in a sea of colors and oriental fragrances. It’s nice to get involved in negotiations to buy the many things that the market offers, even if at times they are exhausting as you need to haggle and deal with the seller up to the last price.
Turning in the Medina you can admire the beautiful buildings typically oriental. There are numerous dealers in the lanes that offer some magnificent craftsmanship items that are made from copper, wood, and fabric. The bazaar starts behind the archway with a maze of narrow streets that is usually narrowed by towels or clothing even further. After shopping engage yourself to a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy a good round of shisha or more locally known as the arkhilah smoke.
George Sebastian Villa – Hammamet
lovely resort of the
George Sebastian Villa
is a must visit during your stay in Hammamet. You can explore the beautiful botanical gardens that were planted with orange, lemon and all kinds of citrus trees. Check out the sumptuous villa, it is a place that has seen and attracted many artists since the 1800’s. The place is imbued with a soul. Take a stop to take a mint tea in the villa around the central basin. Entry tickets and payment of the drinks must be paid in advance. Continue your visit down to the sea where the view is beautiful and soothing. The villa is surrounded by a park full of trees, plants and lots of parking space.
The structure is made of elegant architecture with interesting history. The rooms are not all easy to reach but well worth it to dive in a polo area which is also of great cultural interest . It in fact houses the Cultural Center and the International Festival of Hammamet, which next year celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. The Villa Sebastian also hosts events such as exhibitions , book presentations, business meetings, and discussions. This old fort guards the Gulf of Hammamet, just south of Nabeul.
Medina of Hammamet
Medina of Hammamet
is the main commercial artery of the city where souvenirs, homemade shoes, handbags, oil, and every makeshift exotic consumer goods can be found. The old Medina of Hammamet is basically a large bazaar where you can shop, drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, buy exotic camel leather shoes, a pair of stoles, and handcrafted souvenirs.
The place holds more of a cultural value than being a commercial site. If you want to wander the narrow streets, constantly bumping into obsessive offers to buy something, then you must go here. Interestingly climb onto the roof to enjoy the opening overlooking the city on one side and the ocean on the other.
Sousse Archaeological Museum
Sousse Archeological Museum
is dedicated to the mosaics collection. The Sousse is very nice and well kept, although it is not gigantic, it has large and colorful mosaics that is preserved and well kept. Among its collections are the famous head with snakes, or decorations depicting the months and the seasonsor scenes of everyday life. Visiting hours is allowed from 9 am to 7pm from Tuesday till Sunday.
There are also other archaeological findings with explanations, the main attraction, however, are the beautiful mosaics, it is second only to the Bardo Museum in Tunis. It was recently restored and re-opened in a very nice space inside the Kasbah of Sousse. It is possible to photograph, as indeed in all the museums of Tunisia with an extra ticket to a dinar fee for taking pictures. The great mosaic art pieces that are most interesting here are the “Head of the god Ocean” and the “Triumph of Bacchus”.
of Sousse has a singular peculiarity. The prayer room is located on the first floor and is pretty much the oldest existing African mosque. Built in the eighth century, and recently restored, it is one of the most important monuments of the Islamic Maghreb. Climb to the top to r for a good glance on the port and the medina. It is a very picturesque place that you can enter to soak up a little of the atmosphere of the country outside the hotel life. It is a typical area mostly visited by foreigners where they can spend time to stroll and meet the friendly Tunisians and discover the daily life of this country.
is an off the beaten path adventure that highlights the best features in the Medenine Region. The park is well organized, spacious, and clean and the price for admission is about 7 euro, but it also includes two museums that are worth visiting; one is outdoors and all about how to rebuild homes and business of the place, the other collects artifacts about Berbers with beautiful pottery and brass ware items. As for the crocodile park, the best time to visit is at 5 pm, which is the time of their meal.
The caretakers give their fantastic meal times 3 times a week on these more than 300 specimens of crocodiles in different sizes where some are so huge that it will leave anyone speechless. The giant turtles also have a designated area where they can be photographed, fed and cuddled. You can rest easy on the wooden benches of the botanical garden and absorb the peace and quiet. Inside the park there are also shops and bars that are truly impressive.