jahmaica / 123RF
Tunisia is not just beaches and oases. Despite the fact that many consider Tunisia merely a beach destination, there are in fact several varied landscapes to be enjoyed. The Tunisian desert is one of the best for day excursions.
Thanks to its lenghty coasts, low altitudes and Mediterranean position, Tunisia enjoys a pleasant climate. Sunshine is guaranteed all year round meaning that its beaches attract an increasing number of visitors each year. The most popular destination on the coast coast remains Sidi Bou Saïd. Perched on the cliff overlooking Carthage and the Gulf of Tunis, this small remote village offers magnificent views of the Mediterranean. Monastir, Hammamet or the island of Djerba are equally charm with their vast expanses of golden beaches, panoramas and a network of luxury hotels.
Tunisia boasts numerous national parks where you can watch the local wildlife. Desert lovers will find a wide variety of animals including fennecs, lizards, rodents, snakes, scorpions and camels.
Meanwhile, the plant life varies from one region to the next. Verdant in the north, it is a combination of meadows, bean plantations and olive groves whereas in the south, it becomes more austere and is restricted to cacti, palm trees and a handful of thorny shrubs lying at the doorstep of the desert.
The reputation of Tunisia's craftsmen dates back centuries. Established since ancient times, it spreads across stone, wool, iron, clay and glassworks. By passing down their knowledge and know-how from father to child, or through handicraft centres, these experts of crude materials do not cease to amaze.
Tunisia is not always considered a cultural destination. Contrary to this it actually boasts little known antique sites, including two (Carthage and Dougga) listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Dating back mainly to the second and third centuries BC, these vestiges cover both civil and religious architecture. They are found on sites carefully chosen by the people of their time, on the sea shores or on hills in the backcountry. Tunisia also holds the largest collection of mosaics on the planet, a large part of which is conserved and displayed at the Bardo National Museum.
A host of traditional features can be seen through the architecture of Tunisia's homes. From studded wood doors, cast iron grills to mosaic terraces, they give an insight into the different influences at work in the local culture.
Fortified villages or genuine fortresses, the Ksours are castles in the Tunisian desert. Milestones in the south of the country perched on sand dunes or set on mountain slopes, these works of stone or adobe fit in perfectly with the surrounding scenery, making for impressive photographs.
Excursions to the doorstep of the desert, underwater diving, water sports, thalassotherapy and golf, are just some of the leisure activities offered in Tunisia. These are available in most tourist resorts, from the north to the south of the country.
only a third of the story is completed, watch this space! Writer's Easyvoyage profile