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I also visited a few archeological sites. Some of them are very interesting although widely unknown : Medeina, Mustis (roman), Ksar Lamta (byzantine), Elles (prehistorical) in the western part of the country. I also went to an Aghlabid fortress (Bordj Younga) on the shore near Mahres between Sfax and Gabes.
The best way to visit the country is to rent a car (it is more
expensive than in Europe). As the road network is being improved,
it allows you to go mostly everywhere. The last winter was cold (it
snowed in Tunis!!!) and rainy in Tunisia. I traveled a little in
March and the countryside was GREEN."
"Here are some of my favourite places -- Sfax:
Train ride to Sfax is about three hours. Great view of
olive groves along the route. The olive trees go on for miles and miles. That's all you can see! In Sfax
visit the souk - smaller than the one in Tunis but has a better atmosphere. There's a museum of native
Tunsian art and culture within the souk. Free to students, I believe, with a card. Cheap accomodations in
Sfax. Most are fairly central. From Sfax take the ferry boat to the Kerdennah Islands (about 45 minutes
- 1 hour). Boat costs less than $5.00. Great beaches here. Take a cab from the dock to the island hotels.
Water is warm, plenty of sand, and can also sneak into the hotel pool. Just like CLUB MED!!!
Another great city. Museum with Roman remains, and archaeological site right on the beach! Lots of
beach activity - parasailing, rentals, volleyball, etc. Nabeul is about a 1 1/2 hour train ride from Tunis."
Places to go, Nabeul
Kevin Lomax's Opinion:
"I traveled to Tunisia in February  and had some great experiences. I stayed in Sousse with a
Swedish tour group and participated in a few of the group tours. I thought I would get more out of the
first visit since I really didn't know how to get around. Carthage was magnificent and with UNESCO
striving to maintain the site, it should only get better. I strongly recommend the 3-day safari. Actually, I
wish I had taken the 7-day one. You get the real feeling of the diverse landscape and people. However,
be warned, it can be a bit touristy in some areas. I will definately go back for a longer visit."
Chris Young's Opinion:
"The coast is very nice, and Kelibia and Sousse are probably the nicest places to beach. Also, the interior
of the country is hot in summer, and the [national] custom of napping between 1 o'clock and 4 o'clock
makes travel more challenging yet. However, you must go there. My personal favorite place is Kef,
because it's close to the Table of Jugartha and Algeria, and because I lived near there (in the village of
Elles, outside of Sers.) Objectively, though, the "must see" places are Kairouan, especially the streets of
the old medina that are not overwhelmed by hawkers of tourist wares, Touzeur in the southwest, and
Matmata in the southeast because that's where Star Wars was filmed. I also had a surprisingly good
time in [underrated] Gabes, where you can find the best selection of cool traditional baskets in the
country. Whatever they ask you to pay, give them less than half of that. Part of my good time there was
getting drunk on palm wine moonshine in the oasis with farmers, admittedly an experience that won't be
available without Arabic skills. Also, away from the coast and if you are nice to people you are more
likely to be invited to a wedding, which is an experience worth having. Don't go too early because the
mizwid music is a taste very difficult to acquire.Have fun, Chris Young."
Sarah Dowdall's opinion: "In April 1998 I travelled with my family of seven to Tunisia. It was without doubt the best holiday that I have been on. We stayed in a hotel at an all-inclusive resort beside Port El Kantoui. I wouldn't recommend people to go to Tunisia if they are looking for a boozy holiday. There is no shortage of drink, but there aren't many pubs/clubs. The people are very nice and it's very important to respect their country and their beliefs. The men can sometimes be a bit frightening as they leer towards woman but once you keep your mouth shut you shouldn't have any problems. All in all, Tunisia is a very beautiful place and I can't wait to go back. If anyone has any questions they can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Bye!" - Sarah Dowdall
Bogden's opinion: "It was really a good trip for me and my family. We entered Tunisia in Monastir and visited Sousse, Mahdia, El Jem, Leptia- Leptimus and Monastir. We met a lot of happy, interesting persons. For other trawellers i can say that Tunisia is a good destination for holidays with small children. Our son was happy. We were in a good hotels from 10 DT for a triple room with shower (EZZOHOUR- SOUSSE MEDINA). Also we found interesting archaeological places in EL JEM. In future we`d like to organize excavations there.
Last informations for travellers: -Hotels Sousse: Medina 2 with shower for 22 DT, Hotel de Paris 2 for 15 DT, Ezzohour 3 with shower for 10 DT !!!! Mahdia: Corniche 2 for 15 DT Daily budget for 2 person with small child (without hotel): 5-20 DT (1DT= 1,13$)We think Tunisia is great, our son was happy there, he`s not happy now." -Bogden (from Poland)
"I motored thru Tunisia in 1974 when there were few hotels. I crossed
the Djerid salt chotts across the desert. There is a wonderful
Roman/Greco site, Dougga.
I was disappointed in Carthage. I returned
to Tunisia about 20 years later - too many tourists and tour buses
going out to the Troglodyte villages. In '74 it cost me $2 to sleep
in a cave on a bag of straw. I had some great adventures in
Tunisia when it was off the beaten tourist track. It is a fascinating
country steeped in history and culture."
"I lived in Tunisia from 1991-1993 as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Tunisia is a beautiful country that is grounded in history yet moving toward
the future. Tunisia has everything: the beach, mountains, prairie and
desert. The people are welcoming and will offer you what ever they have. I
wouldn't have been able to learn the language and culture if it wasn't for
my neighbors. They welcomed me with open arms and taught me their culture.
Tunisia is a great place to vacation as long as the guest respect their
modest ways. I would recommend that everyone visit Tunisia and the island
of Djerba. If anyone has any questions, I would be most happy to provide
additional information (email@example.com). By the way, Fodor's guide for
Tunisia is an excellent resource."
Saras Opinion: Such a wonderful country, I have been there twice so far this year (1999) and loved it so much I am going back there to settle permanently in 2000. The first trip I did was to Tabarka on the north coast. A beautiful little town but don't go there expecting a clubbing and pubbing sort of holiday.
This is a place to relax, unwind and chill out. Scuba diving is fantastic - there's a coral reef just off the coast and a very good diving school (ask at your hotel). Horse riding in the Kroumirie Mountain; check out a village called Oiuchtata (no idea how you really spell that!) in the Mountains - there's a cafe there that sells the best fresh strawberry juice I have EVER tasted! Tabarka has only recently begun to open up to package holidays so it hasn't been overtaken by tourists yet but it is only a matter of time so go as soon as you can! It's not cheap. You can fly to Tabarka "International" Airport but only if you're on a package deal - and even then the only flights in from London were on a Tuesday! If you don't want to/can't fly direct the only way to get there is bus/louage or taxi. The bus from Tunis is very cheap and the drivers are usually kamikaze but it is worth it for the views from the bus as you drive across the country. Last bus from Tunis in the Summer leaves about 4pm and the journey takes about 3 and a half hours. We also did a day trip to Bulla Regia and Kef. Someone mentioned that Bulla Regia is difficult to get to....here's my tip. Get a louage or bus to Jendouba and then a taxi to Bulla Regia - it will cost you next to nothing. You could get the louage to drop you at the turn off to Bulla Regia but it's a pretty long and I'd recommend the taxi option. You might want to arrange with your taxi driver to come back and pick you up at a specific time - you can't always guarantee getting a cab from Bulla Regia. The ruins at Bulla Regia are astonishingly well-preserved especially the theatre. The site maps are incredibly confusing though! Le Kef is fantastic - impressive Kasbah at the top of the hill overlooking a beautiful town of cobbled streets and small white-washed houses. Unfortunately, for me by the time I got there I was practically fainting because of the heat so I spent most of the afternoon in a restaurant downing large bottles of water!
Last time I went I stayed in Tunis. It was July/August and although I had a fantastic time I would not advise you to go then unless you REALLY like the heat. It got as far as 51c at one point! If you're staying in one of the big hotels then you'll have air-conditioning - but you'll pay heavily for the privilege. I recommend the Hotel Agriculture on Rue Charles de Gaulle - good, basic hotel, clean rooms, not expensive (about 20 dinars a night). There are cheaper hotels in the medina but I was a woman travelling alone and they're not to be recommended for women.
I cannot tell you how amazingly welcoming and open-hearted the Tunisian people are. I was "adopted" by the family of one of the guys working at my hotel. Before I knew where I was I had a new family, invitations to dinner, you name it! Travelling as a woman on your own in Tunisia is very safe - you may be hassled, chatted up and occasionally leered at but I never felt threatened in anyway and crimes against women are unheard of.
Whatever else you do if you go to Tunisia you MUST check out Sidi Bou Said. Without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Get on the metro (train) in Tunis at the end of Avenue Habib Bourgiba and it's almost the end of the line. Steep climb up a hill to get there but well worth it.
If anyone would like to know more about Tunisia or any of the places I have mentioned feel free to drop me a line. Happy travelling.
John Wylie's Opinion: "Just got back from Tunisia (12 Sep 2000). I stayed at Port El Kantoui in the golf residence hotel, and here's what I think:
Arrived at Monistir airport temprature was nice for 0100hrs. Coach took about an hour to take us to the hotel after dropping others off at their hotels. This 3-star hotel room was not bad with air-conditioning (bit noisy). Pool was good, and beach ok too!.
People around the tourist area seem friendly enough and will offer to help a new arrival to tunisia find what they are looking for from a pack of cigarettes to car hire, but they all seemed to bump up the price to line their own pocket, but they get paid little so they grab the opportunity.
Don't believe a word anyone tells you in the shops in the tourist areas, I never seen so much con-men in my life, fake gold/silver designer names t-shirts they swear are real. But if you expect this, and will not get upset with this then you'll be ok. Oh get and check reciepts everywhere, one shop tried to add an extra zero on a credit card purchase I made for approx £10, if i had not checked it i would have paid approx £100.
I recommend sticking mainly to the hotel food, as the standard elsewhere is dogey, I had stomach cramps for the second half of my 7 day stay, but this was my first sunny holiday and maybe I have a weak stomach?
Not much choice in drinks at the bar unless you like campari or martini, no chance of a baileys or a malibu.
You don't see many women there mainly men, and sometimes a local man
will offer to take your girlfriend off your hands for a hour, its better to
say its up to your girlfriend and for your lady to say "no thanks".
You'll get by fine if you let some of the comments go over your head, if you easily get into fights over 1-2 provocotive comments then maybe you should go somewhere else.
I hired a scooter for about £75 for 4 days, but the cabs are quite cheap also.
Maybe I would not say this place was great, but some people (aged 40+) said they enjoyed it on the flight home, you may enjoy it!. You wont find a McDonalds retaurant there, be prepard to hygenically travel back in time (except for the tourist accomodation).
Sun, Sea, Salesmen, Local beer, nothing much to do in the evening."
Elaine's Opinion: "I lived and worked in Tunisia as a travel rep for several years, then I married a Tunisian and gained a huge family in the bargain! We have now moved back to England with our sons and I miss Tunisia terribly.
I found the people no more pushy or cheeky than anywhere else in the world (I also worked in Greece and Spain), in fact far more genuine and friendly than here at "home".
I can't wait to go back to Sousse for our annual visit 2002 and this year we intend to visit places I haven't seen. To any tourist, I would say that if you treat the locals with the respect you'd like yourself and remember that it is still essentially a Moslem country albeit a modern one, you can't go far wrong. As for the cuisine, try everything - it's all wonderful!"
We stayed in a large, family-oriented hotel on the beach in Hammamet and had a wonderful time. Our 6-year-old had plenty to do as the hotel had children's activities at various times of the day and a large indoor swimming pool which was nice during the cool early-spring days included lots of variety with something for everyone to like and we went through a couple of cases of locally-purchased bottled water.
Since the primary purpose of our trip was R&R we spent most of our time just lounging around the hotel
and taking camel rides and other interesting transport into Hammamet. We booked a couple of local
tours from our hotel and were pleased with their efficiency and content. The atmosphere to us was so
similar to Turkey that we had to continually remind ourselves that we were not in Turkey! The Tunisians
were quite friendly, prepared for the demands of foreign travelers, and eager to please."
Hammamet - Elegant but crowded
Bogden's opinion: "It was really a good trip for me and my family. We entered Tunisia in Monastir and visited Sousse, Mahdia, El Jem, Leptia- Leptimus and Monastir. We met a lot of happy, interesting persons. For other trawellers i can say that Tunisia is a good destination for holidays with small children. Our son was happy... Daily budget for 2 person with small child (without hotel):5-20 DT (1DT= 1,13$)." -Bogden (from Poland)
Dougga - Roman Ruins
Carthage is a very wealthy and beautiful suburb of the capital city of Tunis. It is situated
on the sea which provides a refreshing and pleasant climate.
The main spoken language is Arabic but French is also widely used. English is now taught
in many schools. Carthage has become a major centre for international
"Carthage has lots to see. The best place to start is probably the
museum. It will give you a feel for the history of the area
and probably has information on the sites in the area (but I'm not sure).
The museum is on the Byrsa Hill... you can't miss it, it's the only
real hill in the area. The Byrsa Hill is also topped by a Cathedral,
which was just recently restored when I was there two years ago (1996).
For those who are interested in the archaeology of Carthage, the Byrsa
also has archaeological ruins of an ancient Roman city which was built
on an ancient Punic city. There is also a very nice hotel on the Byrsa, for
those who have the money!
There are other places in Carthage of course. The next biggest archeaological site are the Antonine Baths. They have been excavated and are now an archaeological park (most tours stop there!). There are a few other sites in Carthage, but those are the two best, and if you only have a day, you should hit these two sites.
There is a small site and a small museum in Carthage (I don't remember what street it's on). I think it was a UNESCO project. It's on the same road as the Supermarche.
Other archaeological areas: Cisterns of La Malga, the Amphitheatre,
the Circus, the Punic Ports, Tophet, the Odeum, the Roman Villas." - Me (Colette)
Carthage - Places to go
The trip to El Djem can easily be apart of your trip to Sousse,
since it is only an hour or two away. We took the train from El Djem to Sousse
and found a cheap hotel near by the train stop. Sousse is a city like
Tunis, and cheap and clean accommodation shouldn't be hard to find.
The same goes for dining. There is a nice beach to relax on in Sousse.
There is the medina also, which twists and turns its way through the
old city. It is very interesting to walk around, but I recommend you
don't try it at night. There is a museum in Sousse too that is worth
a spin through (if I remember correctly it has strange hours).I'm sure
there is much more to see in Sousse, but we only were there for a day and a half..."
- Me (Colette)
Sousse - World Heritage City
You can scuba dive from Tabarka too -- my friends who went said that it was well run. I wanted to go to Aim Draham (sp?) a little mountain village near Tabarka, but it is not the easiest place to go. Sounds worthwhile though.
Getting to Tabarka can not be done by train. You have to take a louage there and back. They are fairly
common. Make sure you know where to catch one back to Tunis before you go exploring!" - Me (Colette)
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