A Taste of Tunisia: The Sahara, Roman ruins, souks and Star Wars


Hammamet is a popular tourist spot on Tunisia’s north-east coast, with a string of sparkling white hotels fringing curving beach. Thick tropical vegetation and brilliant flowers nudge the walls of the hotels, creeping right down to the edge of the beach. A good place to relax and get a tan.

Tunisia – World Heritage Site

For something more cultural, head for the capital, Tunis – a modern city of tree-lined boulevards and sidewalk cafes but parts still retain an old colonial flavour and a visit to the medina takes you back to the middle ages. This is one of the oldest and biggest markets in the world, designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is an exotic maze of narrow streets lined with tiny shops and impressive mosques. The smell of ground coffee mingles with roasting meat and light sparkles around the silver and brass shops where the craftsman’s hammer taps out a constant beat. Bartering can be fun; if you are unsure of how to bargain, accept the proffered cup of mint tea and take your time. Expect to pay about a third of the asking price.

Tunisia – Andalusion Architecture

The Bardo Museum for its fabulous collection of Roman mosaics – the best in the world. They look almost as fresh as when they were made 1,700 years ago. And for something completely different visit the beautiful little village of Sidi Bou Said, just 10km north of Tunis – a masterpiece of Andalusian architecture.

Tunisia – The Sahara and the Chott

Travelling south to the Sahara is about a six-hour car journey. Hotels can manage trips in Hammamat or Tunis. En route is Matmata. “Star Wars” fans will recognize the troglodyte houses from the scene where Luke Skywalker goes back to his old home.

Kibili is where most people experience their first camel ride. Not the most comfortable way to travel. But once you see the great curving waves of the Sahara stretching infinity, it’s all worth it.

To cross Tunisia you have to drive across the Chott El Jerid – a dried up salt lake, 250 km long and 20 km wide Mirages shimmer on the dry white crust with the road slicing across it like an arrow for thirty-four miles. This road leads to Tozeur, the largest oasis in the country – and what a contrast. Towering palm trees protect more delicate fruit trees and vegetables and you can take a carriage ride around the oasis.

Tunisia – Ancient Kairouan

Ancient Kairouan

On the long road back to the north, stop at the holy city of Kairouan, the 4th most important Muslim city in the world. The ancient medinawas first built in the 8th century and its walls contain a thriving mixture of shops, cafes, craftsmen, patisseries – you name it, it’s there.

Hope you enjoyed our experience and insight about the great Tunisia. Well, don’t forget to Subscribe to our newspaper, and feel free to drop a comment below.

Afronism Team

Afronism Team

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