Coastal Areas and Islands lifestyle
You can find everything from glittering brass and quirky antiques to leather slippers, love potions, aromatic colourful spices and much more in Tunisia. Foray into the markets and souks and you'll sample the hurly-burly of colour and excitement. Most towns stage colourful bazaars, crammed full of fascinating shops and stalls. As you wander through them you'll see traditional carpets, pottery, spices, jewellery, leatherware, copperware and Arabesque bird cages. Haggling is the norm and can be fun, so be prepared to barter with the locals to bag a bargain or two! A good starting point is to halve the initial price and clinch a deal from there. If haggling isn't your style, Monastir has the option of a modern shopping centre, while many hotels and resorts boast their own shops.
Tunisian cuisine is a mix of rich, tantalizing flavours with herbs and spices an essential ingredient. Most dishes feature cumin, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cloves and cinnamon to bring out the flavours of meat, vegetables and pastries. In particular, try steamed cous-cous with meat, fish or vergetables; spicy stews, kebabs or wraps cooked with lamb, houmous, olive oil; 'Brik a loeuf' (filo pastry with egg); 'shorba frik' (lamb soup); 'tabourna' (freshly baked bread); 'zgougou' (sweet vanilla cream with nuts); 'boukha' (a liqueur distilled from figs); and mint teas.
As far as the individual destinations are concerned, Monastir offers a selection of bars, cafes and eateries around the modern marina, as do Port El Kantoui and Skanes. Hammamet and Sousse are home to numerous cafe-bars and restaurants. If you climb the cobblestones of charming Sidi Bou Said to the lighthouse at the top, you can sip a delicious mint tea as you marvel at the spectacular view, especially as the sun sets.
Evening entertainment is generally low-key, with most nightlife revolving around bars in towns and hotels offering lively Tunisian folklore nights with singing, dancing and live music. In some of the larger resorts and towns you'll find restaurants and pavement cafes, as well as a few discos. Sousse and Hammamet are lively areas at night, whilst Port El Kantoui offers a more relaxed atmosphere with bars and reaurants located around its stylish marina.