Coastal Areas and Islands Sights
Tunisia boasts swathes of golden sun-drenched sands, a tropical climate and turquoise waters. Blown in from the Sahara, the coastline stretches for some 1200 kilometres. The country is a beach-lovers' paradise with sweeping sands from Sousse and Skanes to Port El Kantaoui, and the glittering shores in Hammamet to Yasmine Hammamet. Many hotels have their own private beaches.
Sidi Bou Said
This dazzling, picturesque blue and white village perched on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Tunis is perhaps the most cherished in Tunisia. Legend has it that, during the war, Saint Louis fell in love with a Berber princess and changed his name to became the patron saint of the village. Following the cobblestone streets winding upwards past a plethora of shops, you'll catch glimpses of the emerald sea with the mountain of Bou Kornine & the southern beaches of Tunis across the Bay. Stop and sip a delicious mint tea at the 'Cafe des Nattes', or continue upwards to the 'lighthouse' for a refreshing drink and marvel at the magnificent view from the 'Sidi Chebaane' cafe - especially as the sun is setting. During the warm summer evenings, concerts of traditional Tunisian music attract visitors and locals alike. Tunisians.
A trip to Tunisia isn't complete without visiting the remains of ancient Carthage in the north. Explore the remnants of this once great metropolis, where ruins of villas, bathhouses, sanctuaries and theatres offer an enthralling insight into the past. Originally founded in 814BC by the Phoenicians, the city rose to pre-eminence under Roman rule. Carthage grew to become one of the empire's largest cities, second only in size to Rome itself. It's also worth visiting Matama, which was used as a set for the blockbuster movie Star Wars.
As Tunisia's holiest city, Kairouan is home to more than 50 mosques, making it the fourth most important city in the Islamic world. The main attraction here is the Great Mosque. Though non-Muslims are forbidden to enter the prayer hall, visitors can peer through one of the 17 heavy wooden doors to see one of the world's oldest pulpits decorated with 250 carved panels. You can also climb the 128-step staircase, made from Christian tombstones, for terrific panoramic views of the city.
Venture south of Monastir and you'll find the amphitheatre at El Jem, one of the Roman Empire's greatest legacies to Tunisia. It's the second largest colosseum in the Roman World, dominating the local town and nearby countryside.
Head north to Sousse and you'll experience an authentic flavour of North African culture. Within the citadel is a section known as the Ribat, once the residence of devout Muslim warriors. Opposite this is another of Sousse's main attractions, the 9th-century Great Mosque.