Sousse is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site that doubles up as a prime shopping spot thanks to its centuries-old medina. Head to its twisted backstreets to find stall-after-stall of glittering wares and alleys packed with artisans busy at work. Here, you’ll find sellers hawking everything from traditional Tunisian jebba dresses to colourful ceramics from Nabeul. Refresh between shopping sprees with a traditional mint tea and eye up the architecture while you relax. As space within the medina’s original walls ran out, residents built upwards, constructing vaults and rooms above the streets that create towering examples of Islamic art at its best.
Forget Rome’s colosseum, El Jem is the one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world. Capable of holding over 35,000 spectators, the sheer scale of the monument makes it more than worth a visit. Roam the Gladiatorial Arena where many a gruesome battle took place and walk through the same winding tunnels where fighters would have been led through before entering the arena. And, for panoramic views across the surrounding valley, climb high in the stands to snap some pics.
Whitewashed buildings and cobbled streets circle the sleek marina that takes centre stage at Port El Kantaoui. While you’re there, pick from its generous serving of restaurants and taste some traditional Tunisian dishes. Dig a fork into Brik, crispy pastry parcels filled with onion, parsley and tuna or opt for lamb served with mountains of harissa-seasoned couscous.
Head back in time to the Roman Empire with a visit to Carthage, an ancient town destroyed in 146BC. This UNESCO-listed World Heritage site offers up well-preserved ruins comes with a Roman Amphitheatre with Antonin Baths just down the road. Don’t forget to save some time for Carthage Land, either. This theme park offers spinning teacup rides, a 5D cinema and a log flume.
Hammamet is Tunisia’s go-to beach spot, with 10 kilometres of talc-soft sand. And, it’s just as impressive underwater. Dip below the surface to snorkel among coral reefs, old shipwrecks and hidden deep-sea caves. Once you’ve dried off, you’ll find Hammamet’s medina perched just along the coastline. Here, you’ll uncover North Africa’s oldest mosque and an ancient Kashbah ripe for exploring. Another beach spot to try is the island of Djerba – a strip of sand that’s known for its comparisons to the Caribbean.
It’ll come as no surprise that Tunisia’s home to 40,000 square of desert. And, the best place to get close to the Sahara has to be The Grand Erg Oriental. Its name translates to field of dunes – just to give you an idea of the scale of sand to expect. Take on its dunes on camel-back or on a 4x4 jeep safari.
Often touted as one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean, the Bardo Museam doesn’t disappoint. Packed with intricate mosaics, this place offers up serious #interiorgoals. You’ll spot everything from marble statues and Roman jewellery to ancient artefacts excavated from famous shipwrecks – including a bust of Aphrodite carved out of marble.
The entire town of Sidi Bou Said is perched on the top of a steep cliff overlooking the Med, so it’s not hard to imagine why people come here for the views alone. The town itself is a bit of a looker, too – in fact, it’s the face of most postcards from Tunisia. Pretty much every house is whitewashed with blue-painted doors and window shutters – so photo opportunities come thick and fast. It’s no surprise, either, that many artists have lived in Sidi Bou Said in the past to get inspiration from their surroundings.
The TUI MAGIC LIFE Africana has everything from beach days to glitzy shows on its mile-long CV.
Expect a Sandside location, a trio of eateries and a plush spa at the TUI BLUE Oceana Suites.
The TUI BLUE Scheherazade has an enviable postcard, with a back garden that gives way to a private beach.
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