I won't say "I love Tunis" as it has a long way to go if they wish to be a permanent destination for international tourism, but it is a country well worth the visit.
The main attractions: warm weather, friendly people, reasonable good tourist infrastructure, Punic ruins, wonderful Roman mosaics, good beaches, relaxing atmosphere, social and religious tolerance, good roads, cheap prices, easily reached by air from Europe, safe streets and interesting places to visit.
Sousse has good hotels, a long and clean beach, an interesting medina (old walled city), Chistian catacombs and craftsmanship shops.
Fondest memory: Friendly people.
the beach is 7 miles long but all the hotels have nice pools so you have plenty of choice. The area around Sousse has two wonderfull holiday places you can travel to with a very good and cheap rail network.
Fondest memory: The lack of hassle from shop or taxi people. They will ask but if you smile and say no that is it.
the energy, Afro Arab, you could sense nearly all over the place
no matter weather walking around, sitting having shisha and mint tea watching whatz up in the street, or more directly mingling with the people... Scenery and the flair are so much different than what I am used to at home, or other European ambients I've had the chance to spot...
Just take it easy and you'll like it!
Here are a few photos to picture what I say--->
Favorite thing: Guess this is probably the "main square" in old part of Sousse. Great place to sit at one of the cafe tables here to people watch and enjoy views of the Grand Mosque and Ribat. It was quite colourful during our visit too with festivities taking place celebrating 50 years of Independance - Sun 20th March 2006.
Favorite thing: Sousse is also a modern city, with big hotel, bank, shops and modern buildings. The tourist office is up the main road from the harbour area (where the tourist train station and tuk-tuks are) and just before the medina walls where the bus station is situated outside. The tourist office were quite helpful with maps and timetable of trains are available there.
Favorite thing: Its was a pleasant walk from our hotel down to the beach and along the promenade to the port and medina - just over 1km stroll. Locals and tourists alike can be found enjoying the fine sand - a bit scruffy in places towards the back but in the main season I understand it is cleaned more regularly than the low season, a shame really as its beautiful soft, fine white sand. Fishermen are often seen too - no permits are required apparently. Preparations for the season were well in hand too with beach huts being smartened up - each hotel on the beach seemed to have their own.
Just wandering around the medina - whether the covered souks or the narrow stepped streets - was such a riot of colour and characters. So much to take in an photograph, a real visual delight.
Amongst the shops are some delightful little cafes with tunisian delicacies and most popularly freshly squeezed orange juice - surely the most juciest I've ever had.
Favorite thing: There are numerous mosques in the medina but many locals want to show you the oldest one (at a price) Mosque Abd el kader. Entry is not permitted at prayer times of on Fridays and even if you find it open the actual prayer hall is off limits to non-muslims. Even so iIts worth a peep inside the courtyard for its intricate architecture and lovely ble doors.
Favorite thing: Sousse was founded in the 9th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the name Hadrumet. It's one of the oldest ports of the Mediterranean and well worth a visit - especially in the quieter off season of spring when cooler weather means you can explore the medina and museums without flagging in the heat. Sousse is the capital of the Sahel area and the beginning of an olive grove covering more than 250,000 hectares. To get an overview of the city climb the Ribat tower near the Grand Mosque and get your bearings - seeing the working port, the medina within its walls and roootops of the housess within.
Favorite thing: Look around you in Sousse and you'll see minarets everywhere. Of all the mosques and minarets in Sousse Medina this octagonal one - the Zaouia Zakkak - was the most captivating for me with its blue and green tiles. Its a turkish mosque but no doubt the tiles have their roots in Andalucia.
Port El Kantaoui is a touristic complex, in the north of Sousse, which includes a modern marina equipped for over 300 boats, an 18 hole golf course as well as a full array of sports from water skiing to riding, in a village-like setting.
The hotels that line the beachfront extend from the Sousse itself along miles of sparkling clean sea to the Port El-Kantaoui.
Fondest memory: The charm of this white and blue Tunisian style village with its perfectly reproduced medina, never fails to enchant, lending itself to an afternoon stroll through the cobblestone streets to window shop, admire the boats moored in the marina or a refreshing pause at one of the sidewalk cafes. The two story residential apartments that ring the marina observe the same architectural style creating a peaceful and pleasing harmony.
I didn't heard of it before...but we had to fill in some forms in the airplane. We had to fill down were we were heading, what for, how long, etc.
When we arrived at the tunis airport, we had to wait and give that form to the people at the airport. They gave us a small ticket for the return-flight!
Fondest memory: We just arrived at the airport and we had to go through the scan. We gave our ballpoint to the staff member and went through.
We didn't get our ballpoint back, so we asked.
But he did odd and didn't want to give our ballpoint back.....
Maybe ballpoints are expensive in Tunis????
You will find mosaic and “mosaic inspirited” craft a lot of places. The most famous museum is Bardo museum, but also in Sousse can you find mosaic in the museum.
If you pay one dinar at the entrance you can take photos inside. I choose to show one with Minerva.
Favorite thing: Sidi Bou Said is said to be a tourist trap, it’s not much to do here, but the blue and white town is very charming with a good view over the Golf of Tunis. Everything is well kept with whitewashed walls and blue doors, windows and intricate metalwork.
The Bedouin and folklore centre (Sidi Bou Ali) was a colourful and joyful experience, a lot of dancing, singing, juggling, traditional costumes and food.
I was one of the visitors who was dressed up in traditional clothes and danced on stage… a bit embarrassed I must say, but I had fun.