Tunisia most likely evokes images of pristine beaches fringed with palm trees and coastal areas studded with modern facilities. Contrary to popular belief, Tunisia offers much more than palm trees, desert dunes and sandy beaches. Stepping aside from the popular coastal areas unravels a less known, more secretive Tunisia that many travellers aren’t aware of. A journey off the beaten path can be an intriguing option for travellers seeking an unparalleled adventure. With plenty of beautiful hotels and resorts, all inclusive Tunisia holidays are very affordable and quite easy to find.
The Holy Village
Dating back 700 years, the holy village of Sidi Bou Said offers oodles of character and charm. The cobbled streets, white-washed facades with blue windows and colourful bougainvillea’s provide visitors with the taste of a bygone-era. For a more relaxed trip, travellers should consider visiting this village off-season, when it’s not jam-packed with aimless tourists in short pants and cameras. After admiring the postcard views of the Mediterranean Sea, a stroll into the inner neighbourhood provides an opportunity to appreciate the surrounding peaceful ambiance. For good reasons, poets, writers, musicians and artists seek out this destination for inspiration!
Palm Dates and Springs
Irrigated by over 200 springs, the Oasis of Tozeur is one of the most beautiful attractions of North-eastern Africa. Its lush palm groves, eroded rocks and narrow roads cover more than 1,000 acres for the delight of visitors seeking an escape from the overcrowded beaches. The Ethnological Museum Dar Cherait allows visitors to appreciate a glimpse of the local social life. Inside you’ll find treasured costumes for weddings and parties, old jewellery, pottery, henna and ancient weapons.
Salt and Mirages
After visiting Tozeur, a stop in Chott-el-Jerid is mandatory. Not many views compare to the magical silver and purple reflections emitted from an extensive blanket of salt. Wearing sunglasses is not a bad choice: the blinding glare of the sun against the salt makes it almost difficult to see. The occasional mirage is not an uncommon sight in this neck of the woods. Don’t forget to bring a camera; the colour changes at different times of the day are simply spectacular in this place.
Goat and Camel Market
Located on the edge of the desert, Douz is the place to be for travellers seeking a camel ride into the Sahara. Just watching the sun disappear on the horizon right behind the dunes is a spectacle on its own. Tourists wishing to mingle with the locals should visit the lively weekly market heavily frequented by nomadic herdsmen, goats and camels. Another great attraction is the “Festival International du Sahara” where folklore music is played, weddings are arranged and greyhounds are sent to hunt among the sandy dunes.
Forests and Lakes
There is a part of Tunisia that is gradually becoming popular and is completely different from the Tunisia tourists know. It’s an area lying just north of the country, a place known as “Green Tunisia”, where you found the city of Tabarka. Blessed by a Mediterranean climate, the landscape here is rich in unspoiled forests and lakes.