Holidays in Tunisia offer a distinctively Arabic destination flavoured by centuries of trade and visitors from across the Mediterranean. A Tunisia holiday is definitely out of the Eurozone, with Arabic the language, Islam the religion and all the enticing souks North African holidays are famed for.
Once a one-party state under President Habib Bourguiba, tourism in Tunisia has been adopted as eagerly as democracy. The seductive coast and its climate created major developments of hotels in Tunisia from the 70s onwards, not all to the good and too often woefully unsophisticated. But the growth in Thalassotherapy breaks in Tunisia – spa and sea treatments exploiting Tunisia’s seas and coastal minerals – is creating some very swanky spa hotels in Tunisia. The 5-star Hasdrubal in Hammamet boasted the Guinness record for the world’s largest luxury hotel suite, only recently beaten.
Most come for the sun, relatively cheap prices and Euro-friendly North African atmosphere, but the country’s ancient history does much to promote tourism in Tunisia. The ruins of Phoenician Carthage, 11 miles north of modern Tunis, are a major draw. Rising like a dusty mirage from the middle of Tunisia, the almost intact Roman Colosseum of El-Jem is a must-see wonder on any holiday in Tunisia. South towards Libya lies the idyllic holiday island of Djerba, the "Land of the Lotus Eaters" in Homer's Odyssey, Obi Wan’s home in Star Wars and a golfer’s paradise with 324 sunshine days. Hollywood locations are all around, with sites inland famed for their appearances in the Star Wars films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Monastir’s Ribat for Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and other films like The English Patient bringing starstruck crowds on holiday in Tunisia. The natural wonder of the Sahara Desert inland is best visited via organized tourism, and there’s a booming industry. From dusty, bustling North African towns to blissful beaches, breathtaking desert to rich and fertile land, classical wonders of antiquity to ultra-modern spa hotels on white North African beaches, poor one moment and rich the next, Tunisia has many faces and holidays in Tunisia are the richer for exploring.