Exploring Tunisia – Landscapes, Urban Flare and Tasty Treats1 May, 2014
North Africa is the perfect destination for European travelers who are in search of an exotic location but don’t want the hassle of a long haul flight.
With robust tourism numbers steadily on the rise in popular destinations like Morocco and Egypt, many travelers are looking for a fresh new experience in North Africa, away from the crowds of Sharm El Sheik and the tourist trap souks of Marrakech.
What Tunisia lacks in geographical size, it makes up for in diverse natural beauty. Tunisia holidays can take the form of anything from a sun-soaked Mediterranean coastal resort to a trek into the surprisingly lush northern forests. Tunisia is cheap, safe, easy to get around and boasts a growing scene of authentic and interesting boutique hotels, restaurants and shops. While Tunisia now hosts roughly 7 million visitors a year, it still feels like an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
It’s a little-known fact that Tunisia’s geography is impressively varied. There are sandy stretches of Mediterranean coast which smell of jasmine and seawater; northern forests and lakes packed with pink flamingos and the mysterious and enchanting Sahara desert stretches down into the heart of Africa from Tunisia’s southern range. Most visitors will find the most difficult decision they make is how to prioritise the features of this fascinating and gorgeous geography.
While most visitors are familiar with Arab capitals like Marrakech and Cairo, Tunisia’s capital Tunis sits comfortably below the radar.
Currently in the throes of reinventing itself as a modern capital city, Tunis seamlessly weaves in its Ottoman and colonial past into its modern metropolitan fabric to create a truly distinctive urban experience. The city boasts charming hotels, innovative restaurants with original (and
inexpensive) food and a host of shops and markets that are a far cry from the tourist trap souqs of other urban counterparts.
Tunisia’s coastal cuisine includes some of the freshest and most delicious seafood that visitors will ever taste. With minimal food miles and the freshest possible catch, fish is a must have on any Tunisian holiday.
There are all sorts of affordable and stylish hotel and restaurant options throughout the country and are reminiscent of a colonial past. Homemade pastas and fresh baked pastries are just a few of the colonial culinary holdovers from the bygone era and are often made even more romantic by being offered in stunning ancient sites.
For a taste of authentic local fare, sample any of the delicious Maghrebi favourites available on most menus and get to know the local cuisine first hand.
Tunisia is diverse yet compact, easy to get around and less expensive than its other North Africa neighbours. Arguably the region’s most relaxed and hospitable nation, Tunisia still feels like it’s under the radar but boasts all the modern amenities that make international travel fun, easy and affordable.