Tunisia – the pearl of North Africa
Country with a centuries-old history today offers a lot of modern hotels located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In the resort towns tourists can find entertainment for all tastes – swimming pools, tennis courts, mini-golf, horseback riding…. On the northern coast of Tunisia, the Atlas spurs, covered with coniferous forests, approach the sea itself. In the coastal waters of Tabarka is the largest coral reef in the Mediterranean. By renting a boat and everything you need for diving, you can temporarily become a citizen of the kingdom of Neptune, you will be accompanied by an attentive and experienced instructor. You can see with your own eyes and sea stars, octopuses, and shy seahorses. All this in a lush garden, where the current moves the seaweed, sunspots paddle everywhere, and earthly cares leave you for a long time.
If you don’t know how to dive, you can take a few lessons from an instructor at the hotel, and if you don’t fancy it, then rent a “submarine” with a transparent bottom and sit comfortably in a chair and watch life underwater.
“Allah gave us the sun and the sea. And it’s a sin not to use it,” says Habib Ben Sayah, director of one of the popular Hammamet Beach hotels. – Whatever they say, seaside tourism is our main focus.
Whichever hotel in Tunisia you stay in, beach attractions are waiting for you: parachuting and water skiing (15 dinars per hour), water bikes (5 dinars per hour), jet skis (15 dinars for 15 minutes), boats, surfing (10 dinars per hour). You can ride a leisurely camel, or you can whizzing along the edge of the surf on a fast-moving Arabian horse. It’s customary to haggle with the mahouts and the price can be cut in half.
In June and July, local boys can treat you to freshly caught sea urchins. Carefully cut them with scissors in front of your eyes, they will certainly sprinkle them with lemon, and you can taste the yellowish, jelly-like brackish mass. But it is better not to stumble on the prickles of the hedgehog while swimming – his pricks do not heal well, festering lasts for weeks.
And you can rent a yacht and find a secluded beach in the rocks, where no one will not violate your privacy, because the land there is no way to get.
The pine forest also buzzes near Bizerte, a city involved in the history of Russia. In 1924, fleeing from the Bolsheviks, the last of His Imperial Majesty’s Black Sea squadron came here. The Russian Orthodox Church in Tunis, the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky, reminds us of this.
The most famous resorts in Tunisia are located in the area from Hammamet to Naboul. The city of Hammamet is 65 kilometers from the capital and can be reached by a beautiful expressway from the international airport of Tunis-Kartage. Hammamet was founded about five centuries ago. It has preserved its fortress walls and the Great Mosque. The city retains its “single-storey” aspect, tall buildings are not built here, so as not to obscure the beautiful view of the bay, covered by a mountain range from the northern winds. Wide sandy beaches, modern hotels with a high level of service, many cafes, restaurants, stores, markets. A lot of greenery, a large park with rides (American-style). Hammamet is known as a great children’s resort. Little bathers love the shallow calm sandy beaches, shallow calm ponds with flocks of fearful fish.
Even in winter, the sun gilds the evergreen branches of the citrus trees, bending under the weight of oranges, lemons, and tangerines. Mimosa and fragrant jasmine, magnolias and geraniums, vines and olives grow here.
Wine making is well developed in the area, with aromatic dry muscat and light rose wine perfectly complementing the various “gifts of the sea” – from oysters to small sharks. In the evening the lights of fish restaurants kindly shine on the waterfront. The International Cultural Center with open-air theater offers an interesting program of annual cultural festival, and numerous discos stun the familiar rhythms of popular tunes.
The streets of Hammamet keep the memory of Flaubert, Maupassant, Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, who once loved these places. During World War II, General Rommel, commander of the German expeditionary corps, placed his operational headquarters here. Every year, Françoise Sagan and Sophia Loren come here.
The town of Naboul is a center for all kinds of handicrafts and all sorts of pottery and aromatic essences made from orange blossoms, jasmine and roses.
Sousse is a typical eastern city with an unhurried life. In the Medina, the old part of town, there are many bazaars selling souvenirs, jewelry and leather goods. You can visit the museum of ancient mosaics. There are beautiful beaches and modern hotels. In the resort areas a lot of discos, where they gather locals and tourists from different countries, celebrations continue until 5 am.
Monastir is an ancient port with a huge fortress, an interesting museum of Islamic art, the Great Mosque. First-class hotels and an 18-hole golf course, which hosts international competitions. One of the best conference facilities in the Mediterranean.
The island of Djerba is Tunisia’s main resort attraction, the land of legends, Odysseus’ beloved palm garden. French traveler Grevin wrote: “Here is a special climate, with dry air and fresh sea breezes, a climate rational and seasoned in everything. In the hottest month – August – the temperature reaches 29 degrees, in the coldest – January – 14. In the north, in Tabarka, the best time for a holiday is considered the three summer months, the holiday season lasts until early December. The beaches are covered with fine sand and hotels resemble palaces. Islanders are famous for the products of their hands, handicrafts here count more than a thousand years. The most famous are carpet weaving and jewelry. In the village of Jhala they make pottery.
A very interesting thing in Djerba is octopus fishing, in which you can take part. Fishermen take with them on 40-50 conventional clay pots with chipped handles and the neck and a small hole in the side, for which they cling to a special hook to pull pots to the surface. If you spend long winter evenings dreaming of a clean tender sea, crumbling under your hands warm sand, fishing in the sea, spearfishing, come to Tunisia. Your dreams will come true.