Tunisia

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Tunisia is best known for beaches (a huge draw for sun-starved Northern Europeans) and spectacular desert landscapes, some of which have been seen around the world in the Star Wars movies. The country also has some of the finest Roman-era sites outside of Italy and a number of atmospheric ancient cities.

Things to do in Tunisia

Bardo Museum

Some of the world's most dazzling ancient mosaics from what used to be Roman Africa, are on display here. The museum is housed in the late-17th-century palace of the Husseinite beys of Tunis. Although a new wing is currently being constructed, the museum is still open to visitors.

Ave de l'Union Maghreb Arabe, 011-216-71-513650, www.di.com.tn/museebardo (French only)
Tags: family | things to do | culture | architecture | history

El-Jem Roman Colosseum

El-Jem's 3rd-century colosseum, with space for about 30,000 spectators, was the third-largest in the Roman world. In later centuries it was the site of several last stands by local rebels. Today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Mediterranean Coast, Ave Hedi Chaker,
Tags: family | historic | things to do | architecture

Ichkeul National Park

The extraordinary blue-green Lake Ichkeul is covered by aquatic plants and surrounded by marshland that provide food and shelter to both year-round and migrating birds, including greylag geese, who spend winters here.

Mediterranean Coast, 20 miles southwest of Bizerte,
Tags: great value | things to do | outdoors | wildlife

Jerba

Tunisia's largest island is fringed with sandy beaches. Its picturesque villages are well-endowed with restaurants, cafes, and handicrafts shops. It's also home to the ancient El-Ghriba synagogue (a synagogue has stood on this site since 586 B.C.) and one of North Africa's last Jewish communities.

Mediterranean Coast,
Tags: beach | dining | things to do | architecture | history

Sahara Tours

The best place to start a mini-expedition - by camel or four-wheel-drive - into the vastness of the Sahara is the town of Douz, which is surrounded by impressive sand dunes and over 400,000 palm trees. Horizons Deserts Voyages is a reliable operator.

Sahara Desert, Rue el-Hounine, 011-216-75-471688, www.horizons-deserts.com
Tags: family | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors | tour

Scuba diving off the Galite Islands

Tunisia's best scuba diving is by the Galite Islands, which are located a three-hour cruise from Tabarka. Visit undersea caverns, check out wrecks, and see – and be seen by – damselfish, bream, and grouper. Loisirs de Tabarka rents equipment and conducts CMAS and PADI courses.

Loisirs de Tabarka, Marina, 011-216-78-670664, www.loisirsdetabarka.com
Tags: things to do | outdoors | wildlife | diving

Star Wars

Many of the most memorable scenes in Star Wars were shot in the deserts of southern Tunisia. Remember Sidi Driss' underground home? That was in Matmata. See the website below for details on other infamous film locations.

Sahara Desert, Matmata and other sites, www.toysrgus.com/travel/tunisia.html
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors

Tabarka

The fishing port and resort town of Tabarka, near the Algerian border, has Tunisia's best diving, decent beaches, a golf course, and excellent seafood. In July and August, the town puts on four superb music festivals  featuring jazz, Rai, Latino, and world music.

Mediterranean Coast, La Basilique, www.tabarkajazz.com (French only)
Tags: trendy | things to do

Tunis old city

Tunis' medina is a maze of alleyways and market streets just a west of the modern city centre. Its many elaborately tiled mosques, Koranic schools and mausoleums make it a fascinating place for a wander.

Place de la Victoire,
Tags: family | things to do | architecture | history

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