Africa: Here’s Why You Should Put Tunisia On Your Vacation Destination List
Tunisia is a small country in North Africa, right between Algeria and Libya (geographically). Surprisingly, it’s just as vibrant as its famous neighbours – Egypt and Morocco.
The geographical position of Tunisia allows it to double as a gateway to Europe and the Middle East, hence its French, Italian and Arab influences.
Tunisia, a once vibrant tourism haven, especially for European countries, saw a decline after the 2016 terrorist attack following the Arab revolution. It has since been more determined than ever to reclaim its lost glory. Tunisia has opened its doors to lovers of delicious cuisines, astonishing beaches, breath-taking archaeological and historic sites, the Sahara desert or Mykonos in Africa.
How To Get There
There is currently no quick way to get there, as all flights have some form of layovers. Your cheapest option (if booked well in advance is Egypt Air). The typical Egypt Air flight would depart from Lagos after 1pm to reach Cairo, Egypt at 9pm.
The airline would accommodate you in a hotel near the airport (it’s best to travel as a group to benefit from this, as individual travellers with little or no travel history are at the risk of being denied exit by the consular at the airport, thereby leaving you with the only option of sleeping in the airport.
The flight would typically depart the next day in the morning and you’ll be in Tunisia before noon (so factor in the travel dates when booking your annual leave). The same goes for when you’re exiting Tunisia, you would need to spend another night in Cairo before leaving for Lagos, Nigeria the next day.
Prior to now, getting a Tunisia visa was a painful exercise as it meant visiting the embassy in Abuja (thankfully, the embassy has partnered with some travel agents to simplify the process). Prices for your visa advisory plus visa fees vary from N80,000 to 120,000, you’ll need to shop around. Your agent would put you through the documents required to ensure you get your visa in good time.
If you, however, wish to visit the embassy in Abuja, their address is: ‘Embassy of Tunisia, Abuja 11 Kainji Cres, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria’.
Top 9 Reasons to Visit Tunishia
Your spending money would go far in Tunisia as 1 Tunis Dinar is 126 Naira. Good food is very cheap; you can eat in a small restaurant for as little as 1,000 naira or a 3-course meal for as little as 6,000 Naira.
Accommodation is very affordable too (all based on your taste) so you can easily ball on a budget. Moving around is very easy as taxis are incredibly cheap (you would need a level of confidence for this, as they speak mostly French or Arabic).
Your money would go a long way in Tunisia as earlier stated and that’s a dream come true for any tourist.
Greece in Africa
The blue and white terraces in the little town of Sidi Bou Said, on the coast of Tunis looks every inch like the coast of Santorini or Mykonos. With the houses painted beautifully in blue and white, anyone would easily believe you’re in Greece. Besides the fantastic view of the Mediterranean once you reach the top, you will be treated with sights of artistic, colourful doors.
Fascinating sandy beaches
There are more than 10 beaches in Tunisia with a stretch of the Mediterranean sea. The crystal clear blue water in Tunis, Sousse, and Hammamet surely await you. There are lots of water sports from parasailing to jet skiing. Alternatively, you can just spend hours lying in the sun and swimming in the Mediterranean sea.
Breathtaking historical and archaeological sites
Tunisia is rich with history and relics of ancient civilization. From the Tunis Carthage, the Bardo Museum, to the 1st Islamic city, Kairouan where you can find the fourth sacred site of Islam.
In the town of El Djem, you would find the largest amphitheatre in North Africa, and most certainly one of the largest amphitheatres in the world.
This magnificent UNESCO structure can hold up to 35,000 spectators. It dates back to the 3rd century and was more recently used to film parts of Russel Crowe’s famous Gladiators.
Architecture and the colorful doors
Tunisia would treat your sight to the best architecture, (beautiful infrastructure, zelije walls and colourful doors. This makes Tunisia very ‘instagrammable’ and photographic.
Medina, Souks and Shopping
Shopping in the souks is a major thing for most Arab countries, and Tunisia doesn’t disappoint either. You will find vendors selling everything from spices, sweets to leather handbags, beautifully handcrafted souvenirs, jewelry, and clothes for reasonably cheap prices. Don’t forget that haggling is a necessary part of your shopping experience.
Just like Nigerians, Tunisians surely do know how to have a good time. It might be a religious country but the drinking and partying culture in Tunisia is alive and well in many bars and fancy nightclubs, serving up vodka. I visited on a Monday and the crowd was just arriving at 12 midnight (I had to ask the Minister of Tourism if Tunisians went to work and he said “Yes, we do after a good night” ..haha).
I regrettably didn’t get to visit the Tunisian side of the Sahara desert, having been to Erg Chebbi and Zagora deserts in Morocco. I would have loved to see what the dunes in Tunisia had to offer. Needless to say, it would be on our next itinerary to Tunisia.
Unbeatable Spa and Wellness – Hammam and Thalasso Spa
Hammams are one of the best things about Arab countries. Hammams in Tunisia are very affordable. This easily makes them one of the cheapest Arab countries to have a hammam spa treatment.
Another awesome thing about most beachside hotels in Tunisia, is the Thalasso swimming pools (water channel directly from the sea). The properties of seawater have beneficial effects on the pores of the skin, so you can be sure of an awesome skin treatment.
Whether you prefer a pure beach holiday or wandering around monuments from the Roman times, this northernmost African country has it all. It’s time to plan your holiday in Tunisia!
By Elizabeth Agboola