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The Perfect Autumn Destination…

Endless beaches, lush vegetation, ancient monuments and harsh desert landscapes both complement and contrast each other to perfection, with the added bonus of temperatures that rarely drop below 20°

At first glance it’s difficult to comprehend how so much can be fit into such a small place, yet somehow, the North African country of Tunisia manages to do just that.

To the north and east of Tunisia you’ll find the dazzling Mediterranean Sea, south and west are neighboured by Libya and Algeria respectively with the vast and desolate Sahara Desert making an appearance in the south. The centre of the country is astonishingly green and fertile with lush olive groves, aromatic fruit trees and succulent vineyards, a sharp contrast to the baron sands of the nearby desert.

It’s easy to see why the directors and producers of some of the most classic films and television programmes ever made chose Tunisia for their set locations. Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars were all set here and even the very random desert scenes of the baffling yet compelling ‘LOST’ were filmed here.

The flight time of a round 3½ hours from the UK is extremely appealing especially during our cold winter months, meaning we can enjoy some much needed winter sun without having to travel long haul.

Despite being an Arabic country the general vibe is much more liberal than other African countries, alcohol is freely available and women are treated with respect and consideration.

Following independence from France in 1957, elected president, Habib Bourguiba promoted women’s rights, he was opposed to women wearing veils to cover themselves, and often referred to them as ‘odious rags’. Despite this move towards westernisation it is still expected that ladies visiting the country show courtesy by covering their shoulders and knees when in public places, especially when visiting a mosque.

Around 1100BC, the Phoenicians arrived and set up various settlements which soon became major trading posts on the Mediterranean coastline. Many of these settlements came together in a show of strength and became known as Carthage, although destroyed by the Romans in the 7th century; many of its remains can still be seen today in what has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, close to the vibrant capital city of Tunis.

Popular tourist resorts include, Skanes, just close to the airport at Monastir, with its vast sandy beaches and all inclusive hotels. Port el Kantoui is a modern man made resort featuring soft white sands and a 350 berth marina. It is also home to the thrilling Aqua Palace water park.

Sousse and Hammamet are more traditional resorts and the stunning Djerba is a little island linked to the mainland by a road.

Whichever resort you choose you are never far from the sights, sounds and smells of the traditional souks. Carpets, wall hangings and spices create a vivid world of colour and nose tingling smells while the maze of stalls holding

ceramics, jewellery, laceworks and antiques just beckons you to get lost amongst its traditional finery.

Be it discovering the remnants of yester-year, shopping in the souks, trekking across the desert or simply soaking up the sun, holidays to Tunisia will excite and delight the whole family right throughout the year.