Cultural activities in Tunisia

Tunisia has been a traditional resort destination for many holidaymakers looking for guaranteed sunshine. Roam further afield from the resort centres though, and you will discover that activities in Tunisia can involve so much more than sunbathing or beachcombing. Head south and soak up the atmosphere of a North African paradise.

Souks and the Sahara

Those in search of cultural activities in Tunisia don't even have to venture too far from the developed resorts. Just 40 miles inland from the resorts of Sousse and Monastir, Kairouan is one of the seven holy cities of Islam. You can haggle for rugs and ceramic vases in the souk, or just admire the cool majesty of the seventh century Sidi Okbar or Great Mosque.

Tunisia was once part of the North African dominions of the Roman Empire, and you can visit impressive ruins at Sbeitla. The temples and settlement buildings are well-preserved and the site is sufficiently off the beaten track to allow visitors to explore without feeling crowded.

Further south, with the desert encroaching, the bustling town of Tozeur is a lively introduction to authentic Tunisia. Everybody gravitates towards the bar-restauarant called Le Petit Prince, perhaps the last place to find a cold beer before the Sahara.

Star Wars fans will recognise the stark landscapes and caves south of here, the location for George Lucas's 70s movies.

It's a land to explore at leisure, soaking in the atmosphere and the endless sandy horizons. You may even develop a taste for the Tunisian delicacy, the briq. Essentially it's a fried egg wrapped in crispy filo pastry, but tastes much better than it sounds.

Take sensible precautions

Those seeking out activities in Tunisia beyond the coastal resorts might be a little wary of the political situation. The country has settled down since the Arab Spring, but consult the Foreign Office website for advice before travelling. Women visitors should dress respectfully, especially in traditional towns in the south.

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