10 from the Top Things to Do in Tunisia, North Africa BY JESSICA MACDONALD <https://www.tripsavvy.com/jessica-macdonald-4068535> Updated 12/11/17 ·SHARE ·PIN ·EMAIL
Emilie CHAIX/Getty Images Tunisia <https://www.tripsavvy.com/tunisia-4138783> is one from the most popular holiday destinations in North Africa <https://www.tripsavvy.com/where-to-go-in-north-africa-1454167>, and for good reason. It offers spectacular beaches for all those in need of relaxation, and a lot of diverse cities with ample opportunities for shopping and dining. Most importantly, though, Tunisia is often a country steeped in the past. Its UNESCO-protected archaeological sites <http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/tn> offer an insight into periods of Roman, Arab and European rule and also the treasures forgotten by each civilization. Here are 10 in the top things you can do in Tunisia. Note: At the time of writing, travel warnings was issued for regions of Tunisia afflicted with terrorism and political instability. Make sure to look for the latest updates before booking your holiday. 01of 10 Soak Up the Atmosphere in Tunis
Takashi Katahira/ Sebun Photo/ Getty Images The capital of Tunis would be the natural starting place your Tunisian adventure. Its origins pre-date the Romans, well as over the centuries the location has developed its unique mixture of Arabic, African and European culture. In the French Ville Nouveau area, colonial buildings flank palm-lined avenues and sidewalk cafés serve artisan coffee and pastries. In the medina, authentic souks give you the chance to barter for Arabic crafts and fabrics. As the second-largest museum within the African continent, the Bardo Museum <http://www.bardomuseum.tn/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=73&lang=en> is really a particular highlight. Housed in a very 19th-century palace, it is really a veritable banking center of Tunisian history populated by mosaics, sarcophagi and sculptures unearthed from ancient sites located in the united states. 02of 10 Live Like a Gladiator in El Djem
Westend61/ Getty Images Further south, this town of El Djem gives visitors the chance relive the grandeur from the Roman Empire. Today’s settlement were raised around the ruins with the Roman capital of scotland- Thysdrus, once one on the most prosperous settlements in North Africa. Much from the original architecture is lost-with the exception from the city’s mighty amphitheater <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/38>. Built to house gladiator shows and chariot races, the amphitheater held 35,000 spectators and was one on the largest from the Empire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the amphitheater is a bit more intact versus the Coliseum in Rome, with 60 % of its triple-arcaded outer walls still standing. Visitors could also see the underground passages and cells once held the arena’s human and animal combatants. 03of 10 Discover the Grand Erg Oriental Dunes
cinoby/ Getty Images Tunisia’s pure beauty is just as impressive since it's storied past. Those needing to experience the rugged splendor with the Sahara Desert should head for Grand Erg Oriental <http://www.discovertunisia.com/en/tunisie-sahara/grand-erg>, a large dune sea that stretches for 370 miles/600 kilometers between Algeria and Tunisia. The region may be explored on camelback or by way of a 4x4 safari, with trips lasting anywhere from around a few hours in order to many days. Camping trips are particularly rewarding, giving visitors the opportunity to marvel at unspoiled starscapes as well as witness the magnificent colors of sunrise and sunset within the desert. Grand Erg Oriental is renowned for its rolling dunes, but also in between the endless peaks and valleys of sand one may find verdant oases, rocky mountains and unexpected wildlife. 04of 10 Explore Islamic History in Kairouan
Nico Tondini/ Getty Images The centre of Islamic history in Tunisia is Kairouan <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/499>, a city inside the country’s northern inland region. Founded in 670 AD, Kairouan was crowned the principal holy city on the Maghreb region in the Aghlabid dynasty inside 9th century. Today, it may be the fourth holiest city from the Muslim faith, and recognized by UNESCO like a crucial stronghold of Arabo-Muslim culture. For visitors, one of the most rewarding region of Kairouan would be the medina. Here, ancient ramparts protect a veritable maze of narrow, winding streets lined with painted houses and bustling souks. Every now and then, the alleyways produce incredible Islamic monuments starting from stucco and mosaic-adorned tombs to ornate mosques, probably the most famous of which may be the 7th-century Great Mosque <http://www.sacred-destinations.com/tunisia/kairouan-great-mosque>. 05of 10 Relax through the Sea in Sidi Bou Said <https://www.tripsavvy.com/sidi-bou-said-tunisia-the-complete-guide-4146949>
Max Shen/ Getty Images Located just 12 miles/20 kilometers north of Tunis, the seaside capital of scotland- Sidi Bou Said <https://www.tripsavvy.com/sidi-bou-said-tunisia-the-complete-guide-4146949> was founded to allow for pilgrims paying homage towards the nearby tomb of any Muslim saint. Today, the town is usually a popular getaway destination for visitors towards the capital, offering the possiblity to unwind overlooking beautiful views on the Gulf of Tunis. Sidi Bou Said is renowned for its Greek-style white buildings and distinctive blue-painted doors and trellises. This out-of-place architecture was inspired by Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger, a French painter and musicologist who settled in Sidi Bou Said inside early 1900s and decorated his palace inside the trendsetting white-and-blue style. Visitors can explore the Baron’s magnificent residence before going through the quaint old town. 06of 10 Visit the Ancient City of Carthage
Jon Arnold/ Getty Images Now a suburb of Tunis, the ancient area of Carthage <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/37> was founded inside 9th century BC. It was the capital on the Carthaginian civilization, which posed a common threat towards the early Roman Empire, launching several offensives against Rome itself between 264 BC and 146 BC. The last with the Punic Wars <http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/punic-wars> saw the destruction of Carthage, which has been later rebuilt with the Romans. Although it will not be Tunisia’s most impressive archaeological site, it is certainly essentially the most famous. A wander throughout the suburb reveals the remains of Carthage’s amphitheater, circus, cemeteries and Punic ports, and also the foundations from the city’s ancient residential quarter. The Baths of Antoninus Pius are particularly famous since the largest public baths outside Rome. 07of 10 Admire Mosaics in Bulla Regia
Ethel Davies/ robertharding/ Getty Images For an even more intact comprehension of Roman life in North Africa, build your way to Bulla Regia <https://www.wmf.org/project/bulla-regia>, an archaeological site located near metropolis of Jendouba from the northwest from the country. Under Roman rule, the area flourished because of that ability to produce grain, grapes and olives. This prosperity is evident from the villas at Bulla Regia, that were built underground to be a defense contrary to the heat. As a result, their interiors are really well preserved that visitors can walk throughout the rooms his or her owners might once do and see original artifacts in situ. These include elaborate floor mosaics, that happen to be thought to be amongst by far the most impressive in North Africa. The haloed sea goddess depicted inside the House of Amphitrite is often a particular highlight in this incredible site. 08of 10 Enjoy Djerba's Island Vibes
Nico Tondini/Getty Images For a totally different atmosphere, exchange the history on the mainland with the laid-back vibes of Djerba Island <http://www.tourismtunisia.com/what-to-do-in-djerba-island/>. Surrounded because of the Gulf of Gabès, Djerba will be the largest island in North Africa. Its multicultural residents are famously friendly, as well as the island itself can be a kaleidoscope of whitewashed buildings, sandy beaches and colorful seafood restaurants. Some visitors spend their time being placed in luxury hotels across the Zone Touristique beachfront, while some venture in the Houmt Souk medina seeking authentic souvenirs. Guellala village is renowned for its pottery, a niche that goes back to Roman times. Animal lovers will come face-to-face craigs list 400 Nile crocodiles at Djerba Explore <http://www.djerbaexplore.com/eng/infos-djerba.html>, or admire wild flamingos around the Ras Rmel peninsula. 09of 10 Go Birdwatching in Ichkeul National Park
Prasit Chansareekorn/ Getty Images Tunisia’s most rewarding wildlife experience, however, is going to be found at Ichkeul National Park <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/8> within the far north from the country. Comprising mountains, wetlands and also the vast expanse of Lake Ichkeul, the park is UNESCO-protected and renowned because of its hiking and birdwatching opportunities. The lake would be the last great freshwater lake inside a chain that when stretched across North Africa, and as a result provides a vital stopping off point for migratory birds en route from Europe and Asia to sub-Saharan Africa. In season, over 300,000 ducks, geese and coots might be spotted around the lake after a single day, and great flocks of storks and flamingo are standard. In addition, the national park also comes with a sanctuary for over 200 animal species and 500 plant species. 10of 10 Feel the Force in Matmata
Dallas and John Heaton/Getty Images Despite its allegedly ancient origins, the troglodyte settlement of Matmata was virtually unknown for the outside world until 1967, when extreme floods forced its website visitors to surface from other underground homes. Now, the settlement is usually a famous destination for Star Warsfans <https://www.greenprophet.com/2013/01/star-wars-tunisia-desert-architecture/>, since the village as well as surrounds were utilised to film scenes from your planet Tatooine. In particular, underground Hotel Sidi Driss <https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Hotel_Review-g293756-d523724-Reviews-Hotel_Sidi_Driss-Matmata_Gabes_Governorate.html> acted as Luke Skywalker’s home from the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope; and appeared again inside 2002 sequel Star Wars: Episode II - Attack with the Clones. Like all troglodyte homes, it comprises a few artificial caves cut to the earth around a central pit and connected by subterranean tunnels. It has 20 rooms plus a restaurant on-site.
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