At the Travel Blogger Meeting in Malaga We won a trip to Tunisia One week long courtesy of Tunisian Tourism. The trip consisted of six hotel nights on a half-board basis with flights and airport-hotel transfer and vice versa included. From here we would like to thank Tourism of Tunisia, which were open to give us the nights in the cities we proposed, since our intention was to make a route through the country.
After the "Arab Spring", many people prefer not travel to Tunisia. And it is a real shame, because currently the country enjoys some stability. If I am honest, I also had my doubts, so I spoke directly with the journalist that my company sent to cover the so-called Jasmine Revolution, and told me that even in the middle of the revolution, everything was quite peaceful and that there was no reason to worry me
After returning from Tunisia, I can confirm that there is no problem to move around the country and as for day to day it is very safe. In addition, from Tunisia we get that wrong image of beach tourism and resort, but country has much more to offer. In fact, of everything we visited, the Beach would be the last thing I would recommend. We visit the north and there you can find spectacular Roman ruins, authentic medinas and lovely people. In fact, from Tunisia I will always remember the people, who I found very friendly and nice.
Route through northern Tunisia
Day 1: ruins of Carthage and Sidi Bou Said
Day 2: Dougga ruins
Day 3: Kairouan
Day 4: Kairouán and Port el Kantaoui
Day 5: amphitheater of El Jem and the medina of Mahdia
Day 6: Susa's medina
Day 7: the medina of Tunisia
Entry procedures to Tunisia
To enter Tunisia only the Spanish passport with a minimum validity of six months is necessary. At the entrance there is no need to pay any visa.
The official and most spoken language is Arabic, although French is widespread due to the country's colonial past.
Vaccines and medical recommendations
There is no mandatory vaccine to go to Tunisia, but it is convenient to have the basic vaccines up to date (typhoid, hepatitis A + B and tetanus). For more information, you can approach your nearest international vaccination center.
Flights to Tunisia
Currently, Tunis Air has direct flights from Madrid and Barcelona. The service on board is very good and includes food, although the planes are a bit old.
Domestic flights in Tunisia
The distances in Tunisia are not exaggeratedly large, so it is easy to move by bus, louage or train And to get south quickly, you can fly to Tozeur, Djerba and Sfax with Tunis Air or Tunis Air Express.
Hotels in Tunisia
On this trip, we proposed to Tourism of Tunisia a series of towns and they selected the hotels we were going to stay in. They all turned out to be five stars, which we didn't expect at all.
Le Palace in GammarthLocated in the coastal area of Gammarth, it is a five-star hotel with all the comforts and luxuries expected of its class. The negative of this hotel is that we depended on the taxi to get to the nearest train station (La Marsa) and from there we had 40 minutes by train to Tunisia capital. It is a good hotel to explore the area of Carthage and Sidi Bou Said, but to visit other places in Tunisia we were very complicated to travel.
Hotel La Kasbah in Kairouán This is a five star hotel for which I would have paid to stay. It is an old Kasbah remodeled in a luxury hotel and located right next to the Kairouán medina. The rooms are tastefully decorated and have a pool where we took the first bath of the season.
Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa in Port el Kantaoui This hotel located in the most tourist area of Soussa has good rooms and an indoor heated pool. In the dinner service, they offer the option of requesting a letter, which was appreciated after several days eating buffet. Too bad the spa It was not included, but it is still a good hotel and a very nice location from which to explore nearby points of interest.
Transport in Tunisia
LouageThese 8-seater shared vans or minibuses make journeys between towns without stops. The van starts when all the seats are occupied and, in general, it is the fastest way to move around the country. The louages They leave predetermined stations and pay directly to the driver or at the station ticket office. We moved mainly in louage, because besides being faster it gives you the option of dealing more with people. Although I do not recommend using them in summer, since they do not have air conditioning, and neither in displacements of more than two hours.
TrainThe railway network in Tunisia is not very extensive, but it links the capital with the main cities of the coast. We went from Soussa to Tunisia on an express train and left us in the capital in an hour and a half. You can see schedules and prices on their website.
CoachWe do not use the coach at any time, but there is a wide network that links the main cities. You have to check the schedules, because they do not leave every hour (despite what the Lonely Planet guide indicates) and usually costs the same as the louage.
Tram or Métro léger
It is the easiest way to get around the city of Tunisia. It has six lines.
They are cheap, fast and a good way to move over short distances, but you have to keep an eye: in our experience, one in ten taxi drivers will try to tease you, but you don't have to leave. If it happens to you, I recommend getting off and stopping another taxi, since in 90% of the cases you will be an honest and legal person. Taxis in Tunisia are yellow and carry a meter. When you get into the car, you have to set "free" on the meter. The initial rate is 0.400 dinars, and if it is night, the rate will start at 0.600 dinars. If the taxi driver tries to agree on a price, don't waste your time arguing with him, get off and wait for another one to happen.
Shared TaxisThere are also shared taxis to get around the big cities, although you have to ask the locals to know where they are going. We use them to go from Port el-Kantaoui to Soussa's medina. They look a lot like louages, because they are eight-seater vans, but yellow and can be stopped at any time.
Excursions from Tunisia capital
You have to have a lot of imagination to get an idea of how this splendid city was at its peak, first as the capital of the Carthaginian Empire and second as an important city of the Roman Empire. Personally I do not recommend the visit much, unless you are guided or an amateur on this subject, since there is very little information on the site and there is very little left standing. The entrance to the archaeological site costs 9 dinars (plus one dinar for the permission to take photos) and serves to visit all the archaeological sites and the museum of Carthage.