Tunisia — Things to Do
Most of Tunisia’s best activities are offered within its northern waters and southern deserts. The coral reefs and tropical fish beneath the Mediterranean Sea rival those found in more famous scuba diving destinations. Several WWII era shipwrecks also lie beneath the waters here. There are more than 25 sailing ports along the 875-mile coastline, while the island of Djerba is Tunisia’s most popular windsurfing spot.
The best way to explore the inland deserts is by guided four by four tours, which often include camel rides, go-kart journeys across the desert, and even dune skiing. Other guided tours focus on bird watching, golfing, or the 250 ancient Roman historic sites that are dotted throughout the country. The world’s longest Roman aqueduct snakes across 85 miles near Zaghouan, Tunisia’s most impressive mountain range.
Monastir-based SAAM Diving is one of Tunisia’s leading scuba diving centers, offering both classes and excursions beneath this largely unexplored stretch of Mediterranean Sea. The section of coast around Tarbarka boasts Tunisia’s most colorful fish, unspoiled coral reefs, and impressive WWII shipwrecks. Advance permission must be obtained to scuba dive around the islands of Zembra and La Galite, which also feature outstanding scuba diving. June to October are Tunisia’s most popular scuba diving months.
Fluid Feeling offers beginner and intermediate-level windsurfing lessons off the island of Djerba. The calm beaches and shallow waters here provide safe windsurfing conditions, while the Sidi Bou Said port offers sufficient enough challenges to host international windsurfing competitions. The months between December and April bring the most ideal windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions to the country.
Tabarka Yachting Club is one of Tunisia’s leading sailing tour organizers. Tunisia’s nearly 875-mile Mediterranean Sea coastline contains no fewer than 24 ports from which sailors can book short half-day tours or longer sailing adventures lasting up to a week. Tourists can watch tuna, swordfish, and dolphins frolic during their voyages.
The longest Roman aqueduct on Earth is just one of the unique places that make up the itineraries of most guided Tunisian hiking tours. Batouta Voyages offers great routes complete with 30 minute refreshment breaks and transportation to and from hotels. Some hiking excursions also include accommodation in traditional Bedouin desert tents.
Siroko Travel specializes in guided horseback riding tours, which last between half a day and three days, along Carthage’s historic coasts. Mineral water and lunch are included in single-day tours, while longer tours provide full board accommodation. Whether on horseback or foot, the warmest months between March and October provide the most pleasant conditions for exploring northern Tunisia’s mountains, rocky hills, and oak forests. Southern Tunisia’s Sahara Desert, on the other hand, is best toured during the cooler months from October to March.
The UNESCO-listed Lac Ichkeul National Park is the country’s leading bird-watching destination, with companies like Becasse Ecology offering great tourist packages. Although pink flamingos are the most flamboyant birds visitors are likely to encounter during guided tours, bird lovers can also see sandpipers, yellow-legged gulls, and the many European species that make Lac Ichkeul National Park their winter home.
Guided desert safari tours by the likes of Ghilane Travel Services and Zaied Travel Tours are also very popular. Both companies depart from Douz, taking visitors to the desert settings of Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars and the English Patient. These desert tours range from leisurely hour-long drives to three-week odysseys, complete with light aircraft flights or camel rides across the desert. Visitors can even ride go-karts or ski over the dunes.
Tunisia First offers private tours of the North African country’s numerous Roman ruins, departing from Tunis six days a week. Tour participants will enjoy half board accommodations at a four-star luxury Tunis hotel while taking four-by-four land cruiser tours around ancient Carthage and Bulla Regia and along Roman Empire-era roads.