Honeymoons in Africa
Honeymoons in Tunisia
Half the size of Italy and the smallest of the North African nations, Tunisia occupies almost the same territory as that once dominated by the ancient Carthage, the city that dared to defy Rome.
It is intriguing to visit the country that Hannibal, her bravest son, defended with an army of eighty thousand men and three hundred war elephants. One still wonders how he managed to lead an army from Spain into Italy, crossing the Alps in the middle of the winter!
Travelling Tunisia from North to South, the landscape changes. The first one third of the country is mostly mountainous; the second two thirds are flat. The mountain range of the Tunisian Dorsale draws the line between the two. In the Northeast there is the fertile, lush valley of the Medjerda, the river that drains into the Gulf of Tunis. Called "the granary of ancient Rome", extensive grain fields still turn the land into a sea of gold during harvesting season. Olive trees and citrus groves enrich the countryside. South of the Dorsale there are a series of salt lakes called chotts and finally the desert. Along the coastline you can find a 1,300-kilometer stretch of white sandy beaches where you can sunbathe, dive, sail and fish!
The Tunisians, inhabitants of this sunny Mediterranean land, are hospitable and friendly. Tunis, the capital, has a pleasantly unhurried pace of life, a size and layout that make it easy for the tourist to walk around. Wander in the medina with its mosques, cafés and hammams; visit the Bardo Museum, Tunisia's best, where you can see the country's most important archaeological finds. The mosaics collection from the Roman era is impressive, room after room of beautiful pieces. The ruins of the ancient Carthage, declared a national monument, are located in the outskirts of Tunis and surely worth a visit! For a break, sit with your bride on the surrounding beaches, the very reason why five million tourists a year travel to this country.
Sousse, a port city on the coast of central Tunisia, is a booming resort town, the third largest in the country after the capital and Sfax further south. Beautiful and modern hotels compete with each other in sophistication and number of stars. The medina, a shopper's paradise, boasts impressive walls and all kind of attractions.
Monastir, hometown of the country's first president Habib Bourguiba and once a small fishing village, is now a popular vacation spot with big hotel complexes and a well preserved ribat as star attraction. Used as a film set in many occasions, many scenes of Zeffirelli's "Life of Christ" were shot here.
El-Jem is a town halfway between Sousse and Sfax, but it boasts a Roman Colosseum almost as big as the one in Rome, with a seating capacity estimated at thirty thousand people. It dominates the small city and it can be seen from a long distance around.
Sfax is the second largest city in the country, laidback and still untouched by mass tourism. Tunisians regard Spaxiens as having the best business sense among all North Africans. The film "The English patient" was partially shot in the city's attractive and well-preserved medina.
Jerba is a beautiful island with an enviable climate and the tourists love it. One of its first "tourists" was Ulysses who, according to the legend, stopped in this land of the "lotus eaters" with his crew during the course of his Odyssey. How difficult it was for him to persuade his men to leave!
The southern part of the country has one main attraction: the desert.
In the desert you will love camel trekking, the oasis towns with their date palm trees, the chotts with their mirages, the troglodyte dwellings and above all you will love the silence, the stillness, the dimension of the infinite.
D. H. Lawrence wrote:" Only the desert has a fascination- to ride alone- in the sun in the forever unpossessed country- away from man. That is a great temptation "
And Lord Byron:
Happy honeymoon - Tunisia awaits you!