North African beaches Tunisia, where the desert meets the sea
Tunisia is a country of sand and stone, two elements that stand out both on its beaches and in its desert landscapes and cultural charms. It’s an irresistible combination that will captivate you from the start and define your vacation experience. There’s no better beginning to this relaxing adventure than enjoying your hotel in Djerba and its surroundings. This Mediterranean island has lots of long sandy beaches, like those of Sidi Mehrez, Houmt Souk and the island of Flamant Rose, where a thin line of white sand welcomes swimmers and flamingos alike.
The magic of this place is not limited to the waterfront. The island’s centuries-long history of fishing and trading means that even today you can find authentic medinas with real bazaars and unaltered domes, such as those of Ajim. This aesthetic of spherical cupolas and white limestone is characteristic of buildings in the area, though the Arku and Houmt Souk medinas stand out for their uniqueness.
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Mahdia is the feeling of discovering a window to the past—not because of the old-fashioned appearance of its streets and homes, but because daily routines here remain genuine and traditional. Its spirit of fishing and trading is complemented by a spectacular beach that extends north from the cape. There you’ll find one of the best hotels in Mahdia, and the clearest water on this side of the Mediterranean.
Continuing up the coast, you’ll find Sousse, an iconic and lively maritime city. It’s your best option if you want to feel the spirit of Tunisia while stretched out on the sand or enjoy views of the strikingly blue water from the heights of the city walls.
A perfect day in Sousse begins on the beaches of El Kantaoui, to the north of the city. Walk along its modern port, or play a little golf. Afterward, enjoy an authentic lunch at Tunisian Tent and then spend the afternoon at the pool. Or visit Sousse’s medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that awaits you with its mosque, walls and ribat.
In the interior of Mahdia you’ll find the most spectacular Roman ruin in North Africa. El Jem is the largest amphitheater on the continent, and the largest outside modern-day Italy. It’s also very close to the coastal hotels.
Douz feels like the last bastion of civilization before the Sahara, with its sand dunes and infinite horizons. In its bazaar and main square, you’re likely to meet adventure racers, professional travelers and various companies that organize excursions through the desert by quad, camel or jeep. But your best option is to watch the sunset from an erg. It’ll be unforgettable.
Tozeur is a garden located among salt lakes, bare mountains and seas of sand dunes. It’s an oasis, an explosion of nature within a semiarid landscape, and its palm trees and orchards give way to bazaars and narrow streets. This exuberance contrasts with the medina, one of the Maghreb’s historical districts that have best resisted the passage of time.
The oases of Tamerza and Chebika maintain their inhospitable and striking nature in the middle of nowhere. Walking through them will make you feel like an explorer who’s just struck gold.
Hammamet could be considered Tunisia’s quintessential beach town for its proximity to the capital and the quality of its water and sand. A vacation here has all the necessary elements to achieve true Tunisian happiness: the ocean, exotic food, serenity and exclusivity. Discover the most enchanting hotels in Hammamet for the most relaxing and authentic getaway.