Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Travel tips: Tunisia

Last Summer I went on holiday to Tunisia, and as I have just been looking back at some of the photographs that I took, I thought I should write a blog post about it. I absolutely loved my time in Tunisia, and really enjoyed the wide range of things that were available to do there, from visiting the souks in Sousse; relaxing by the white beaches; to riding camels in the desserts.


Above: Medina

The images above and below show the Medina in Sousse, where you can find a wide range of bargains, however, the trick is to make sure that you're careful when it comes to bartering.

We were told before we went that in Tunisia you have to barter for pretty much everything that you buy, even the taxis and shops - and this could be quite difficult at times until you got the hang of it! In the Medina, people target anyone english-looking, in order to try to sell things to you and take you over to their stalls. I will give you a great example of some of the sneaky techniques used to make you buy something from them! When we first arrived in Sousse, we were looking for the Medina for a while (and got a bit lost!), and so a friendly-looking man came over to help and guide us there. He was being friendly at first, asking general questions, but as we were getting closer to the Medina, we could sense that he was actually trying to take us to his shop to sell some jewellery, and it was quite difficult to say no. It was actually quite scary how pushy he was. Eventually we managed to escape him when I said I needed to go to get a drink of water. But the trick is to be firm when bartering, and to let them start with the price, and then to come in at about 1/4 of that price so that you can eventually meet in the middle. I did love wandering around the souks and looking at all of the jewellery, pottery and colourful bits and bobs, and ended up buying a few gifts.


Above: Medina


Above: Our Hotel

Another great trip that we went on was to Friguia Park, Hammamet. I was expecting this to be like a standard zoo, but I was pleasantly surprised here! The way it was laid out was great; there were walkways around the whole park, allowing you to walk on bridges over the areas with the animals were in. They had a great variety of animals, from lions and tigers, to meerkats and zebras. I loved feeding the elephants (above), which you had to pay for, and again, barter.


Above: Friguia Park


Above: Friguia Park

Overall I think that Tunisia is a great place to visit for a summer holiday. We experienced lovely, hot and sunny weather (although it did thunder one evening briefly) and some great trips out. A couple of quick tips would be to take mosquito spray (as they are everywhere!) and to be careful with what you eat; prepare yourself for stomach upsets. I was actually fine, but I know a lot of people get ill from the food, so things to avoid include salads, fruit and anything which may have water in.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Tunisia and I would definitely go again!