Tunisia Towns, Cities, Locations and Districts
(Tunisia, TN, North Africa)
Tunisia is very much a land of contrasts. Its geography includes coastline, mountains, fertile plains and desert. As such it offers a host of very different holiday destinations. These include busy cities and picturesque towns, both inland and on the coast.
In addition, visitors come to enjoy the sun, sand and sea at Tunisia's many Mediterranean beach resorts.
If you are based in one place, it doesn't mean to say that you can't explore. It is relatively easy to take day trips should you wish to check out other nearby destinations.
Tunis is a busy city with a real cosmopolitan feel. The capital of Tunisia, Tunis is also home to some fine historical landmarks and treasures that date back to ancient times. French and Ottoman influences are still very much in evidence, with plenty of buildings that date back to colonial times. The top of Byrsa Hill offers particularly good views over the city. More information about Tunis
Sfax lies some 270 km / 168 miles south of Tunis. Today, it is a large industrial city and port. Indeed, in terms of size, it is second only to Tunisia's capital of Tunis. Sfax has a long and rich history that dates back to the 10th century, when it was a city state in its own right. Over the years, the city has been occupied by various European forces. After World War Two, it came under French rule until independence was declared in 1956. The city's main tourist attractions include its medina and souks, together with its kasbah and museums.
Kairouan is a bustling city of around 150,000 inhabitants and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Muslim world considers it to be among the holiest of places. Most visitors to Kairouan come to see the city's Great Mosque. Of particular interest, in the popular film 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', a number of scenes were shot in the city.
Throughout its history, which dates back to the 9th century AD, Sousse has adopted many different cultures. Indeed, Roman and Muslim influences are still very much in evidence here today. This historic town, which is situated on the coast, is enclosed by crenellated ramparts. Visitors can also admire the Great Mosque, which is one of the city's oldest monuments. Other attractions include an interesting medina and kasbah. Today, Sousse is a popular tourist destination and is home to a wide variety of hotels and restaurants.
The city of Gabès was originally founded as a harbour by the Phoenicians. Nowadays, it serves as one of the country's largest ports. It is also a Mecca for tourists, who come to explore its traditional souks and appealing seaside attractions.
Port El Kantaoui
Port El Kantaoui is an interesting mix of old and new. With its lively marina and beaches, the town has grown in popularity with visitors, who have arrived here in increasing numbers over the past 30 years or so. What the town lacks in terms of authentic Tunisian atmosphere, it certainly makes up for with its impressive list of tourist facilities, which include a 36-hole golf course.
Located on the north-eastern coast of Tunisia, Hammamet has become one of the country's best known tourist destinations and, thus, can seem quite overcrowded during the summer months. In particular, it has acquired a reputation for having a lively nightlife, mostly based in the town's hotels. Hammamet's ancient medina is a great place to enjoy a pleasant afternoon's sightseeing.
Just a short journey from Sousse is the town of Monastir. Whilst it originally served as a fishing port, today it is much better known as a tourist hotspot. The town centre, with its maze of narrow alleys, souks and cafes, is compact enough to explore on foot. The main tourist attraction in Monastir is the Ribat, a monastery that is remarkably well considering its age.
Also known as Benzert, Bizerte is located in the north-eastern part of Tunisia. Regarded as one of the country's oldest cities, it has retained a distinctive European influence. Bizerte was originally founded as a harbour town by the Phoenicians. It was among the last cities in Tunisia to remain under French control, finally gaining its independence in 1963. Today's visitors to Bizerte can enjoy its beaches, the beautiful landscape that surrounds the city, and its newly developed yachting marina.
Gafsa is a good-sized town in the south-western part of Tunisia. During World War Two, a great deal of the town was badly damaged. Consequently, little remains of Gafsa's rich Roman heritage. For a brief period in 2008, Gafsa found itself at the centre of demonstrations against the political regime in Tunisia. Today, its main role is as a busy regional commercial centre. The town's attractions include its medina - where visitors can explore Roman pools fed by hot springs, as well as a small museum and the Great Mosque.
Sidi Bou Said
Just a short distance from Tunis, Sidi Bou Said can be easily reached by day trippers based in the capital. Best known for its distinctive buildings, which are painted blue and white, the town has also acquired a reputation for being the haunt of artists, including Paul Klee and August Macke, who visited Tunisia in the early 20th century. The tomb of the Muslim saint Abu Said Ibn Khalef Ibn Yahia El-Beji can be found in the town.