Trodden by the Berbers of old and raided by Barbary pirates, settled by the Phoenician Greeks, and then home to the mighty city of Carthage, Tunisia has a grand place in the annals of both the North African and European story. (After all, it was host to the only major rival to Rome across the entire Mediterranean basin for those formative centuries between the 800s BC and year zero.)
Add to that the mythical figures of Aeneas and Dido, along with tales of Arabic sultans and even Norman seafarers from the north, and it’s easy to see why this cut-out on the Maghreb is such a fascinating, culturally-rich place. Unfortunately, the great power struggles played out here have continued on into the modern age, giving rise to revolutions and counter-revolutions. Today, the government vies for control with hardline Islamists, there have been attacks on tourists, and FCO advice flits between cautious and uber-cautious. But when the dust settles and Tunisia stabilizes, it’s sure to take the breath away!
Lets explore the best places to visit in Tunisia:
1. El Djem
It doesn’t get much better than this for fans of the ancients.
Colossal arches and elliptical amphitheaters to rival even the Colosseum in Rome are what mark the horizon of famous El Djem.
Tagged by UNESCO, the city is a modern one built right atop an old one, with the occasional ruin of Roman homes and arcades popping up on the corners.
Many sights have been preserved thanks to the billowing dust storms of the surrounding Sahara, but a lack of large-scale archaeology means that the main attraction remains the huge Amphitheatre of Thysdrus.
Delve in and stroll the changing rooms of gladiators, or stand where ancient governors once did atop the fighting pits.