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The Mediterranean is the most fashionable place to be this summer now that all the countries that have a coast on both sides of the basin have lifted all travel restrictions.
From the swimming spots of southern Europe, stretching from Spain’s westernmost Costa del Sol to the easternmost islands of Greece, to the Aegean coast of Türkiye and western Asia and finally North Africa, the ancient sea is calling you.
However, if the prospect of another vacation in teeming Italy or expensive Croatia no longer seems appealing enough, perhaps you should consider exploring an alternative but just as beautiful Mediterranean hotspot.
How about lesser known, more and more popular? Tunisia?
Tunisia becomes a major Mediterranean destination
On the coasts of North Africa, between the other North African nations of Algeria and Libya, and limited to the south by vast stretches of the Sahara desert, Tunisia is currently a super trendy vacationhaving skyrocketed in popularity in the post-pandemic scenario.
With a 1,148 km long Mediterranean coastline, where pristine sandy crescents are interspersed with ancient cities, traditional fishing settlements and marine parks, it is currently one of the fastest growing destinations in the region.
In the first five months of 2023 alone, tourism receipts have increase for staggering 68.4% YoYwhich shows that more tourists fly and spend their vacation money in Tunisia.
The data, shared by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), revealed that revenue has already amounted to US$2.826 million this year, easily putting Tunisia at the forefront of the revival of tourism in the Mediterranean, in a region historically led by Spain, France, Italy and the like.
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Now more than ever, tourists are looking for alternatives to a crowded southern Europe, and a growing number of them are realizing that they don’t need to spend their summers in Europe specifically to experience that relaxed mediterranean lifestyle.
After all, this is a sea that crosses at least three continental borders.
You don’t need to fly to Europe to experience that slow Mediterranean life
Tunisia is located just 206 nautical miles south of Sardinia, 188 nautical miles southwest of Sicily, two of the largest Italian islands, and 314 nautical miles from the small sovereign state of Malta, all three Insanely Popular European Summer Getaways.
Its shores border the exact same sea that surrounds some of Europe’s most famous islands, but Tunisia doesn’t get half the recognition and promotion that Sicily or Malta get.
It is home to beautiful small towns within reach of the waves of the Mediterranean and vibrant coastal cities with a wide range of cultural attractions.
whitewashed coastal towns
A symbol of Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said It is a traditional village where the wooden windows and beautifully carved doors of the Greek-style whitewashed houses are painted electric blue.
It is also a rapidly developing tourist area, where new luxury hotels and luxury deals appear every minute.
In fact, it has a high concentration of five-star properties, with 23 in total listed on booking.comand believe it or not, nightly rates at luxurious spas like the Landmark give the marsa sometimes it can be as cheap as US$193although this is the highly sought after Mediterranean Sea.
You can find accommodation much cheaper, even, with overnight stays at mid-range hotels ranging from US$27 to US$66, and seasonal AirBnB deals starting as low as US$38 per night.
Emerging resort areas
Other popular Mediterranean spots in Tunisia include susaa small but highly developed seaport known for its lush marine gardens, shopping scene, picturesque old townthat blends the traditional maghrebi and the French colonial architecture, and the bustling tourist area.
Hammamet You can’t miss it, too.
A lively seaside town with miles of white sandy beaches, lapped by brilliant blue waters, it is a favorite with bathers and water sports enthusiasts.
However, if it’s a secluded island retreat you’re after, you should consider basing yourself on Herb instead.
The largest island off the coast of North Africa, it is a subtropical paradise with a rich ancient history and beautiful natural sights.
One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean
In ancient times it was believed to be the island where Odysseus once got stranded on their epic journey across the Mediterranean, and the cultural wealth on Djerba is so vast that Tunisia has applied for UNESCO World Heritage status for the island, though it has yet to be granted.
Whether you’re looking for ancient ruins and cultural immersions, or just a carefree all-inclusive vacation, Djerba can offer you a little bit of both.
However, you should be prepared to splurge, as prices on Djerba can be comparable to those in Greece or Italy.
There are so many 6 all inclusive on the islandincluding the ultra-luxurious TUI MAGICAL LIFE Penelope Beach resort, with summer rates starting at $331 per night
Although it is more expensive, the complex is located a short distance from Houmt Souk, the tourist area of the island, where all the main attractions are concentrated.
A vibrant capital city with a fascinating history to match
Finally, there is TunisiaCapital and cultural center of Tunis, and a modern metropolis with a UNESCO-protected historical heritage medina extending along a coastal plain.
Day and night, the narrow streets are alive with commerce and activity, while the French buildings New city it has a contrasting ‘Old World’ charm, with its wide tree-lined boulevards, European-style buildings and high-end shops.
Near Tunis, tourists will find the archaeological complex of carthageonce one of the greatest Mediterranean powers and now a ruined city lost in time.
Some of the most famous landmarks include the well-delineated layout of Carthage’s famous seaport, which survived further development, the Ancient Theater and other important civic buildings.
Fly to Tunisia from Europe or Canada
Tunis-Carthage Internationalthe main international airport serving the Tunisian Mediterranean, hosts many low cost flights from all major departure points in Europe, as well as a non-stop service from Montreal-Trudeau in Canada, operated by the flag carrier Tunisair.
According to easyJet, one of the UK’s largest low-cost airlines, demand for travel to Tunisia has « increased more than any other country » on its website since 2019, confirming it as a major player in the Mediterranean.
tunisia has no entry requirements Be that as it may, and unlike other more restrictive African countries, it does not require a tourist visa for American or Canadian citizens.
All they need to present is a valid passport, and they will be issued an entry permit upon arrival when traveling as short-term tourists.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com