Tunisia has become a popular destination for couples from across Europe to soak up the Mediterranean sunshine as they begin their new life together. Indeed, tourism has boomed by 32.5% in recent years. However, there’s much more to the country than the all-inclusive resorts and their beaches – so if you’re interested in making your special time together even more memorable, read on…
Tunisia without flights
Something to consider before even arriving in the country is the fact that European visitors don’t have to use a plane at all. From London, a Eurostar ticket can be booked to Marseille, which takes you on a picturesque train journey through the Rhone Valley.
Once in this beautiful coastal city, couples will have the choice between spending a few days here or merely dropping in overnight. Either way, the next stage of the journey will involve a ferry from the port. Again, this is a route that is known for its views – especially as it closes in on Tunisia’s shores, where those on deck can catch their first unforgettable view of the ruins of Carthage. It’s a wonderful way to enter a country with a rich history.
Outside the resorts
For those adventurous couples who do decide to wander beyond the confines of the resorts, there are a real wealth of destinations to consider.
If you wish to sample the country’s deep history, a trip to Carthage is highly recommended. The ancient city, destroyed by its Roman rivals, remains a vision of broken majesty. It is a timeless complex of monuments and is adjacent to the capital of Tunis.
To witness more recent Islamic architecture, the towns of Sousse and Monastir showcase incredible sights such as medinas (walled cities) incorporating towers, ceremonial gates and fortifications.
Of the more modern areas, a honeymoon is the perfect time to visit Sidi Bou Said, a town so beautiful that many artists have made it their home. With its distinctive white walls, blue paintwork throughout, and cobbled streets and cafes, it’s easily among the most romantic places in Africa.
Tunisia is widely-regarded as a tolerant and open country, but there are certain differences every couple travelling there should be aware of in advance.
In terms of how you dress, it’s recommended that both sexes cover their shoulders when in public. And, likewise, when outside the cities it’s best not to wear garments (shorts or skirts) which expose the leg above the knee.
LGBTQ couples, meanwhile, should proceed with genuine caution. Be aware that homosexuality remains a criminal offence in Tunisia. And, although younger generations increasingly see this law as an anachronism, it remains enforceable and people charged have, sadly, been imprisoned for up to three years.
By travelling at the right time, you can synchronise your honeymoon with cultural events to increase the choice of things to do even further.
The Dougga International Festival is one of these, with classical music and theatre events playing to huge crowds. Of course, it helps that the events are staged in a Roman town so well-preserved it’s accredited as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
But, to see a real showcase of Tunisian cultural talent, the Bizerte Festival is a once-a-year celebration of authentic regional music, dance and cuisine. And all this within the precincts of the oldest (still inhabited) city in the country.
When to see the Sahara
Tunisia is a great place to embark on a short tour of the Sahara Desert – but any couples wanting to include such a rare experience in their itinerary should be aware it’s only possible at certain times of the year.
Due to the heat of the summer in this part of the world, any honeymoon set to include a desert tour should be booked to take place between December and March.