Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living Like a Local in Tunisi

Tunisia is one of those places that seems too good to be true. Clear water and perfect beaches? Check. A warm, but not too humid climate to enjoy those beaches? Check. A rich and cultured history that you can experience today? Check. I could go on and on, but you get the point. For those who have not yet been lucky enough to have a dream holiday in Tunisia, there are many flights with companies such as First Choice that you can book. Here’s a glimpse at the life of a Tunisian local.

Since it’s located right on the Mediterranean Sea, the seafood in Tunisia is some of the freshest and most varied in the world. You'll find the diet mostly consists of “sun cuisine”, based mainly on olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood, and meat (mostly lamb). Since so many different cultures have left their mark here, there’s an eclectic mix of dishes, all with straight from the source ingredients.

Tunisians are big coffee drinkers, but the most popular drink here is the mint tea. It’s not like a typical western tea, with Tunisian tea being strong and aromatic, and often at times used in the aid of digestion. If you're looking for something sweeter, try one of the locally made fizzy drinks. The most popular brand is Boga, which comes in a cola like flavour, as well as an orangeade flavour. If you're looking for something a bit stronger, you’ve got a few choices, but since it’s a Muslim country, the selection is not as robust as a western country. While you can get many foreign beers here, there’s only one home brewed selection, Celtia. It’s not as potent as western beers, but it’s still tasty nonetheless.

Day stuff
The things you can do in Tunisia during the day are endless. You could spend all day at the beach, breathing in that fresh Mediterranean air and relaxing in the sun. Or, you can walk around a souq, or open air marketplace, where an enticing selection of wares await shoppers. There are also camel rides in the desert, sightseeing ruins from cultures long forgotten, or just enjoying the sight of the rolling plains of olive groves that make up the landscape.

Night happenings
The activities in Tunisia do not stop once the sun goes down, in fact, for many it’s just beginning. There are all manner of bars and clubs to go to, although these are mainly situated in the bigger cities like Sousse and Tunis. For a more low key night experience, cafes are open late into the night, and beach parties spring up often.

As you can see, Tunisia has a wealth to offer any visitor. It’s beautiful, inexpensive, and the locals are welcoming. What more could you ask for?

Images by Nana B Agyel, Christian Schirner, David Weekly, Dennis Jarvis and Beshaf, used under the Creative Commons license. Post in collaboration with First Choice.