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Tunisia - any reviews welcome!

(22 Posts)
hellswelshy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:32:25

Hi, me and DH have just last night, kind of spur of the moment, booked a weeks holiday in Tunisia for May. After umming and aahing and going back and forth from so-so hotels in Spain, we decided that Tunisia was offering a good deal with the hotel we booked, the weather is (apparently) usually lovely and the beaches looked really great. However. We have heard lots of 'horror' stories from family and friends about Tunisia, even though these stories probably go back over ten years or so, so would like to hear any positive and just helpful reviews or ideas or opinions about the place. We have never been, so very excited. We will be going with our twin girls who are 6! smile

scurryfunge Thu 12-Dec-13 11:35:58

I went there on honeymoon but that was 23 years ago. I loved it. Very vibrant, hot and friendly place.

hellswelshy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:37:50

Ahh perhaps time to revisit then, scurryfunge ? Thank you for that, sounds like my cup of tea!

craftynclothy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:38:19

I really loved Tunisia and would go back anytime.

I say that with the proviso that you sort of have to accept it for what it is and enjoy the charm of it. e.g. In the hotel restaurant, often cutlery would be missing and you have to ask for it. One tip we had was to tip the waiter very well on the first night and be a 'regular' of theirs (i.e. sit in the same area of the restaurant). We've been twice and at the second hotel the waiter would save us a table and have our drinks ready for us. Don't go expecting the same star level as here in the UK.

When you go out of the hotel area, dress with consideration for their cultures (long skirts, shoulders covered) as you get a much better reception from them imo.

craftynclothy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:40:41

Oh and people seem to complain about being hassled in the souks but a firm "No thank you" always seemed sufficient ime.

Whereabouts are you going?

hellswelshy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:43:39

Thanks crafty. I am definitely the sort of traveller/holidaymaker who isnt crazily fussy about everything just so, and revel in whatever a country has to offer, as long as it feels friendly i really dont mind. For what we are paying for a weeks all inclusive for a family of four im certainly not expecting 5*; that said it looks lovely from what we can see, and most reviews have been positive. Is it the sort of country you do feel comfortable about having a wander about?

hellswelshy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:44:39

We are going to Sousse (i think). And i agree, re the hassling, ive been to Egypt and they were VERY persistent there, but it was fine.

craftynclothy Thu 12-Dec-13 11:51:59

Sousse is lovely. That's where we went the first time. (To the Marhaba Beach hotel iirc)

We definitely felt safe. There's a noddy train to Port El Kantaoui which is a bit more touristy (boat trips, etc.). There's a few sights in Sousse and the souks are there too.

hellswelshy Thu 12-Dec-13 12:00:37

Thank you. Its really nice to hear! Im really looking forward to going somewhere different. DH is very happy as the weather promises some heat, and last few years when we have been away in May its been a bit hit and miss grin

diabolo Thu 12-Dec-13 22:14:54

I went to Skanes several years ago. It was awful, nasty hotel where we weren't even allowed to have the lights on our balcony as they wanted all guests in the bar on an evening watching the entertainment (I use that word loosly). Foul weather (end of April) and we could not go anywhere in the resort without being hassled by people trying to sell camel toys for £20. 20 times an hour!

Skanes is apparently not like other places in Tunisia, most are much nicer but it put me off for life. I had previously had a fabulous holiday in rural Turkey which which could not have been more different, lovely people,no hassle! couldn't have been more hospitable.

AnUnearthlyChild Thu 12-Dec-13 22:22:24

Went on honeymoon.

Bloody brilliant. Unbeatable combination of French and North African cuisine.

Lovely people. Desert, and the Star Wars set.

Perfect. Loved it.

Oh and really nice <wine> and olives

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 12-Dec-13 22:29:13

We went to Hammamet 7 years ago in June and the weather was really nice, the beach was lovely and the food was great. There were plenty of excursions and we went on several but to me they were all a bit touristy and crowded and we were warned to avoid the camel desert excursion so we did. My only gripes really were the hassling you get when shopping. You can't just browse and the taxi drivers think they are formula 1 racing car drivers. Also, don't do what I did (young and naive) and go out for a walk wearing only a bikini top and skimpy shorts as you WILL get stares and comments from men and women alike. It was very uncomfortable and I didn't make the mistake again. It is a MUSLIM country, cover up when out of the hotel.

hellswelshy Fri 13-Dec-13 16:57:51

Thanks all. Oh dear diablosorry to hear it wasnt great for your holiday. We have thoroughly researched the hotel so im hoping we wont have any such nonsense re balcony lights etc?! As for excursions, we dont normally bother if we are only there for a week. I do fancy having a wander.round the souks though so maybe il brave that. My main tactic in Egypt (also very intense for being harrassed) was avoid eye contact, keep walking then at a last resort tell them i had no money...

MrsArthurWellesley Fri 13-Dec-13 17:18:54

We faced rudeness in Port El Kantoui from tat sellers but not elsewhere really although, tbh, we stuck to the fixed price shop in Sousse because I couldn't face the souk. Makes me laugh now because we have since been to India, China, Vietnam and Cambodia and haggled like mad smile

shinook123 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:05:53

We are going back to Tunisia next summer.Took our kids there last August(first visit).We loved it so much,we came home and a few days later booked again.
Just want to point out we have never done this before.We've holidayed in Balearics and Canaries but never had such a fab time like in Tunisia.
I have never met such lovely people both in and outside the hotel.
The Pestering was nothing like I imagined.It's worse walking around my local town centre with people stopping you to sign up charity direct debits etc...
It is a culture shock and you do see rubbish in the streets(as in UK) and sometimes you can smell drains in the streets.
As long as you accept that you are in N.Africa and don't compare with other richer resorts then you will really enjoy yourselves.
Tunisia has some Amazing hotels with great staff and I would recommend to anybody smile

FirstOnRecallDay Mon 16-Dec-13 23:27:29

If you have the opportunity to do the overnight stay and camel ride in the desert, I would definitely do it! I see and learnt so many things, there's nothing like riding in the Sahara on a camel (or horse if you wish!) and watching the sun rise. Gah, I have goosebumps just thinking about it!

BackforGood Mon 16-Dec-13 23:31:55

We went this year for the first time and I couldn't fault it. It was All Inclusive, so I suppose it depends on the hotel - our was superb, and we were surrounded by people returning year upon year which I guess says a lot.
I would certainly recommend it (with the waiver that it's got to depend a lot on your hotel)

beeny Wed 25-Dec-13 23:28:24

Can someone recommend a all inclusive hotel in Tunisia

Wheretogoonholiday Thu 26-Dec-13 23:41:58

Excellent thread!im looking at hammamet feb half term. FCO says ok to travel but still have boggling cobcers re safety, any advice? Also weather in feb, beach weather!?

Wheretogoonholiday Thu 26-Dec-13 23:42:20

Oops typo! Niggling concerns!

shinook123 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:30:24

The resorts in Tunisia are as safe as any other resort in the world.
We felt very safe compared to some resorts in the Canaries,Greece etc...
Tunisians are most welcoming and very child friendly.
Lots of good hotels in Tunisia,have a look on Trip advisor.
I can recommend Hotel Chich Khan,Iberostar Averroes,Sendito Phenicia in Hammamet via Thomas Cook.Stayed at the Chich Khan and going again and friends of mine love the others.
Sousse and Port el Kataoui are lovely resorts.
Avoid Skanes.Never been but know people who have and all say despite staying in different hotels that they had a bad holiday.
February is not beach or pool weather to guarantee more pleasant warm/hot weathet wait until may.
July and August very hot expect 40 degrees.
We are going back the end of June smile

CPtart Thu 02-Jan-14 19:37:16

If you get chance go to El Jem (Tunisian's version of the colosseum). Check it out on trip advisor, we went for half a day trip from Sousse, about an hour away I think.
Amazing place.

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