We recently took a 12-day tour of Tunisia as a couple. From our very first contact with Tunisia Tours, everything went very smoothly and we could not have had a better time. Every detail had been covered in advance and we had all the contact information for our entire in-country team. We selected our own itinerary and the company gave us choices of hotels wherever there were good options. We were very pleased with the accommodations and the food they provided… particularly the breakfasts. We picked the itinerary to reprise my experiences in Tunisia as a geology graduate student… having been there several times, most recently 44 years ago. A lot has changed in Tunisia, yet many things remain about the same. Certainly the roads have really been improved. Tunis seems huge, but we got around there very well. We always felt safe in Tunisia and we really enjoyed the historic and archaeological locations, which were our focus. My companion had never been there before and I wanted to maximize her exposure to the amazing history of Tunisia.
For seven of the days we spent in Tunisia, we had a careful driver (Slim) and a guide (Ridha) selected by the company, which also provided a comfortable and spacious Mercedes van. During the time that we had both Slim and Ridha, we spent nights in the Tunis Medina, El Kef, Kairouan, Sousse and Hammamet. We had some long days, but we chose a lot of destinations, including: guided tours to the Bardo Museum, Carthage, Sidi Bou Said, Dougga, Bulla Regia, Makhtar, Sbeitla, Kairouan, the El Jem Coliseum and the magnificent museum nearby, the Sousse Medina and archaeological museum, and Hammamet. We spent three nights in Hammamet and did day tours to Nabeul, the Cap Bon peninsula and Haouaria. We would visit these same locations again! The company then transferred us to Sidi Bou Said for two enjoyable nights and then transferred us to the nearby Tunis Carthage Airport.
Slim and Ridha were always on time and usually early to pick us up at the appointed time and place. They were very considerate and always were paying attention to having drinking water available for us and advising us when bathrooms would be available if needed. There were never any hassles checking in at hotels as they invariably took us to the front desk and introduced us.
Ridha deserves special attention for his kind mannerism and his excellent English (not to mention French and Italian). He demonstrated a solid knowledge of Tunisia’s complex history and the locations we visited. It was as though he prepared the night before. Ridha knew critical people wherever we went. He was always eager to inform us about the history and culture and to answer our questions. Not only did Ridha stand out among all the guides we had on our 6-week circum-Mediterranean trip (also including Morocco, Spain and Portugal), we agreed that he was the best guide either of us had ever had, anywhere. One of our most memorable days was when we went market-hopping to gather our picnic lunch to take to Dougga. Every day was a different and fun experience.
Knowing that Tunisia has undergone a number of changes in recent years, we found the people to be very welcoming, friendly and polite. I anticipated that we would have good food. And we did! A particularly nice surprise was to discover such excellent red wines. We highly recommend Tunisia and we found a company which exceeded our highest expectations to make our customized tour possible.
Stephen and Benita