Tunisia Summer 2011
This time last year we had booked our summer holiday to Tunisia. We were looking forward to a summer holiday which was culturally different and less commercialised to previous destinations we had visited, little did we know what was yet to come.
BREAKING NEWS: Thomas Cook evacuating tourists from Tunisia flashed upon the TV. The Tunisian Revolution had begun and many tour operators were evacuating their customers from popular resorts. Although our holiday wasn’t until June, we were extremely worried as this was a very special holiday for us, after both finishing 5 years of university, we wanted it to be one to remember.
After having the option to cancel or change our destination, we did neither. We took the risk and stuck with Tunisia and are very glad that we did!
11 days at the Royal Kenz in Port el Kantaoui in Tunisia was one of the best holidays we’ve ever had. We strongly recommend Tunisia to those who want to experience the culture, fine weather and beautiful beaches.
Some of the highlights to our trip were:
The Royal Kenz is everything you’d want from a four star hotel and more. With marble floors, colourful Arabic designs and beautiful water features, the hotel had a very unique ambience and we felt welcome immediately. Our room was bright, modern and very clean thanks to the cleaner who came in daily. The food was lovely with a huge buffet set-up in the restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also ate in the A La Carte restaurant twice which had a great choice of French and Italian dishes. There are two large pools, both of which were very clean and the walk to the beach took about 2 minutes via a path towards the back of the hotel.
There were many excursions to choose from however we had decided before our holiday that we really wanted to see the Roman Amphitheatre in El Djem. The El Djem Colosseum is one of the most impressive Roman remains in Africa and is almost as big as the Colosseum in Rome. It was used for scenes in the hit film The Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe. During the trip, we got to sit on the steps of the amphitheatre, climb to the top to see the magnificent landscape and explore the underground basement area, where the beasts and gladiators were kept before a game began.
Opposite our hotel was a great little bar/restaurant where we drank almost every night of the holiday. The bar has a great atmosphere, friendly staff, delicious food and the only cocktails we could find on the resort!
If you visit Port el Kantaoui, make sure you stay in one of the hotels directly on the beach and wake up early to see the sunrise. Two mornings at 4am we took our sheets down to the beach, cosied up on the sun loungers and watched the sunrise. Both times were amazing and we captured some great photos too!
Our Top Tips for Tunisia:
Take your own alcohol (there are no shops that sell it and the majority of bars only sell beer).
If you don’t want to be hassled whilst shopping, keep your head down!
Always agree a price first before you get into a taxi.
Men – take a pair of trousers with you for your evening meal as many of the hotels/restaurants require this.
Tipping staff and waiters is recommended and goes a long way!