Flag of Tunisia

Tunisia

Tunisia (officially the Tunisian Republic) is a country situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and bordered by Algeria to its west, Libya to its southeast and a 1,400-km coastline along its north and east. It is the smallest of the nations situated along the Atlas mountain range and the northern-most African country.

For such a tiny country - the smallest in North Africa - Tunisia manages to pack a lot in. It is a truly kaleidoscopic nation, ranging from Mediterranean beaches to the Sahara desert, from ancient souks to Star Wars film sets. This Arab-Berber nation is one of the most liberal in the Islamic world.

The capital, Tunis, reflects the country's diversity. Its French colonial past has a far-reaching influence (it only gained independence in 1956), most obviously in its cuisine that blends sophisticated French with Arab spice. Older history is evident in the remains of what was Roman Carthage, while the Roman ruins at Dougga and El Jem are some of the finest in Africa.

Despite its location, edging the Sahara, Tunisia is a surprisingly fertile land. It has six National Parks; the one that surrounds Lac Ichkeul is one of only two UNESCO-protected Biosphere Reserves in the world. If you're feeling energetic, the view from the near-deserted village of Takrouna over the mountainous north is stunning. Alternatively, visit a central desert oasis like Zaafrane, Tozeur or Kebili with its hot pools. Finally, when you tire of culture, history and nature, simply relax at one of the many beaches that lie along its many miles of Mediterranean coastline.

Map of Tunisia