Exploring North Africa. Tunisia. INTRO

Exploring North Africa. Tunisia. Sousse, Tunisia

Finally, the big reveal! Although, if you have been following my Instagram account @travelingwith_vera, then you guessed it already some time ago.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was planning to go to Krakow, but I’ve changed my mind at the last moment. And if you wonder why, the answer is simple – prices. Yep, it’s all about the money. Five days in Krakow (flights + accommodation) did cost almost same as a 7-day holiday package to Tunisia.

So, let’s talk about the money. Detur 7-day holiday package cost 279 euros per person. The price included straight flights Helsinki-Monastir-Helsinki operated by Nouvelair, accommodation in 3-star hotel with the swimming pool, access to the sea and own beach area. Plus, breakfast and dinner (excluding alcoholic beverages). I mean, isn’t it a dream?! I swear, I nearly started clapping my hands when I purchased this trip.

One negative thing… well, not negative per se, but rather inconvenient was the schedule. The plane landed in Monastir at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning (or rather at night). But it wasn’t my final destination. Sousse was. And the only way I could get there was by taxi. Little that I know, there weren’t many cars waiting outside at that hour and their starting price was pretty high.

As soon as I came out from the airport taxi drivers rushed to me like the vultures and started loudly offering their services. “30 oro! 30 oro!”, they yelled. I didn’t understand what the hell “oro” meant and it took me a while to realize that’s how they called EUROS. So, they wanted me to pay 30 euros for a 25-minute taxi ride. Which was outrages. Luckily, they lowered it in the end, and I paid 15 euros instead. I was well aware that I’m still overpaying a bit*, but it didn’t really matter, 15 euros was a fair deal. And I was happy I could get to the hotel ASAP.

* with the right driver it cost 9 euros

I’ve never been to North Africa before and it made me doubly excited. I love exploring new countries and cultures, meeting new people and trying new foods. That what’s travelling is all about, in my opinion.

Things you should know before going to Tunisia:

  • Religion. A vast majority of Tunisian population is Muslim, which means it might be challenging to find restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages.

Some of you probably know that Tunisia was a French colony in the past, and in order to feel at home in a foreign land French brought wine culture with them. Colonial time is over but Tunisian wineries remain. Strange thing though, you can’t find Tunisian wine that easily. They sell it only in some special supermarkets (haven’t seen any during my stay) and in the hotel restaurants and bars.

Closest thing to an alcohol what you might find here is a non-alcoholic (0.5%) draft beer. But if you are not into it, then hotel service is basically the only option for you.

  • Currency. Tunisian dinars. 100 dinars is approximately 30 euros.

Interesting fact: it’s illegal to bring this currency into the country, so you can’t exchange it in advance and take it with you. But not to worry, there are ATMs in the airport, so you will be able to get dinars upon your arrival.

  • Visa. Finnish citizens do not require a visa.
  • Vaccinations. No special vaccines needed, but the basic ones are necessity, of course. For examples, hepatitis A and B, rabies, MMR, Tdap, etc. You can find the full list in the internet. So, make sure you have them all. As they say, better safe than sorry.
  • Haggling. Unfortunately, it’s a must. I say unfortunately simply because I hate haggling, it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and that is why I always leave that part to my husband.
  • Clothing. Even though Tunisians are more progressive than other Arab nations, Tunisia is still a Muslim country. So, please respect it and remember that you are a guest here. It doesn’t mean that you need to dress like natives, but your clothes should be appropriate, unless you are planning to stay in your hotel for the whole trip. And by “appropriate” I mean knee length shorts, skirts and dresses, and no low décolletage.

Hope you enjoyed it!

TWVera

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