Tunisia – family destination

Hammamet

For my birthday my husband decided to give me a getaway-week in Tunisia. After Marrakech and going many times to Algeria it was about time to visit the third maghreb country : Tunisia.

We stayed in a 4* hotel Le sultan, situated in Hammamet. The hotel has 2 pools, one outside, the other one is indoors. The spa area is big, but not comparable to the ones you find in Turkish hotels (which to me are mostly very good). Outside there are 2 tennis courts and a midgetgolf terrain. The best thing about this hotel is the kids corner! The animation is very kids-minded and the mini club is very up to date.
The hotel is located near the beach, though this is a small beach. Walking a bit further allows you to enjoy the beach to its fullest.
We enjoyed the fresh mint tea almost every night in the cosy shishacorner.
A good hotel if happy kids are more important than luxury. gracefullyDebby 3146

gracefullyDebby 3141

gracefullyDebby 3152

shisha corner

The medina in Hammamet is not so big, but a nice walk in the village can be quiet romantic, especially when you end it on the beach to watch the sun set.

Close to Hammamet, you find the more modern Yasmine Hammamet. There is an amusement park Carthageland with an aquapark in it. This can be found in the medina. It’s a real eye catcher in the medina with lots of tempting animations all over the medina.
We went into the medina to browse trough the shops and score some original gifts.
There is also a harbour where tourist boats (with real pirates) can take you for a fun day at sea. In this harbour there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy.

On friday there is a big market in Nabeul. A city near Hammamet. We took a taxi and went to the village known for its oranges (which is their trademark as you can see on the postcards). After grabbing a fresh juice we discovered the market. Locals as well as tourist browse through all the different stands. On the background there’s the call for prayer, this is the real maghreb life.

After a visit to a tourist agency we booked a day trip. As it was the low season we could negotiate a good price and had a day trip totally adjusted to what we wanted to see.
We chose to visit el djem, sousse and port el kantaoui.
The tourist agency had a driver in tuxedo to pick us up at the hotel. He was our personal driver for the day. He showed us the Atlas mountain, which passes Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, and told us interesting things about the local life in Tunisia. He was a very warm person.

First stop : El djem. This is the amphitheatre where The gladiator (movie with Russell Crowe) was shot. It’s amazing how big it is, and how well preserved. The sun was shining and the amphitheatre really made a big impression on us. el djem

el djem

el djem

It was worth the long , almost 2 hours, drive. A 10 minute walk further we visited a mosaic museum. I found it amazing to see this old images of ancient tales. The entry to this museum is included in the price you pay for entering el djem, but nobody tells you this.
Next on was the city of Sousse. We only had one hour to spend here. It was very touristic, more than Hammamet. It’s a harbour city. We didn’t see much of it. A quick tour around the city and then we continued our daytrip.

The last stop before heading back to the hotel was Port el kantaoui. This was a very charming village. It has a small fair which is nice for the kids.
This whole village is situated around the harbour. Such a laidback vibe I got from just walking around.
Spending a week here would not be it for me, but a would gladly spend a few days in this harbour village. We ate something in one of the many restaurants. After this we went back to our hotel.

port el kantaoui

We had a good stay, although we wouldn’t go back to Tunisia soon. I guess there’s much more to do in summertime. But in april, we had the impression there was not so much to do other than enjoying the sun around the pool or at the beach.
Though if you have kids, there is enough to do.
There is a zoo nearby and you can go for a swim with dolphins. (We already did this in Dubai swimming with dolphins in Dubai)

Overall I’m glad to have seen a bit of Tunisia, now I’ve been to all 3 countries that are the Maghreb.

My 5 questions to … Stephanie Duval

During my adventure of becoming a ‘real’ blogger I bought some books with tips and tricks about blogging.

One of those books was ‘how blogs work‘, written by Stephanie Duval.
Stephanie is a Belgian blogger living in Switzerland. She has many talents, not only does she blog on 70percentpure but she is also a photographer and freelance journalist.
She’s all about beautiful design and loves to travel.

Here are my 5 questions :

  • When did it hit you, you like to travel and blog about it? Was it one holiday in particular?

It wasn’t a holiday, but I remember the trip very clearly. It was a press trip organised by a British fashion chain, and perhaps the tenth or so trip I had to take for work. It was a lot of fun – staying in a beautiful hotel, experiencing the best of London, even a private performance by Paloma Faith, way before she became famous. I was traveling home on the Eurostar and looking through some of the snapshots that I’d taken and I decided it was just too much fun to keep to myself. As I was mostly traveling for work, I’d find myself alone a lot of the time, or not really able to share my thoughts with other journalists that I didn’t really know that well, so I created 70percentpure.be as an outlet for those experiences. Besides, when I needed to come up with a name for the blog that night, I was inspired by a piece of chocolate that I’d brought from that trip to London: it was 70% cacao.

  • What was the best hotel you’ve ever been to?

I don’t know if it was the best hotel, but it sure was the best hotel experience I’ve ever had – though it has more to do with what happened there than with the hotel itself. When we arrived at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and got settled in by the pool with cocktails and ceviche, on the second or third day of our two-week trip through California, my then-boyfriend proposed to me. It was the perfect setting and the perfect night, and so the perfect start to our amazing holiday. I can remember all the little details of the hotel so well: the ping-pong table we almost wrecked with our competitiveness, the gorgeous succulents in the garden, the beautiful room… We returned to the hotel during our honeymoon and even stayed in the same room. It will always be a special place to me.

  • What holiday surprised you the most? What country/city was more amazing than you thought it would be?

My first time in Los Angeles was on another press trip, and I was so surprised with how much I loved that city from the first moment. Of course I stayed in a gorgeous hotel, met amazing people and got to take a look behind the scenes of the L.A. fashion industry, so that definitely helped. But I’ve gone back there twice with my husband and I still love it so much. It’s the perfect mix of big city humdrum and laid back beach vibes. It also has the best museums and restaurants – I’d say my experience there perhaps even trumps my New York experiences, which before always ranked at the top of the list.

  • What holiday was a disappointment? When you thought it would be great but really wasn’t.

I had one horrible experience when traveling to Istanbul for work. I missed my first flight, they lost my luggage, I missed half of the program at the destination and was left to my own devices much of the time. It was in winter and the weather was terrible, and the person in charge of the trip was a creep. I locked myself in my hotel room for the better part of the last day, and was super relieved to go back home. It’s a shame because I didn’t get to discover anything in the beautiful city, but the circumstances just weren’t there to experience Istanbul the right way. I’ll need to go back some day to change my opinion about it. 

  • What country/city/hotel is your #1 on your wishing list?

My wishlist is never-ending, and it’s hard to pick just one place. I’d have to say Canada though. I’ve only been to Vancouver and I loved it there. I’m especially drawn to the combination of gorgeous nature and bustling cities – best of both worlds. I’d like to see more of Canada soon. Besides that, there are plenty more places in the States that I’d love to visit. A trip along the East Coast is high up there, too. And closer to home I’d love to revisit Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. I’ve only been to these cities on business trips without my husband, and I’d love to experience them in a more relaxed way with him.

A special thanks to Stephanie. Not only for this interview, but for her advice in her book as well.
stea