Summer has officially arrived in Tunisia.  The hot Mediterranean sun is at its strongest, skies are blue, children are off from school, and weekends are spent at the beach (for those who live close enough!). Summer is a special time of year in Tunisia, just like in many countries of the world.  It might not be everybody’s favorite season, but most people can’t resist the sense of fun and relaxation that summer brings.  While there are many things to enjoy, there are also some challenges that are good to be prepared for, mainly related to the heat.  In this post I’ll highlight the things to enjoy in Tunisia during the summer. The next post will cover how to deal with the challenges.

3 Highlights of Summer in Tunisia:

1) The beach is a great place to visit during the summer, and thanks to Tunisia’s 1,300 kilometers of coast, there are plenty of beaches to choose from!  The water temperatures are moderate, the sea is usually calm, and the beaches are full of life during the summer.

Some of the most popular areas to go to the beach are Sousse, Mahdia, Monastir, Hammamet, and Djerba. However, there are many other beaches to choose from, and it doesn’t take much research to find the closest beach.  When planning a visit to a beach, you might want to decide whether to go to a beach in a tourist area or a more local beach.  Each hotel in the tourist areas have their own section of the beach their guests can use, but they’re usually accessible even to people who aren’t staying at the hotel.  These beaches are away from downtown, are used mainly by tourists, and are less crowded and quieter.  Local beaches are usually close to downtown, such as Sousse’s Bou Jaafar beach or Monastir’s beach that has the city’s historic fortress as its backdrop.  These beaches are a great place to get to know Tunisians.  Signs indicating “La Plage” (“the beach” in French) usually refer to the local city beaches.

2) Special events are another highlight of summer in Tunisia.  There are always a multitude of special events in the larger cities that you can check out.  Some annual events that are worth checking out are the Dougga International Festival, Carthage Music Festival or the Tabarka Jazz Festival.

For annual events, such as music festivals, it’s usually worth buying tickets and booking hotels ahead of time because they do sell out.

3) Fresh seasonal food, especially summer fruits:  Most fruits and vegetables in Tunisia are available depending on the season because they are harvested locally.  Summer is the best time to taste refreshing, fresh, local fruits.  Some of the highlights are figs, Saturn peaches, watermelon, grapes, and apricots.

Fresh fruit in Tunisia usually don’t need any special care before you eat it, except to wash it with tap water. Enjoy!

Whatever your itinerary is this summer in Tunisia, I hope you experience the many wonderful aspects of the country this season.