Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tunisia: The Light of Our Sight; Getting from Here to There

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tunisia: The Light of Our Sight; Getting from Here to There

Article excerpt

Americans, Canadians and Europeans do not need visas to visit Tunisia. Europeans flock to Tunisian beach resorts during the summer months, but spring and autumn are also good for touring. Tunisia's Saharan dunes and sights attract winter visitors interested in exploring the distinct Berber culture.

While Europeans long ago discovered the ruins, beaches, discos, music festivals, and restaurants of Tunisia, most Americans have missed the boat. Europeans can pay $400 for air fare and hotels for a week in Tunisia. Health spa vacation packages offer a wide range of activities to invigorate the body, mind and spirit. Americans can incorporate a trip to Tunisia in a European tour for just a few dollars and two hours of air travel. Even tiny Djerba has a modern international airport.

Once there, it's easy to rent a car, and taxis are metered and very reasonable. Hiring a bicycle is a fun way to tour Djerba, as the island is flat and compact. Hotels are affordable; the $30 to $150 cost per night usually includes a buffet breakfast.

Tunisian food is fresh and tasty, with harissa--a hot chili sauce--delicious bread, and olives accompanying every meal. Try the couscous, which can be sweet or spicy; brik, a thin pastry with a variety of fillings, including an egg; Tunisian-style spaghetti; chakchouka, a ratatouille; and a marvelous variety of fish. …

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