Travel

Hammamet, Tunisia | How Did I End Up There and Was It Good?

When I told people that I am going to Hammamet, Tunisia, most of them seemed a bit confused. I found that they had lots of questions along the lines of… ‘Why Tunisia?’, ‘Didn’t they have a terrorist attack there last year?’, ‘How do you always end up going to Arab countries?’ or ‘Is it safe there? Aren’t you scared?’. All I wanted was a nice, relaxing beach holiday, yet that rose a lot of questions from the people around me. So I decided, hey, why not answer these questions in a blog post, where I am also going to tell you more about this beautiful place? πŸ™‚


First of all, Tunisia was a rather random choice. I’d come back from Dubai and I was trying to plan a beach holiday around mid-June. Since I was in Egypt before going to the UAE, I thought this time I’d change things up and go somewhere in Europe. Ya know, after all, I want to wear my crop tops and shorts without feeling awkward on the street (and believe me when I say some people have underwear longer than my denim shorts).

However, my problem was that I wanted something rather affordable. So when I saw how expensive Portugal is, or when looking at accommodation in Cyprus and Italy didn’t wow me, I started looking at random countries. Long story short, a couple hours later I decided to look at Tunisian beach resorts. And that’s when I hit the jackpot. 7 nights in a 5* resort, on the beach, with a sea view room (which also costs extra) and all inclusive for just under Β£300?! Yes, please!

So yeah, I ended up going to Hammamet, Tunisia, because it was cheap. I read a few reviews quickly, saw that the plane ticket is affordable (around Β£200 with return and luggage, because y’all know I don’t pack my travel makeup lightly), booked my transfer from the airport to the hotel and then I just started counting the weeks remaining until my holiday at the Golden Tulip Taj Sultan resort. Let me tell you, I made a good choice!


A bloody good choice, if I can say so myself. I mean, look at the view from my room. Yaaaas, honey! You have no idea how wonderful waking up to such a gorgeous view made me feel. Oh, by the way. My room was a ‘superior single room with sea view’. I don’t know about you, but I never thought that a king bed counts as a single bed, haha! I’m not complaining though, I loved it!Β In case you’re wondering, I always book my accommodation with booking.com. Also, I am not sure if it was thanks to booking, or just because I booked my holiday in a rather quiet period, they offered me 30% off at the spa (around Β£20 for a massage? Don’t mind if I do!) and a late check out.


I spent my first few days on the beach. After all, that was the purpose of this holiday: to chill out by the sea, sipping cocktails and swimming as much as possible. And I enjoyed every last second of it! πŸ™‚



I have to admit though, the water tends to get rather dirty in the afternoon, as the wind brings some seaweed to the shore, but it’s not the biggest deal breaker. I love swimming, so I managed to get over this little inconvenience. But I mean, you can always go and chill by the pool (which had hot water, by the way, yaaas!). I don’t understand why would someone choose the pool over the beach, but there’s always that option. After all the resort is big, and might as well explore it, right?




A few days in I found out that the prices were so low because it’s Ramadan. I thought it was something to do with whatever resort attack they had under 2 years ago, but apparently, it’s just because not so many people travel much around this time. Good for me, I thought. And no, for those of you who are concerned, I did not feel unsafe at all. There’s security everywhere and it’s just another normal country with normal people. If you were to take a look at some websites (such as gov.uk), you’d see that they advise against travel to Tunisia and say it’s not safe. Well, I’d like to see them trying to say it’s not safe to go to France or to London… I mean c’mon they are targeted way more these days.

I felt safe all throughout my stay and there was nothing that made me worry. Anyway, back on topic… The beach was rather quiet, which I actually enjoyed. Being surrounded by people 24/7 it was actually very relaxing to have a bit of time to chill out. There were not too many tourists on the beach and it was rare that you’d see a boat sailing or someone doing water sports, such as bananas or parasailing.


Speaking of parasailing, I actually did it! It was only around Β£15 and it’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s just so chill and relaxing + you get to enjoy a nice view! Keep in mind though, if you are alone they might insist that one of their guys tags along to ‘monitor’ you. I explained that it wasn’t my first time and I’m alright, but apparently it’s better if there are 2 people up in the parachute (??).





You know what’s another thing I loved about Tunisia? Their wine is so delicious! I mean yes, the local food I tried was great, but the wine? Oh, baby! On my first night, I asked if I can get some wine. When I saw the waiter come back with a small bottle of white wine, I was like ‘aww man, this is gonna be dry as hell’. To my surprise, it was the complete opposite! Tunisian wine is so sweet and yummy! Might I add, strong? πŸ˜‰ I tried their white, red and rose wine and they did not disappoint. But you know what was even sweeter than their wine? The sunsets! Check them out πŸ™‚




I wasn’t really sure about what tourist attractions they have. One of the guys on the beach was advertising for a quad bike safari, but I’d already gone quad biking in Hurghada, and experienced a lovely desert safari in Dubai, so I passed. Sure, there was a water park nearby, and whatever bits and bobs to keep people busy, but I preferred staying on the beach. However, a lot of people told me to go in town to Medina, and also to the old town of Hammamet. So that’s what I did on my 4th day there.


Medina was kind of similar to a bazaar. You know, people with shops who will try to convince you to buy something from them. Yeah, it was rather tiring than enjoyable, but at least I managed to get souvenirs for my friends and family. As for actual shopping, I wasn’t feeling it, though you can certainly find some fake designer clothes and bags.



You know what I love about Arab countries though? You can stop literally anywhere and smoke a good Shisha! After losing a good 2 hours trying to explain to people that I am not interested in buying their stuff, I stopped at Cafe El Bey on the way out and had a lovely mint shisha. Yumm!




The old town of Hammamet is something I am glad I got to see though. First, I took a quick note of where all the sellers are and tried to avoid them as much as possible. Then, I enjoyed the views.




They have this old fort there, Kasbah, that was rather cool to see. Okay, the inside was rather small and not so impressive, but the view from the top was quite nice.





What I liked about the old town/old Medina were the streets. You know when you look at pictures of Greek islands and you see the pretty white houses and narrow streets? Guess what, Tunisia has that too, and unlike Greece, it’s not extremely overpriced yet, haha.



When I was done wandering around, I went to chill a little bit by the beach. I like the look of rocky shore and then crystal clear sea waters… it’s so gorgeous! And I also noticed that despite the fact it was late afternoon, the water was not dirty yet.





The last thing I did in old Hammamet, before returning to my hotel, was have a delicious banana split at Cafe Sidi Bou Hadid. Now, that is what I call a dessert. Check it out!


Speaking of desserts, I kept asking people the same question over and over since I got back from Tunisia.
Why. Do. People. Buy. Sh*t. From. Tesco. When. There. Are. Arab. Desserts. On. The. Market?!?!?!
No seriously, tell me why do people eat crap like Egg Tarts (#barf), Sticky Toffee Puddings (#SugarOverload), Cadbury sponges (#discusting) or cheesecakes (#YouWillGainWeightFasterThanICanBlink) when there are way more delicious (and healthy, probably) desserts in the world? Do yourself a favor and next time you have a sweet tooth run to your local Arab shop instead of Tesco. You can thank me later.

I mean, this is coming from me. And I said it before, I don’t care about sweets. Besides, mind you I work in a place that produces all the s*** mentioned above. I could easily tell you how amazing processed sugars are (not) and how satisfying (and fattening) eating a cheesecake can be. Instead, (let me pray that none of my bosses reads this) I am telling you to give Arab desserts a try and forget about what you thought was ‘delicious’. I mean check out these pictures… Don’t they make your mouth water?! I swear I was eating more desserts than food on some nights!





Of course, I spent my last couple of days relaxing on the beach. You know, swimming, reading books and sipping cocktails. Oh, how can I forget! If you ever go to Tunisia, order cocktails. They’ll just pour and pour alcohol into your glass, unlike the oh so slow British bartenders who will measure it to the last drop. Another big thumbs up for that!


Now that I talked about all the positive things, let me tell you 2 things I did not like about my resort.

First of all, they charged me for the mini bar. I mean, I had all inclusive. If I wanted a bottle, or 10 bottles, of water, I could go to any of the restaurants/bars in the resorts and get it. However, if I wanted to be lazy and drink straight from the mini bar, I had to pay for it. WHAT?! I found that odd, especially with all inclusive and stuff. That was a first for me.

Secondly, yeah I had tea/coffee making facilities in my room. The kettle burned like a b***h, I had to use a towel to lift it up when it was hot. Okay, no big deal. But they didn’t refill my coffee/tea sachets when I ran out. Mmmkay, I could deal with having tea instead of coffee when I wake up. It’s not the ideal scenario for me, but I’m not gonna die you know what I mean. But on my last day, I ran out of both coffee and tea… So I had to hurry up and head to breakfast in order to wake up properly. I mean yes, I didn’t ask for more tea/coffee. I was just curious to see if they’d do something about it, you know. **Slap-slap Golden Tulip, wake up and start acting like a 5* resort, they refill the coffee/tea sachets even in a 2* hotel**.

And I think that about sums everything up about my trip to Hammamet, Tunisia. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to relax, enjoy a nice beach and have a lil bit of fun. Hell, I mean, it’s 3 times cheaper than Portugal, just as pretty as Greece and a lot closer than your exotic Caribbean beaches.

Have you ever been to Tunsia? Would you consider it for an upcoming holiday? What’s the best beach destination you’ve visited so far? I’d love to know!

 

Until next time…
xoxo,
Denisa

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