Hammamet, Tunisia - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Hammamet

On the coastal motorway sandwiched between the Mediterranean and the Sahara desert, 40 miles (64km) south of Tunis, lies the pride of the 'Tunisian Riviera': the sophisticated holiday resort town of Hammamet with its perfect sweep of beach, ancient and exciting medina, healing mineral baths and renowned top class modern hotels. Once a sleepy fishing village, Hammamet (the name comes from the Arabic al-hammamat, meaning 'the baths') was awakened to its tourist potential back in the 1920s when a flock of wealthy and arty American and European holidaymakers decided to make the beautiful bay their playground.

Today it has become a destination mainly for middle-to-upper range package tours from Europe, the streets abuzz with scantily clad holidaymakers speaking Swedish, German, English and French. Despite its modern architectural and human incursions, Hammamet retains its sense of exotic history, dominated by its 15th-century medina and souk (bazaar), where donkeys and bargain-hunters navigate the labyrinth of Aladdin's caves packed with treasures like carpets, brass ornaments, jewellery, traditional kaftans, pottery and leather goods.

The narrow winding alleys also conceal bright, whitewashed windowless houses behind splendid ornate doors. The town's baths, famed since Roman times, are also situated in the crowded medina, alongside ancient mosques and over-shadowed by the medieval castle or kasbah. The big attraction of this seaside town, though, is its six-mile (10km) stretch of palm-fringed shore, boasting beautiful sandy clean beaches, decorated with colourful fishing boats.South of the old town, along the beach, a plethora of attractive Moorish style low-rise resort hotels, set in stunning lush gardens, has mushroomed, offering visitors luxury accommodations, watersports, entertainment, gourmet restaurants and all the trappings of a perfect holiday.


Language
The overwhelming majority of people in Tunisia speak Arabic and French. English is taught in all schools and is increasingly spoken especially by younger people. Some German and Italian is also spoken.
Money

The unit of currency is the Tunisian dinar (TND), divided into 1,000 millimes. Travellers cheques are widely accepted. Banks and some hotels provide foreign exchange. ATMs are found in most towns and at all the tourist resorts; almost all will accept Visa cards and many will also accept Maestro (Switch) cards. Visa, Diners Club, American Express and MasterCard are accepted for payment in souvenir shops, upmarket hotels and restaurants, although Visa encounters the least problems. All Tunisian currency must be exchanged before departure.

Time
Local time in Tunisia is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

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