Day Trip Into Ancient History
Home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Tunisia is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in ancient history – or anyone who simply loves beautiful Mediterranean scenery. All of these UNESCO sites are within a comfortable drive of Four Seasons Hotel Tunis.
The region’s most famous location is, no doubt, the ruins of ancient Carthage, and our Four Seasons Concierge has assembled an easy day trip to introduce you to Carthage, along with the charming communities of Sidi Bou Said and La Marsa. Feel free to discuss your plans with the Concierge for specific restaurant and shopping recommendations.
Morning in Carthage
After breakfast at Four Seasons, drive directly to Carthage – the farthest point on the journey – about 15 minutes away along a scenic seaside road. Today Carthage is a wealthy northern suburb of Tunis, but its origins date back to the time of the Phoenicians, who settled a colony here in 814 BC.
Its location on a peninsula made it a natural hub for maritime trade, and Carthage grew to become one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world. One of its most famous citizens, the great warrior Hannibal, engaged in a titanic battle with Rome. Eventually Carthage was destroyed by Rome, only to rise again as a Roman colony. In the 7th century AD, the Battle of Carthage destroyed the city completely.
Now immersed in a lush park-like setting, the archeological site features the remains of ancient Roman baths, villas and a theatre, along with spectacular Mediterranean views.
Spend a few hours touring the grounds, then visit the Carthage Museum to view artefacts unearthed during various developments in the city. You’ll see the remains of a Punic era street, as well as sculptures, mosaics and other exhibits.
Lunch in Sidi Bou Said
After your morning in Carthage, drive back along the seafront road to Sidi Bou Said, a picturesque clifftop village featuring whitewashed buildings with sky-blue wooden doors – resembling the Greek island of Santorini. Its beauty has inspired many artists, including Paul Klee and Henri Matisse. The community features quaint seafood restaurants, cafés and galleries selling Tunisia’s famous ceramics. The Four Seasons Concierge can recommend a spot for lunch, and be sure to spend some time exploring the meandering alleyways.
Afternoon Coffee in La Marsa
Driving back along the Mediterranean coast, stop at La Marsa. Considered the summer capital of pre-colonial Tunisia, the area has been a popular vacation spot for wealthy Tunisians since the 19th century. This bustling beach town features lavish palaces and homes in a seaside landscape of rocky cliffs, pine forests and orange groves. The most impressive residence is the Abdalliya Palace, built in the early 16th century. Take a stroll among the colourful shops and be sure to visit the Saf-Saf Café – named “the world’s most beautiful café” by Le Monde – to enjoy a snack, Turkish coffee or a refreshing mint tea.
Return to Four Seasons
Complete your day trip with a short 15-minute drive back to Four Seasons Hotel Tunis. Plan a rejuvenating massage in our Roman-inspired spa, then end the day with a magical sea-view dinner, enjoying a variety of Mediterranean specialties.