A family holiday in Tunisia
I think I better start off with what this article is - and what it isn't. I don't want you
to come into this thinking you're going to get the low down on all things Tunisia; because, to be
perfectly honest, you won't. What you will get is an idea of what to expect should you decide to head off to Tunisia
for a family holiday - particularly if your holiday is taking in a little bit of winter sun. And, specifically, should
you be thinking about staying in the Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet.
The beach near Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet in Tunisia - not too busy
Why book a holiday to Tunisia? We were off for a spring holiday - to try and shake off some of the cold weather based blues, and needed
somewhere with a little warmth. Many of the popular short-haul destinations don't heat up in the spring, so, for that reason,
we plumped for Tunisia on the North African coast.
We also went all-inclusive for our holiday. We've got a couple of nippers in tow, and, as many children are, the children
are a little bit fussy. We've previously been on an all-inclusive holiday to the
Hotel Orquidea on Gran Canaria
the buffet style meals worked a treat for us. So for this particular holiday we picked the
Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet
from Thomson Holidays - it's a five star resort, with all the food and drink thrown in.
Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet - also not too busy
As I've mentioned in the two previous photos, neither the hotel or the beach adjoining the hotel were very busy. This is a good thing -
it's not like the place was a ghost town, it's just that there was plenty of space to swing a cat. We were staying during the Easter holidays,
so figured the place would be swarming with families (like us). In fact there were only a couple of other families; and a mixture
of couples and singles there too. It was all very nice and relaxed.
What about the sun
Tunisia has, what I would call, a nice temperature at this time of the year - with temperatures running at about 19°C. Don't let
the daily temperatures, and the permanent sun fool you into thinking that the water will be like a warm bath though - it isn't. It's
blinkin' freezing. I'm a man used to swimming in the North Sea, so figured I was hard core when it comes to swimming in the sea. Well,
let me tell you, it's no fun swimming in the Mediterranean off Tunisia at this time of year. I took the plunge once to say I had done it,
but never ventured in again... the pool, although lovely, was also very cold. It'd didn't put me off - however the cold did keep the
crowds at bay. Our daughter felt differently about the pool temperature, and once tried, never went in again. Fortunately there is also a small indoor
pool for those not hardy enough to enjoy swimming when they lose all feeling in their extremities.
The swimming pool - lovely, but blinkin' freezing
We'd read about the beaches being a bit of a state, especially during the off-season. And, it has to be said, the beaches aren't miles of lovely clean sand.
Each hotel seems to be responsible for their own piece of beach, and during the Easter holidays most of the resorts hadn't opened for business - so there
was a lot of rubbish laying around. There seems to be a particular penchant for tractor tyres around these parts... still, we'd expected the beaches not to
be 5-star, so weren't disappointed. Tunisia is, after all, a relatively poor country - so although everything inside the resort is brilliant, you can't
really venture out of the resort. It does look like things liven up as the summer gets into full swing, but just hadn't quite woken up at Easter.
The other thing we'd read a lot about were hawkers on the beach, trying to sell all kinds tat - that part is also true. It does get a little wearing
saying "no" all the time. "No thanks, I don't want any jewellery". "No thanks, I don't want a camel ride" - even if the camel is called Sam Fox... still, they
were never aggressive, it's just you have to say "no" at least 10 times before they really believe you...
Want some Tunisian jewellery - this is the man to help you out.
The Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet is, as far as we're concerned, faultless. We wouldn't have any qualms recommending this as a holiday destination - the food is great,
the resort is great, the pool is great.. you get the idea. There isn't much to do in the immediate area though, so we probably wouldn't come back
to this particular resort; after all, there is a big old world out there to explore - so we'd want to try something else next time round.
A 360° view of the swimming pool
This is the main swimming pool at the Riu Marhaba Palace Hammamet, first thing in the morning - sounds peaceful, doesn't it?
tags: family holiday in tunisia
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