El-Ghriba is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in North Africa. Although somewhat plain on the outside it is breath-taking on the inside. Decorated with blue tiles that shimmer like water and dark wooden furniture, it is a sanctuary from the African sun. El-Ghriba is a major pilgrimage site in May.
If you are feeling energetic hire a bicycle and explore the Palmeraie. This huge green space is full of date palms, fig and pomegranate trees and canopy gardens. It is so lush and green it makes the perfect escape from the beach.
For a refreshing cintronnade, fruit smoothies, mint tea and espresso head to Café Culturel El Ali. Hidden away this café is very atmospheric with its wooden beams, sofas and rooftop terrace. Browse the library or look out onto the Zaytouna Mosque. If you are feeling hungry, head to the restaurant on the middle level where they specialise in traditional meals such as Vielle marmites – meat slow-cooked in a terracotta pot.
The Houmt Souq offers you everything you could ever need, from ceramics to carpets and jewellery to tiny bird cages. Every conceivable space is crammed with items being hawked by their owners, so be prepared to haggle. Stroll around this maze of cobbled alleyways and be surprised as you come across an open square with people enjoying a coffee in the shade of a darling little café. Bargain hard and you will get a good price for your souvenirs.
You can get a decent round of golf in Tunisia, thanks to its huge golf course to the west of the centre. Laid out between citrus and olive trees you will find the lush, Citrus Golf Club. There are two quite demanding 18-hole courses and a nine-hole short course. The club demands that you have proof of your handicap and that it can be no higher than 36.