Tunisia ticks all the boxes

2013 09 The Residence Golf Course 1024X5421


When it comes to golf holiday destinations, Tunisia is now being considered as one of the world’s rising stars.

Situated on the Mediterranean coastline of North Africa, close to the Italian island of Sicily and favourite UK holiday destination Malta, it has the perfect climate for year-round golf; even in winter, high average temperatures mean that the mercury rarely dips below 20°C.

But, aside from the year-round warmth and sunny skies, there is lots to tempt the golfer in you to take a trip to Tunisia in the coming months. Its wealth of incredible golf courses, you’re about to find out, are very enticing indeed. Here, we look at ten top Tunisian tracks.

First off is the must-play Ronald Fream-designed Tabarka course. The Championship Course at Tabarka is intricately woven through a eucalyptus forest, while also being flanked by the coral coast of the Mediterranean.

The array of hazards that can be found on the course means that accurate ball striking is an absolute must for all who tee up here. Indeed, accuracy more than length is the order of the day; with plenty of teeing options to choose from, the course only plays as long as you would like it to.
Carthage is not just the oldest course in Tunisia, it is also one of the oldest in Africa.

Set in a beautiful nature reserve, it is incredible to think that The Residence Golf Course, pictured above, is handily located just minutes from Tunis airport. However, it’s not just the location that makes this an essential stop-off during your African adventure. The Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed course is a charming challenge that every player will enjoy.

There are few places on earth more historic than the city of Carthage. Dating back almost 3,000 years, it was the centre of the Carthaginian Empire, a rival state to Rome during its own heyday.

Fitting, then, that Carthage is not just the oldest course in Tunisia, it is also one of the oldest in Africa. However, that doesn’t mean it’s dated. It’s no pushover even for the modern day player. Designed by French architect Yves Bureau in 1927, it remains an intriguing and rewarding test of a player’s ability to this day.

The aforementioned Fream has also conceived two 18-hole courses at Citrus in Hammamet, a very popular tourist destination during the summer, situated on the northern edge of the Gulf of Hammamet. Plotted around seven idyllic lakes, through olive groves and over undulating terrain, the courses at Citrus are unmissable.

Los Oliviers is the longer of the two layouts, at 6,106 metres, - which equates to around 6,677 yards - though La Foret is not considerably shorter at 6,066m in length (6,633 yards).

The resort is also home to fantastic practice facilities, with several putting greens, practice bunkers and a nine-hole academy course available for use by those looking to fine-tune their games ahead of an ultimately enjoyable round, or perhaps even two.

You don’t have to travel far from Citrus before you come across another fine Tunisian course, which is something that should be music to the ears of all golf tourists who would like to cram as many rounds as possible into their hard-earned holiday.

Yasmine Valley is also in Hammamet and, again, it is another Fream design, proving his liking for the terrain that he has so often been employed to turn his hand to over the years.

Opened in 1990, the par-71 layout he created has matured into a true championship course. Like Fream’s courses at Citrus, it features some of his favourite design hallmarks, which include dramatic bunker shapes and the imaginative utilisation of water hazards.

The Californian course architect also plotted a tremendously enjoyable course over the wonderful seaside terrain of Port El Kantaoui - the specially created tourist complex featuring dazzlingly white buildings in traditional Tunisian style and a man-made harbour.

The hillside El Kantaoui course, which was created along with the rest of the resort in 1979, occupies a huge 250-acre site that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding coastline.

Palm Links in Monastir also offers superb sea views from a Scottish links-style course, as does its neighbour, Flamingo.

Tozeur is as rugged and exciting as its imposing setting, and is sure to be one of the most beautiful you’ll ever play. Set at the edge of the Sahara Desert, it is surrounded by palm trees and overlooks Tozeur’s palm grove.

Djerba golf course on Djerba Island, meanwhile, is one of the most idyllic golfing venues in the Med. Designed by England’s Martin Hawtree - who was most recently called upon to lay out Donald Trump’s masterpiece on the Menie Estate just outside of Aberdeen - it serves up a combination of bunkers, sand dunes, stretches of water, a profusion of palm trees and the sea side.

It has to be said, though, that while it is fast becoming a world-renowned golfing hotspot - of that there is no question - there’s much more to Tunisia than just great golf.

Considered the site of some of the world’s oldest civilisations, Tunisia

is home to beautifully-preserved historic cities such as Tunis, Carthage and Gabes, wherein you can explore the country’s rich and tumultuous past through ancient ruins and memorials.

If you’d prefer some retail therapy, there are also many bustiling street markets and medinas where you can pick up a memento from your trip.

A visit to Tunisia also demands that you sample the local cuisine. Couscous is the signature dish, and it can be found in a variety of restaurants from luxury eateries to pavement stalls.

There’s also a great deal more to nightlife in Tunisia than the hotel disco. Journey into almost all of the country’s main cities and you’ll encounter lively bars and clubs, which are often open all night.

The combination of great golf, rich culture and first-class service means Tunisia’s star is set to continue to rise. We suggest you beat the crowds and visit for your next golf holiday.

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