Tunisia: African travel full of warmth and character

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TUNISIA Before starting a treatment, there is a one-to-one consultation with a doctor, who then designs a series of treatments that are specific to your needs, whether that’s relaxation, weight loss or a particular concern – in my case, a very stiff neck. Though there is rigour, have no fear, the consultation is all about finding the right personalized care that meets your requirements. If there is something you don’t like, it can be adapted.

Most cures consist of two or three one-on-one treatments interspersed with visits to the pools, hammam, sauna or relaxation rooms – with tisanes and TLC in abundance. They usually take around half a day and free you to go out and explore the sights and sounds of Tunisia in the afternoon or morning.

Hammamet – the St Tropez of Tunisia
The ancient fortress of Hammamet keeps a watchful eye over the town of ‘the baths’. The marina welcomes the ‘yacht set’ from across Europe: Germans, Italians, Dutch and French all gather to enjoy the clement seas and the great facilities. The town has kept its character, with its careful planning of its sea front.

In the evening, we dined in ‘Belle Vue’, which lives up to its name. Its terrace looks out to the fortress and overlooks the main drag. A great place to people watch, while enjoying Tunisia’s legendary seafood. We feasted on sea bass baked in a casing of salt washed down with one of the fine local wines – of which there are many.

In the nearby Hasrubal Thalassa Spa and Hotel, there was another half-day of treatments, a wonderful ‘Massage Pluie de Mer’ (rain of the sea) that combines high-pressure jets of sea water and a manual massage. I was less sure about the ‘enveloppement au romarin’, which involved being rubbed with warmed wild rosemary oil and wrapped for 20 – 30 mins in a heated bath –  I was a little worried that I would be served up for lunch! Most spas offer algae or marine mud ‘envelopes’ mixed with essential oils, afterwards the skin feels nourished and hydrated.