GETTING THERE

Tunisair (tunisair.com) flies to Tunis from Heathrow, GB Airways (gbairways.com) flies to Tunis from Gatwick and Freedom Flights (freedomflights.com) has a weekly service to Monastir, using Excel Airways (xl.com).

WHERE TO PLAY

The country has 10 courses at eight different venues, with another two under construction. Just minutes from the airport at Tunis, is the oldest, Golf Carthage. State owned and now approaching its 80th anniversary, this pleasant eucalyptus tree-lined test places the emphasis on accuracy rather than distance. Popular with the ex-pat community, the course has echoes of a British parkland layout and a highlight is the post-round drink taken on the clubhouse terrace, set high above the 9th and 18th greens and the lake that guards both.

Hammamet, located conveniently between Tunis and Monastir to the south, has a range of first-class hotels and is the ideal base for the visiting golfer. The impressive Golf Citrus, Tunisia?s first 45-hole complex, and neighbouring Yasmine, another stiff examination, are located on opposite sides of a valley and both are within a few minutes? drive of the tourist centre.

Citrus was opened in 1992 and boasts two championship standard par-72 circuits ? Les Oliviers and La Foret ? a nine-hole Academy course, superb practice facilities and a modern, marble-floored clubhouse. We played La Foret, a true test featuring immaculate fairways and putting surfaces, imaginative bunkering and routed through a dense pine forest.

An hour and a half further south, Monastir serves up a pair of enjoyable seaside courses. Flamingo is a taxing layout that winds between olive trees and across ravines whilst offering spectacular views across the Sebkha, or salt lakes. This Ronald Fream-designed layout requires sound decision-making from the tee to avoid the numerous lakes and streams.

The clubhouse, perched on the highest point of the property, is approached by the best hole on the course, the uphill par-5 18th.

Palm Links is a more modern resort course that boasts some of the best holes in Tunisia. The short par-4 14th, par-3 15th and par-4 16th occupy a stunning, sun-drenched peninsula bordered by the Mediterranean.

WHERE TO STAY

If you are flying into Tunis, the Carthage Palace Thalassa Hotel is located on the seafront area of the Gammarth Heights. Hammamet, with its attractive beach is Tunisia?s best-known resort and has been attracting British holidaymakers since the 1960s. In the last 15 years Hammamet has been joined by Yasmine Hammamet, a £450-million sister resort that features over 40 hotels, numerous restaurants and a 740-berth marina. We stayed at the excellent Hotel Aziza.

Other beach resort destinations with golf nearby include Port El Kantaoui and Tabarka. The former has the 36 holes of El Kantaoui Golf Club within easy striking distance and is situated just five miles north of Sousse, the country?s third largest city and a base for those holidaymakers looking for a more authentic flavour of the colourful Tunisian culture.

The modern resort of Tabarka is on the northern coast, less than hour?s drive from Tunis. A city famous for coral gathering, and popular with sailing and diving enthusiasts, it can also boast Tabarka Golf Club, a course that meanders amid towering forest scenery before emerging for seven spectacular holes along the cliffs.

OFF COURSE

Tunisia is marketing itself as a modern tourist destination yet some of its major attractions are thousands of years old. The Roman ruins at Carthage include a

3rd-century amphitheatre, while the site at Dougga is the country?s largest and most dramatic.

Tunis is a combination of bustling souks, the European-styled New Town and the Medina, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A sizeable percentage of Tunisia?s three million visitors each year are drawn by the thalasso-therapy facilities. Treatments involve the use of hot seawater combined with massages, mud or seaweed wraps designed to ease stress, arthritis and rheumatism.

CONTACTS BOOK

GOLF CARTHAGE

www.golfcarthage.com

GOLF CITRUS

www.golfcitrus.com

YASMINE

www.golfyasmine.com

FLAMINGO

www.golfflamingo.com

PALM LINKS

www.golf-palmlinks.com

TABARKA

www.tabarkagolf.com

EL KANTAOUI

www.elkantaouigolf.com

HOTEL AZIZA

www.hotelaziza.com

TUNISIAN TOURIST OFFICE

www.tourismtunisia.com