08:00 - 18:30
December 14-15 2018
The TSFS Finance Conference, will be held in Sousse Tunisia from December 14-15 2018.
Sousse is one of the older cities in Tunisia, possessing an authentic medina, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a popular tourist destination, particularly with Russians, Serbs, Croats, British, Germans and East European people. Located on the coast, it has good beaches and a clear turquoise sea.
Its climate is classified as hot semi-arid (BSh) but is close to hot-summer Mediterranean (Csa). Rainfall is mainly in colder months.
The most convenient airport is Monastir which is to the south on the coast, 20 minutes away and frequently used by holiday charter flights; another option is the Enfidha Airport which is located in the outskirts of the city; however it is still easily accessible with numerous train and shared taxi options.
Sousse is on the main line from Tunis in the north down to Sfax and Monastir to the south. Because it is located in the centre of the railway network it is well placed to reach most of the rest of the network, even as far south as Gabes on the coast and Tozeur on the edge of the Sahara . Example fares from Tunis to Sousse are 12/10/6 dinars in Grand/1st/2nd class. Tunisisan railways are mainly for goods traffic with passenger traffic taking something of a back seat so don't expect to find yourself rattling along at 100 mph; 50 to 60 mph is more likely and the standard of the rolling stock (carriages) can be poor. That said rail services are generally reliable and above all are very cheap, even for the top class (Grand Classe Confort). They can be an excellent way to get about the country, just don't expect Pullman style travel. The national railway company, the S.N.C.F.T. has a workable website that includes timetables and fares although you will need some rudimentary french to navigate it as the english language option was "under construction" at the time of writing. Wikipedia has an article on Tunisian railways which includes a map showing network coverage.
Highway A1 connects Sousse with Tunis. A toll applies for using the highway. Additionally, Sousse is crossed by National Road 1 (RN1), connecting the city with the south of the country, and Libya. Roads are in very good condition. Additionally, a car ferry connects Sousse with Trapani in Italy once a week i the summer months.
Buses (car) connect the city with most other parts of Tunisia. Additionally, there is a louage (shared-taxi) service covering the entire country. The far bus station (Gare Routiere) is located in some distance to the west of the Medina at the Souk El Ahad ("Camel Market") - the City bus station is located next to the Medina in the town center). Prices are slightly lower than those of second class train tickets, but many buses do not have air conditioning.
Car ferries and express boats connect Sousse with Trapani (only in the summer months, once a week for cars and passengers) and Mazara del Vallo via Pantelleria 3 times a week, only for passengers. It takes up to 7-8 hours to Trapani and 5 hours to Mazara del Vallo. Private boats and yachts can use the marina at Port El Kantaoui (a resort about 12 km north of Sousse).
All of Sousse's main sights are located within the labyrinthine medina in the heart of the city.
*Grand Mosque of Sousse. A surprisingly tranquil place despite its location in the middle of the city. Built c. 850 AD, this mosque is simple and austere in the Aghlabite style, no decoration whatsoever aside from a string of angular Arabic and curved arches. Even the prayer room is covered in reed mats instead of the usual carpet. You must be properly dressed to enter, but green wraps can be rented for a token fee to cover up. edit
*Sousse Ribat. Whilst not as impressive or extensive as the Ribat in Monastir this fortified holy site is a worthwhile visit and served as home to a branch of Islamic warriors very similar in nature and creed as the Hospitaller Knights that lived in Rhodes. Climbing to the top of the watch tower affords you fantastic views over the Medina. TND 5 to enter; 1 more to take photos. edit
*Mosaic Museum. In the gently crumbling old Kasbah on the edge of the Medina.
The Traditional Tunisian House. Charming little museum located just within the old city walls some 200 yards north of the main bus terminal is the home of a long standing Tunisian family that has now become a museum with the passing of the last family member. The property centers on an open courtyard from which access to all the rooms can be gained, including bedrooms for the first and second wife and, in turn, to the children's rooms. All are delightfully fully furnished, with some curtains dating back 200 years, and with German clocks imported from the 1800's.The house is complete with a tower, originally used to watch the stars for the onset of Ramadan, from which views over Sousse can be gained.
*Roman Amphitheatre in El Jem (or El Djem), approx 70km due south of Sousse which is better preserved than that at Rome. It was the location for some of the filming in Gladiator.
*Port El Kantaoui purpose built tourist resort featuring a marina. Said to be both fake and 'touristy', nonetheless caters well for tourist's needs with a good range of restaurants and bars. It has a zoo, but the one at Figuiera is better, and a water park.
*Friguia Zoo near the town of Enfidha Well cared for animals. Although not in an authentic setting, see lions and elephants in Africa!
*Sahara Explorer Two day, one night "safaris" to the south of the country can usually be arranged via Tour Companies, local Travel Agents or hotel receptions. Three day, two night "safaris" are usually arranged via local Travel Agents or hotel receptions. Essentially they are tourist adventures to the edge of the desert which may include, variously, visits to El Djem and its Roman amphitheatre, Berber Arab cave dwellings, the Chott el Jerid - a massive salt lake - and a sunset camel ride in the Sahara amongst other attractions. The three day, two night "safaris" are generally the less frantic of the two and allow more time to look around at leisure.