TUNISIA

Holy city of Kairouan. Seven pilgrimages here equals one to Mecca. The souks sell the world’s best nutty, Turkish Delight. Tunisia has remarkable Arab interior but Europeanised coastline. Visit to handmade Carpet workshop – hear the girls at it. Hubble Bubble pipes and how to smoke them ! The Kairouan mosque is a must. Tunisian history means Carthage and Hannibal with his elephantine cavalry. Mosaic museum in El Djem is fabulous and the Colisseum is almost as great as Rome’s.

Tunisian food excellent. Lamb, beef, seabass all excellent. Fine flavour of Gargoulette stew baked in a sealed-up clay pot. Women take them to the Hammam baths and it cooks all day in the furnace room. Hear the clay pot broken open at your table. Folk evening in the desert; fire-eating, horse riding tricks very evocative and classy.

Beware midsummer heat in July and August. Some very fine hotels in the main resorts. Excellent sport facilities like golf and tennis in particular.