Weather in Tunisia
A jagged spit of land extending from the Mediterranean Sea into North Africa, sandwiched between Algeria and Libya, Tunisia is a popular package tour destination offering hot, sunny beach holidays and excursions into the Sahara desert. Most of the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which means the weather is hot and dry in summer (July and August), and mild and damp in winter (November, December and January).
Tunisia’s temperatures range from a high of 32°C (90°F) in mid-summer (July and August) to as low as 7°C (45°F) in January, which means that its Mediterranean beach resorts are most popular during the summer season, when the sea is luke warm, the sun shines for up to 12 hours a day, and the sands are scorching hot, with low humidity and virtually no rainfall.
The mountainous north of the country gives way to a semi-arid plain, which merges into the Sahara desert in the south – a no-go area for visitors in the summer months when the searing heat reaches dangerous levels and the nights freeze.
The mountains serve to protect the coastal area from the Saharan heat, so the Tunisian Mediterranean resorts offer a pleasant temperate climate, cooled by ocean breezes, ideal for a beach holiday for a large slice of the year.
There can be heavy rain showers in the winter months. December and January are the wettest months with around 70mm of rainfall for each of them, with accompanying higher humidity.
When is the best time to visit Tunisia?
If you enjoy a hot and hectic holiday, the height of the summer season (July and August) is the time to enjoy the coast of Tunisia, but if this is too hot to handle opt for the shoulder seasons – spring or autumn. Springtime (March, April and May) is very warm and sunny, the countryside carpeted with wild flowers, while autumn (September, October and November) is just as pleasant, both without the crowds and inflated prices of high summer. Late autumn is the best time for a desert experience.
What to pack
What goes into your bag for a holiday in Tunisia is highly dependent on the season during which you travel, and your plans while you are there. In high summer a bikini is probably all you will need in the Mediterranean resorts (although in this Muslim country if you go out and about in the local towns it is respectful to cover up appropriately). Loose, thin clothing is advisable during July and August. During spring and autumn you may need to add a pair of jeans and jumper for cool nights, whereas in the winter months (November, December and January) warmer clothing and a raincoat are necessary.