Climate of Tunisia
Where is the country of Tunisia located? Tunisia is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains. As a result, the country also has three climatic zones. The north of Tunisia has a warm maritime climate or a Mediterranean climate. Mild but wet winters alternate with dry warm summers, in which the sun shines exuberantly. In the south of Tunisia you are in the upper regions of the Sahara, with the accompanying warm desert climate. The zone between the Sahara and the cooler and wetter coastal areas in the north has a steppe climate. Here you will find, among other things, the many dried-up salt lakes, of which Chott El-Jerid – with no less than 250 by 60 kilometers – is the largest (visible on satellite photos).
The foothills of the Little Atlas Mountains ensure that depressions from the Mediterranean Sea can hardly move further inland unless the depressions come from the east. This has contributed to the fact that the salt lakes have been able to dry out to such an extent over the years that impressive salt pans remain. You’ll also see the vegetation change quickly as you head further south in Tunisia.
Summer in Tunisia
The summer months are without exception warm in Tunisia. Along the north coast, the temperatures can be moderated by the Mediterranean Sea and maximum temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees are quite normal in summer. Rain hardly ever occurs in this warmest period, even in the relatively wetter northwest of the country it is dry almost every day. In the coastal towns along the Golfe de Gabès and the Golfe d’Hammamet, the mercury can easily reach 40 degrees or slightly above in the hottest months (July, August). The highest temperatures are measured in the area south of the city of Gafsa. Between Gafsa and the extreme southern tip of Tunisia, daytime temperatures ranging from forty to above fifty degrees Celsius are common in the period from late June to early September.
Also in the popular seaside resorts such as Monastir, Djerba, Sousse and Hammamet you have to be prepared in the summer for a holiday in which temperatures can rise considerably. The pool water and the sea are then the best places to stay.
In winter it is a lot cooler in Tunisia. It is mild and quite warm along the coasts, with midday temperatures averaging between fifteen and twenty degrees. Especially in the north it is less sunny and especially a lot more rainy than in summer. In the city of Tunis, more than four hundred millimeters of rain falls annually, a very large part of it in the period from October to March. The extreme northwest, where the country borders Algeria, falls even double. This part of Tunisia is therefore one of the wettest areas in the northern part of Africa.
In the higher areas of the Little Atlas Mountains it can freeze in winter and even a flake of snow is very possible. However, anyone planning to book Tunisia as a winter sports holiday should quickly forget that. The amounts of snow are rarely sufficient to seriously develop the area as a ski resort. The areas along the coast, on the other hand, are excellent for a good winter escape. This period is also the ideal time to take advantage of one of the many last minute holidays to Tunisia.
The power of the sun is quite strong in Tunisia. For most Dutch people, going into the sun unprotected in the summer months will quickly lead to burning of the skin if you do not use sunscreens with a high protection factor. Also in the spring and autumn the sun is already quite bright and there is a reasonable risk of sunburn.
The sun is burning in Tunisia. Anyone who wants to book a holiday in the sun to one of the coastal towns is almost guaranteed sunny weather in the summer. Along the eastern coastal towns, the sun shines on average for about 3100 to 3200 hours on an annual basis. The north of the country scores just under three thousand hours of sunshine and the extreme south is the best, with almost thirty-five hundred hours of sunshine on an annual basis.
Tunisia has virtually no flooding (possible in the north), no extreme cold and no hurricanes. A phenomenon that people in Tunisia can suffer from is the chili, a local name for the sirocco. This wind, which comes from the south, creates unpleasant conditions, which almost brings daily life to a standstill. This phenomenon mainly occurs in the spring and to a lesser extent in the autumn. The chili can last for more than one day. During this wind, a lot of desert sand and dust is carried along, which can cause the sky to turn a considerable reddish-brown.
When the chili reaches the Mediterranean, it usually results in a very rapid increase in temperature and a significant drop in relative humidity. Temperatures can easily rise to well over forty degrees. The relative humidity, which is normally between seventy and eighty percent along the coast of Tunisia, can drop to only ten to twenty percent during the chili.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Tunisia
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Tunisia? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Tunisia is located in northern Africa, on the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to this location and the variations in the landscape, the country has different climate types that range from a warm Mediterranean climate via steppe climates to a warm desert climate that applies in the lower two-thirds of the country. In the northwest lies part of the Atlas Mountains. The temperatures there are somewhat lower at higher altitudes than in the lower parts of Tunisia.
The combination of Arabian atmospheres, pleasant sandy beaches and a warm climate have made Tunisia a popular holiday destination among sun seekers for many years. Anyone who flies to the Tunisian coast for a beach holiday is almost guaranteed warm and sunny weather in the summer season.
The best time to travel for a holiday in Tunisia is from April to October. It depends a bit on what you want to do during your vacation. If you don’t just want to stay on the beach or at the pool, but also or especially want to enjoy the culture, then spring and autumn are the best periods to travel to Tunisia. Especially if you want to travel around, it can be too hot in the middle of summer. Think of afternoon temperatures rising to 35 degrees or higher inland. In the desert, maximum temperatures of 35 to 45 degrees are normal in the months of July and August. It is therefore better to choose April, May or October for a tour through Tunisia.
Beach holiday in Tunisia
If you go for sun, sea and beach, we would choose the period from June to September. At that time it is full summer in Tunisia with the accompanying high temperatures. On the coast, the heat is not too bad thanks to the somewhat dampening effect of the Mediterranean Sea. On the coast it is then on average about 30 to 35 degrees during the day. This applies to the north coast as well as to the east coast and the island of Djerba. Because you can cool off in the sea or in the pool, it is perfect for a relaxing holiday. However, it can happen that a heat wave takes place, with maximums that can reach forty degrees. Be prepared for that when you book a sun holiday to Tunisia.