tranquility and beautiful beaches that you're after, then
the quiet fishing town of Mahdia or the secluded island of
Kerkennah might be just what the doctor ordered. The peaceful
atmosphere means that both have retained their charm and are
ideal for families who
an uncluttered "back to basics" kind of holiday with
activities like beachcombing, scouring the rock pools for crabs
and catching fish for supper.
Featured by a handful of UK tour operators. The easiest way
to get there if travelling independently is by train (3½
hours from Tunis and less than an hour from Monastir)
Like Mahdia, few mass market tour operators feature this destination.
The ferry for Kerkennah leave from the port of Sfax and takes
around 90 minutes. There are, on average, 8 crossings a day
in the summer and 3 in winter. To get to Sfax, there are 3
or 4 trains a day that leave from Tunis (4 hours) and go via
Sousse (2 hours).
to Stay & Eat
There are several luxurious hotels along the beachfront and
there are also spacious beach bungalows on Route de la Corniche.
There are a couple of wonderful cafes in and around the shady
Place du Caire that serve mint tea and Turkish coffee. Freshly
grilled fish is one of several culinary highlights.
The island is popular with Tunisians in July and August so
try and book in advance. Most visitors stay at the Grand Hotel,
where facilities are simple but the welcome is friendly. As
an island, the culinary specialty is of course seafood. The
restaurants often serve a very tasty octopus soup along with
the catch of the day. Hotel food tends to be international.
lively Friday souk at Mahdia which stretches along the coast
for nearly a mile. Look out for traditional wedding costumes.
Borj el Kebir- a 16th century Turkish fort which overlooks
silk weavers in Mahdia's atmospheric medina.
birdwatching in the shallow waters.
beach at Sidi Fankhal on Kerkennah, one of Tunisia's finest.
the best way to get around is on foot, as most places are
easily accessible. For longer distances the yellow local taxis
are inexpensive. This also applies to Kerkennah, although
cycling is another option on the island that is entirely flat.
Local buses are also available but they do not go directly
to the hotels.
is Tunisia's second largest city on the mainland and has
one of the best walled medinas in the country. Filled with
craft workshops, cafes and markets.
has several notable sights of interest.
spectacular Roman amphitheatre at El Jem is even better
preserved than the Colosseum in Rome.
Events & Festivities
series of special events, dances, music and consumes associated
with the traditional wedding season.
courses are at Monastir.