Travel shop and resources..

Mahdia & Kerkennah

It it's 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

like an uncluttered "back to basics" kind of holiday with activities like beachcombing, scouring the rock pools for crabs and catching fish for supper.

Getting There

Mahdia: 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)

Kerkennah: 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).

Where to Stay & Eat

Madhia: 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.

Kerkennah: 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.

Don't Miss

  • The lively Friday souk at Mahdia which stretches along the coast for nearly a mile. Look out for traditional wedding costumes.
  • Mahdia's Borj el Kebir- a 16th century Turkish fort which overlooks the headland.
  • The silk weavers in Mahdia's atmospheric medina.
  • Kerkennah's birdwatching in the shallow waters.
  • The beach at Sidi Fankhal on Kerkennah, one of Tunisia's finest.


In Mahdia 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.

  • Sfax 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.
  • Monastir has several notable sights of interest.
  • The spectacular Roman amphitheatre at El Jem is even better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome.

Cultural Events & Festivities

Mermaid Festival
( Kerkennah)
July A series of special events, dances, music and consumes associated with the traditional wedding season.


  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Horseriding
  • Tennis
  • Fishing


The nearest courses are at Monastir.