Djerba, Tunisia – a green island in the Gulf of Gabes

Meet the island of Djerba!

It has always been a holiday destination for foreigners, mostly the French. Since the summer of 2016, the island of Djerba was massively opened and became available to Russians.

Djerba is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located in the Gulf of Gabes. The largest island off the Mediterranean coast of Africa, the area – 514 km². The population is about 150 thousand people.

It is connected to the mainland Djerba only one unique bulk road, which was built by the ancient Romans about 2000 years ago. All tourists are brought here during sightseeing tours. But it is possible to drive along the “Roman Road” only when you go outside of Djerba.

The stones used in the original construction still lie along the roadside.

Since Djerba is now popular in our country and for sure there will be a new wave of holidaymakers next year (regardless of how things go in Egypt and Turkey) I decided to give a detailed description on the main points. These are my objective impressions:)

It is very convenient that direct charters fly to Djerba from various Russian cities, the island has its own, quite modern airport. The length of the island is not more than 29 km, respectively, comfortable logistics. You will not have to, even taking into account the transfer to other hotels, to get to yours for more than an hour (as it happens in a number of other countries).

It was nice to know you did not have to pay any taxes (Visa, duties) at the airport upon arrival or as, for example, in the Dominican Republic before flying home.

Were here 10 nights and it turned out that is exactly the same number of full days. Someone is lucky and they are not taken away at 0:30 am as we were, but in the afternoon or even in the evening, and then they have a similar cost per day is more. So the main tip: Remember, do not leave the last day to buy souvenirs, photography, etc. It’s good that I had time to meet at least one sunrise. The second was broken because of the company Pegasus….

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Okay, I will not talk about sad things, better to tell you about the positive moments:)

Our hotel on the island was called Caribbean World Djerba 4 *. At the end of the holiday I can confidently say that our family of three was satisfied with it.

Despite the fact that being in the Caribbean, I lived on a boat, the Tunisian hotel reminded me something of those places, and at the same time Turkey and Egypt:) Strong animation, comfortable surroundings, decent food. A detailed description will be on a separate board.

I will write only about the main points. Beaches on Djerba, as well as in the whole country are common. The only difference – there is fine white sand, not to be confused with the white sand:)

The second thing that catches the eye on the beach is a large number of horses and camels, riding tourists.

Despite one aesthetic moment, I do not consider this a minus. First, for children it is always interesting, and secondly just beautiful. Personally I was not against it.

You should see the camels there: in hats, colorful bedspreads, with little camels. In short, be sure to take your children for a ride.

In the second place of beach entertainment is a parachute. I still on it will not dare, all postpone for the next time:)

Now, as for the sea. For us, the tourists living in the central strip of Russia a thousand kilometers away from the Azov Sea, the word “sea” itself already sounds magical and soothing.

What to say about the Mediterranean Sea, especially in an ecological area, which is Djerba. On the east coast of the island, the water is clear. The color of water, as you understand, depends on the depth and light.

I will not hide, some days the coast was clean, then there were small waves and plants (not algae). Our hotel cleaned the beach almost every day, so there was no problem with that. Saw hotels where there was a lot of grass. The photo below is a neutral (orphan) area. How about the guy on the right? He’s clearly over 2 meters tall. He should play basketball, not on the sea excursions:)

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At the end of the vacation the sea grass was in the water (the first 2-3 meters from the shore). I have long ago indoctrinated myself, and this is probably the case, that thanks to these plants in the sea appears a large number of natural iodine and various useful trace elements. In this case, it is important not to know the truth, and to believe. Placebo effect has not been canceled:)

Forgetting the sad experience of walking barefoot on the beach in Sri Lanka, my wife and I decided to walk along the sea anyway. First we walked 3 km to the right, the next day more than 5 km in the other direction. So we explored almost the entire tourist hotel area from the sea side. Were even in places where there were no people.

The large number of abandoned hotels was a surprise. I understood that after the terrorist attacks in the north of the country (on the beach and at the Bardo Museum) many foreign companies cancelled flights and the number of tourists has decreased dramatically. So a number of hotels went bankrupt.

Next to ours is the Siren Hotel.

It is a great place for thrill seekers, especially in the evening after sunset. Green water in the pool, rusty swings, crumbling plaster. Some areas are overgrown with grass or shrubs. A perfect subject for a photo shoot.

I think, in general terms about the sea and rest to you became clear. If you are not spoiled by the UAE and the Maldives, then you have to like it here.

Yes, I forgot to write about the cool climate. The temperature here feels a few degrees lower than the real one on the thermometer. A big plus is the fact that in the evening here as in the desert, the heat drops sharply and if the daytime for example it was 35, then at night it could be 20. We slept even without air conditioning, which is extremely rare for the Mediterranean summer.

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Now I want to move on to the important part of the trip – the cultural activities or excursions on the island of Djerba.

I bought two short sightseeing tours of the island from the hotel guide. The first one is called “Amazing Djerba. That’s what I recommend as a fun excursion for the whole family. It costs $ 26 without discounts ($ 14 – children). The first thing we visited was the Djerba Explorer Park. There is a museum of arts and crafts, which presents the work of craftsmen and features the culture of the inhabitants of the island.

Then we went to the place because of which everyone bought the tour. This is a crocodile farm, which is home to over 400 Nile crocodiles.

We loved it here, especially we got to feed them.

The last stop was unusual. We were taken to the city of artists. There will be a separate album.

My second tour was simply called “Djerba Island Tour”. The price was the same as the previous program. I liked that the sites visited did not overlap.

The first point was really interesting ethnographic museum in the village of Gelala.

I took dozens of pictures here. Everything is very clear and there are a lot of vivid details.

Gelala is also the pottery center of the island of Djerba. In addition to buying appropriate colorful souvenirs we were shown the process of making a number of products.

Then there was a very worthy and meaningful place within not only the island and the country, but even the continent. It was a revelation to me that one of the oldest synagogues on Earth is located in Djerba. It is almost 2500 years old. It is the oldest in Africa.

The El Grib Synagogue contains one of the oldest Torah Scrolls in the world.

At the end of the tour we arrived in the capital of Djerba, Humt Suk. We were taken through the small town and given free time at the central market.

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I immediately ran to the fish department where you can watch a unique phenomenon – an auction of seafood. Of course, I like such events very much. I even made a video, I will show it later.

I went outside of Djerba only once during a day trip to Tatuan. The island is a convenient place to travel around the southern part of Tunisia.

The most popular excursion in Djerba is the Sahara 2 Days ($100-$120). Since in 2006 I took a similar tour from Sousse, this time I did not waste the already small number of free days.

The option of Sahara from Sousse is different, because you lose a lot of time for a long trip. However, on the way you visit the famous sights of the country, some of them at UNESCO. The Djerba version of the Sahara is more interesting because it is in this desert region you spend much more time.

That is basically all, I have told you briefly about Djerba, more details will be in the next notes.

In the end I want to remind that according to the ancient legends the Island of Djerba is the place where the beautiful nymph Calypso spent seven years trying to get the love of Odysseus. It was Homer who gave the island the name of Oligia.

I wish you personally see the appeal of Djerba. For this you, unlike Odysseus, need only seven vacation days:)

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