With its palm tree lined white sand beaches, stunning landscapes and rich history, the Tunisian island of Djerba is a hidden gem, just waiting to be discovered. Djerba is the largest island off North Africa and its popularity is on the rise, as more people fall for the distinct charm of this Mediterranean idyll. A positive melting pot of African and European influences, Djerba’s relatively small size means that it is possible to explore everything the island has to offer. Standing at about 10 miles across, Djerba is linked to mainland Tunisia by a causeway, making it a convenient location for a Mediterranean escape.
Direct flights to Djerba will bring you to Djerba Airport (DJE), on the north-western tip of the island. The rest of the island is easily accessible via taxi or public transport. Alternatively, you can hire a car and explore the island at your leisure.
Djerba is beautiful all year round and enjoys a classic Mediterranean climate, with winter a relatively mild 8 - 13°C and summer temperatures reaching the low thirties. As a popular tourist destination for Europeans, the relatively small island can become very crowded in the height of summer. For cheap flights to Djerba, plan your trip in April-June, when the temperatures are on the rise, or September – October, when most families have returned home and the island enjoys the final long days of warm weather.
With over 77 miles of beaches, Djerba is continually expanding to accommodate the burgeoning tourist trade. However, while the coastline may be marred by an increasing number of hotels and resorts, inland the island remains relatively unscathed. A short trip inland will be rewarded with unspoilt views featuring quaint, white-washed hamlets, fields of olive trees and rustic stone walls. As you face away from the tourist trail, feel the warmth of the sun on your face and listen to the distant ringing of goats’ bells as they scramble over the fields, you will feel the stresses and strains of your busy life ebb away, to be replaced with complete relaxation. Its relatively small size makes Djerba perfect for exploring – choose from four legs or four wheels for an exhilarating day out. Book a riding session at the Royal Carriage Club Riding School, which caters for riders of all abilities. Regardless of whether you are a novice or a pro, riding in the sand with the scent of the sea in the air and the wind in your hair is an experience that you don’t want to miss. Alternatively, if you prefer four wheels to four legs, you can opt for a quad bike tour. There are several quad bike hire centres that offer a range of packages, from a quick belt around a set course, to a longer safari. Ride along the beach, bounce over sand dunes and discover the delights of rural Djerba – a quad bike tour is exhilarating, challenging and oh-so-much-fun. Get in touch with nature in the north of Djerba, where you will find the untouched narrow peninsular, known as “Flamingo Island” or Ras Rmel. The best way to reach the island is via boat – there are plenty of excursions that include lunch and entertainment. In the autumn, you will see dozens of flamingos resting elegantly on the shore – a truly beautiful sight to behold.
The small island has two main towns: the tourist capital, Midoun, and the larger town of Houmt Souk. The classic market town is a fusion of Arabic and Mediterranean cultures; explore museums and wander through vibrant souks, browsing and bartering as you go. Across Djerba there are almost a hundred mosques and at the centre of Houmt Souk you will find the Mosque of Sidi Brahim, a three-hundred-year-old structure that is simultaneously austere and welcoming. In Hara Seghira you will find El Ghriba Synagogue, one of the oldest Jewish temples in the world. Originating as far back as 586BC, the synagogue is the destination for many Jews on pilgrimage. However, its calm space and beautiful location make a trip to El Ghriba Synagogue spiritual and meaningful to people of all religions. A trip to a couple of Djerba’s museums will help you to get to grips with the beautiful island’s colourful past. The sparkling white Guellala museum is the newest on the island and boasts an exquisite collection of traditional art and pottery. While at Guellala you can discover traditional pottery making, buy local arts and crafts and watch a simply stunning sunset. Meanwhile, at the Traditional Heritage Museum of Djerba, you can gain a greater insight into the cultural and historic influences that have shaped the Djerba of today. As the name suggests, the Krokodilfarm Animalia near Midoun is home to hundreds of reptiles. The beautiful park exhibits traditional Djerban villages as well as various species of reptiles. Feeding time is particularly fun for adults and children alike; remember to stay safe and take lots of pictures!
As the tourist industry continues to grow, so do the dining choices. Hotels and resorts tend to cater for the tourists’ palates, with Westernised versions of traditional food, as well as classic Greek, Italian and Maltese dishes. In general, food and drink in Djerba are a fusion of traditional Mediterranean and North African fare. Seafood features heavily on the menu, as one may expect from the island’s thriving fishing industry. Ask around for the best seafood restaurants where you can select your fish before choosing how you would like it prepared. Speciality dishes include meats cooked in delicate aromatic spices, chick peas and couscous. In the souks, you can discover an array of jewel-coloured spices and buy authentic flatbreads and sandwiches to fortify you as you shop. Complement your meal with a refreshing mint tea, cooling local beer or bokha, a local liquor made of figs and dates. Djerba may be a small island but its diverse cultural and religious history means that what it lacks in size, it makes up in variety. In Djerba, you can choose from rural or developed areas and revel in a delightful combination of authentic and modern activities to create a truly unforgettable holiday. If you are looking for the perfect Mediterranean holiday, let Travangelo help you find cheap flights to Djerba