Djerba is the legendary, beautiful home of the lotus-eaters, where Ulysses paused during the course of the Odyssey.
It is an island in Southern Tunisia connected to the mainland by a Roman causeway. A portion of the inhabitants here are Kharijites, the third group in Islam, next to Sunnis and ShiŽis. The Kharijites have always been known for their unwillingness to get in touch with other people. There are still some Christians as well as about 1,000 Jews living here.
Djerba is said to have fantastic beaches, but also away from the tourist zone, there is so much to see and do, with many of the smaller towns being very attractive and interesting places to visit. From Roman forts, Jewish synagogues, many unusual mosques and even an old church, leaving the beaches at least once is a must!
Jowan, currently living in Sousse, describes her fabulous holiday in Djerba below. View her photographs. Not for the faint-hearted, a visit to the Crocodile Park, one of Jowan's favourites and strangely enough she even found Marmite in Djerba!!
We booked very last minute and could not get flights from anywhere but Tunis and then we had to go via Paris! Needless to say we went by train to Gabes (a grubby town, but we looked around, as my husband did his National Service there), then took a louage to Djerba.
This took us right into Houmt Souk, the administrative capital, where we took a taxi to the Yadis Hotel, on the Route Touristic.
In total we had travelled for over 7 hours, so were exhausted on arrival. Exploring had to wait.
During our stay we saw much of the island and a few favourites were:
The Parc Djerba Explore
There are three separate attractions, all on one site, and wonderful if you have children with you.
There are examples of a Djerban weaving-workshop and underground oil-mill, with the lathe, kiln and pottery drying ground to be seen.
We were innocently travelling back to our hotel when I came upon this:-
Naturally the taxi had to stop and we went to explore. Sadly, despite a thorough search, there wasn't a jar of yeast extract to be found. 'La Marmite' is actually a unique fish dish made by the restaurant owner in a sealed pot, which is cooked very slowly for 12 hours.
We didn't have time to sample any, but managed to stay for lunch of Tunisian salad instead.
As we progressed around the island there was so much to see and we ran out of time, rather than grew bored.
It would appear that there are only 2 colours of paint available on the island. Every building is painted in white and blue. The houses are well-spaced out and on the large side. Unemployment is almost zero and crime almost non-existant. The whole island has a fantastic feel of family about it and the natives were very friendly and ready to tell stories of history and culture.
Prices and goods for sale are much the same as in mainland Tunisia, but the famous pottery in Guellala was well-worth a visit and there were items there I've not seen anywhere else. There is also another Museum in Guellala.
All-in-all, whether you go for a family holiday or a relaxing break, Djerba is well-worth a visit. I'm so glad we went. Our next trip is planned to take us even further south, as I am keen to see the Trogladites in Ksours