Located in the Cap Bon
The most fertile and most attractive region in the whole of Tunisia
Surrounded by lush countryside, beautiful gardens
and the cool, blue, Mediterranean Sea
Which for many, including myself, lays claim to being
Tunisia's "Jewel in the Crown!"
Welcome to Beautiful Nabeul - Christmas Eve 2008
Becoming an expat can be a challenging, rewarding and exciting experience, but living in a country with a completely different culture and a strange language can be quite nervewracking at times! Most new residents find that life in Nabeul, however, is an easy and gentle introduction to Tunisian life! Everything that a would-be expat is looking for can be found here! The town is not too small or too traditional which could provide a culture shock for some and certainly not too touristic as to not be able to experience the local way of life!
Avenue Habib Bourguiba Has A Beautiful Tree-Lined Walkway From The Town To The Sea - Peaceful And Serene By Day - Buzzing And Animated On A Hot Summer Night!
Nabeul is famous for :-
5th Century BC
3rd Century BC
Attempts were made to Romanize Africa
2nd Century BC
Well Preserved Roman Mosaics In Sidi Mahrsi, Nabeul
3rd Century AD
7th Century AD
Invasion of the Arab Muslims - Neapolis became almost abandoned
9th Century AD
Ksar Nabeul a garrison, was built along the coast in the 9th century to defend the country from invasion by the sea.
12th Century AD
The Construction of Nabeul commenced
Souk Of Nabeul
The Souks of Nabeul were named according
Souk Al Haddad - Souk of the blacksmiths
16th Century AD
Andalucians settled in Nabeul - brought the art of pottery, strengthened the development of agriculture and provided know-how in irrigation
Nabeul gradually became a city for internal migration with its attractions said to be its climate, fertility of its soil and clean air.
19th Century AD
Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities lived side by side
The Great Mosque, Nabeul
Following independence Nabeul evolved to become a regional and international tourist attraction.
Nabeul - A Regional And International Tourist Attraction
The city of Nabeul now has many schools, sports centres, a polytechnic school, a Faculty of Economics and a Higher Institute of Fine Arts.
The French influence lives on in all aspects of way of life and buildings, with the French language being Tunisia's official second language.
A Primary School In Nabeul Constructed In The Days Of The French Protectorate
Nabeul in the 21st century, is a prosperous and popular city, not only attracting expats from all over the world, but migration from across Tunisia! Quite simply, everybody we meet tell us they would like to live here!
The Impressive New Council House Is A Reflection Of Nabeul's Prosperity!
Beautiful Example Of An Old Arab House, One of Many In Nabeul!
Modern Nabeul - In The Winter, The Streets Are Lined With Orange Trees!
Beautiful Nabeul - June 2009
Beautiful Nabeul - March 2009
Beautiful Nabeul - May 2009
Nabeul is a beautiful, dynamic city, full of sights and attractions, sure to please the history enthusiast, culture maven, avid shopper or even beach lover!
An organised day or half-day trip is never enough to see or appreciate what any town has to offer. We have therefore recommended a top-ten of the many things to see and do in Nabeul. Be sure to include some, if not all of them in your visit!
1. La Jarre
Usually one of the first places an organised tour will take you to is La Jarre! Nabeul is Tunisia's centre for pottery and ceramics with examples of the exquisite workmanship of the city's artisans displayed all across the city! La Jarre is one such example. Anybody who has ever visited Nabeul will always make sure to have their photograph taken side by side with the "pot" of Nabeul!
La Jarre Nabeul
2. Nabeul Friday Market
Nabeul Friday Market is known the world over! An organised tour to Nabeul from hotels across the country will always be scheduled for a Friday. Nabeul's streets are lined with bustling market stalls, selling an array of tempting goods, from typical tourist souvenirs, to pottery, glassware, baskets, clothes, shoes, artwork, food and ice-cold drinks, an essential during the heat of the summer months! Always chaotic in the summer, with tourists often only able to walk shoulder to shoulder to view the many things on offer!
Nabeul Friday Market, January 2009, From The Terrace Of La Medina Restaurant
Nabeul's general market frequented by the locals is also on a Friday. One can pick up food, clothes and household goods for much lower prices, but be prepared to haggle!
Nabeul Friday Market January 2009. Photograph Taken From La Medina Restaurant
Nabeul's Array Of Tempting Souvenirs
3. The Souks, Old Arab Houses and Alleyways of Nabeul
With so much to look at, and with numerous, tempting stalls to browse through, displaying a mind-boggling selection of goods, many visitors to Nabeul's Friday market often forget that there is also a myriad ofalleyways and side streets to explore!
Here one can find household goods, clothes, shoes, food and objects of everyday life, as well as museums, often housed in Old Arab Houses complete with all of the original features, bags of character, traditional hand-painted tiles, and rooms built round a charming, central courtyard!
Tunisia is well-known for its ironwork and beautiful, wooden, studded doors. Nabeul is no exception, with many fine examples found down these very same alleyways!
Nabeul Has Many Fine Examples Of Ironwork And Beautiful, Wooden, Studded Doors!
4. Dar El Machat
A superb example of an Old Arab House, located in the heart of Nabeul! Lovingly restored by its owner, using original hand-painted tiles and having a host of original features.
When its owner died, his son turned the house into an Aladdin's cave selling beautiful ornaments for the home, pottery, bedding, clocks, and pictures, all attractively displayed, in the four rooms and courtyard of the property.
One Of The Beautifully-Restored Rooms At Dar El Machat
A Restored, Traditional Bedroom At Dar El Machat
5. Nabeul's Town Beach And The Beautiful Sands Stretching From Nabeul To Hammamet
Quiet and peaceful during the winter months, sometimes with the whole beach to yourself! The summer season tells a different story!
The beach and promenade become a hive of activities with many holidaymakers staying until the early hours to take advantage of the cool sea air after the heat of the hot summer's day as well as the joyful atmosphere! A favourite with the children with the many eateries and stalls selling icecreams, drinks and the popular babalouni, hot, sugary Tunisian donuts!
Enjoy the walk to the beach down Nabeul's stunning, tree-lined walkway on Avenue Habib Bourguiba or take the bus, which runs every half an hour, making Nabeul's beach within easy reach and accessible to all!
A Regular Bus Service Or A Stroll Down Avenue Habib Bourguiba To The Beach
La Route Touristique (the tourist route,) running all the way from Nabeul to Hammamet has an excellent choice of beautiful, sandy beaches, many with beach bars on the sands, as well as a tempting choice of roadside restaurants or cafe bars, all offering further excuses to spend the best part of the day, relaxing or participating in the many activities and watersports on offer!
The most popular Nabeulian beaches with locals and tourists alike, include, Sidi Mahrsi, Sidi Slimene, Neapolis (Les Jasmins,) Mimosas, and Les Deux Oeuds!
Buvette Neapolis, Nabeul 3rd June 2009
6. Sidi Mahrsi, Nabeul
A dip in the sea, walking over the rocks, relaxing on the sands and a mint tea in a beautiful, white-washed, domed cafe overlooking the sea. Sidi Mahrsi, a couple of minutes drive from Nabeul town centre offers all of this, as well as the chance to see some extremely well-preserved roman ruins and mosaics.
Roman Bath And Mosaics, Sidi Mahrsi, Nabeul
Sidi Mahrsi, Nabeul
7. Sidi Slimene, Nabeul
Just 5 minutes walk from Nabeul town centre, located next door to the new council house, the public gardens at Sidi Slimene is without doubt one of the prettiest places in Nabeul, if not the whole of Tunisia!
Sidi Slimene, One Of The Prettiest Places In Nabeul!
This extremely pleasant area in Nabeul, provides all-day fun at its park for the children, picturesque seating and lawned areas for picnics or relaxation, a superb, white, domed building which becomes a waterfront cafe in the summer, other cafes and eateries as well as not forgetting its glorious, sandy beach!
Sidi Slimene, A Waterfront, Domed Cafe, During The Summer Months
Sidi Slimene Gardens, Nabeul
Sidi Slimene Gardens, Nabeul
8. Nabeul Museum
Nabeul Museum - Avenue Habib Bourguiba
Located near to La Jarre of Nabeul, opposite the train station and the beginning of the tree-lined walkway to the beach, is a museum displaying one of the finest collections of objects from across the whole of the Cap Bon!
The museum is in a beautifully constructed building resembling an old Arab house, around an interior, central courtyard. The collection housed in the museum is from many different eras including the Punic period (around 814 BC,) and the era of the Romans from 146 BC
The Museum Of Nabeul Is In A Beautifully Constructed Building
There are many items made of clay, as well as oil lamps, jewellery and coins.
One can also find clay statues of the Carthaginian goddesses Baal Hammon and Tanit!
Several relics of roman mosaics were discovered at the site of the Roman ruins of Neapolis, in the Roman villa, La Maison des Nymphs and are proudly named and displayed for all to see in the museum! This villa, was an impressively large villa, with 20 rooms, covering 1,500m2, with a luxurious interior!
Roman Mosaics Were Discovered At La Maison Des Nymphs, Neapolis And Sidi Mahrsi
Information in three languages, English, French and Arabic tell the stories of the different periods and of the artefacts found and displayed in the museum. The construction of the fish-salting factory at Neapolis between the years of 60-80 AD is described in great detail in words and pictures, as well as recipes for salting fish and for the spice mixture garum produced there, all those years ago!
Painting Of The Fish-Salting Factory At Neapolis In Nabeul Museum
The museum is fairly small, but is very informative with some impressive finds - well worth a visit!
A visit to Nabeul is not complete without a wander around the old Roman town of Neapolis, the original site of Nabeul, and a trading post, established by Greek traders that subsequently fell under Carthaginian rule!
During the 3rd Punic war Neapolis took Carthage's side against Rome. It was attacked and punished in 148 by the head of the Roman army, Calpunius Piso.
After rallying to the cause of Caesar against Pompey, in the Civil War, the town was granted its freedom and a few years later became the colony Julia. Roman citizens moved in to increase its population and contribute to its urban development.
The conquest of the peninsula by the Muslems ruined the old city forever and it was later turned into a quarry for building the monuments of its successor, Nabeul. Plundering of many of its treasures may also have taken place due to its position on the coastline, granting easy access to passing ships in the area!
Expansion and the building of hotels along the coastline, contributed to the loss of most of Neapolis. This led to the authorities undertaking urgent excavations to protect part of the site. These excavations uncovered two main monuments, The House of the Nymphs (Nympharum Domus 4 AD) and The Fish Salting Factory (established on the site of a Punic Construction 3rd - 2nd Century BC.)
Roman Ruins Of The Sumptuous Villa, The House Of The Nymphs
The House of the Nymphs was a large and sumptuous villa, covering an area of 1500m2, with 20 rooms, many of which could have been used as shops, opening onto a paved street, which visitors can wander over freely to this day!
The Paved Street - Maison Des Nymphs, Neapolis
Most of the rooms were paved with mosaics and were arranged around a vast garden.
Rooms Were Paved With Mosaics - Maison Des Nymphs, Neapolis
In the middle of the garden is a basin decorated on the inside with a mosaic which includes the head of God Oceanus and other marine creatures. Above these is the Latin inscription of the name of the house, Nympharum Domus. Numerous other beautiful, intact, mosaics found in the ruins are now housed in the Museum of Nabeul.
Mosaic Of The God Oceanus - Maison des Nymphs, Neapolis
The remains of the Fish Salting Factory was one of many found along the coastline of the Cap Bon, but the Neapolis site was one of the largest and most impressive!
The Old Fish Salting Factory, Neapolis, One Of The Largest And Most Impressive!
It has a series of 6 basins, used to salt the fish, side by side, plus 2 others about 2 metres deep! Some basins, when uncovered, still contained the powdery remains of fish bones and heads of small fry!
Powdery Remains Of Fish Bones And Small Fry, Were Uncovered In The Basins!
A by-product produced at the fish factory was a spicy sauce named Garum, used by the Romans as an aphrodisiac and to season meat, vegetables and even fruit! It was made from fish guts and other remains, mixed in salt and then left to dry in the sun for several weeks!
To see these impressive Roman ruins, the easiest way to get there is to hop on a bus from Nabeul's central bus station and ask for the station, Les Jasmins. Once there, cross over the road and take the first road to your left, up a hill, which leads to the Route Touristique. In front of you is the site of Neapolis, next door to the popular beach, Buvette Neapolis, where a snack and cool drink can be enjoyed on the beach afterwards!
The Ruins Of Neapolis, Nabeul, Tunisia
10. Artisans At Work and Dar Lahwech
Nabeul is known for being a town of craftsmen. A chance to see some of these skilled workers performing their talents can be found at a special centre located just passed the main bus station of Nabeul.
Entrance is free and crafts include pottery, the painting by hand and decoration of many different articles, weaving, ironmongery, basket making and working with glass.
The artisans on site are delighted to take the time to explain to you just what is involved in their specialised craft, and many articles are for sale at very reasonable, fixed prices, making excellent presents to take home.
An Artisan At Work - Nabeul
This artisan was delighted to take some time out to explain his craft, about the different types of paint, and what exactly was involved in his work!
An extremely polite man, who should be given recognition for his enthusiasm in promoting Nabeul!
Should you still have some extra change in your pocket, upon leaving the Centre of the Artisans, cross over the road and head back in the direction of Nabeul town centre, stopping by at Dar Lahwech!
Dar Lahwech - Nabeul
The old Arab House converted into a shop selling many beautiful items, Dar Lahwech, is worth a visit, even if the only reason being is to admire the fact that it is just so pretty!
Dar Lahwech, Nabeul - Extremely Pretty!
Nabeul - Gateway To The Old Town
Day-to-day living in Nabeul feels much the same as any other European city, the main differences being that the peel of the church bells gives way to the delightful and haunting sound of the Athan, the call to prayer, not forgetting that the grey clouds and drizzle are replaced by the endless blue skies and bright, sunny days and life in general is less hurried and much more relaxed!
The Shopping Centre - Nabeul
Nabeul has all of the modern conveniences one could wish for! There are large furniture stores, several supermarkets, a shopping centre, funky boutiques, as well as smaller shops offering designer outfits!
Funky Boutiques And Small Designer Shops - Plentiful In Nabeul!
The daily market is the best place to purchase your fruit, vegetables, chicken, meat and fish.
Nabeul Fish Market
Not forgetting the many spices on offer, olives, harissa, condiments and, my personal favourite, the delicious, home-made filfil mishwee made from roasted peppers!
Nabeul Market - Spices, Olives And Harissa - Essential Ingredients For A Nabeulian!
Relaxing in a cafe is a favourite passtime in Tunisia! Nabeul is no exception! Whilst elsewhere in Europe or the rest of the world, the high cost can make it an occasional family treat, in Nabeul it is natural to call in for a "cafe direct," or "mint tea," every morning!
Tunisian cafes also make a great meeting place for all ages, whether for work or just socialising. Whilst every Nabeulian will have their own personal, favourite, local cafe, we have compiled a top 5 of what we consider to currently be the best of the bunch!
Situated on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, close to Monoprix supermarket, this Salon de Thé, has two floors, fashionable decor, flat screen televisions showing the latest Arabic music hits and two outdoor terraces.
Frequented by the young, old, business folk and families alike, it offers food as well as imaginative drinks, including coffee with heaps of cream, tempting milkshakes in many flavours and non-alcoholic fruit cocktails.
Popular in the evenings, even throughout the winter, Twins often holds special events, such as the entertainment evening laid on to welcome in the New Year of 2009!
Enjoying A Fruit Cocktail In Twins, Nabeul - Winter 2008
2. Cafe L'escale
Situated next door to the railway station of Nabeul. The translation of l'escale from French gives the meaning "the stopover," and the cafe makes a great central meeting place! Lovely strong coffee and one of the cafes with the lowest prices! Polite and efficient waiters. If you are a regular, you will often find that the drink you order daily, is brought to the table before you even have to ask and made to your exact liking every time!
Cafe L'escale, Nabeul - A Great Central Meeting Place!
3. Les Arcades
Located on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, this cafe is a favourite with the tourists on Friday Market day. All the usual nice drinks and attractive, modern decor!
Cafe Les Arcades, Nabeul - A Favourite With The Tourists On Friday Market Day
4. Cafe Dar Essouk
One of the prettiest cafes in the whole of Nabeul. Cafe Dar Essouk is an old Arab House and located in the heart of the Medina. There is outside seating to the front of the cafe as well as an upstairs terrace.
Cafe Dar Essouk - One Of The Prettiest Cafes In Nabeul!
5. Restaurant La Medina
Serving both food and drinks at very reasonable prices, this cafe/restaurant makes a lovely place to call in on a busy Friday market day, where you can simply watch the world go by! Outdoor seating and an upstairs terrace with great views over the market place!
Restaurant La Medina, Nabeul - A Great Place To Watch The World Go By!
Nabeul has more than its fair share of celebrations and festivals. Here, in photographs, are some of the best that took place in 2008 - 2009!
Islamic New Year
* Festival of The Sugar Dolls
An annual celebration in
* Taking place just before the
start of the Islamic New
* Dolls made entirely from
sugar for all the
children, essential, like
Easter Eggs in the UK!
29th December 2008
* Celebrations took place
in an Old Arab House
* Competition held for
the best designed
Couscous Ras El Am* The dish for every
9th March 2009
* The Prophet Muhammad's
* An annual celebration in
Nabeul and across Tunisia
* Celebrated with the dish of
16th March 2009
* The National Handicrafts
And Dress Day
* Children in nursery schools
dress up in traditional
* In 2009, the staff of the
supermarket Monoprix in
Nabeul also joined in
with members of staff
24th April - 10th May 2009
* Nabeul Spring Fair
* The most popular annual
event of the year in Nabeul!
* Thousands of visitors from
* Hundreds of stalls selling
furniture, the latest summer
fashions, bridal wear,
household goods, pottery,
food, drink and the locally
produced orange flower water! Horse and camel rides! Funfair for the children!
Links to other websites that really know and appreciate Nabeul and know it back to front for the remarkable town that it is, are all French language websites. The best two are as follows :-
For those with a Facebook account, join the group Nabeul and get updates for all the latest events and happenings in the town.
Spring Flowers In Nabeul - March 2009