Flaubert once said that in Djerba "the air is so mild that it prevents you from dying". The temperatures remains above 20°C from April-May until October-November. Spring and autumn are therefore two of the best seasons to travel to Djerba in peace, away from the major tourist influx.
Djerba is a popular seaside destination. Many hotels have been built: they are concentrated along the coastline (the island has no less than 77 miles of beaches), particularly on the east coast. However, the inland is still largely preserved. Fields of olive trees alternate with menzels, these traditional houses are white washed and surrounded by orchards, enclosed by walls. You will pass herds of goats as soon as you leave the main roads, and you may come across one or two camels in the shade of palm trees.
Rural and still largely preserved, Djerba is a place to discover on one of many excursions offered by tour agencies located in hotels. Although the beaches on the island are very pleasant, it would be a shame to only have a seaside holiday. The ideal thing is to alternate a day at the water's edge and a day trip. Depending on your tastes, you may prefer the discovery of crafts (pottery), architecture or landscapes.
You can take a horse-drawn carriage tour, a walk along the coast, a trip at sea to the island of flamingos or a fishing trip. The longest trips (1 or 2 days) are also offered by Land Rover to the desert such as to ghorfas of Medenine, Tataouine, Chenini, Matmata, Gabes, Ksar Ghilane, Douz, Nouiel, Zaafran or Tozeur, sometimes with a night in tents.
The last attraction on the island : the Djerba Explore, located in the tourist area of Midoun, not far from the Taguermess lighthouse. This water park is only home to crocodiles (400 residents of all kinds), in pools shaded by palm trees and banana trees. A colourful spectacle ! Another attraction: The Ghriba synagogue. The interior decorated with painted wood, mosaics and stained glass is quite remarkable.
Whatever you may read in the brochures, you cannot swim in Djerba all year round. The beaches are equipped from mid-March to mid-November and the water sports bases operate from April to October. The many tourists who come to the island in winter usually come for spa or balnéo (less expensive) treatments, relax beside indoor the swimming pools, play golf or go on an excursion to the south.
Watch out for the seaweed and jellyfish. The former is left behind on the beach by the tidal currents when the sea is rough, particularly in the spring and autumn. They are harmless enough, but they just don't look very appealing. As for jellyfish, they appear in the summer as soon as the water temperature exceeds 26°C. Depending on the weather, this can be in July and August, but even as early as the end of June and as late as September.
Djerbian couscous. You can find buffets in the major hotels more and more (offered as a speciality or during Tunisian evenings). Try other recipes of the country also such as fingers of Fatma (pastry stuffed with white chicken, potatoes and capers), tajine (omelette with meat and potatoes) or brick (triangle of dough filled with tuna and a half-cooked egg).
It is recommendable to buy pottery in Guellala rather than in Houmt Souk as sellers are less insistent. Additionally, you can attend demonstrations in Guellala. Particularly recommendable is Mahmoud Ben Romdhane street, where there are workshops and showrooms. Ask for the secret of 'magic camel', a jar in the shape of a camel, pierced with a hole on each side to let in air but not water.
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