Inspired by the book “Where To Go When” by Lonely Planet, I decided to do a monthly feature on where to travel when. Each month I will highlight a specific destination that would be perfect for the next month, so you will still have time to plan that perfect trip. September is next so that means it’s the perfect month to visit Djerba in Tunisia!
where is djerba?
Djerba is an island in the east of Tunisia and is connected to the mainland with a 7 km long dam. The capital of Djerba is Houmt Souk, in the north of the island. This 27 km long and 22 km wide island is one of the most important islands of Tunisia, mainly because of tourism. With beautiful bathing sites like Midoun, Zarzis and Aghir it’s an oasis of peace and tranquility. It even has its own airport!
With pleasant temperatures between 25 °C and 27 °C (77 °F – 80 °F for those who use other measurements) it isn’t too hot and you can enjoy more than just the beach. And not just that; high season is over, so you won’t run into massive crowds.
other months to visit djerba
If you prefer higher temperatures, you’re better off between June and August. But also May and September are good months to visit.
population of djerba
Djerba has a population of 120.000 people. Just like Morocco, Algeria and Libia, Tunisia is a Magreb-country. All of them have Arabic as an operating language, but with quite some differences when it comes to dialects and written word. Besides Arabic, people also speak French, but this is becoming less, since the younger generation seem to relate better with classic Arabic. I noticed that a lot of people speak English too (or at least try)!
currency & Rates
The local currency is the Tunisian Dinar, but they do accept Euro’s too! In my experience it’s better to pay with Dinar’s, because they do tend to be very creative with exchange rates.
Djerba is pretty cheap compared to other places, like Tunis or Sousse. But since there are a lot of very luxe resorts they do take advantage of tourist by raising prices. Just don’t ever forget to tip!
The Tunisian kitchen is characterized by the use of a lot of herbs and spices, like the mixture harissa. You will also find a lot of fish, with tuna being a very popular ingredient, vegetables and of course the traditional couscous. For desert there is a lot of fresh fruit, pudding, their own traditional baklava, and makhroud!
One of the easiest ways of transportation around Djerba is probably by bus. It’s pretty cheap and the long distance buses are quite comfortable. Another cheap way to get around is by taxi. Ask a local driver for a nice route, but keep in mind that some taxi drivers try to charge you more, so always set a price before you get in. My advice is to already start the negotiation in the hotel!
One small downside is that it can get a little bit more humid, but don’t let that hold you back! It’s not really unpleasant with those temperatures actually.
things to do on djerba
With all those luxurious resorts you might be tempted to stay in, but Djerba has much more, so make sure you explore the area! Get a taste of the authentic atmosphere and visit one of its many pottery markets, eat a fresh seafood gumbo at one of the villages, go horseback riding or visit landmarks like the beautifully decorated synagogue La Ghriba and Fort Ghazi Mustapha.
There is also a pretty laid back nightlife, especially compared to bathing sites in the north of Tunisia. One of Djerba’s biggest attraction is Grand Pasino, where you can enjoy a nice dinner in one of the restaurants, do some shopping, take a gamble or have drinks at the Primavera bar.
One of the best places to experience the great outdoors of Tunisia is the bathing site Midoun, which is also a popular place among the locals. You will find cute local boutiques and don’t forget a nice hammam at the Bain Maure! Nearby Midoun there is the beautiful beach in Séguia, so don’t forget to check that out while you’re at it!
If you want to see more of the local culture you should definitely visit Guellala. This town flourishes with ateliers with beautiful pottery and amazing craftsmanship. On the hill you will find the interesting Museum of Guellala, where you can learn more about the island’s history, traditions and ceremonies.
Looking for a cool excursion? From the port in Houmt Souk you can take one of the boat tours to Flamingo Island, a gorgeous beach where you can ride a camel and spot some flamingos if you’re lucky! No guarantees though..
If you are looking for more excitement you can always go for Djerba Explore. Do some shopping at the village, enjoy the Tunisian heritage from up close or visit the museum and the crocodile farm. So if it’s one of those rainy days this is also a great option!
One of the highlights of my trip was an excursion to the Sahara desert. It takes a few hours to get there, but that was so worth it! Unfortunately most of my pictures from that trip got lost, but it’s still engraved in my memory like it was yesterday.. I was amazed realizing you have the largest desert in the world in front of you, seeing the endless sand dunes, covering over 9.200.000 km (3.600.000 sq mi) and 10 countries!! I do have to say, I was there in December, so the lower temperatures might be more comfortable for that kind of excursions though.. And of course you have to go for that camel ride!!
On the way back we got to see some of the Star Wars filming sites. Tunisia has at least 8 more besides the one in Djerba! So if you’re a Star Wars fan you’re in luck in Tunisia; you have a chance to see a lot of cool filming locations.
so, why djerba?
Do I need to say more after all of the above? With a great mix of culture, luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches and intriguing landscapes, Djerba has everything for a fun holiday in the sun! Where do you see yourself, exploring or relaxing? Here are some great options!
Important note: In the past there have been terrorist attacks, but none so far on Djerba. Just be aware that there is always a risk, so the more reason the be careful. Please always check the current foreign travel advice/status before traveling. You can always go another September ;)!