How’s it said at TUI BLUE? Explore the more! Today I’d like to get up from my lounge chair and get to know the country and its people. And where better to do that on the small island of Djerba than in the capital, Houmt Souk?
From the TUI BLUE Palm Beach Palace, the city can be easily reached by car in less than twenty minutes. I get advice from the local Blue Guides and head to Houmt Souk.
سلام (Hello) Houmt Souk
In Houmt Souk, you can expect picturesque little streets, inviting street cafes, and many different North African markets, that much I can tell you. 😉
In addition to various souvenir shops and bazaars, Houmt Souk also has a folklore museum and the ruins of Borj el Kebir Castle. Especially worth seeing are the three beautiful mosques: Eh Sheih, Djamaa-el-Gorba, and the Turkish mosque Dzhamaa Ettruk. There are so many reasons to holiday in Djerba and pay a visit to Houmt Souk. At the small fishing port, it smells of fresh fish and the patient can marvel at the gorgeous glimmer of the sun’s rays on the sea. Fantastic!
A little further from the centre of Houmt Souk are quiet side streets where locals work as craftsmen or retailers. Here you can also purchase jewellery according to real Jewish tradition from the numerous silver and goldsmiths. Small, cosy squares and cafes invite you to take a stroll through the pristine old town. Strolling through Houmt Souk’s alleyways, the lovely fondouks in particular stand out. But more on that later.
Now I’ll tell you about the five sights you must see during your visit to Houmt Souk.
The Spanish Fortress of Borj el Kebir
Off to the 16th century. century. The first item on today’s agenda is a visit to Borj el Kebir, or Borj El Ghazi Mustafa. It’s one of the largest and best-preserved fortifications on Djerba. The name Borj El Ghazi Mustafa comes from the kaid, the Ottoman corsair leader who settled on the island in 1559. At the beginning of the 20th century, the fortress was declared a national historical monument and was converted into a museum. Inside, you’ll find an impressive array of exhibits from different eras. Borj el Kebir is a part of Tunisian history – a must on your Djerba to-do list. For tourists, the fortress is open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the summer and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the winter.
The Maghrebi Markets – A Seductive Shopping Paradise
I’m particularly interested in the traditional souks. The souk in Djerba is the market where traders sell their carpets, caftans, jewellery, or spices. I can smell the many spices from afar. So just follow your nose! In the main market, you can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Tunisian bazaars and taste culinary delights.
A tip: bargaining is everything. Don’t show too much interest in a product and ideal prices will come out in the end. The less interest, the lower the price 😉 With the right tips for haggling, you’ll become a real bargain hunter.
A Little Break at El Fondouk
Attention, Instagrammers! If you want to make your friends and acquaintances on Instagram envious with a new photo in your feed or story, then you’re in the right place at El Fondouk. The traditional fondouk used to be the home of traders and their animals. Today, you’ll find a cozy restaurant and café here. Ideal for enjoying a cup of tea in the café or on the terrace. The most special feature here the architecture. Sky-blue doors and window frames meet cream-coloured walls.
Here, I order a typical Tunisian dish for lunch.
A Bit of Culture in the Folklore Museum
After wandering, I’m drawn to the folklore museum next. Lovers of culture will absolutely get their money’s worth here. The monumental museum complex resides in a zaouia, a mosque and classroom complex from the 18th century. century. Here, you can see impressive collections of clothes, jewellery, or pottery. But the beautiful rooms in which they are presented are also a feast for the eyes. In the former prayer hall, I look at the outfits of the old Djerbans. I continue on to the library. Here are real Islamic manuscripts, quite impressive. Other rooms are devoted to goldsmithing, pottery, and other crafts. In the middle of the decorated rooms is a tomb. The doors are open to you from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm in the summer, and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the winter.
The Harbour of Houmt Souk and the Spectacular Pirate Ship
There are several possible activities around the harbour of Houmt Souk. The Marina de Djerba was once built for fishing and boating. The east side is traditionally preserved for the anglers and the west side offers boat trips. The leisure centre Bateau Pirate is also located here. From here, you can sail on a real pirate ship over to Flamingo island. The pirate adventure is offered as an excursion at the TUI BLUE Palm Beach Palace. Just talk to the Blue Guides at the hotel. For me, the evening is creeping up slowly. I walk over to the Tunisian fish market and watch the spectacle of fish sales. Now I have quite the appetite for fish. At the end of my day trip to Houmt Souk, I look for an inviting restaurant right on the water and order myself a delicious range of fish from the menu.
For me, it’s now back to the TUI BLUE Palm Beach Palace. If you want to see more of Djerba, I recommend a tour of the island, where you can get to know Djerba from a completely different side. Take a look in the BLUE App to see which trips are offered in Tunisia and what you might be interested in.