D. Central Coast

Central Coast Map

SUMMARY

This area is easy to reach from Tunis via the motorway to Hammamet (<1 hour from Tunis), Sousse and Sfax (3 hours). The inland road via Fahs takes longer but is more scenic.
One day trips down to the coast or Kairouan are possible but it is more relaxed to spend the night along the coast or in Kairouan.

Only locations highlighted in BOLD are described in detail:

1. Thuburbo Majus: Large, interesting Roman site
2. Zriba & Jebel Zaribah Trail (4x4 / Mountain Bike or Hike): Scenic hilltop Berber village and nice hiking / biking trail to the     top of Jebel Zaribah
3. Jeradou: Modern hilltop village
4. Takrouna: Scenic hilltop Berber village
5. Sidi Khlifa: Small Roman site
6. Hergla: Nice seaside village
7. Sousse: Big medina
8. Monastir: Well preserved ribat and the Bourguiba Mausoleum
9. Mahdia: Nice old town and scenic location
10. El Jem: The coliseum is a must see. The archeological museum (directions on back of ticket that is valid for both, coliseum       and museum) is also worth the visit. The mosaics are incredible (and better displayed than at the Bardo Museum) and the       reconstructed Roman villa is interesting too.
11. Kairouan: The 4th holiest site in the Islamic world after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
      Kairouan is famous for its carpets; but you can also find nice, cheap blankets sold at shops located at the ‘Mosque with the       3 Doors’.

PLACES to STAY

Kairouan: Kasbah Hotel, phone 216 77 237 301, 77 233 438, fax 216 77 237 302, web http://www.goldenyasmin.com/la-kasbah/en/ (one of my favorite places to stay; built inside the old Kasbah; nice rooms; great pool; don’t miss the café in the former prison; food variable; 5 minutes walk to big mosque or medina)

There are many hotels in ’zones touristique’ along the coast to choose from.


OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

2. Zriba: Hammam, Abandoned Mine, Old Village and Jebel Zaribah Mountain Bike / Hike / 4x4 Trail

A great day trip from Tunis that can be combined with other sites in the Zaghouan area.

Along the road between Zaghouan and Enfida take the turn-off for Hammam Zriba. Beyond the Hammam you can hike up the hill to the abandoned mines. Just google ‘Zriba mine’ and you can find a lot of information about this mine. It was a fluorspar-barite-Pb-Zn mine in the past. Today some locals still dig out some beautiful minerals from these ‘grottoes’.

Just before entering Hammam Zriba there is a one lane bridge on the left. After crossing the bridge the road leads up to the old Zriba hilltop Berber village which is partly abandoned. It’s a great setting with beautiful views of Jebel Zaghouan.

Jebel Zaribah Trail: Beyond the village there is a dirt road that leads up to the top of the Jebel Zaribah. The elevation gain is about 300m. You can see a small tower on top of the hill from the village. It is a nice hike to the top. Alternatively you can either mountain bike or drive up the trail with a 4x4 car. The distance from the old village along the dirt road to the top of the hill is approximately 3.5 km. Views from the top of Jebel Zaribah are spectacular.

Old Zriba & Jebel Zaribah

4. Takrouna

Sitting on top of a hill is a great setting for the old village of Takrouna. Definitely worth the detour.

An old Berber village sitting on top of a hill just 5 km outside Enfida on the road to Zaghouan. During the main season the road is blocked at the base of the hill and so it is a short hike to the top. The coffee shop at the top serves excellent coffee, tea and crepes.

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