Tunisia's queen of health and fitness
Tunisia’s coastline is characterised by white sandy beaches and turquoise sea, making it an increasingly popular destination for discerning tourists. One of the most fashionable places on the coast is undoubtedly Hammamet, whose name derives from hammam, the thermal bath. The waters that flow from its springs have therapeutic and regenerating properties, which not only confer well-being to the body but also serenity to the spirit.
The city of Hammamet, however, offers a great deal more than just physical and mental well-being. It has a coastline where all kinds of water sports can be enjoyed, a lively nightlife, and a cuisine among the most tasty and sophisticated of the country.
Green spaces in Hammamet
Hammamet has inspired numerous artists for its spectacular landscapes. The blue of the sea blends into the green of its golf courses, while the multi-coloured flowers in the gardens contrast with the white houses. A very lively and elegant city, it is also popular with international tourists. The painter Paul Klee, for example, after visiting Hammamet, declared that he felt completely at home in this colourful city and used the warm and bright tones found in the area in many of his paintings.
The charm of Hammamet is also due to its wonderful Medina, the old town, which, according to experts, is the most spectacular of all those in Tunisia. An imposing fort, known as the Kasbah in Arabic, is found in a corner of the old town.
One of the main attractions of Hammamet is, however, the modern Dar Sebastian International Cultural Centre, built in 1920 by a millionaire Romanian businessman, George Sebastian. The villa cleverly combines Art Deco with elements of local architecture, and when the architect Frank Lloyd Wright entered the villa for the first time, he was amazed by the luxury and elegance it emanated and said it was the most beautiful house he had ever seen. The profusion of marble and columns and the spacious bathrooms and halls make it an unparalleled spectacle. Inside it houses a large open-air theatre that holds concerts in the summer months.
The new part of the town is Yasmine Hammamet, which is situated between the Port of Kelibia and the port of El Kantaoui. The area has a tourist port that can hold boats of lengths of up to 70 metres, large gardens, amusement parks and characteristic shops situated in its vast medina.
Another place to see is the Cap Bon Peninsula with its picturesque villages, which include Nabeul, the ancient Neapolis, known as the capital of pottery. But the stalls of the Medina display plenty of other items, including local rush matting and unusual embroidery made using the famous ‘Nabeul stitch’ by the skilled hands of patient embroiderers, while the air is permeated, particularly in spring, with the heady perfume of orange blossom.
Also worthy of a visit is Kerkouane
, an ancient Punic town known
in the past for the manufacture of porpora
, a puroke dye used by the Romans in Rome
to colour the togas of the imperial families, as well as Korbous
, with its seven health-giving springs
, and Kelibia
, with is sixth-century Byzantine fort
These Tunisian towns also offer delicious food, and generally at good prices, in the numerous restaurants which are open until late at night. Fish is the staple, but also mutton, and lamb features strongly in the local cuisine. Dishes to try are the exquisite soups with vegetables and the biscuits made with almonds, accompanied by a green or red tea. For visitors who cannot do without a glass of wine, locally made wines include Koudiat, Cisault, Pizzutello, Frontignan Muscat or Tunisian Muscat: light wines, but aromatic and delicious.
Among the many dishes to taste, in addition to the famous couscous, there are: the "tajine" Tunisian (legumes omelette and cheese similar to the Spanish tortilla with the salad "mechouia" of tomatoes and grilled peppers), the "marqa" (potatoes, legumes, peas), the "mosli" (baked fish or lamb), the ''complete poisson'' (grilled fish and fried vegetables) the ''kabkabou'' (fish cooked over low heat at olives and candied lemon), ''kaftaji'' (summer legumes with eggs, fried and ground) the "lablabi" (spicy chickpea soup), the chakchouka (a mixture of vegetables cooked in oil very slowly and served with egg). Try also the "bouza" pistachio cream, and the scented rose water pastry, to taste with a mint tea and pine nuts.
Text by Anna Glik
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Where to sleep in Hammamet
Hammamet is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotels in the districts
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels near the airport