Things to do in Djerba, Tunisia

Story by: Nada Zorgui     Date: 5 August 2021    Image by: Canva

4 minutes reading time Tunisia

Djerba, or the Dream Isle, is a Mediterranean island off the coast of Tunisia. It is undoubtedly the largest island in North Africa and is perfectly-known for its gold-sand beaches, traditional aura, and white-domed houses.

Djerba Dreamlike Beaches

Dreamlike beaches

Djerba has the most mesmerizing and cleanest beaches in Tunisia. Sidi Mahrez beach is the first choice. Sidi Mahrez Beach is the most famous beach in Djerba and the perfect place to relax and soak up some sunshine after a walk in the souk. It is, in fact, the oldest beach resort on the island, and thus the most developed, with restaurants and cafes operating along with it and plenty of deck chairs, sun loungers, and parasols for rent. The sandy beach stretches for about 13 kilometers to Ras Turgines, where there is an old-fashioned lighthouse. This beach is a good choice for tourists looking for a less crowded beach scene.

Guellala Village

Guellala Village

The village of Guellala is the main pottery center in Djerba. Its streets are lined with ceramic workshops that display their wares to visitors. It is said that approximately 450 local potters are living here, which makes it well worth a visit to at least one workshop to learn about such an ancient craft. Traditional Guellala ceramic products are unglazed storage containers, similar to an ancient amphora, but these days there is also a predominance of brightly painted pottery.

The clay used by potters is excavated from poles up to 80 meters deep, dried for two or three days, and then crushed and mixed with water (freshwater for red pottery and saltwater for white) one. The pottery is left to dry for 60 days before being fired for four days in underground kilns, where it remains for another ten days to cool down gradually. If you are in the mood for some shopping for pottery vases for your place while in Djerba, then this is the place to go.

Ghriba Synagogue

Discover the ancient Jewish side of the island

The Ghriba Synagogue is Djerba’s most remarkable reminder of the island’s vibrant Jewish community, which has now almost disappeared. Although the site is not impressive from the outside and not very old either (the synagogue was built in the 1920s), this site has a history that goes back much further than that. One local story says that a sacred stone (possibly a meteorite) fell to the ground there to ensure the site’s religious significance. The interior of the synagogue is characterized by delicate panels and contains important and valuable ancient Torah scrolls. Every year, 33 days after Easter, al-Ghriba is the scene of the most important Jewish pilgrimage in the Maghreb (North Africa).

One thing to consider when visiting the Jewish neighborhood is to try out their food. Local fast food shops have the most delicious Tunisian side dishes.

Things to consider before visiting Djerba

You might want to get general ideas about transportation, accommodation, and life in Djerba. Well, the best time to visit Djerba Island in Tunisia starts from March to December, when the temperature is pleasant and warm and the rainfall is limited.

The best way to get around Djerba is by taxi or renting a motorcycle, and the prices are very affordable.

Speaking of prices, food prices start at $3 per meal at local restaurants and hotel rates start at $10 per single person. You can easily book a hotel in Djerba. The cost of a medium-cost tourist trip for two people for an entire week in Djerba is about $980 in total, which includes accommodation, food, transportation, and sightseeing, without counting airline tickets.

There is no specific dress protocol but you might want to dress decently when visiting local neighborhoods. Locals usually despise revealing clothes so you need to respect their cultural and religious beliefs. However, in touristic zones, you are free to dress as you wish.

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