One of the main beach resorts of Tunisia and a popular holiday destination with tourists and Tunisians alike, Hammamet has long stretches of sandy beaches, calm waters, a medieval medina and makes a good base to enjoy trips to other Tunisian points of interest such as the ruins of Carthage or a desert safari in the Sahara.
Located roughly halfway between Sousse and Tunis and known as Tunisia’s St Tropez, Hammamet was the country’s first tourist destination dating back to the 1920’s and thanks to the picturesque medina at the heart of the town has managed to retain a more genuine Tunisian feel than other tourist spots on the coast.
The resort offers a wide selection of restaurants with a variety of cuisines to suit most tastes, accommodation available ranges from three to four star hotels with good facilities, many offering all-inclusive packages and private beaches.
The nightlife in Hammamet is varied, with international bars including British-style pubs and German Brauhauses, along with bars, cafes, discos and nightclubs offering entertainment from music shows to belly dancing.
Around 10km south of Hammamet is the newly built resort of Yasmine Hammamet. The resort has been built around a large marina and purely with tourists in mind, it features mostly luxury hotels, a casino, golf course, a new medina with luxury boutiques as well as offering a good choice of cafes and restaurants.
Holidays in Hammamet are mainly centred on the beach or around the hotel swimming pool, though the resort still has all sorts of attractions and entertainment facilities on offer.
Carthage – Take a trip to see the Roman ruins at Carthage for a real taste of old Tunisia, this archaeological site includes ruins of ancient thermal baths, old Roman villas and the amphitheatre.
International Cultural Centre (or Villa Sebastian) – Built in the 1920s by George Sebastian, a wealthy Romanian, this villa was once a luxurious home and now a cultural centre open for visitors. In the summer the beautiful grounds of the villa are the setting of an international festival of music and drama.
Medina – The medina is a busy souvenir market, with almost all of the shops catered to tourists. This colourful marketplace offers many bargains such as colourful fabrics, silks, leather, pottery and local crafts, just be prepared to haggle.
Theme parks – The Flipper Aquapark (route touristique north) features several pools and slides, while Carthageland (rue de la Medina) in Yasmine Hammamet is a theme park with rides and attractions inspired by Tunisia’s history.
Watersports – The calm waters here make this a great place to enjoy some water activities and there’s plenty to choose from including windsurfing and water-skiing, snorkelling or taking a pleasure cruise along the coastline in search of dolphins.
Golf – There are three courses in the area, two at Golf Citrus and one at Golf Yasmine.
Many find Hammamet unbearable in July and August with the temperatures reaching 32ºC (89ºF) along with the high levels of humidity, June and September are also hot, but less humid, with May and October being the ideal months. In late spring and early autumn the days are warm and sunny with temperatures reaching 25ºC (77ºF).
The closest airport is Monastir, a private taxi can take between 60 and 90 minutes to reach Hammamet.
The town centre is easily explored on foot, but with the hotels in Hammamet stretching along 8miles of seafront taxis may be necessary, though luckily taxis are cheap and there are plenty of them. When taking a taxi make sure the driver has the meter turned on or ask him for a rough idea of the fare before the journey starts. Be aware that after 9pm drivers are entitled to charge 50% extra.
For travelling further afield, there are half-hourly national buses to Tunis and Nabeul, and regular buses to Sousse. The railway station is 1.5km from the centre and there are several trains a day to Tunis, via Nabeul and Sousse.Posted : Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at 09:13