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Djerba, Tunisia

  • Photo of Djerba, Tunisia
  • Photo of Djerba, Tunisia
Photo of Djerba, Tunisia
Photo by flickr user sky#walker

There’s a road out to Djerba island, originally built by the Romans at a point where the water was only one metre deep between the island and the mainland, but the architecture and culture of the island hasn’t crossed to the mainland and remains quite unique, despite the numbers of tourist visitors. The square, whitewashed houses are grouped together into small villages but no real towns.

You can also get to Djerba by ferry or by plane - the island is so popular with visitors that it has its own international airport. The positive side of so many visitors of such varied nationality is that the locals, themselves an interesting blend of Berbers, descendents of African slaves and Jews who fled Jerusalem in around 100BC, can speak a lot of different languages. Most of the hotels are clustered together so though it’s very touristy in ‘hotel central’ there are pockets of quiet to be found on the southern, Libyan side, which you can get to on you hired bike, motorbike or taxi. There the villages, some with tiny mosques or synagogues are separated by a few kilometres of coastline or rough countryside. There aren’t that many great sights to see, a few mosques and old forts, but there are plenty of markets.

Be aware that there’s no drinking water on the island – it has to be piped in.

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