A Rich History
The history of the city is a mixture of Berber, Phoenician, Roman, Arab and Turkish civilizations. Thabraca, founded by the Numidians, then becomes a Roman colony. It is then used as the main port for the export of polychrome marble quarried from the city of Simitthus located in the neighboring Kroumirie Mountains. Later, under the reign of the vandal king Genséric, the city has two monasteries, one for men and the other for women.
In 702 takes place in Tabraqua the last battle between the Berber civilization, led by their queen Kahena, and the Arabs led by Hassan Ibn Numan who, after taking Carthage, receives 50 000 men to reinforce caliph Abd al-Malik.
Knowing its imminent defeat, the queen would have practiced the policy of scorched earth in order to dissuade the invader from appropriating the land. It destroys castles, food reserves, and burns crops and orchards, thus alienating part of its own people and the defection of some Berbers who submit to the Arabs. Finally, after an attempt to betray the queen, she is captured and decapitated in a ravine and her head brought back to the caliph.
From 1542 to 1742, the island of Tabarka is inhabited by many settlers, called Tabarquins, from Pegli. Mainly, coral fishermen and traders, they are organized by the noble Genoese family of Lomellini, which had received the island in the concession of Khayr ad-Din Barbarossa (rights confirmed by the emperor Charles V), according to a legend, for the price of their intermediation during the release of the corsair Dragut.
Due to the economic decline of the island and its overpopulation, members of the colony began to emigrate in 1738 to San Pietro Island, near Sardinia, where they founded the city of Carloforte with the support of King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia. The assault of the island by the Bey of Tunis in 1742 triggers the dispersion of free or slave inhabitants. The municipality of Tabarka is created by the decree of June 27, 1892. In 1952, nationalist leader Habib Bourguiba, who later became president of Tunisia, was exiled to Tabarka and then to La Galite by the French colonial authorities.
A Starting point for many excursions
The tourist town located a few kilometers north of Ain Draham has beautiful landscapes like the needles located in front of the sea. Do not forget that this region is best known for spearfishing and scuba diving where we can admire the beautiful rocks of coral
You will be able to taste the very good fishermen fish of Tabarka and to bathe in the water of the mediterranean sea. This city is the paradise of jewelers who, by remodeling, the coral are doing wonderful things.
On the edge of Algeria, in northwestern Tunisia, Tabarka is a small quiet resort, which lives with the lapping of the sea of coral. Long forgotten by tour operators, in a region that is just opening up to tourism, Tabarka attracts both lovers of idleness and enthusiasts of old stones. The development of its archaeological heritage, as well as its geographical location, one hour from Tunis, promise it a rapid development …
6 kilometers from the Algerian border, Tabarka has almost erased all the traces of its past as a fishing village, to prepare to welcome an ever-increasing number of holidaymakers. Today, it offers the pleasures of a peaceful seaside resort known for its four scuba diving centers, 18-hole golf course, and summer festival.
Nestled between an island and a bay protected by the sweeping mountains of Khroumirie, the small town of Tabarka was chosen by the Romans for the establishment of a port where the ships sank, leaving the holds filled with riches of the hinterland marble, cork, wood, cereals and even beasts destined for gladiatorial battles … Such a trade earned Tabarka the possession of important public buildings and adorned with opulent mansions, not to mention the chapels, convents, and basilicas of Christianization which promoted it to the rank of the greatest bishoprics of Africa.
Unfortunately, the successive occupations and the French protectorate gradually erased these vestiges of the prosperous period. In the 16th century, Charles V donated the city to a wealthy Genoese family who inherited at the same time an exclusive right to fish, including that of coral. They took advantage of it for two centuries and had a strong fort built, still visible today, but which houses a barracks and therefore does not visit. Despite everything, the promontory where it is installed offers a beautiful view of the beaches and hills. We can then go down to the harbor and enjoy a lobster (a local specialty), much cheaper than at home …
Tabarka also has two markets: the first, classic and daily, alternates market produce, clothing and local handicrafts, while the second, two kilometers from the city center, is a real souk as we like, especially frequented by Tunisians.
If numerous holidaymakers choose to relax in the comfort of a hotel-club formula of the tourist area, the others will opt for excursions that, from Chemtou to Bulla Regia, not to mention the exceptional Douga, will make them discover the Numidian, Punic and especially Roman past of Tunisian North. A busy day will allow them to lose themselves at leisure in the medina of Tunis and reconstruct, in imagination, the ancient Carthage on its archaeological remains …
The Genoese Fort Lighthouse
The lighthouse is erected in the 16th-century Genoese fort of Tabarka, overlooking the old port. This fort is built on an old island that is now attached to the land.
It is a white tower about fourteen meters high, surmounted by a black lantern, overlooking a house of guardians of a single floor. It emits a long white glow (three seconds) every four seconds. With a focal height of 72 meters above sea level, this light has a range of thirty kilometers. She guides the boats to the harbor. The fort is visited but not the lighthouse.
- Airports :
– TUN : Tunis-Carthage
– TBJ : Tabarka
- Marina of Tabarka : The only port in Tunisia connected to The Galite islands
- La Cigale luxurious hotel
- Hotel & Residence Mehari Tabarka
- Hotel DAR ISMAIL -Five-star hotel
- Marina Prestige Tabarka
- Thabraka Spa And Diving Hotel
- Thabraca Thalasso & Diving
- Itropika Beach
- HOTEL THABRACA ex Valtur Club Tabarka
- Corail Royal Beach Residence
Three star hotels
- Yadis Morjane Tabarka
- Hotel TBRAKA
- Hotel Beach
The Tabarka Jazz Festival
An annual jazz festival organized since 1973 intakes place at the Tabarka Basilica.