This part of the Sahel is the most fertile and attractive country in Tunisia, its fresh oases, its rich countryside evoke the memory of what were these places … What a delicious asylum, what a thebaid for a wise man weary of the battles of the civilized city! Written in 1884 Madame de Voisins.
Cape Bon do you know?
Cape Bon has a plain relief to the east and on the coast, mountain to the west with the completion of the Tunisian dorsal chain at the level of Jebel Ben Ouli (637 meters). This peninsula is 80 kilometers long and 20 to 50 kilometers wide. It offers a point of view on the islands of Zembra and Zembretta located about fifteen kilometers to the northwest and, in fine weather to the east, on the Italian island of Pantelleria.
It is aptly named after the port of Tunis, the Tunisian coast curved widely and suddenly advances, on the right, in a large finger pointing to Sicily, so close by ferry. This green finger, the peninsula of citrus fruits, oranges, jasmine has Nabeul as its capital: the perfumed, the colorful, the serene.
- The scented because of the unique center of the distillation of orange blossoms and jasmine.
- The colorful enamel of his famous pottery where all the tones of the most modern rainbow blend, the dazzling hues of his traditional woolen blankets and rugs and his weekly market Friday, true multicolored field of vases, amphorae, plates, basins, mats, carpets where nonchalant natives rub shoulders and tourists fond of regional attractions in front of placid camels and numbers of acrobatic riders.
- Serene finally because the nature lovers will be able to dream in the shadow of the bright and calm gardens of the big luxurious hotels or on the edge of km of fine sand beaches on which softly ‘taps’ an emerald Mediterranean, far from the tourist crowds from its neighbor Hammamet.
Nabeul, capital of the governorate of Cape Bon, has saved the rich artisan traditions of Antique Neapolis, the serenity of a city with such ancient history, but it has become a pleasant tourist resort and a modern city, shopping and lively.
Very early populated by ancestors of the Berbers, Cape Bon was administered in the fourth century BC under the Carthaginian authority who developed agriculture, the region has always had the reputation of being a very fertile land, earning him the nickname ‘garden above the waves’: still today, the orchards are numerous, one cultivates the vine, fruit trees, orange trees, lemon trees, vegetable crops, the nature of the climate, the composition of the grounds and the arrangements humans allow significant production.
The Romans eventually annexed the peninsula which they then named The Pulchri Promontorium, which means the beautiful promontory. What fueled greed, and invasions did not fail: after the Byzantines and a Christian period, the Arabs settle and spread Islam, while Normans or Spaniards engage in destructive raids. The landscapes of Cape Bon divide the peninsula in two, with in the west a mountainous terrain, marked by the mountain Ben Ouli, with a rocky coastline quite cut, while the east coast is marked by its long beaches preceded of agricultural plains.
Attractions in the vicinity of Cape Bon
- Nabeul, enamored for his pottery, perpetuates an ancient craft, probably inherited from the Punic era. Its large factories produce traditional pottery, raw or glazed earth, ceramics with geometric or floral motifs.
Tableware, lamps, and decorative objects are also available in modern shapes and bright or pastel shades that satisfy all tastes.
Its weekly market, Friday, is particularly popular with locals and visitors for its animation and its various products.
- Hammamet, Tunisian tourism star, Hammamet assumes his stardom.
If one finds one’s roots in well-preserved ramparts and medina, one’s tourist destiny meets each step. The city is bustling with terraces, restaurants, and shops, its nightclubs, frequented by the youth of the capital, compete with technological innovations. Hotels extend along with the coast and luxury niches (golf and thalassotherapy) are served by luxury facilities.
The result of this success, the Yasmine Hammamet resort, has created a new hub of intense activity, south of the historic city.
New hotels, a marina, shops, a leisure parks, and even skating rink symbolize the new generation of tourism.
- Kelibia, it is the fourth fishing port of Tunisia. There is rampant fishing, which consists of lighting the sea with a projector attached to the boat in order to raise the fish to the surface. The port of Kelibia is dominated by the imposing construction perched on top of a rocky hill. From the Punic period, a fort stood at this location. Dismantled by the Romans, a new fortification is erected under the Byzantines that will not cease to be enlarged and reworked by its successive occupants, especially in the 16th century when the Ottomans faced the repeated assaults of the Spaniards. It offers a magnificent panorama that opens from the top of the ramparts: in clear weather, Sicily is visible offshore. Kelibia is famous for its white sandy beaches and its famous Muscat, very fruity.
- El Haouaria, at the end of Cape Bon, is El Haouaria, famous for the training of raptors caught in the nearby cliffs, as early as March. Falcons hunt quail and partridge and are banded and released. Every year, in June, there is a hawk festival in El Haouaria. In the surroundings, you can visit the Roman quarries of Char-el-Kebir or the archaeological site of Kerkouane.
- Sidi Daoud, about ten kilometers south of El-Haouaria, Sidi Daoud is a small fishing port whose specialty is tuna fishing. The way of fishing this fish uses here an ancient technique of the bloodiest: the matanza. A method that dates back to antiquity, Matanza consists of enclosing a school of tunas by encircling them with large fishing nets. A kind of arena is formed, in which thousands of tuna, a fish that can reach an impressive size, are trapped and easily killed by fishermen with harpoons and then reassembled on board the ships. of hooks: the sea becomes a bloodbath. The matanza was once a tourist attraction since it was possible to attend fishing sessions, between the end of May and June. Off the harbor, we can see the silhouettes of two small rock islands, Zembra and Zembretta (the smallest), both protected and classified by UNESCO because of the richness and fragility of their ecosystem. The traces of an ancient Roman port on a creek testify to an old occupation. However, there is no tourist link to visit these islands.
- Kerkouane, at the tip of Cap Bon, Kerkouane is the only city to have preserved face in perfect condition the remains of the Punic civilization, overlooking the sea, and has an archaeological museum. The site is classified by UNESCO.
- Korba, built on the hillside, twenty kilometers north of Nabeul, Korba offers in its village built on a Roman site labyrinths of alleyways, but also long sandy beaches and vegetables and arboreal crops in its surrounding countryside.
- Soliman is the first city we cross by going to the east coast of Cape Bon from Tunis. We are here in the heart of the Tunisian countryside, and Soliman remains away from the major tourist influences of Cape Bon. Soliman has turned more to the marketing of local products from the region, and an industrial hub is developing on the outskirts of the city. Agriculture is an important activity here since the installation of Andalusians in the seventeenth century, the latter being hosted in Tunisia after being driven out of Spain.
The organization and shape of the old town bear witness to the distinctive features of the Andalusian architecture. Strolling through the historic center, we note in particular the two mosques, each dedicated to a different rite that echoes the influences of the main occupants of the city: the great mosque of rite Malekite (XVII) is the one with a square minaret, while not far away is the octagonal minaret of the Hanefite ritual mosque, rebuilt after the second world war, due to the former Ottoman presence. Cafes are located on the square next to the Grand Mosque, while along the streets of the old center are still a few vaulted passages and doors with carved frames. Besides the walk in the old Soliman, a long sandy beach stretches along the coast a few kilometers from the city. The road that then climbs towards the health resort of Korbous promises of its heights of beautiful landscape
- Zembra, with a specific ecosystem and quite fragile, the island of Zembra is classified by UNESCO, it is accessible by boat from El Haouaria.
Zembra presents a strongly rugged coastline with cliffs extending under the sea up to -50 m. It is characterized by a dense plant cover and the presence of very rare plants.
- Hammam Ghezaz, located just 6 km from Kerkouane, south of Kelibia and Dar Allouche (beautiful villages by the sea), Hammam Ghezaz, although surrounded by more tourist cities, has kept an authentic setting, ideal for a quiet stay and full of serenity. This pretty little village knows massive influxes of visitors but only in summer and over the weekend. During the week and in the low season, The village regains its calm and authenticity. So if you have the choice, privilege this period, you will be able to discover the real face totally nature of Hammam Ghezaz. This small village is located at the edge of one of the most beautiful coasts of Tunisia, all in white sand, in turquoise waters and in kilometers and kilometers of virgin beaches. It’s almost like being on a desert island. We certainly come there to taste the pleasure of bathing and basking for hours in the sun, but also to discover the authenticity of small Tunisian villages. Here we are far from the main tourist destinations with their bazaars, medinas, souvenir shops, nightclubs, and trendy restaurants. It makes you dive into a setting that draws all its beauty from its simplicity.
- Exceptional beaches
To discover sublime beaches and less crowded than those of star stations, just follow the coast, north of Nabeul.
Soliman, Korba, Maâmoura offer expanses of fine sand at the edge of a transparent sea.
At the tip of the cape, rocks and mountains make Kelibia an atypical site, very popular in summer, where the seaside restaurants are always full.
At Korbous, a picturesque spa town, the hot spring that flows into the sea provides an attraction that appeals to all guests passing through this wild and steep area.
- Historic places dedicated to culture
Between Roman remains, on the site of Kerkouane, whose ruins stand on the seashore, and summer festivals where the sweetness of the nights cradles the frame of the representations of all styles, the culture marries history and contemporary manifestations.
Regional handicrafts meet in ubiquitous everyday expressions: cut stones from Dar Chaabane, baskets and braided alfa mats, refined embroidery …
Cape Bon, despite a tourist influx never disavowed, retains a touching authenticity.
Strings of red peppers, lemon peels, and flower waters, colorful and fragrant touches of the region, will be among the powerful memories to bring back.