Zone Touristique, Mahdia, 5100, TN
More about Mahdia
Escape the tour buses by going to Sfax, Tunisia
Boats and a Borj, Mahdia
Travel Tips for Mahdia
The beach at Mahdia was...
The beach at Mahdia was fantastic. The sand was white, the water like a bath, and it was very interesting to see Tunisians on holiday. I never realised you could need so much on a day out at the beach - the Tunisians erected huge tents, and brought with them half the kitchen, and extended families came en masse. The sea was perfect for swimming - not too shallow, and it was windy enough to cause a few waves. It is a very long beach, although there are several large hotels behind it, so it is never deserted. Sipping mint tea in a cafe cafe on the clifftop in Mahdia's old town overlooking the harbour. Some people also dive off the rocks here.
There are now very few boats sailing with the ancient so called Latin sail that was used around the whole Mediterranean for centuries. It has almost disappeared now from the Tunisian coasts and I was very lucky to spot one. I saw it from the road and it was far away. Luckily, it does not sail fast and I could drive into mud trails to get closer to the coast and get this photo.
The Great Mosque was built in 921 AD by the founder of the town, Obaid Allah el Mahdi. It was the first Fatimid mosque modeled on the Sidi Oqba Mosque in Kairouan. It was connected on two sides with the town walls and when these were blown up by the Spaniards the mosque too was destroyed with the exception of the north front. A temporary building was erected to replace it but this was found to be in danger of collapse and was pulled down in the 1960s. The Great Mosque was carefully rebuilt on its old site in accordance with the original plans. The inner courtyard, 42m (138ft) by 50m (164ft) is surrounded on three sides by a colonnade with horseshoe arches. The nine-aisled prayer hall, three bays deep, has the same ground-plan as its prototype in Kairouan. The central aisle leading to the mihrab is wider than the other eight. The bay in front of the mihrab is crowned by a dome.
Mahdia - Tunisia's secret
Mahdia lies in a sheltered situation on a small rocky peninsula, 1.5km (1 mile) long and barely 500m (550yds) across, which is linked with the mainland only by a narrow isthmus. It's located 68km (42 miles) southeast of Sousse and 20km (12 miles) northeast of El Jem. I came here one afternoon after visiting nearby Monastir.
Its name comes from Mahdi ('the well directed') in Arabic, nickname of Obaid Allah, the chief of the Fatimids. It was founded as a fortified port in 916 AD which was incorporated into massive walls, 10m thick, that once surrounded the whole peninsula, the remains of which can still be seen today. It was abandoned in 947 AD and was settled by inhabitants of nearby villages. It the 15th century, Spanish troops of Charles Quint seized Mahdia and it was then plundered, in the 17th century by the knights of Malta who set fire to the town. Mahdia is very small with only a few attractions so it doesn't take long to walk around and seem them all.
View all Mahdia hotels
View all Mahdia hotels
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Primasol El Mehdi Mahdia
- Primasol El Mehdi Hotel Mahdia
Address: Zone Touristique, Mahdia, 5100, TN