Everything on Kerkennah is measured from El Attaya. Everything, that is, except those things measured from Sidi Yousef. Cycling round the islands, you soon get to know both Sidi Yousef and El Attaya, as every kilometre you are told by a polite little signpost just how far you are from each. So El Attaya seemed like an obvious destination to head...more
The port. Well, this is where you arrive, and where you leave from. Not much else to say, really, except that the kiosk in the ticket office does a good espresso. Actually, I'm being a bit hard on Sidi Yousef...but there wasn't really much chance to explore. From the upper deck of the ferry, I could see beach on either side of the harbour, fishing...more
If the old man in the shop was surprised by the arrival of a bedraggled Arabic-speaking European, he was an expert at hiding it. and acted as if it was an everyday occurrence...who knows, perhaps it was? Instead, he chatted with me as if I was a regular, how bottled water supplies had gone down but a delivery was expected imminently, and wasn't the...more
Kraten is as far as you can go on Kerkennah, although I'm not really sure why you'd want to. It has the feel of somewhere at the very end of the world. The one shop in the village was closed, the only cafe was also not operational. I tried and tried to find my way to the sea, but strangely for a fishing village, that seemed impossible...there is a...more
I stumbled upon this quite by accident. It was the wind, you see. I was on my way back from Kraten, at the tip of the island, and suddenly the wind was against me, battering me from what felt like all directions. My legs where hurtling round the pedals like a gerbil on drugs, but the two-wheeled beast didn't want to go anywhere. Buses of...more
El Abbasia might not look much now, but it has produced some of the country's bigger celebrities, such as Farhat Hached (a huge political figure in Tunisia), and been temporary home to Hannibal and Habib Bourguiba. The village now houses a museum, in an interesting building....I'm not quite sure whether it was an old mosque or some sort of...more
According to the guidebook, Sidi Fankhal is the best beach on the island. To me, it looked more like a river beach, with wet sand stretching for about a mile, the sea a soggy stroll away. A windblown deserted place, I enjoyed it a lot, but probably not the best beach to sunbathe on.more
A few kilometres up the coast from Sidi Frej, easily within walking distance, is the crumbling Ottoman tower of Sidi Frej. The guardien is a friendly fellow, who invited me in for a glass of green tea, with locally picked rosemary and mint, and a chat about politics. He could tell me all about the politics of the world, but knew very little about...more
The thought of a zone touristique on the Kerkennah Islands filled me with dread. I was expecting wall to wall concrete block in "moorish style", the beach cordoned off with barbed wire and inaccessible to plebs like me. But no....the zone touristique in Sidi Frej is subtle, so much so that you'd hardly know it was there. Four or five low rise...more
I don't think Kerkennians eat out much. If they do, they keep their restaurants well hidden.
Remla has a busy snack bar/patisserie by the busy crossroads, where you can get sandwiches and cakes. The two restaurants raved about in the guidebook were closed for the winter (it was April, the sun was hot...but anyway...), and the only eating place which showed any sign of activity was a pizzeria on the road to Sidi Frej. I tended to make do with baguettes, cheese and yoghurts bought from a friendly woman in Remla's huge hypermarket where you can spend literally minutes perusing the shelf.
The only way to get to Kerkennah, other than by hijacking a yacht or a helicopter, is by ferry from the port of Sfax. Ferries take just over an hour between Sfax and the harbour of Sidi Yousef, and the journey is one of the best bargains in the world...0.65TD (April 2007: GB£1 = 2.5TD).There looked to be at least a dozen sailings a day, so the best...more
Nearly all the islands' yellow taxis wait at Sidi Yousef for the boat to arrive. They act as louages, and all follow the same route (there is really only one direction you can go in Kerkennah!), and you only have to bother asking if you're heading to Sidi Frej or one of the off-road villages like Bounouma or Kraten...otherwise, just pick any one...more
I don't really have much to put in this tip, and am creating it solely because I have plenty pictures of Remla's two marabouts and nowhere to put them! Marabouts are like small mosques, containing the body of a local holy man...as a non muslim, you can't often enter these plain yet picturesque domed buildings, but there's nothing to stp you admiring them from outside.