Djerba is a small island by Mediterranean standards but still the largest off the North African coast. It’s located near the southern coast of Tunisia which is easily accessed by ferry from the main town and port of Houmt Souk. In the summer the island is dry and arid but when the winter rains water the land, the spring growth turns the island into a jewel, all making it a fabulous place to explore with a rental car.
Getting to Djerba
Djerba-Zarzis Airport takes many scheduled flights from European airports, mostly from airports in the south of France
whilst the large amount of tourism means that charter flights are regular and inexpensive in the peak season. The island is small enough to get to all of the resorts quickly and cheaply from the airport. An alternative is to fly into Tunis Airport
and catch the ferry to Houmt Souk.
Driving in Djerba, Tunisia
- The roads in Djerba are in reasonably good condition, especially the main routes that connect the key tourist areas. As you venture off the main roads, you might encounter some uneven surfaces, so drive cautiously.
Traffic: Traffic on the island is generally less hectic than in Tunisia's major cities. However, during peak tourist seasons, expect more vehicles, especially around the main attractions.
- As is common in many parts of Tunisia, local drivers can be somewhat assertive. While Djerba is more relaxed than bigger cities, it's still crucial to be alert and drive defensively.
- Be cautious at intersections and when merging onto main roads.
- There are various parking spots available around tourist attractions and hotels. Always ensure you're not parked in restricted areas and opt for secured parking lots when possible.
- Fuel stations are available around the island. It's always wise to keep your tank reasonably full, especially if you plan to explore more remote parts of Djerba.
Places to Visit in Djerba:
El Ghriba Synagogue: One of the oldest synagogues in the world and a significant pilgrimage site for Jews worldwide.
Djerbahood: A unique open-air museum in the village of Erriadh, where street artists from all over the world have turned the walls into artworks.
Houmt Souk: The main town of Djerba, known for its vibrant markets (souks), where you can buy local crafts, spices, and souvenirs.
Djerba Explore Park: This park contains a crocodile farm and a traditional Tunisian village, providing insight into local customs and traditions.
Borj El K'bir Fort: A historic fort with panoramic views of the island.
Beaches: Djerba boasts beautiful sandy beaches. Some popular ones include Sidi Mahrez and Ras R'mel.
Museum of Popular Arts & Traditions: Located in Houmt Souk, this museum showcases traditional Djerbian crafts, costumes, and daily life items.
- Always keep your driving license, passport, and car rental documents with you.
- Stick to the speed limits: 50 km/h in cities and 90 km/h on open roads.
- Watch out for pedestrians, especially in busy areas like Houmt Souk.
In summary, driving in Djerba offers a pleasant way to explore the island at your own pace. The roads are generally in good condition, and traffic is more relaxed than in mainland Tunisia. As always, familiarize yourself with local driving customs and regulations, and enjoy the island's blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.