Nabeul, Tunisia

The capital of Pottery, the city of Nabeul is located 16 km north of the popular resort of Hammamet. There are very few hotels here, and nothing disturbs the measured course of ordinary Tunisian life: the Nabelians, as before, live in the rhythm of the change of seasons – they pick orange flowers in the spring, make ceramics in the summer, harvest hot peppers in the fall and provide citrus all over Tunisia in the winter. On Fridays, the townspeople rush to the bustling Souq el-Jemaa market, where you can buy everything from bunches of dried hot peppers to a camel – not a souvenir, but a real one. Rest here is very calm and measured, there are few sights, and even less entertainment, you should go to Hammamet for them. Budget hotels at an attractive price, combined with good beaches and proximity to the entertainment atmosphere of Hammamet, is the main secret of Nabeul’s success in the tourist market. Check 3rjewelry for other cities and countries as well as geography in Africa.

How to get to Nabeul

Nabeul is located approximately equidistant from the international airports in Tunis and Enfid, and at a greater distance from Monastir Airport. From any airport, the resort can be reached by intercity bus, minibus-“luazhe” or train.

Nabeul’s municipal bus company SRTGN provides several routes between Nabeul and the Tunisian capital. Express bus number 102 leaves every half an hour, from 6:30 to 20:30 from Tunisia and from 5:30 to 19:00 from Nabeul and follows the toll road. Travel time is about an hour, the fare is 5.5 TND. Non-express No. 140 travels along a regular road and calls in several settlements on the way – because of this, the travel time is extended to one and a half hours. Direct route number 104 goes straight to Tunis airport – however, only on weekdays. Departure from the airport at 13:30 and 18:00, from Nabeul at 6:15 and 16:00.

From Enfidha airport to Nabeul can also be reached by municipal bus number 106, running 5 times a day, from 7:30 to 19:30 from the airport and from 5:30 to 17:30 from Nabeul.

Of course, Nabeul can also be reached from other cities and villages of the Tunisian Republic – on the same buses, luages ​​or trains.

What to ride

Between Nabeul hotels and the city center, it is most convenient to travel by yellow taxis. When boarding, do not forget to make sure that the driver turns on the meter. On average, the trip will cost 3-5 TND.

On Friday, when a popular market unfolds in Nabeul, taxi drivers get bold and ask for a trip twice as much. In order not to overpay the robbers for the steering wheel, it is better to spend the first half of the day on the beach – by two in the afternoon the excitement subsides.

Also at the service of tourists are all kinds of entertaining transport: tourist trains, open six-seater taxi-motor scooters “tuk-tuks” and tarantasses with a pair of bay – “kalesh”. Here it is worth negotiating the price in advance – there is a virtual mark-up for the exotic transport and various unnecessary bells and whistles, such as sultans on horsebacks.

You can travel between Nabeul, Hammamet and Yasmine Hammamet on the same SRTGN municipal buses. Buses-“accordions” of route No. 115 run every half hour from 7 am to 1:30 am in summer and until 22:00 in winter. Travel time from end to end of the route is 45 minutes (fare 1.2 TND). Landing – at the back door, here you pay the fare to the conductor (you need to name the destination), exit – through the front. Nimble minibuses of route No. 120 run once an hour from 8:15 to 22:15 in summer and until 19:15 in winter (departure from destinations at a quarter of every hour). In them, the fare is a little more expensive – 1.6 TND.

Nabeul Hotels

Hotels in Nabeul – bigger and more modest, on the first line and on the second, old and more or less modern – offer a budget vacation option with not too many attractions and entertainment nearby, but surrounded by citrus orchards and flower plantations. There are no more than a dozen hotels here, they are located in a rather chaotic order, so that if you decide to walk to a neighboring hotel or to the city center, you will invariably pass through residential areas. Most of the local hotels are budget threes, there are even more budget twos, and in a couple of fours the service is still far from fanaticism.

Among the most attractive accommodation options are Kheops and Vime Lido, other popular hotels are three-star Caribbean World Nabeul, Le Prince and Les Pyramides.

Sea and sun

The beaches of Nabeul occupy a very worthy place in the unofficial ranking of the finest sandy and clear-water coasts of the country. The infrastructure on them is not very developed – there may still be umbrellas and sun loungers, but you will not find beach tables covered with a tablecloth and soft mattresses during the day with fire. But the sea here is invariably clean – the scarcity of local tourists affects, the coastline is moderately wide, and the surrounding vegetation provides a saving shade in the July heat. Most of the coast of Nabeul and the surrounding area is classified as public beaches – and even then there are not too many people here. On the hotel beaches, due to the “democratic” service, a bunch of local people splash around. The undeniable advantage of Nabeul is a huge number of wild sections of the coast, for example.

5 things to do in Nabeul

  1. Buy a crazy amount of pottery.
  2. Eat oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and other citrus fruits to satiety
  3. Take a picture at a giant bowl of oranges.
  4. Ask the price of a camel at the Souq El Jemaa Friday Market.
  5. Generously irrigate yourself and those around you with orange blossom and take a bottle of fragrant water with you.

Cuisine and restaurants of Nabeul

Tomatoes, red peppers, spices and citruses are the main gastronomic pride of Nabeul and the surrounding area. Local housewives prepare a solid amount of authentic dishes that are not found in other cities of the country – for example, a special kind of fish shorba soup with fennel seeds or rice sprinkled with orange blossom water. As a result, Nabeul has an amazing number of restaurants for such a small city.

Among the best restaurants in Nabeul are the old Bon Kif next to the medina, innovative Slovenia (where, as the name implies, you can try not only Tunisian, but also native Slavic cuisine), respectable Dar Dhiafa and Franco-Tunisian L’Olivier. Among the eateries, the unconditional love of the population is enjoyed by the democratic “Happiness” – Le Bonheur. Skip a glass of green tea and smoke a hookah in the popular traditional café Errachidia.

Features of the Nabel cuisine are the abundant use of tomatoes and hot peppers, as well as the irrigation of dishes with orange water – orange blossom.

Shopping and shops

In front of the railway station there is a huge earthenware jug – a visual symbol of the city, transparently hinting at its “specialization”. Indeed, ceramic products are the pride of Nabeul and the main subject of tourist interest in souvenirs. Workshops and boutiques of clay craftsmen are located literally at every step on the main street of the city. Here you can buy absolutely everything that can be made from clay – from ashtrays and plates to flower pots, tiled panels and impressive floor vases. Pottery is produced in two styles – more mass multi-colored and authentic, with a predominance of beige, yellow, blue and green tones.

If you have time, you can go to boutiques with a sign “céramique personnalisée” and order something from your sketch or with an individual signature.

Among the shops recommended to visit are ONAT Emporium under the patronage of the Office of Folk Crafts, Société Kerkeni and the famous shop of the Harraz pottery dynasty, whose masters specialize in stucco ceramics.

You can also bring a variety of straw products from Nabeul – mats and rugs, round and rectangular baskets with or without a lid, lampshades, slippers and much more.

Fragrant souvenirs from Nabeul – orange blossom and other floral distillates – from roses, rose hips and geraniums. They are sold in national “feshka” bottles with a bottom braided with straw.

At the Souq El Jemaa Friday Market, you can buy just about anything: branded pottery, paintings, perfumes, clothes, leather goods, as well as all sorts of herbs, spices and, of course, the inevitable dates.

Ancient Nabeul was one of the main centers for the production of a Roman delicacy – garum sauce made from fermented fish intestines. In the metropolis, for obvious reasons, it was not produced.

Entertainment and attractions of Nabeul

Nabeul, the ancient Neapolis, was founded in the 5th century BC by the Phoenicians, later destroyed during the Third Punic War and, as usual, a little later restored by the efforts of the Romans. The ancient city center was located 1.5 km from the coast – today this place is an archaeological park where you can see the remains of ancient villas, several floor mosaics and ancient vats for the production of garum. By the way, in 1960, several sealed amphoras with garum were found here.

Garum is a favorite delicacy of the Romans, a sauce made from fermented fish intestines. One must think that the streets of ancient Nabeul were not fragrant with citrus orchards.

The Nabeul Archaeological Museum is small, but literally crammed with various interesting exhibits. Among the pearls are Punic jewelry, objects and statues of the 7th century BC, objects from burials in Carthage, including a life-size terracotta goddess with a lion’s head, sphinxes and a goddess breastfeeding a child – an ancient prototype of the Mother of God, as well as mosaics from Neapolis.

The two main sights of Nabeul that tourists love to take pictures of are a giant ceramic bowl with oranges in the city center and a ceramic amphora with a tree growing from it near the railway station.

A small private museum Dar-Zaman (“House of Time”), located in the medina of Nabeul and occupying the former governor’s house, offers to get acquainted with the life and habits of urban residents of the 19th century. Among the exhibits are wedding clothes, jewelry, furniture and interior items. The bey’s room and the Berber tent have been recreated; guests are entitled to a glass of mint tea.

Nabeul, Tunisia