Hammamet

Nestled along the southeastern peninsula of Cap Bon Tunisia on the Gulf of Hammamet is the beautiful resort destination of Hammamet. The city has a rich history dating back to the second century when it was established as a Roman colony.

To see the true historic origins of the city, a visit to the Medina quarter will allow you to wander along the ancient avenues that the Tunisian ancestors traversed. Many cities in the region have a walled Medina section, and Hammamet is no exception, having been built by their Arab ancestors in the fifteenth century. There are a collection of narrow and frenetic streets criss-crossing through the Medina that are lined with white dwellings and shops with many trimmed in blue around their arched doorways. Today many souvenir vendors are located throughout the Medina making it a fun place to spend a leisurely afternoon. For a truly authentic and slightly less tourist oriented experience, the southeastern residential district offers visitors a glimpse of traditional life in Hammamet.

Although Hammamet is one of Tunisia’s favourite tourist destinations since its discovery in the 1960s, it retains a natural beauty with abundant lush vegetation and agricultural areas bordered by a coastline offering beautiful, wide sandy beaches kissed by sparkling turquoise water. The area is not congested by a clutter of high rise resorts as are so many popular holiday retreats.

Hammamet has a population of around 50,000 people with nearly as many hotel rooms, attracting a wonderful variety of visitors from all around the globe. While wandering through town it is not uncommon to hear languages from many countries spoken throughout.

An interesting fact about Hammamet is the relationship the area has with the jasmine plant. The fragrant jasmine blossoms are the national flower of Tunisia and around the city visitors will find many souvenirs and other items made of jasmine.

Things to do in Hammamet

Hammamet offers many interesting and historical sights with several places that are a must-see while visiting. The Kasbah, in the Medina section of Hammamet, was constructed in the twelfth century. It is situated along the Gulf of Hammamet overlooking the city and the outlying area offering breathtaking views of the entire region. The Kasbah has been meticulously restored, offering an up-close look at the engineering prowess of the Medieval era. Constructed as a defensive fort, a collection of cannons still sit in their battlements along the walls.

Nearby is the Cafe Sidi Bou Hdid, formerly a zawiyya, or shrine for a holy man, which has been converted into a cafe. A wonderful place to enjoy a meal and watch the sunset over the sea if you are lucky enough to get a table! After a delicious meal, a stroll along the walls of the Medina will reward you with a spectacular view of the beautiful Gulf of Hammamet.

The International Cultural Centre is another of Hammamet’s jewels. Built in the 1920s, it was once the villa of wealthy Romanian George Sebastian. The International Music and Drama Festival is held there annually during the summer months in the outdoor theatre.

Activities in Hammemet

Hammamet offers many outdoor activities including a variety of water sports, golf, tennis and much more. An outdoor destination in the region that is worth visiting is Friguia Park, located in nearby Sousse. Home to a variety of exotic animals, many that are endangered, it is a wonderful opportunity to see them living in semi-freedom in their large natural habitats. While there, pay a visit to the Dolphinarium and take in a show with the entertaining dolphins and go for a dolphin swim! To top off a wonderful day, take in the Friguia evening show featuring live Zulu dancing and music followed by a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant.

Dining in Hammamet

Dining in Hammamet is a delight with many fine restaurants featuring local Tunisian favourites as well as cuisine from around the world. Traditional Tunisian cuisine is typically quite spicy and has influences from the civilizations who once ruled there including French, Roman, Turkish and Arab. Most dishes consist of a combination of Mediterranean style foods combined with that of the desert inhabitants, the Berbers, creating the unique and delicious dishes enjoyed for generations. Most dishes contain seafood or lamb with tomatoes and a blend of spices and olive oil. A favourite condiment served with many meals is harissa, a spicy sauce prepared from garlic and red chilies seasoned with cumin, olive oil and coriander.

Hammamet Weather

The climate in Hammamet is generally mild to hot. Winters rarely get below 15 degrees Celsius during the day with the coldest weather from December through March. Summers are typically hot with daytime highs averaging around 30 degrees Celsius from June through September. This time of year offers wonderful warm ocean temperatures for swimming in the Gulf of Hammamet. The rainy season in the region is normally from the latter part of October through March with little rain during the summer months.