The Kerkennah Islands
The Kerkennah Islands form an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 km from the Tunisian coast, off Sfax. They bring together around six islands, of which only the two largest are inhabited: Gharbi to the west, also called Mellita, from the name of its only village, and Chergui to the east, the great Kerkennah. These two islands are connected by a 600 meter long road that already existed in Roman times.
A wide road crosses the archipelago, unrolling its 35 km from Sidi Youssef in the West to El Attaya in the East. It crosses Melitta, then arrives at Chergui, which has about fifteen villages, including Remla, the capital and administrative center of Kerkennah. All of these villages have approximately 14,400 inhabitants (2004 census), a figure that is increased tenfold in the summer period, by the return of emigrants returning from mainland Tunisia, France or Italy.
These islands offer a wide range of activities, tours and excursions to all visitors. The visit of the islands is not to be missed, it is a wonderful experience in a place with great authenticity, and a lot of calm and serenity. The passage through this archipelago makes his doubt a trip to Tunisia an unforgettable story.
You can watch traditional fishing activities; the technique of Charfia and drina (trap) which dates back to the 18th century. Fishing is one of the most important features of the islands. At the same time, the discovery of the seabed is also not to be missed.
You can also go by boat, have lunch on board, spend the day between the waters and attend the Sautade fishing also known as the Damassa or mullet fishing, which is one of the most spectacular techniques and in which one can actively participate and not just observe. This gives more dimensions to the experience.
Scuba diving is also impossible to miss, with professional divers, you can explore the seabed of the archipelago.
The Mediterranean Island Heritage Museum of El Abbassia is a private museum that exhibits paintings made up of models and objects. These paintings allow visitors not only to understand the way of life of the inhabitants of the archipelago, but also to learn a lot about its history, the evolution of its urban and human landscape as well as the evolution of the fishing techniques used. by locals.
On Gharbi Island, the main island of the archipelago, you can visit the tourist area of Sidi Fredj. In the center of this area you can discover one of the remains of Visit ancient Rome which is Fort Lahsar.
A walk through the islands would be an excellent idea if time allows, because the splendid archipelago hides very beautiful views in every corner. A bicycle ride can also allow magnificent walks through the villages of Kekennah.
Enjoying a stay in these islands can only be complete after attending a folkloric show with music and songs full of nostalgic notes. The whole history of the islands is traced in the musical notes, the Andalusian, Ottoman or Latin influences will simply please all tastes.
And how can we talk about the islands of Kerkennah without mentioning its beautiful beaches, and the chance offered to its visitors to relax on fine sand shaded by palm trees, with their feet in the water. And to enjoy a good swim, whether alone or in company with several other vacationers, you can choose between different beaches: Mkaren Khlifa beach, the village of Eramla korniche, El Karraba beach or the surprising beach of Sidi Founkhal
Kerkennian gastronomy is based on specialties based on local fish – paraclete, mullet, sea bream – crushed barley, dates and raisins with a special place for octopus. This one declined in particular in couscous becomes a festive meal. But couscous also exists with fish – a specialty using the catch of the day – or stuffed squid – in season. These are variations of this dish that you won’t find anywhere else. The arrival of electricity on the island and therefore of refrigeration has expanded the gastronomic possibilities. On the other hand, since fish is a product with high added value, some Kerkennians consume it more rarely than before.