A beautiful unspoiled fishing town.
Good transport links to Tunis and the south. A short shared-taxi ride to El Djem. The town is five miles south of a 'tourist compound' of huge hotels, etc. to be strictly avoided if you want to meet Tunisians and live as the locals do.
Google map: bit.ly/v6GI12
Needing to get far away from the traditional family UK Christmas, but eschewing airports, my daughter hit the search engines. On 18th December we two headed south to Marseille, with three tight-knit trains delivering us from Brighton in time for a late fish supper on the port. The next morning we boarded – along with over 2000 Tunisian ex-pats, going home for the holidays – the huge ferry to Tunis. Bad weather delayed us a little, but we got to know our fellow passengers and had warm invitations which ensured we eventually arrived intact in Mahdia, where we had rented a beautiful flat, very cheaply, for three nights. After exploring this unspoiled coastal town – and nearby El Djem - we caught the coast train back north to Tunis. Warm hospitality again met us at the Dar Ed Medina hotel, in the old city, where the fantastic staff ensured that we had a non-Christmas to remember. We’ve often thought gratefully of our kind hosts as their society has been in upheaval this year. But Tunisia is still welcoming independent travellers… get booking!
Travel details: Eurostar and TGV London to Marseille.
Ferry SNCM: www.sncm.fr/
Marseillle-Tunis return. Journey approx 19 hours. Very comfy cabins.
Tunis-Mahdia by train: daily, 4 hours.
Mahdia: Villa Zouila Mahdia, only £25 per night for the beautiful Olivier apartment. Great meals cooked by neighbour on request.
19 avenue Taieb Mhiri, 5100 Mahdia
+32 479 414 910
Tunis: Hotel Dar El Medina www.darelmedina.com/
Atmospheric rooms and a stunning rooftop terrace, in the old walled city.
64, Rue Sidi Ben Arous Tunis 1006, Tunisia
+32 71 563 022
This beautiful urban 'casa' is situated right in the heart of Santa Clara - serious Che country - which is right in the heart of Cuba. Carlos and his family will look after you superbly and he enjoys speaking English. A little over 20 CuCs will buy you a fabulous room and great facilities and food. You're within easy, cheap and fast coach travel to both north and south coast beaches.
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