Mahdia - Tunisia’s Historic Hidden Gem
Location: Getting There
Mahdia is accessible by air via either the Hammamet-Enfidha International Airport or the Djerba-Zarzis International Airport. Road transfers from both airports are approximately an hour and three quarters. Travel within the town is easy on foot, and there are trains that run from the port around the outskirts of town towards Sousse, if required.
Business: Tunisia’s Fishing Hub
During medieval times, Mahdia had strategic importance, and thus had been a thriving military settlement. In recent times, tourism has become the town’s key industry, as its unspoilt charm, historic interest, and 10-kilometre beach have mass appeal. Aside from tourism, fishing is also hugely important, with around 70 per cent of the country’s fish being supplied by the town.
Culture: A Medieval Medina
One of the biggest attractions in Mahdia is its Great Mosque, which was constructed in the tenth century. It has faced destruction and reconstruction several times, but it was completely renovated during the 1960s in keeping with the original layout. Another testament to the town’s history and culture is the Medina or Kasbah, which is again, carefully preserved. This walled area, located on the town’s peninsula, is enchanting to explore on foot, and its weekly street market has hundreds of stalls offering local produce.
Activities: Dine or Dive at Mahdia Beach
After some sightseeing, the beach is a popular place on which to relax. Its white sands extend for 10 kilometres, providing plenty of room to find a quiet spot. A promenade runs alongside part of the beach, and this offers a choice of cafés that serve fresh fish and seafood. Diving enthusiasts will find a selection of scuba centres that offer wreck dives and night dives.