Located on a narrow peninsula on the east of Tunisia, Mahdia, the old imperial capital, rises as a beautiful, calm coastal city. Compared to other Tunisian tourist centers, this magic destination is less boisterous and cluttered and it provides an ideal opportunity to take a few days off and just relax.
According to the locals, the beaches of Mahdia are the most beautiful beaches in Tunisia. Turquoise waters, fine white sand and a pleasant summer breeze make this coast a privileged enclave that has become the world capital of thalassotherapy tourism. The city brings together the full charm and the millenary character of Tunisia: a world of color, aromas, flavors and traditions. There is a lot to do and discover in Mahdia. Our visit must take us to the Great Mosque, erected as a fortress. Then we can go to the old quarter and reach the beautiful Medina, the only part of the original city that is still standing, accessed through the spectacular Gate of Skifa el Kahla. In this marketplace we find a never-ending supply of traditional pottery, tapestries, spices, figs and dates and the mythical embroidered jackets and robes. Another prominent fortress is Borj el Kebir, built in the 16th century. Located on the highest part of the peninsula, it offers a spectacular view of the ruins of the Ancient Port, carved out in the stone in the times of the Punic Wars. The Place du Caire is the core of the city’s vitality, serving as its neuralgic center. We recommend that you sit down at one of the bars or cafés, enjoy a cup of tea and enjoy the serene surroundings. Other essential sights are the Marketplace leading to the port, the marine cemetery, the Black Gate at the entrance of the city, the House of the Sea, and the Palace of Al-Qaim bi-Amr Allah, all of which are part of the history and legacy of Mahdia. Those who are fond of archaeology have to visit the coliseum of El Jem (a one hour drive away), the biggest coliseum in the world after the one in Rome.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Arab world is its gastronomy, and Mahdia of course has plenty to offer. There are so many exquisite and surprising dishes to enjoy such as chicken or lamb couscous, Fatima fingers (a pie filled with chicken breast and potato), Tajine (meat and potato omelette), and Bricks (triangular pasta delicacies filled with egg and tuna). There is no way you can skip the opportunity of trying the magnificent fresh fish to be had at Mahdia. Enjoy giltheads, red mullets, mackerels or sardines… grilled and with a slice of lemon.
To sum it up, Mahdia is history, light, tranquility, culture and a dreamlike coastline—the ideal destination for those wishing to relax while discovering the spirit of Maghreb.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a 5-star vacation complex, All Inclusive, in Mahdia: the IBEROSTAR Royal El Mansour, located next to a beautiful warm water beach. In this luxury establishment you can enjoy an exquisite gastronomic offer, a complete entertainment program for all the family and rooms equipped with everything you may need.”