Bizerte is a great destination for Mediterranean lovers. Far from tourist folks and closer than ever to the local culture, Bizerte offers you the best vacation you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you're looking for history, culture, nature or culinary traditions, Bizerte has it all.
To make your trip easier, WildyNess team made up the best itinerary to follow while you explore the northern coast of Tunisia, So here's the way to go for a fascinating exploration.
The Fascinating History of Bizerte
Located on the northern coast of Tunisia, Bizerte occupies the southern shore of the Mediterranean. A location deemed geographically very characteristic and extremely strategic. Due to it, Bizerte has been a crossroads to a myriad of successive civilizations since its foundation around 11000 BC by the Phoenicians.
ts architecture testifies to many civilizations that have succeeded such as the Romans, the Byzantines and later on the Arabs. Then, when the French colonized Tunisia, the French Navy ships entered the port of Bizerte in 1881. Despite the independence of Tunisia in 1956, France eventually left Tunisia after 7 years. The 15th of October became a national holiday : Evacuation Day.
The impact of all of these civilizations left an indelible impact on the city. The geometry of the city testifies for the Latin-Byzantine civilization. While the Arab-muslim touch is blatant in the streets and the styles of houses give Bizerte an atypical character.
Over the years, Bizerte has kept a Medina full of charm, a picturesque market and an old fishing port, with large colorful boats.
The must-do itinerary in Bizerte
Surrounded by vast cereal plains, Bizerte is one of the richest tourist destinations in Tunisia. It is a favorite among locals and foreigners alike.
Endowed with an extraordinary beauty, Bizerte is a lush city that presents an authentic and modern aspect at the same time. To discover its beaches, its infrastructures as well as its sublime ports, follow our itinerary.
Starting with the Kasbah
Nothing is more spectacular than to start our itinerary with a visit to the Kasbah. Fascinating, but little known, it is located north of the old port and was built in the 17ᵉ century.
With its only entrance on the west side and its 8 towers, the Kasbah raises its ramparts above the medina. Go there and stroll through its charming streets littered with small wonders.
The Medina of Bizerte
All Tunisian cities nestle an old Medina. While they are similar in spirit, they make up for this by the small details in the architecture and the unique specialities of their shops. Unlike the Medina of El Kef or that of Tunis, Medina of Bizerte has more blue and white houses. A sidi-bou said style infuses a very authentic and warm charm.
Located in the northern side of the city, the old Medina is a feast for all the senses. In the labyrinth of slim alleyways and protected souks, every street has its own smell and every smith has their unique value proposition.
Every street is named after a craftsman. So you will bet that you will find the smiths within side the Rue des Forgerons, the armorers within side the Rue des Armuriers, the carpenters within side the Rue des Menuisiers, and the butchers with inside the Rue des Bouchers.
Metalworkers, carpenters, butcher men and grocery shop owners are scattered in front of their shops and stores. Sitting there, sipping their coffees while listening to Tunisian music. A stroll in the Medina takes you to a place where studied carelessness sprezzatura is embodied, embraced and cherished.
Between the souks of the medina and the old port, you will notice a distinctive green octagonal minaret. It’s the Rebaa Mosque, with a distinctive octagonal minaret in green. Again, the Ottoman design influence on mosques is very blatant in Bizerte. The color, the shape and the gallery facade are all very distinguishing.
If you have a professional camera, or you are a photography amateur, you don’t want to miss a morning visit to the mosque. The colors are vivid, and the natural light is very helpful. Just next to the mosque, there is a fish market that gets a bit crowded in the morning but caters for the best local photos you can capture.
The Hanafite mosque
On the North side of the vieux port and just two minutes away from the Kasbah lies El Kasbah. Inside its walls, you will discover a neighborhood, where houses and a mosque were built centuries ago. What we see today is the heritage of the 17th century left by the Ottoman rule.
The Hanafite mosque testifies to that glorious period of history. In fact, it is a suspended mosque, which allowed the construction of a series of stores on the first floor. Do not hesitate to make a small tour. You can find small hidden gems.
Sidi El Hani Fort
On the south side of the old port, you see the small fort of Sidi El Hani adjoining an oceanographic museum. Like many places in Bizerte, the fort dares back to the 17th century, the Ottoman rule.
Photo Credit: Association de Sauvegarde de la Medina de Bizerte
The fort has been well-preserved and restored so you can enjoy your visit while taking a look into the small museum.
To take most of your visit, go to the terrace and enjoy the panoramic views over the whole medina and the old fort.
Bizerte doesn’t fail to impress you with its unique architecture. The Andalusian Quarter is one of those quarters left by the Spanish Muslims who took refuge in the city after being expelled from Spain. This was almost two centuries before the Ottoman rule.
To get to this beautiful neighborhood, you need to follow the street of the Slaughterhouse “ la rue de l’Abattoir”. Once you find yourself in the midst of beautiful studded doors and moucharabiehs, you will know you’ve reached the quarter.
The Old Harbor: “Vieux Port”
After this wonderful, enriching and fascinating day, would you like to take a little break at the old port?
Nestled between the Kasbah and the Sidi El Hani fort, the old port of Bizerte is a charming and authentic place. With its small basin surrounded by white houses, cafés and big colored huts, you will be amazed by the beauty of this place.
The bright colors and a cheerful atmosphere will give you a relaxing moment to end your exploring trip. The Dortmumd café is ideal for enjoying mint tea while looking at the stunning view of the port and its surrounding building. If you are hungry, the restaurant Le Phènicien, right next door, is a great call. A fresh fish dish is a perfect recommendation.
How about a good Lablabi Sandwich?
A specialty of Bizerte, the Lablabi snack is of great appeal for those who visit the city. Embrace yourself to expand your palate with a mix of steamed chickpeas, topped with olive oil, tuna, harissa, eggs, sardines and olives of your choice. All these ingredients are put in 1/2 a baguette.
You can ask any local for directions to Mohammed El Hadi or Hicham Jemili. If you feel a bit shy, just follow the Avenue El Amir Abdelkader to find the former or Bouguatfa garden for the latter. This is a must-try during your visit to Bizerte. And, WildyNess guarantees you the quality and the taste of the two mentioned-above addresses.
What to do for more adrenaline rush?
In addition to the city center, the turquoise and transparent beaches, you can spend a nice moment of discovery in Bizerte.
Done with the city center? We bet you are still curious to visit more in this part of the country. There are a few places in Bizerte you can explore. Here are some:
Visit the Fishing Harbor of Bizerte
If you missed the fishing port in the morning, you can catch up before leaving Bizerte. Since fishing is the main activity of Bizerte, don't miss the visit to the fishing port. At 8 minutes from the old port, you will have fun walking around while getting some fresh air. You should definitely take a walk there.
Take the Route to The National Park of Ichkeul
To the southeast of this beautiful city and 30 minutes from the port, you can visit the Ichkeul Park. Classified as a UNESCO heritage site, its biodiversity will leave you breathless. More than 400 species of plants, migrating birds and several endangered species take the lake as home for them. You will have the opportunity to see the greater scaup and the teal together with others threatened with extinction species. It is extraordinary, isn't it?
Partake in Kayaking in the Vieux Port
Spice out your visit to Bizerte by adding some adrenaline and sweat! You can explore the Vieux Port far from the crowded sidewalks and go for one-hour kayaking in its water. This way, you will see the Kasbah and its adjoining monuments like a Roman emperor or an Ottman sultan. Not only this feeling of power and humility in front of the majesty of nature mixed with modernity. But also, the connection you make with the moving waves, the dazzling stars and the shy moon.
If you’re lucky enough, your visit can coincide with our Full Moon Kayak Tour in Bizerte.
Where to spend the night in Bizerte?
At the end of the day, nothing is more satisfying than spending the night in an authentic, pleasant and surprising guesthouse. For this, check Dar Warda, Dar El Kasebah, Dar Farisa and Diar Khadija.
These guesthouses offer a high quality service with a reasonable price. Crowned by a panoramic view, you will spend a nice moment of relaxation and well-being.
Bizerte, the pearl of the Mediterranean
Bizerte leaves a spectacular impression on anyone who visits it. Charm, authenticity and sincerity, this destination cannot leave you indifferent. You will remember the colors, the smell of the sea and the exceptional flavors of the pearl of the Mediterranean.
Spending a day there, and exploring its beauties will certainly help you understand why it is called that.