The picturesque town of Mahdia, located about 205 km south of Tunis and easily accessible by plane flying over Monastir, offers visitors not only the beauty of kilometers of fine white sand beaches kissed by a wonderful Mediterranean Sea, but also the classic charm of Arab cities made of markets, exotic smells, places of worship, monuments and millenary history.
Founded in 918, on the remains of an ancient Punic city, by the Caliph Fatimid Ubayd Allah Mahdi and therefore linked to a strong Islamic current that led it to be also the capital, Mahdia enjoys a discrete tranquility. Although, in fact, it is becoming more and more important as an important seaside resort, it has not yet been invaded (for now) by mass tourism, thus preserving its traditional nature of a small Arab village on the sea.
Mahdia is made up of a small peninsula characterized by white beaches, along which most of the hotels wind, and a clear sea that frame a town with a truly enchanting historic center.
The old town is only 2 km from the area from the hotels which can be easily reached with a relaxing walk by the beach or by taxi. The town climbs up on the slopes of Cap Afrique and the entrance to the historic center takes place through the ancient fortified gate of Silk Kahla which offers a suggestive direct access to the Medina (ancient city).
Around the Great Mosque, which can only be visited in the morning until 1pm unless there are religious services, the entire center develops where small streets and squares full of cafes and often shaded by trees intertwine, where the characteristic and colorful souks ( markets) offer lively shops of all kinds and in which, in case you want to shop, the password is only one: to bargain.
Here you can breathe the air of traditional Tunisia and it is very easy to immerse yourself in the charm of this classic Arab village, once also famous for silk, and get involved in the friendliness, often too much, of the local population.
Walking along the promontory of the city you will arrive at the walls of the Borj El Kebir castle, built in the 15th century and considered one of the most beautiful works of Ottoman military architecture, from whose terrace you can admire a wonderful scenery made of white houses with characteristic and green gardens and the white coast that marries an exceptional Mediterranean Sea.
If you are passionate about Roman history, then, do not miss the opportunity to take an excursion to the Roman Amphitheater in the town of El Jem, located in the plain, full of olive trees, surrounding the city of Mahdia. Reachable by collective taxis, the "Colosseum of Africa" was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 and houses some of the most important historical remains from the Roman era in all of Africa.
Sun, white beaches, crystal clear sea, culture and the feeling of being light years away from the European noise. In short, the ideal place to unplug a little.