Yasmine is a gargantuan resort complex just outside Hammamet proper. As of today, Yasmine amounts to a miniature city with a Medina of its own and various facilities such as markets, hotels, entertainment centers, and a waterside promenade - all of it covering an area of nearly 300 hectares.
Some of the major attractions of coastal Hammamet are its beaches, extending miles upon miles north and south of town. While some areas may belong to resorts, there are plenty of spots along the shore that are open to the public. Water sport enthusiasts will find rentals dotted along the coast.
Having at different points in time hosted prominent figures such as Winston Churchill and served as a Nazi headquarters, the lavish mansion has regrettably lost much of its extravagant allure over the years. It today contains art exhibitions and plays host to the annual Festival of Music and Drama.
The Great Mosque towers over the spread of Medina's dwellings, and makes for a fine example of Tunisian architecture (which, in this case, is a fusion of Moorish and Turkish tradition). Adjacent to the Grand Mosque is the now religious school (formerly another mosque) Sidi Abdel Kader.
The fortification, first erected in the 13th century, still stands today - and relatively well-preserved, at that. An on-site museum tells the brief history of the fort, but its main draw is, perhaps, the unbeatable view over the Medina and the sea surface - things may get a bit crowded at sunset.
One of the largest towns in the area, Nabeul is best visited on a Friday, when the famous local market is set up all along the city's main artery. Other attractions include the very pleasant beach and the city Archaeological Museum, containing findings and artifacts found in the area.
The ruins of Kerkouane are a rare vestige of a civilization long-gone. The area was once inhabited by Phoenicians (who lived off fishing and manufacturing colored dye - particularly a purple shade produced from shellfish), but fell victim to the Romans during the Third Punic War. Some traces of its former glory still remain today.
The settlement of El Haouaria is primarily known for two things - its craft of falcon training (the village even serves host the annual Falconry Festival in May, and the wild gracious birds are often sighted here in spring) and the Roman Caves, carved inside sand cliffs several kilometers to the north.
The northern town of Kelibia is a good vantage point for a clear sunny day - if you're in luck, you may even be able to see as far the coast of Sicily. Other than its hilltop fort, the town is known for its beaches, which are claimed by some to be some of the best in the Mediterranean.
The hot springs of Korbous have been celebrated for their medicinal properties for centuries, ever since they were first discovered at the turn of the 19th century. Some skin conditions and health issues such as arthritis are believed to be if not healed, then largely eased by the thermal waters.
The settlement of Soliman (on the Gulf of Tunis side) is worth the 40km trip for its characteristic feel - the town is very reminiscent of Moorish architecture typical of the Spanish south. Soliman is home to a couple historic mosques, and is only a short drive away from the nation's capital of Tunis.
Wildlife-lovers are bound to write the Friguia animal park into their Tunisian itineraries - species present here range from tigers and crocodiles to flamingos and sea lions, all well-kept inside the spacious reserve welcoming tours and individuals to its animal shows and countless entertaining activities for young ones.
The name "Hammamet" itself translates as the plural of "bath", so a visit to one of the local spas is bound to figure on your local itinerary. For a budget option, try the public baths in the Hammamet Medina (next to the Grand Mosque). Several spas and thalasso centers operate within the city limits, some much favored by holidaymakers. El Mouradi Yasmine Hammamet +216 72 249 199 Bio Azur Thalasso Groupe Les Orangers +216 72 278 310
Set on a docked ship, Le Corsaire is a dining experience to remember - portions are incredibly generous, prime cuts of sizzling meat served on skillets, with a wide selection of side dishes available. Diners enjoy direct views over the boat and yacht park from the floating restaurant.
La Belle Vue is a decent quality eatery serving a pleasant selection of local and international dishes at reasonable prices. The restaurant's name does not betray expectation - views from here unfold over the Hammamet beach with a line-up of scenic boats, with the setting sun as backdrop.
Chez Achour ranks amongst the finest in Hammamet - in terms of seafood, at the very least - the display of freshly caught marine creatures entices diners with its abundance, and dishes are served in the restaurant's intimate, shaded courtyard. Located steps away from the Medina.
The restaurant's imposing sign is hard to miss - especially so at night, when the letters light up. La Bouillabaisse serves French cuisine with an individual spin, with cooked-to-perfection meats, seafood (escargot in garlic sause), and other dishes gracing tables of loyal customers.
The restaurant is set directly on the beach, offering diners unobstructed views of the water and - during the evening hours - the golden sunsets. Cuisine served is a mix of Mediterranean culinary traditions, with an emphasis on Italian flavours and seafood. Mind that alcohol is not served here.
The Boat is quite literally that - a ship-turned-restaurant docked in the Yasmine harbour. The setting could hardly be more romantic, whether you choose to be seated on the boat itself or an inviting terrace out front. Cuisine served is the town's usual - Tunisian and Mediterranean.
In fresh contrast to the majority of Hammamet's restaurants, the Steakhouse focuses heavily on meat dishes rather than seafood - come here to tuck into a prime cut of juicy steak or opt for a lighter meal (such as lasagne, for example). The restaurant is run by a Scottish expat.
The cupcake and sweets shop is must for all those with a sweet tooth - endless varieties of decadent-looking cupcakes, with flavours ranging from everyone's favorite Oreo to Snickers and other candy brands well-known internationally. Other treats include delectable glazed donuts and cookies.
For those on a budget, Le Pecheur is the place to be - at very fair prices, the establishment serves a selection of Tunisian and Mediterranean dishes, many with a certain home-made quality to them. The location is fortunate, just across from the old castle and steps away from the Center Commercial.
The cafe's specialty is its freshly squeezed orange juice, glasses with curly straws commonly seen on each and every table inside. Other than juice, guests are welcome to indulge in quite a selection of European and Mediterranean snacks and meals, all at a very reasonable price.
The recently established cafe is located walking distance from the central bus station, making it an excellent pit stop on your way in or out. Serves quality Italian cuisine (pasta, pizza, pannini, and gelato arrangements for dessert), and offers an exceptionally wide selection of tea flavours.
The hidden gem of a cafe isn't easy to stumble upon, so do head here with purpose. By night, as multiple lamps light up in the lush green garden furnished with antique pieces, the cafe gains a whimsical charm and turns conducive to hours of lounging. Try one of the excellent fruit juices.
At Il Gelato, ice cream comes in an abundance of delicious varieties - from the classic, scoopable kind, to a selection of miniature frozen desserts such as fruity popsicles, cones, ice cream sandwiches, and bit-size chilly delights. The refreshing treat goes best with steamy summer temperatures.
The Yasmine port and marina area are a widely-known tourist magnet, much due to the abundance of charming waterfront (and even some floating on the water surface itself!) bars and restaurants, mostly known for their loungy vibes. For harder partying, head to Hammamet Sud after sunset drinks here.
The glitzy Calypso is a massive, fashionable nightclub (some say, the best on the entire continent) that packs hundreds at a time - local and international party-goers fill the floor form midnight onward, dancing to tunes spun by guest DJs from all over the world. Drinks are on the pricey side.
Another dancing establishment a notch below the fabled Calypso, El Pacha is a safe bet for those looking to dance the night away. The location is convenient, within easy reach from Yasmine and Hammamet proper. In the summer, the venue tends to get quite jammed with both locals and vacationers.
The believably largest nightlife entertainment venue in all of Africa (the massive space spans 4000 square meters), Oasis is a must for house music aficionados - sound-systems pump the genre well into the early morning hours. The club itself occupies a grandiose castle-like building.
What keeps customers coming back for more is one of the best panoramic terraces in town - from here, you will enjoy a direct view of the Kasbah and sun setting straight into the sea. The restaurant offers great dining, but coming for a drink only is not at all frowned upon.
Every Friday, the nearby town of Nabeul serves host to a bustling market, where everything from fresh produce to intricate handicraft designs are put up for sale. The market isn't only a shopping spot but an attraction in itself - a good way to soak in the character of an oriental bazaar.
Hammamet may be reached via two different airports, both located at approximately the same distance from town (about an hour's drive away). Buses to Tunis-Carthage Airport run three times daily, departing form and arriving to the central bus station on Avenue Habib Thamaeur. The newly opened Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport is best reached via privately arranged transfer (these can be pre-booked in preparation for your trip). Both airports have taxi stands, cabs may be hired upon arrival.
Buses to various destinations depart from bus stops along the main avenue of Yasmine Hammamet (the main stop is directly outside the Yasmine Medina). Tickets may be purchased on board. Another local means of transportation is a so-called "louage" - a smaller, fixed-fare mini-bus (white in color with red stripes on the sides). To take one of those to Tunis, go to Place Pasteur. For other destinations (Kairouan and Sousse), you will need to head out to Barrak-es-Sahil - a couple of km north of town.