Hammamet Yasmine Holidays
Hammamet Yasmine Holidays – The modern face of Hammamet
Like Port El Kantaoui, Hammamet Yasmine is a purpose built tourist resort. It is situated six kilometres (3.7 miles) from Hammamet on the seafront and takes its names from the abundant jasmine flowers that can be seen (and smelt) all over the area – a legacy, it is said, of Tunisians returning from Southern Spain.
Opened in 2000, Hammamet Yasmine has all the trappings of a modern tourist resort; a large, glitzy marina, a water park, casino, nightclubs and camels rides around the walls of a faux medina. Most of Hammamet Yasmine’s beaches have been annexed by the hotels, which generally keep them well maintained and there are plenty of opportunities for parasailing, jet skiing or taking to the high seas in a Disney-eque ‘pirate galleon.’
Whist the resort undoubtedly lacks the historical character or charm of neighbouring Hammamet, it may suit those who prefer fixed prices, and other conveniences on their Tunisia holiday. For a change of pace, taxis to Hammamet are cheap and plentiful.
Like most Mediterranean destinations, Hammamet Yasmine is busiest (and in terms of accommodation, most expensive) in July-August, when daytime temperatures are plus 30 degrees, though sea-breezes cool down the evenings, May-June are the most enjoyable times, and although great package holiday deals can be found at Easter, the water is generally too chilly for bathing. Being a popular destination with the English, school holidays can get busy but no more so than other holiday destinations in Europe. Off-season, you find many beach, water sport and other facilities closed in Hammamet Yasmine, though more stay open in neighbouring Hammamet, which has a larger population of residents.
Hammamet Yasmine enjoys a southern Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from 15 degrees in winter to a hot and humid 33 degrees in high summer, dropping to a balmy 20 degrees at night. October and even November are warm enough for beach activities, with temperatures in the low twenties, though bring a sweater for the evenings and light jacket for frequent late autumn rainfalls. December-February is better for cultural activities in the surrounding areas (there is little on offer in Hammamet Yasmine itself) as winter sun is pretty much always assured.
Most major providers offer flight and accommodation package holidays to Tunisia and Hammamet is one of their most popular destinations. Hammamet Yasmine hotels are often not listed separately, so do a general search for Hammamet then hone in. Most hotels are in the four and five star category and you’ll find lots of enticing rates even for July-August. One thing to remember is that Hammamet Yasmine is still a work in progress and there have been complaints about noise levels – try and second-guess this before booking.
Airlines fly to either Tunis-Carthage airport (TUN), from where you can get a louage (shared taxi) to Hammamet then a taxi or the newer Enfidha-Hammamet airport (NBE). Flights and hotel package holidays can often work out better, and will include transfers and often meals (though there are plenty of restaurants in both Hammamet and Hammamet Yasmine).
Major airlines travel to the Tunis-Carthage International Airport but if you book a package deal you will more than likely arrive at the modern Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport (www.enfidhahammametairport.com). Situated 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Hammamet. Opened in 2009 to accommodate visitors to the coastal resorts, it has duty free, money exchange facilities and car rental services. Taxis from the airport are metered and the average price to Hammamet is about 70 TND. From Tunis airport, which is 60kms (37 miles) from Hammamet, you’d be better off getting a louage (shared taxi) or train from Tunis’ main station (http://www.sncft.com.tn/).
Avis is the only international car hire operator in the airport should you choose to drive. Some travel forums have good reports on driving in Tunisia (except for the capital Tunis) and roads between the major resorts tend to be acceptable. Plenty of motor scooter traffic, lack of traffic lights, (roundabouts are used instead) and pedestrians crossing roads at any point are the main pitfalls.
The beautiful beach at Hammamet Yasmine has been mostly claimed by the hotels (though there are some public bathing spots) that generally keep it clean and seaweed free. That said, they can get crowded in high season and jellyfish has been a problem of late in the hottest months. Parasols, sun beds, beach bars and water sports facilities are plentiful, except in the off-season.
Hammamet is known as the Tunisian St Tropez. White sandy beaches go on for miles and it’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming, sailing, scuba diving and water-skiing. It’s also possible to take a horse along the beach or book a boat trip to view the dolphins. Holidays in Hammamet Yasmine will focus on it's own beach with spotless sand and warm, shallow sea. Much of the beach is lined wih attractive hotels, many with their own section of the beach to enjoy.
This resort is golf heaven, with three courses little more than a tee-shot away and others within easy reach. Golf Citrus is jointly owned by six local hotels and features two 18-hole courses: Les Oliviers, a challenging course set amongst olive groves, and La Forêt, an undulating course surrounded by pine trees, as well as a 9-hole executive course. Right next door is the more intimate Yasmine Golf Course, with a creek and two small lakes as water hazards.
Mineral Baths And Health Treatments
The name ‘Hammamet’ comes from the Arabic for ‘baths’ and the area’s health benefits were recognised before the Romans arrived. Various thalassotherapy treatments are available, including mud and seaweed wraps and baths. Apart from the pampering the larger centres, such as the Bio Azur, may offer anything from physiotherapy and treatments for arthritis to help with skin complaints and advice on nutrition.
The Cape Bon Peninsula
The resort is on a peninsula known as the Garden of Tunisia; a fertile area with a number of towns to explore. Hammamet has a 15th century Kasbah, a small but ancient medina, houses with beautiful ironwork and an International Festival of Culture in July and August. Nabeul is famous for its pottery and stonework. El Haouaria is known for its flowers and birdlife – it’s a stopping off point for migrating birds and there’s a falconry centre. Kélibia is an unspoilt fishing port. Kerkouane is a Carthaginian settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site. And Korbous features incredible mountain scenery and a hot spring that flows directly into the sea.
Tunis And Ancient Carthage
Just 40 miles away lies the Tunisian capital where elegant boulevards and cafes contrast with the World Heritage listed medina that is a maze of tunnels and alleyways. The Bardo Museum is a must. Little of ancient Carthage remains but the Carthage Museum has an incredible model as well as ruins, artefacts and a wonderful view of the Gulf of Tunis. Other recommended historical trips are the Roman ruins at Dougga and the El Jem amphitheatre, an extremely well-preserved colosseum that is still used for concerts today.
Trips into the Sahara can be arranged with a guide to show the sights, which may include anything from tours of a troglodyte home and the stunning oasis towns of the Atlas Mountains to visits to Star Wars locations.