The beaches north of the kasbah, situated a few hundred metres east of the main road, are sweeping and balmy but fronted by a string of rather isolated hotels. Further north, up past the Y-junction (about 3km from the kasbah), Ave de la Corniche is a favourite venue for an evening promenade. The narrow strip of beach is covered with dried kelp.
Following Ave de la Corniche northward all the way to the radar station, looping around the headland and then heading west, will take you to La Grotte, a dramatic beach that’s popular with Tunisian families. It’s protected to the west by the white cliffs of Cap Blanc, one of the northernmost points on the African continent. From June to September, there are a couple of basic eateries here, but take plenty of water and your own food if you plan to spend the day. From the centre, a one-way taxi fare to La Grotte, which is 9km from the kasbah, costs about 4DT.
Old Port & Medina
The old port, lined with cafes and fishing boats at their moorings, is an enchanting place for a stroll. Kids jump off the banks and the bridge in summer and people fish in the early mornings and evenings.
Northwest and north of the port is the medina, known as the Ville Arabe (Arab Town) during the French period. Near the entrance is the 17th-century Great Mosque, with its octagonal minaret.
West of here is the heart of the medina. The area was damaged during WWII by Allied bombing, but its alleys, with blue grills and keyhole-shaped doors, are worth a wander. The tiny Rue des Forgerons, still true to its name, is lined with cluttered blacksmiths’ workshops.
On the north side of the entrance to the old port stand the 10m-high fortified walls of the kasbah. Along with its kid brother, the ksibah on the southern side of the entrance to the port, it was originally built by the Byzantines in the 6th century AD. Today’s kasbah, constructed in the Ottoman period (17th century), encloses a warren of tranquil residential streets, many of them whitewashed with bright-blue doors and windows.