Ashore

The village is one of the most pleasant along the Tunisian coast and if only for this reason, well worth a visit. The interior of the low-lying, semi-desert island is interesting and, because it is flat, well suited for exploration by bicycle.

Perhaps the special atmosphere of Houmt Souk is explained by the different population of Kharijites and Jews, who lived on the island for centuries. However, as is often the case with enterprising islanders, Jerbans have moved away from their island and settled on the mainland of Tunisia. Many of them operate grocery corner shops which are therefore called 'Djerbans'. There arc still a few synagogues on the island but over the years most Jews have moved to Israel. In spite of these changes and the influx of tourists, Houmt Souk remains a charming place with its covered souks, narrow-streets and shaded squares.

Eating out

A benefit of the tourist development in Jerba is that Houmt Souk has a wide choice of restaurants. Restaurant Haroun, just outside the port, with a French trained chef, has excellent fish specialities.

Transport

The major car hire agencies have offices in Houmt Souk.

T52 Ajim

A small fishing harbour and ferry terminal on a promontory into the channel between Jerba and the mainland, exposed to the SE. A strong tidal stream makes this harbour difficult to negotiate.

Location

Distances Gabes 35M Houmt Souk 33M Tides

MHWS MHWN MLWN MLWS 1.2m 0.7m 0.5m 0.1m

Charts

Admiralty 3403 French 4316,, 4242 Lights Approach

1. Passe Ouest 33°42'.1N 10°36'.3E FI(2)9s4m7M Tank on masonry base

2. No.1 buoy in port channel FI(3)G.15s7M

Green and white horizontal stripes on metal tripod

3. No.2 buoy black and white horizontal stripes on metal tripod

5. No.4 buoy - as No 2. light, unknown Harbour FI.G.5s, FI.R.Ss Communications

Harbourmaster ^ 655002

The harbour

The small jetty at Ajim, which is used by the ferry to Tarf el Djorf on the mainland, was upgraded to a fishing harbour but without enclosing the facility to the E. The harbour does not have breakwaters as it is between the drying banks of the Canal d'Ajim. This channel separates the island of Jerba from the mainland and leads to the Bahiret el Bou Grara, an enclosed gulf. The Gulf of Bou Grara is barred on the E side by a causeway which connects the SE point of Jerba with the mainland. Strong tidal streams flow through the Canal d'Ajim and the entrance is very difficult to negotiate. At least one yacht is known to have made the passage but not without running aground. The challenge is probably the only good reason to visit Ajim because the village, although not unattractive with its white-washed houses, is without any particular interest.

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