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1. Sidi Fredj

2. Borj el-Hissar

3. Remla, the "capital"

4. El-Attaia

5. Sweet ferry ride


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Some love it, some don't see the point
Still some of the ancient tranquillity of Kerkennah is present, out here 20 km from the Tunisian mainland, where life is lived at a slower pace than in the hardworking Sfax.
The soil is fertile, the produce diversified, and the fishing is still rich enough to make long trips out from the islands unnecessary. The islands don't demand much labour from its developers, as the highest point is no more than 3 metres above sea level.

Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia

Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia

The islands of Kerkennah has to some extent hit off as a tourist trap, though you won't find any of the crowds of Jerba. Some of the traditional architecture is preserved, but it is generally run-down and lacks the charm of the many different traditional styles elsewhere in the country.
Some travellers think that the Kerkennahs is the most beautiful place on earth, tranquil and friendly. Others think that they must be completely nuts, that the Kerkennahs tip over in direction of ugly and boring.
I for my part, rank Kerkennah Islands as visually next to completely unattractive. But that may be because I am from Norway, a part of the world where islands and tranquility is found in abundance. And in a beautiful wrapping, too. Returning visitors to the Kerkennahs seem to live all the year in a busy, big town somewhere in Europe. And if Kerkennahs give them what they need, it is nobody's right to mind.
The low number of cars out here add to the quiet impression. Fishing and agriculture has seen little development, and even today, fishermen use ancient fish traps made out of palm fronds, shaped into a funnel, that ends in a trap. As the fish of Tunisia is heavenly, try to watch this process. At the Kerkennahs bream, mullet, sole, sea bass, rouget, as well as lobster and octopus are caught.
There are two main islands, plus 5 smaller ones. Taking the ferry out here, you arrive at the least developed and least visited, the Gharbi. The two main islands are connected by a causeway, dating back to Roman times. On the larger island, the Chergui, you find the tourist village of Sidi Fredj, the ruins of Borj el Hissar, the largest village Remla and the small fishing port El Attaia.

By Tore Kjeilen