Mezraia, Tunisia

Photo: Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Hotels

It’s been a day full of surprises. You wandered through the traditional souk, the Aghlabid fortress, and Borj El Kebir (an ancient castle) in Houmt Souk. You stood in awe of the ancient and richly decorated El Ghriba Synagogue in Erriadh. You watched pottery being crafted the same way it’s been since Roman times in Guellala. Then you geeked out when you saw Obi-Wan Kenobi’s house in Ajim. The only thing you surprisingly didn’t see—the dark, nighttime view from your sliding-glass doors certainly doesn’t count—is Plage de Sidi Mahrez.

There will be plenty of time for the white-sand beach. In fact, relaxing on the gorgeous stretch of sand is your only plan for tomorrow. Okay, that’s not quite true. You’ll probably spend some time at the meandering pool. You’ll definitely eat lunch on Le Mistral’s terrace and sip a cocktail at Le Laguna Pool Bar. You might even move between hydrotherapy pools in the spa. The Mediterranean Sea will never be far from your sight, though.

You’re staying at Hasdrubal Prestige Thalassa & Spa right on Plage de Sidi Mahrez. The family-friendly resort has low, whitewashed buildings and bright, spacious rooms. Five restaurants, three bars, and a massive spa offer plenty of food, drink, and treatment options. Golf courses are just a short shuttle ride away. All the sights you took in earlier are just a bit farther.

It’s easy to see why so many Europeans, especially the French, love Djerba. The small island is actually the largest island in North Africa. It sits in the Gulf of Gabes off the east coast of Tunisia. It has a fascinating history that includes the legend of Ulysses, Jews, Ibadi Muslims, Normans, Barbary pirates, and the French.

That history made Djerba distinct from the Tunisian mainland. The people have their own language. The domed architecture is unique. Plus its traditions, like weaving palm fronds into prayer mats that both Jews and Muslims use, promote peace and tolerance. Djerba is obviously a unique destination. It feels like a worthy one, too.

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