Main basic figures
- Name: Mahdia
- Where is: Governorate of Mahdia (Tunisia)
Land area: 645 km2
Lenght of Coastline: 75 km
- Coordinates: 35°30′00″N 11°03′36″E
Management Organization: Municipality of Mahdia
- Official web site: http://www.commune-mahdia.gov.tn/index.php/en
A lively old fishing town at the southern end of the Gulf of Hammamet, Mahdia lies on a peninsula extending in the Mediterranean Sea. In the far end of the peninsula, by the spectacular Cap Afrique, is located the old cemetery, with its graves in bright white overlooking the deep-blue sea.
Well known for its clean and transparent seawater, diving and sea sports are appreciated by Mahdia tourists. In addition to marine underwater life, the Mahdia shipwreck – a Greek sunken ship supposedly in 80 BC – is a well-visited attraction.
The Medina, with its white profile of white buildings, domes and minarets, its network of alleys and coloured souks, offers a glimpse of the authentic culture and traditions of its people. The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, the Museum of Tapestry, are also a good way to approach the local culture.
An important military settlement since the time of the Phoenicians, Mahdia has enjoyed an extraordinarily rich past: the city, founded under the Caliph Abdallah al-Mahdi and named after him, was the first capital of the Fatimids before they moved to Egypt. There are many remnants of this old glorious past: the Roman Aphrodisium in the old part of Mahdia, the Great Mosque and the Ottoman Fortress “Borj al-Kebir” with its amazing vaulted ceilings, the gate “Skifa Kahla”. And out of Mahdia the spectacular amphitheatre of el-Jem, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Museum of el-Jem with its beautiful and great-size mosaics.
Further information can be found at www.commune-mahdia.gov.tn/index.php/fr/ (Commune of Mahdia institutional website, in Arabic, French and English); and www.mahdiaonline.com/2014/index.html (multi-language promotional website – private).
3 days itinerary in Mahdia (Tunisia).