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By No owner — last modified Sep 08, 2016 10:52 PM

 Tunisia - Profile

Facts

  • September 2017: The Tunisian Government's ‘State of Emergency’ is still in place.
  • Due to the potential revenue from yaching, the Tunisian government encouraged the setting up of a chain of marinas and yacht harbours conveniently spaced along Tunisia's entire coast. However, due to the termoil of the last few years many marinas have suffered from lack of funds.
  • All ports are within reach of colourful towns and the boat can be left in safety to visit the interior. All this, plus the relatively low prices of the marinas, has turned Tunisia into a popular cruising destination, especially for wintering. For those wishing to get a taste of Africa, without actually leaving the Mediterranean, Tunisia is undoubtedly the best choice.
  • Yachting facilities are the best in North Africa. There are marinas at Sidi Bou Said (Tunis), Hammamet, Port Kantaoui and Monastir, and Bizerte. Facilities in fishing ports are often basic.
  • There are haul-out facilities at Sidi Bou Said (Tunis), Kantaoui, Hammamet, Monastir, Bizerte, Kelibia and Sfax.
  • Marine supplies are not widely available although there are chandleries attached to some marinas. Provisioning is good everywhere.
  • Because of its good facilities, security and attractive prices, Tunisia has become a popular wintering place, especially with owners of boats who wish to avoid spending too long in the EU. Three marinas are most suitable for wintering: Yasmine Hammamet, El Kantaoui and Monastir. They have similar amenities and long term fees are negotiable. Sidi Bou Said is usually full and is much more expensive than the other marinas. Equipment or spares from abroad should be addressed to the marina, which will assist in clearing it through customs.
  • If cruising the waters bordered by southern Sicily, Malta, Tunisia and Libya, be aware that because of an influx of migrants attempting to leave from Northern Africa there is an increase in Navy patrols in this area and the danger of small unlit craft carrying passengers.

Security

Check the current security situation using a website such as the UK FCO. They advise that there is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping, and attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners and in tourist resorts.

Generally, Tunisians are polite and helpful to all and since tourism is one of the biggest industries, they have grown accustomed to foreigners of all nationalities.

Last updated September 2017.

Weather

Inland the climate can be very hot in summer, but the winters are mild. Spring and autumn are the best times. Westerly winds prevail along the north coast, but in summer they are usually interrupted by the daily alternating land and sea breezes. Along the east coast the prevailing winds of summer are SE. The occasional sirocco arrives with gale force winds from the south, but is usually short lived.

Tunisia Weather Forecast.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

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Cottier
Cottier says:
Sep 05, 2016 09:08 PM

Winterization in Port Yasmine Hammamet, WARNING:
We left our catamaran Libellule in Hammamet from Aug-15 to May-16 and experienced the following difficulties:
1. When arriving we had a medical urgency and my wife needed to go urgently to the hospital. However, Immigration took our passports away and wanted money. The whole thing took about 90 minutes to resolve, the officers told us literally they didnt care if my wife died or not.
2. I sent a propeller from France to Hammamet, the parcel took 2 days to Hammamet and then 5 months, about 30 emails, and about EUR 1,000 of bribes to get it through customs.
3. We took the boat out of the water and left it in the shipyard Rodriguez. The antifouling they applied was of so poor quality that it lasted about 4 weeks before it partially started coming off and we had a real jungle under the boat; they did not even bother to put groundpaint below the antifouling, nor did they sand the underboat before applying the antifouling.
4. The repairs we had asked them to execute were not done; no spare parts available locally, and poor/unreliable workmanship.
5. On the way out of Tunisia customs wanted money again, but this time we got away with paying nothing.
So if you consider winterizing your boat there, make sure you do it in a smarter way than us (bring your own spare parts, no antifouoling job, no taking it out of the water, bring more time to fight bribes, no medical emergencies.
Sorry, Tunisia used to be a really nice country, and I had really good experiences there in the past, but this time it was just really really bad. People were friendly, though.
Philipp Cottier, s/v Libellule, Switzerland

maisuma
maisuma says:
Jul 05, 2016 12:56 PM

We visited Gammarth Marina in April/May this year and were very pleased with the service and security provided by the marina as well as the customs and police authorities. We were asked for a gift from the customs authorities on departure, and they were pleased with a bottle of wine. Other cruisers we know have been visiting Bizerte (after it opened in May 2016) and they were not too happy, especially because they were asked for corruption money from the police and customs. We visited Gammarth together with the boat, and were treated with respect and politeness. For entering Tunisia we can recommend Gammarth.

IceBear
IceBear says:
Feb 02, 2016 01:43 AM

I would like to say that Tunisia is open for buisness and the people are friendly. We keep our Catamaran in Port Yasmine and life is good there. We have no second thoughts about going there. Just came back at Christmas. (Canadians)

IceBear
IceBear says:
Feb 02, 2016 01:41 AM

this tax is no more and the Alchol tax has also been reduced

Mario Borg
Mario Borg says:
Aug 26, 2015 03:15 PM

Update Aug 2015
New Tax has been introduced October 2014 it will now cost 3 TD to check in and 30TD/person to check out. This is at Cap Monastir Marina I will assume that every harbour is the same as this is a government tax and has nothing to do with the marina. All taxes are paid to the customs officials and a receipt is issued every time.

Mario Borg
SY Maltese Falcon

Tunisia
Ben Khiar
Bizerte
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Gabes
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Houmt Souk (Djerba)
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La Chebba
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