traveling to/ from Djerba

It is not the easiest thing in the world to get to Djerba, at least from the United States!  In fact, months of preparation went into our week-long trip to Tunisia.  ("You have to earn it," as they say.)

In order to make your life easier, may we recommend buying your flight to Djerba through Thomas Cook (the UK's answer to Expedia).  You will have to plan ahead since flights in and out of the Mellita/ Zarzis Airport in Djerba are limited depending on the day of the week.  You will also not find a direct flight from the USA to Tunisia.  Instead, plan on a stopover in London or Paris, which is never a bad thing! 

Once on the island, you are welcome to pass on to the mainland of Tunisia (and we highly recommend it, even if just for a day-trip.)  Passage between Djerba and the mainland by rental car can be done in two ways.  First, by taking a slightly-out-of-the-way detour, you can access coastal town Zarzis by bridge.  (Zarzis is another beach community, though not as well-outfitted as the island of Djerba).  The second, more exciting and picturesque way to go is via ferry from the Djerbian port town of Ajim (see "sights") to El Jorf.

We weren't really sure how long we would have to wait for the ferry as they tend to leave pretty frequently (about every 15 minutes or so during the tourist season).  The question of the day was how many cars would fit on each ferry?  Judging from the long line of cars waiting ahead of us, not many.  If you are stuck in long wait, may we suggest hopping out of your car to check out the cafe's and souvenir shops which line the entrance to the ferry on both sides of the channel.  (There are also some toilets available but I seem to remember running water being an issue!) 

The ferry from Ajim is very inexpensive, a few TND coins is all you need.  The trip itself is actually quite liberating and it feels more like a tourist boat then a functional ferry service.  Our trip, including the wait, was about one hour on the way out of Djerba and only about 10 minutes on the way back so we would recommend avoiding "rush hour" if at all possible.

There is one more way to get to Djerba!  If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can hitch a longer ferry ride from Palermo, Sicily to the capital of Tunis and then rent a car to the island of Djerba!  Have fun and bring your sunblock!