Resort Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia
The Port of El Kantaoui is a special tourist area in Tunisia, created in the 80s on the initiative of President Habib Bourguiba. Under construction, then allocated 307 acres of land in the place of the village of El Kantaoui to the north of the city of Sousse , here built a port for yachts, reconstruction of the walls of the medina, several amusement parks and the market. The coast took several kilometers to the south and north of the port.
The resort became the capital of golf, which is told to tourists by a small sculptural composition at the entrance (pictured right).
The port of El Kantaoui is called the "tourist reserve of Tunisia". Unlike other resorts, it really does not see the real life of Tunisians. But let's think, but do tourists need it? We will understand all the pros and cons of the resort of El Kantaoui.
Search bases of tours and hotels belong to El Kantaoui in different ways. Some sing it out as a separate resort and a settlement, some consider part of Sousse. The second approach is wrong from all points of view. First, El Kantaoui is outside the city of Sousse and is not officially part of it. Secondly, the zone is very different from Sousse in terms of the composition of hotels and the features of recreation.
Click to view the map of the region . The city of Sousse, the green zone of the port of El Kantaoui, the purple zone of hotels and private houses of the resort are highlighted in blue.
If you want to spend your holidays in El Kantaoui, then prepare for the fact that the search engine of the tours will give out a long list of offers for the resort of Sousse (with included in this list offers for El Kantaoui), and you will have to choose the necessary hotels yourself, guided by Yandex or Google maps . Uncomfortable, but there's nothing to be done.
Where is the Port of El Kantaoui on Tunisia map
North of the city of Sousse in the Sahel region. Read more our article " Tunisia map with resorts ", there is a detailed map showing all the big resorts of the country and the nearest airports to them.
What is the resort of Port El Kantaoui
At the initiative of President Habib Bourguiba in 1979, the Societe d'Etudes et de Developpement in Sousse-Nord (Society for Research and Development Sousse-Nord) was established. This organization was engaged in planning the resort and appointing contractors.
Already in the early 80's were built: artificial harbor and port for yachts (pictured left), the adjacent infrastructure, the first golf course and several hotels.
The main architect of the resort was Olivier Kleman Kakub - the favorite of Habib Bourguiba and the most famous Tunisian architect of our time. He designed: the building of the Africa Hotel on Avenue Habib Bourguiba , the mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba in the city of Monastir , the presidential palace in Carthage and dozens of important buildings in Tunis, Congo, Cameroon and France. The basis was taken Port Grimaud on the French Riviera.
The resort is built around the port for yachts. Initially, its capacity was 340 ships, later it was expanded to a capacity of more than 500 vessels. The port is only for yachts, big ships do not go in here, it's too shallow.
Around the port are concentrated restaurants and cafes, tourist market, amusement parks: aqua park Aqua Palace, park Hannibal, fountains. At the entrance to the port is a small section of the wall, imitating a traditional medina (the center of an Arab city, surrounded by a wall). Buildings around are made in white and blue colors, according to the architect's idea, the district should repeat the famous Sidi Bou Said . Narrow stone-paved streets and arches reinforce the feeling that the visitor is in Tunis, but not the 21st century, but the 18th or 19th.
Around the greens, flowers and date palms. Impressions from the Port El Kantaoui area in tourists are only the most pleasant. See the small photo gallery below.
From the port to the north and south is the street. On the coastal side of it are the main hotels of the resort. On the opposite side are restaurants, shops, private sector homes and several hotels.
Experience of construction in El Kantaoui Tunisians later used to build the second large artificial resort area of the country - Yasmin Hammamet .
Advantages of recreation in Port El Kantaoui
The first advantage is sandy beaches of the highest quality. Soft fine sand (pictured right) and the sandy pleasant bottom of the sea. The quality of the beaches of the Hammam Sousse is not inferior to the famous Hammamet .
The second advantage is the location in the middle between the airports of Monastir (Habiba Bourguiba) and Enfid (Enfida-Hammamet). The distance from both airports to El Kantaoui is about 25 kilometers, you will not need to drive more than 30 minutes.
Most often when buying a tour to the resorts of northern Tunisia, you have to consider the airport of arrival of the charter flight to avoid a long trip from the airport to the hotel. In the case of El-Kantaoui, you do not have to worry about that.
The third advantage is the convenient organization of the resort. All objects outside the port area are along one single road, it is impossible to get lost.
The fourth advantage is the developed tourist infrastructure. There are dozens of souvenir shops, excursion bureaus, restaurants, cafes and eateries. They can find everything that tourists might need or wish to bring from Tunisia .
The fifth advantage is the presence of local entertainment. We'll talk about them later in this article.
The sixth advantage is the variety of hotels. Here there are "treshki", "quartet" and posh "five". The Port of El Kantaoui is a resort "on any wallet". In the photo on the left is the territory of one of the best local hotels - El-Mouradi Palm Marina.
The seventh advantage is the proximity of the large city of Sousse with all its sights. Before Sousse can be reached by taxi, a distance of about 10 kilometers, pay about 8 Tunisian dinars .
Sousse is a major transport hub of the country, from here on the train it is convenient to reach many attractions: El Jem , Phrygia , Tunisia and others. For details, see our reviews " Taxis in Tunisia " and " Trains in Tunisia ".
The port of El Kantaoui is jokingly called the "tourist ghetto". This is a purely resort area, where you can not see the real life of Tunisia. But if you look at the other side, then next is Sousse - the third largest city in the country. Nobody forbids to go there to see the real Tunisia and the Tunisians.
Hotels in Port El Kantaoui are diverse, but there are not many. If you are aiming for five stars, then the choice will be small - four hotels. With quadruples and treshkov the situation is similar, the assortment is very narrow.
In El Kantaoui, an expensive land, this is the elite region of the country. Accordingly, hotels can not afford to have a large territory. For local hotels it is normal to have only one swimming pool. If the hotel does not have a separate children's pool, this is considered normal. The lack of tennis courts or playgrounds does not surprise anyone. We strongly recommend that you specify the structure of the hotel infrastructure before buying a tour .
And the main disadvantage is high prices. For dinner in a restaurant or a snack in a cafe, pay 30-50% more than other resorts. For Tunisian souvenirs, many tourists prefer to go to Sousse, where the goods are cheaper and the range is wider.
In El Kantaoui there are no large supermarkets Carrefour or Monopriks. Shopping has to be done in souvenir shops.
How to travel around El Kantaoui
It is most convenient to go by taxi. A trip from the hotel to the port area will cost within 5 dinars, in Sousse - in the redistribution of 10 dinars. From some hotels to interesting places it's easier to walk, check the location of the hotel using Google maps.
For lovers of romance, horse carriages are available, see the photo on the left. On the main street there are minibuses, the fare is 1-2 dinars. When landing, you need to ask the driver if he is going to the right side. Ask the words "port" or "Sousse".
From the parking zone near the port in Sousse there is a special autodriver "Noddy Train". The fare is 2.5 dinars, departs every 15 minutes. This is an uncomfortable form of transport, as its parking lot in the parking lot still needs to be found, and parking should still be reached from the hotel.
There are only a couple of dozen here. The most popular among Russians is the Marhaba Palace 4 *. This hotel combines low cost of living, convenient location near the port area and high quality of service.
In El Kantaoui just four hotels of the El-Mouradi brand: El-Mouradi Palace 5 *, El-Mouradi Palm Marina 5 *, El-Mouradi Club Kantaoui 4 * and El-Mouradi Club Selima 3 *. The hotels of the El-Mouradi group have proven themselves well, we recommend the readers first of all for them.
Shops and restaurants
As we have already mentioned, there are no big supermarkets here, but a lot of ordinary Fix Price shops are pleased. For shopping, we recommend them, and read our review " Where and how to buy souvenirs in Tunisia ".
Alcohol in the country is sold only in stores Generale. In El Kantaoui, there is such a store, it is at the entrance to the port. Do not forget that he does not work on Fridays - a holy day in Islam. The holy month of Ramadan is closed.
Restaurants and cafes are located along the entire main road of the resort, but especially a lot of them in the port area. The most expensive restaurant is called Le Mediterranee (with Fr: Mediterranean), here they prepare dishes of their author's cuisine, the simplest portion of pasta costs 18 dinars.
Another interesting restaurant is La Neptune (pictured above), it is located inside the ship model right in the port. Near the entrance there is a pirate figure, with which people like to be photographed. According to the reviews of tourists, good establishments are La Daurade and Les Emirs.
On the beaches are available all the relevant attractions: water skiing, paragliding, rent of boats and catamarans and the like. At these entertainments we will not go into detail.
A separate entertainment is a trip to local shops. Here, Tunisians display figures welded from metal parts that have worked their time. One shopping center exhibited aircraft corps in the courtyard. Very interesting, see the small photo gallery below.
Yachts are moored here - from simple to chic. You can just stroll along the docks, look at the beautiful yachts.
There are always a lot of people in the cafe in the port. In the photo on the left is an advertising stand of one of the cafes, it says: "Welcome home, alcohol is only here." And indeed, in this cafe they sell beer and wine.
There are several such exclusive sellers of alcohol in the port, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Beer is expensive - 3-4 dinars per bottle 0.3 liters. Even if you did not come to AI, it's easier to buy beer in Generale and have a drink at the hotel.
Several times a day from the port they take walks on the sea on a ship stylized as pirate ( see photo ). Popular walks on small catamarans with a transparent bottom ( see photo ). Note that the Mediterranean Sea in this area does not differ transparency, to see something is difficult.
For 20 dinars per hour you can hire a yacht or a catamaran and just ride a company by sea. Prices "float" depending on the season.
In El Kantaoui is one of the best water parks in the country. Read about it in detail in our review " Aqua Park Aqua palace ".
Like the water park, Hannibal Park is close to the port entrance. Here are a dozen rides, the price is from 2 to 10 dinars. On weekends and holidays there are many Tunisians, tourists should come on weekdays.
Near the park there are fountains, in the evenings a light and music show is arranged.
The port of El Kantaoui is considered the "golf capital" in Tunisia. There are two fields of 18 holes, one of which holds a PGA series tournament.
Many Russian tourists admit that they dream of playing golf at least once. A vacation in El Kantaoui gives such an opportunity. Going to the field and renting equipment will cost about $ 100.
Have a good time in Tunisia, and read our interesting articles about vacation in this country ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website