If Tunisia is renowned for its extensive beaches and its mild climate, it is not, at first glance, a popular snorkeling destination. However, Tunisia's coastline is dotted with an abundance of beaches, bays and coves that offer good snorkeling opportunities. Southern Mediterranean's sea life, including a diversity of fish and invertebrates such as seabreams, wrasses, mullets and starfish are easy to see in the country's shallows, although the density of species is pretty low.
You will find snorkeling opportunities in all regions of Tunisia, even if the sea bed is pretty poor at most locations. To the seaside resort’s sandy beaches, prefer the small rocky coves nestled in the most remote parts of the coastline, where the seabed is more varied and supports more sea life. Follow us on a tour of the best snorkeling spots in Tunisia!
Snorkeling in the Tunis region
Tunis has just a few decent snorkeling locations, such as Jackous Beach, next to Gamarth Marina, in the city’s northern districts. A one-hour’s drive north of the capital, you can consider snorkeling along the rocky cape just north of Ain Mestir Beach in Sounine (which is home to several narrow coves), or along Cap Sidi Ali El Mekki‘s north coast, in Rafraf. Avoid windy days.
About sixty kilometers south of Tunis, the Hammamet sandy beaches are a popular holiday destination. The seabed is very poor in the area, but you can still try to explore the hotel’s beaches, such as the Iberostar Averroes.
Snorkeling in Cap Bon
Opposite the capital, on the other side of the Gulf of Tunis, extends Cap Bon, the northeastern tip of Tunisia. At the foot of the west side of the cape, several creeks follow one another to the north of Korbous, near Douela. Among them, Ain Kanassira Beach, Robinson Cove and, right next to it, Amar Cove.
However, it is around Haouaria, at the tip of Cap Bon, that you will find the most famous snorkeling spots in the area. The North coast has many small coves, as well as the Asklipios Wreck, which is accessed via a short hike in the rocks to the shore. On the east coast, just north of Haouaria harbor, Crique El Mteris and Crique La Garraga (opposite the restaurant of the same name) are also worth a detour.
If you have time, join a boat trip to Zembra Island (and its little sister Zembretta), off Cap Bon. This nature reserve is home to crystal clear waters and a pristine seabed.
Snorkeling in the Monastir region
A charming seaside town on the Gulf of Hammamet, Monastir is a popular stopover for travelers visiting Tunisia. Snorkeling fans can consider exploring the outskirts of the old town, either from the beaches found north and south of the marina (from shore) or around Jazirat El Hmem/Pigeons Island (by boat).
But for the must of snorkeling in the Monastir region, head to the Kuriat Islands. Accessed via boat trips, they boast dramatic landscapes, white sand and turquoise water. If you want to feel like a castaway, then this is the place for you.
About fifty kilometers south of Monastir, Mahdia also has good snorkeling along the rocky coastline of Cap Afrique, on which part of the old city is built.
Snorkeling in Tabarka and Western Tunisia
Tabarka, the last coastal city before the Algerian border, is known as one of the top diving and snorkeling locations in the country. Tabarka Island, linked to the city, is home to several snorkeling spots, which include the beach next to the northern breakwater of the fishing harbor. The Club Nautique de Tabarka also offers boat trips in the area.
Maloula Beach, west of Tabarka, is also a pretty recommended snorkeling location in the region, as is Cap Serrat, halfway between Tabarka and Bizerte. Off the mainland’s coastline, La Galite Archipelago‘s turquoise water and pebble beaches are some of the most appealing environments in the country.
Snorkeling in Djerba
Probably the most popular destination for holidaymakers in Tunisia, the island of Djerba boasts a sun-kissed coastline and an exotic atmosphere. Dozens of hotels are lined up along its fine sandy beaches lapped by the Mediterranean.
Snorkeling opportunities are however limited, as the seabed here is overall very poor. If you can try shore snorkeling from some hotel’s beaches (for example at Seabel Rym Beach, Hotel Dar Djerba Resort Narjess and Hôtel Welcome Meridiana Beach), it is more recommended to get in touch with the local dive clubs, which sometimes take snorkelers to more remote (and better) locations.
Tunisia’s seabed allows snorkelers to spot many of the most common Mediterranean fish species, including those only found along its (warmer) southern shore. Sand steenbras, two-banded seabream, ornate wrasse and rainbow wrasse are easy to see on the shallow rocky beds, although most of the fish are very small due to heavy fishing.
Salema and spinefoot are common in the Posidonia meadows, one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean. The chances of seeing rarer species, such as the dusky grouper, the greater amberjack or the common dentex, are low in Tunisia. Tabarka’s “Grouper’s Rock”, a famous dive site where dozens of large dusky grouper found shelter, is unfortunately too deep to be snorkeled.
Its subtropical Mediterranean climate has made Tunisia a very popular holiday destination, which can boast of mild weather all year round. However, the weather remains cool in winter with only 46 to 59°F/8 to 15°C day temperatures from December to February.
Most visitors will therefore prefer visiting Tunisia during the shoulder seasons and summer when the sun and the hot weather (up to 104°F/40°C on the beaches and often more than 80°F/27°C in the water in July and August,) allow you to fully enjoy your time in the water. The climate of Djerba, in the south of the country, is influenced by the proximity of the desert and has higher temperatures than in the north. There, the water temperature rarely drops below 80°F/15°C.
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On all locations
In all locations with seagrass meadows
On all locations with rocky seabed
Shallow rocky, grassy and sandy beds with small fish
Free shore access
Sandy areas with a few fish
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