Gabès, Tunisia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Gabès, Tunisia

Region: Gabès Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 33.883300, 10.116700
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 40.0°C (68°F to 104°F)
Climate: Hot and dry climate with little rainfall, and temperatures ranging from 15°C to 40°C throughout the year.
Population: 116323
Language: Arabic


Important Landmarks

  • The Great Mosque of Gabès is a significant religious site in the city and has a rich history.
  • The Gabès Medina, an old quarter, hosts several traditional markets where visitors can find local goods and handicrafts.
  • The Oasis of Gabès is a lush area with palm groves, date trees, and other vegetation that thrives in the desert climate.
  • The Roman Bridge spans over the Wadi el Bey river and is an ancient structure that attracts tourists for photography opportunities.
  • The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions showcases traditional Tunisian clothing, crafts, and cultural artifacts housed in an old palace within the medina.
  • El Hamma Hot Springs are natural hot springs with therapeutic properties for those who bathe in them.
  • Kerkennah Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Gabes that offer beautiful beaches and water sports like snorkeling and diving.
  • Matmata Underground Houses are unique underground houses built by Berber tribes centuries ago as protection against invaders located about 70 km from Gabes.

  • Primary Industries

    1. Chemical industry: Gabès is known for its chemical industry, which includes the production of fertilizers, phosphoric acid, and sulfuric acid.
    2. Oil and gas industry: The city has an oil refinery that processes crude oil from the nearby El Borma oil field.
    3. Fishing industry: Gabès is a coastal city with a significant fishing industry that exports seafood to Europe.
    4. Tourism industry: The city has several beaches and historical sites that attract tourists from around the world.
    5. Agriculture industry: Gabès is located in an agricultural region where crops such as olives, dates, citrus fruits, and vegetables are grown.
    6. Manufacturing industry: The city has several factories producing textiles, ceramics, cement products, and other manufactured goods.
    7. Service sector: The service sector in Gabès includes banking services, healthcare facilities, education institutions and retail stores catering to local population needs.

    Noteable History

    1. Ancient Roman city of Tacapae: Gabès was once known as Tacapae, an important Roman city that served as a trading hub for the region.
    2. The Arab conquest: In the 7th century, Arab armies conquered Tacapae and established Islam in the area.
    3. French colonization: In 1881, France colonized Tunisia and established Gabès as a major port for exporting phosphates.
    4. Resistance to French rule: During the early 20th century, Tunisian nationalists led by Habib Bourguiba organized protests against French rule in Gabès.
    5. Habib Bourguiba: Bourguiba was a prominent Tunisian political leader who played a key role in securing independence from France in 1956.
    6. Industrialization: After independence, Gabès became an important center for industry and agriculture, including phosphate mining and chemical production.
    7. Environmental issues: In recent years, Gabès has faced significant environmental challenges due to pollution from industrial activities and overuse of water resources.
    8. Mohamed Ghannouchi: Ghannouchi is a former Prime Minister of Tunisia who was born in Gabès in 1941.
    9. Cultural heritage sites: There are several cultural heritage sites located in or near Gabes including Ksar Ouled Soltane (a fortified granary), El Jem Amphitheatre (a well-preserved Roman amphitheater), and Matmata (an underground village).
    10. Tourist attractions: Some popular tourist attractions in or near Gabes include beaches along the Mediterranean coast, nature reserves such as Djebel Dahar National Park and Kerkennah Islands National Park, and historic landmarks like Fort de Chenoua (an old military fortress).

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Musée de Gabès: This museum showcases the history and culture of Gabès and its surrounding regions.
    2. Mosque of Sidi Bouzid: A beautiful mosque with intricate architectural details located in the heart of Gabès.
    3. Medenine Fort: An ancient fortification built in the 15th century, located just outside of Gabès.
    4. Oasis Museum: A museum dedicated to the history and significance of oases in Tunisia, located in nearby Tozeur.
    5. Ksar Ouled Soltane: A well-preserved example of traditional Tunisian architecture featuring numerous courtyards and living quarters for families.
    6. Matmata Underground Houses: Unique underground dwellings that have been inhabited by Berber communities for centuries, located just outside of Gabès.
    7. Douiret Village: An ancient village perched on top of a hill overlooking stunning views of the surrounding landscape known for its traditional architecture and cultural significance.
    8. Jara Mosque: A beautiful mosque with unique architecture that dates back to 1650 AD.
    9. El Hamma Botanical Garden – A botanical garden with more than 100 different species from all over Tunisia.
    10. El Jem Amphitheater – An amphitheater built by Romans during their rule over Tunisia.

    Cultural Events

    1. Festival of the Oasis: This annual festival in Gabès celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the oasis region with traditional music, dance, and crafts.
    2. International Festival of Dates: Celebrating Gabès’ important crop of dates, this event features a market selling various types of dates as well as cultural performances and competitions.
    3. Sidi Boulbaba Moussem: A religious festival honoring local saint Sidi Boulbaba in Kerkennah near Gabès where miracles are said to have occurred.
    4. El Ghriba Synagogue pilgrimage: During Passover, Jewish pilgrims from around the world visit the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba Island near Gabès.
    5. National Olive Tree Festival: Held every November to celebrate Tunisia’s olive harvest with food stalls selling olive-based products like oil, soap, and cosmetics.
    6. International Mediterranean Film Festival of Gabes (FIFMG): Showcasing independent films from around the Mediterranean region.
    7. Traditional Wedding Festival: Every summer in Zarat near Gabès a traditional Tunisian wedding is recreated complete with music, dance performances and local delicacies served at food stalls.
    8. National Carpet Exhibition: An exhibition showcasing handmade carpets from all over Tunisia including those made by Berber tribes living around the Gabes region who use natural dyes to create intricate designs on woolen carpets.


    • Brik: a crispy pastry filled with egg, tuna, and harissa.
    • Couscous: a traditional dish made of steamed semolina grains served with vegetables and meat.
    • Shakshuka: a breakfast dish made of eggs poached in a tomato sauce with peppers and onions.

    Some popular restaurants in Gabès, Tunisia include:

    • Restaurant El Ksar: serves traditional Tunisian dishes such as couscous and grilled meats.
    • Restaurant El Mansoura: specializes in seafood dishes like grilled fish and shrimp tagine.
    • Restaurant Le Roi du Couscous: offers various types of couscous dishes including vegetarian options.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Jardin Public de Gabès: This public park is located in the heart of Gabès and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city streets. It features lush greenery, walking paths, and benches for relaxation.
      2. Plage de Gabès: This sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
      3. Parc National De Boukornine: Located about an hour’s drive from Gabès, this national park offers hiking trails with scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
      4. Oasis de Chenini Nahal: This oasis is located near the town of Chenini Nahal and features palm trees, natural pools for swimming, and traditional Tunisian architecture.
      5. Lac de Tunis: This large lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, picnicking, and birdwatching.
      6. Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Sfax: Although not located in Gabès itself but in nearby Sfax city (about 1 hour drive), this zoo features animals such as lions, tigers, giraffes as well as botanical gardens with exotic plants from around the world.
      7. Golf Citrus Hammamet: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing on one of Tunisia’s best golf courses at Golf Citrus Hammamet which is about 2 hours drive from Gabes.


      Leave Footprints In The Sand.

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