Gabes Oasis

Travel to Gabes – The Gateway to the South

Gabes is a city in Tunisia situated on the Gulf of Gabes in the Mediterranean Sea. The city is the only known seaside oasis in the world. Thanks to its mild climate even in winter and magnificent sandy beaches and oasis, Gabes became a considerable tourist destination. The town is a great experience for travellers where they can explore the two parts of the oasis, the one between the city and the sea and the other between the city and the desert.

It appears probable that Gabes was originally founded as a Phoenician harbour. At some time it became an integral city in the territory of Carthage. In 161 BCE, Gabes was conquered by the Numidian king Masinissa and came under Roman control in the 2nd century BD with Tacape as a new name (tacape means a wet, irrigated place). In the 7th century CE, the town was conquered by the advancing Arabs. In 1881, with the arrival of the French protectorate, Gabes became the centre of the southern region. The cityies came under French control after cooperation between the Jewish community and the French army. Permission to trade was extended to the Jewish minority. In 1940, Gabes was taken over by the German but sooner returned to French control with the help of the British. The liberation resulted in serious damage to the structure of the city. Gabes was rebuilt in 1945 and returned to Tunisian control with the liberation of Tunisia from the French occupation.

The main attractions in Gabes are the Mosque and tomb of Sidi Boulbaba, the Prophet Mohammed’s barber. The Mosque has a beautiful courtyard decorated with tiles and intricate patterns and inscriptions; the Gabes Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions that displays artifacts highlighting the history of Gabes; the Market of Baskets with hundreds of baskets in a variety of shapes and sizes; and Gabes fishing port.

Gabes has some beautiful sandy beaches where travellers can relax and unwind. The most popular of these is the Lemawa or Lemaya beach. Visitors to Gabes can also enjoy a unique horse-drawn carriage tour of the oasis.

The town hosts musical and folk festivals on July and August that celebrate the local culture and life.

  • Relax in an attractive beach and unusual seaside oasis.
  • Explore the extraordinary market of baskets.
  • Discover the history of Gabes at the town museum.


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