The Menzel Amphora - An English Experience
Amphora Menzel, Djerba is the realisation of one man's dream to create a truly relaxed place for families to share quality time and grow closer together, in a land famous for its love of children and drenched in mediterraean sun. Ideally suited to single family escapes or even a larger re-unions with friends or cousins, worlds apart from the indifferent fare offered by your usual pre-packaged hotels. New swimming pool for 2008
Safe, clean, honest and beautifully set in well tended gardens, this collection of 6 villas offers a wealth of opportunities to get away from the hustle bustle of modern life. Fabulous food and warm evenings outside soaking up the aromatic Tunisien ambiance and the local hospitality.
Fair prices, great service and a real chance for your family and friends to get the best out of Tunisia. It is a fine gem in a string of pearls.
This is a short review of some private villas called Amphora Menzel. It is completely independent and is based on two weeks I spent at the villas in Djerba with my family in April 2006.
A Menzel is a collection of villas built around a shared courtyard, and in this case Tarek, (the French owner) has just completed six well appointed and clean villas set in nicely tended gardens.
Tarek himself is a Doctor and spends half his time in Djerba and the rest working in an A & E department in Paris. He is not only helpful, but in our experience extremely trustworthy, and helped us in every aspect
of our visit - especially with our two small Children (18 months and 3 years old), he even organised two weeks car hire with proper safe baby seats at very reasonable rates.
The villa came with sheets, blankets, towels, a high chair and a cot, and the cleaner was excellent.
Practically speaking, each villa sleeps 4 to 6 people as follows; One double room, a separate twin room and two bed settee's downstairs which would comfortably sleep two more adults. There is a good family bathroom with integral shower and another separate shower room/toilet upstairs. Hot water is provided by Solar panels supplemented by conventional energy. We were also pleased to find that the villas had Air Conditioning and Central Heating (although working the remote control takes a bit of getting used to - its French!)
Tarek's team can also provide evening meals in the courtyard, which would be brilliant if you wanted to get your children tucked up nice and early, without the faff of cooking after a long day at the beach! We had one such meal and it was great.
The beech is within walking distance as is access to 'The front sea haotels . You can eat at the hotel for around , but we preferred the local restaurants which allowed us to eat 'Tunisian style' and our children to eat Pizzas!!
Taxis are cheap, but as in any country have no baby seats for small children, if you have a young family and safety is important to you, then a car is highly desirable, and we would recommend that you ask Tarek to sort this out for you. We hired a Renault Clio for the entire stay and
it was definitely up to Hertz standards.
We flew from Manchester and the flight took just 3 and a half hours.Tarek met us at the Airport and drove us to the villa which only took 25 minutes. I believe there are also direct flights from London and this might save 30 minutes on the flight time making Djerba quite practical even with
Finally, Tarek's English is excellent, and you can contact him on his mobile easily both before and during your stay. We would unreservedly recommend both his Menzel and Djerba for a great family holiday, but if you would like more detail on the Djerba itself and our experiences, please click the link below.
DJERBA THE ISLAND
DJERBA THE ISLAND - An English Experience
April 2006 - Djerba is a small island in the south of Tunisia only 4
hours drive from the Sahara. As you might imagine, it is sunny, hot, dry
and perched at the right end of the Mediterranean. The beaches are
golden and the air clean - but it is hot, especially in July and August! In
April 2006 when we were in Djerba, two days reached 35 degrees Celsius,
the Sun shone for 90% of the time and we hardly saw a spot of rain!
The first language here is Arabic, but French is to be found everywhere
from road signs to cafe's and seems to be the dominant language for
communication with tourists. English comes a slow third especially outside
of the hotels, but you would get by even if you spoke no French!
The traditional food is delicious showing elements of Turkish, French
and typical Mediterranean style cuisine, but as everywhere in the world,
if you choose fish dishes the prices will rise. You can eat out
anywhere from £100 to £10.00 per head, and the food is equally delicious at
either end of this scale - the difference is to be found in the state of
the toilets (or otherwise)!! Dates, Almonds and nuts are everywhere and
truly delicious, and the local Tunisian wine is excellent, but could
cost up to £5.00 for a really good bottle in a Supermarket. Cheapest wine
is about £1.75 per bottle but still drinks at about £3.95 Tescos
Driving is haphazard but not dangerous, the issue here is not speed or
recklessness (as in Rome), but rather a frequent disregard by locals
for motoring conventions (like which side of the road to drive on!) If
you keep your wits about you though, you'll be fine and its great fun 'alfresco!'
The quality of local merchandise can be superb, and it is generally not
like the type of tourist 'tat' found in the Canary Islands. Leather
goods, rugs and pottery for the home are in abundance here and at least 30
- 40% cheaper than the UK, be prepared to haggle though!!!
The culture is Arabic, and some care does need to be taken here;
Specifically the men can be rather too amorous if a woman goes shopping
alone, and I would not recommend Djerba if you are female, single and shy!
On the flip side, shopping as a family, or with your boyfriend or
husband is great fun, and the Tunisian people are brilliant with young
Overall, Djerba is a great place to holiday and/or go shopping for the
home Miles of sandy beaches, oodles of sun, a real foreign experience
and somewhere that is not teaming with other English people! It is definitely
not a place for Mcafferty's Irish bar or the Full English Breakfast for only
£2.99 cafe, and is the perfect antidote to Lanzarrote! It is also cheap – we
made £600 last two weeks between a family of 4 and had a great time to
If you want a real foreign holiday that won’t cripple your finances when you
get there, then Djerba is definitely the place! If you want cheap beer and
Blackpool by the Sea (with a better climate) - then don't even consider it!!!
We will undoubtedly return!