Oxala House. A Traditional Tunisian Treasure

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – exterior

Nestled along the coast just a few km out from Houmt Souk, on the Island of Djerba in Tunisia, is one of the most unique places we have stayed in on our world journey.  

Known as Oxala House, it is a Tunisian treasure that is inspired from traditional “Menzels”.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – beautiful flowers in the garden

It is here that we arrive after a really long day on the local bus.

We left Regency Hotel and Spa after breakfast, and caught a taxi to Sousse.

In Sousse we then lined up for the bus tickets – they were a bargain – 6 and a half hours for about $20 Australian each.

(The owner from her had also helped find out times of buses for us too).

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Bus from Sousse

And it was not exactly a modern bus. It had no toilet and it was full of local people. No other tourists.

I was fascinated with some of the Berber native locals to the Sahara that were waiting.

But I wanted to go by bus because I wanted to see the Tunsian countryside.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Waiting at the bus station

Before we set off, a local lady and man (that spoke some English) helped us.

They arranged so we could sit at the front of the bus so we could see where we were going. I loved this.

I donned a head scarf though, as I felt I stood out.  All the ladies were wearing one.

We also were glad we had brought food and water, as Muslims were all fasting for Ramadan, so the bus did not stop for food. Because they did not drink, they didn’t need the toilet, but I did, so had to ask each stop to have the bus wait whilst I raced inside.

Explorason had a seat that kept sliding off and was broken, so each time the bus stopped in a rush he fell on the floor.

We found this so funny; we didn’t mind and added to an interesting journey.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – fun on the bus with a busted seat

To get to Djerba there are two roads – one goes via the ferry, and we take this one. The other is lower and has a long connecting bridge.  We will leave the island later this way.

When we arrived at Djerba, the owner Zouheir of Oxala house had arranged for his assistant and caretaker Khalid to collect us. He was waiting and help due with our bags to a taxi.

He spoke Arabic and French, we didn’t speak either so it was interesting, but we had already exchanged photographs via email so that was great! We knew who to look out for and go with. What a great idea.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – the garden

As soon as we arrived at Oxala House we walked on the raked and patterned soft sand toward our apartment.

We were in love with the place!

We felt the peace and knew we would be happy here.

This is where we had come to rest, and it was perfect.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – one of the buildings

We came in to the apartment and it was just so tastefully decorated.  Light and breezy and wonderful to behold.

There was air-conditioning, but we loved the gentle sea breeze that blew in the late afternoon from across the road. I only used the air at night once we locked up and then only a short time.

The beach was a 15 minute walk and is opposite and across the main road, near the Radisson Resort.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – our lounge room

But instead of taking us for a walk to the beach, the caretaker picked up a basket and took us on a walk through the back blocks of the local area.  He wanted us to mer the locals. Local people and local animals.  Goats followed us as we walked, especially a cute baby one.

This is the donkey that is owned by Oxala House.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – the owners pet donkey

And I am game for the most ridiculous camel selfie, as he gets me to sit underneath one of the camels!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – one of the 2 camels

We then head to the store, and I decide to buy up a quite bit there for dinner. In fact we buy a LOT, and he helps us carry it all back.

This to me was the hospitality I have rarely seen in the world.  This is the heart of Tunisian people.

As we walk the track, we pass two other guests staying in another apartment. Apparently they are French and come every year.  I can see why!  The spirit of this place has a lure for sure.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – the caretaker helps us buy groceries

We head back to the apartment, and stock up the kitchen. It has all we need – it even has a washing machine.

To me this is like home away from home. We have booked a week here, and I wish we had booked two weeks.

It is a really safe area and miles from Sousse, and up and away from the borders of the adjoining country.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – our little kitchen

We quickly unpack.

There are lovely wool local woven rugs (I late buy one from the souk market just like the one on the bed, as I fell in love with it).

There are so many cupboards in the apartment. Everything is packed away and it feels like home. We have plenty of space for all our things, yet it is still neat and tidy.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – airy bedroom

The bathroom is huge. Towels are supplied, and the hot water seems good.  It is just a roomy place that feels like home.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – large bathroom

I have some wine with me, so I grab some ice cubes from the freezer and make Explorason a mango juice, and pour out a lovely cold glass of white wine for me.

I sit out on our patio and watch as the sun sets and the sky turns pink.

We went upstairs and there is a balcony area on the roof.

I then watched as the army drove by in tanks. This was a sight to see. They do this to show tourists that they are safe here. That the army and police have a strong presence, and the country is well governed and controlled.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – perfect sunsets every evening

Next morning I woke early.  Can you imagine sitting on this patio and looking out to this? (see photo below)

Well I never tired of it. Perfect morning temperatures, and the perfect place for my coffee time I enjoy alone each morning.

Later we went swimming and in fact did this two times a day. The water was perfect in temperature for me too. We ate healthy food and I even lost weigh during my stay.

My favourite thing to do here at sunset at Oxala House was NOTHING!

It was to stop. To feel the evening breeze. To see the sun set. To have my glass of chilled white wine outside on our patio and to sit and listen to the birds sing.

Oxala House really was a wonderful place to come rest, revive, and recharge.

I loved out time here.  Behind these walls it was my safe haven and just what I needed.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – gorgeous centre pool

We had internet here if we sat outside, or went to the caretakers area inside this room which was great.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – internet is in here

I have more articles to write about our time here at Oxala House and Djerba Island. Please subscribe on this website to receive our notifications when a new article is published.

I wanted to write this article separately to help to gain awareness of a wonderful place you can stay in Tunisia. A place of sustainable tourism.

Here is a YouTube Video my son made – take a quick look – click here

We booked it through Flipkey – a site I have recently started to use and love.

Accommodation Name and Booking: Oxala House

Location: Djerba Island, Tunisia

Web-site for information on Oxala House: http://tingitingi.canalblog.com/archives/2008/01/09/7507927.html

Date stayed: July 2015

Self contained: Various size apartments are available and range from tiny rooftop to large sleeping several. All have cooking facility and a refrigerator.

Wi-fi: Yes in the communal area, but not inside apartment

Child friendly: Yes, but it is a fairly quiet place and children should be well behaved and not too noisy or using pool too early or late to respect other guests.

Want to see our place at Oxala House on YouTube – click here to watch where we stayed

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Oxala House – traditional Tunisian pots, rugs and decor
Note: We have since left Tunisia but my heart goes out to the people there, and I want to show the world the beauty of this country.
Also – Oxala House did NOT pay me or compensate me in any way to write this article. I selected Oxala House from the Flipkey site because it stood out as a unique and interesting place to stay. The management were wonderful and ever so helpful. Planning, printing, checking transportation, and even helping with parcel posting. Because I found Oxala House to be such a wonderful place to stay, I have chosen to give them an article to help them as Tunisia and indeed the area of Djerba needs tourism. I hope it encourages people to come and stay.

2 comments

  1. Only went once to Djerba for a day out from Gabes but if we ever decide to stay a few days i will definitely check them out it looks so peaceful. Thank you as well for doing your bit for the Tunisian people, it makes me sad that the world has either forgotten them or is turning their back on them (many EU country are encouraging people to stay away). While tourists flock to Greece to help them out with their economy how many will travel to Tunisia to do the same? If you do get in touch with me, it’s my second country and i can totally help you…

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