Averages for Port el kantaoui in January
With an average temperature of 12°C, coupled with an average of six rainy days, there's no escaping the fact that January is the coolest month of year to visit Port el Kantaoui. The average temperatures for the port do not climb back into the 20's until May, which makes the winter months an ideal time to escape the crowds of tourists, whilst taking advantage of the cut-price winter travel deals. However, if you're after sun...
Daily averages for Port el kantaoui
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With an average temperature of 12°C, coupled with an average of six rainy days, there's no escaping the fact that January is the coolest month of year to visit Port el Kantaoui. The average temperatures for the port do not climb back into the 20's until May, which makes the winter months an ideal time to escape the crowds of tourists, whilst taking advantage of the cut-price winter travel deals. However, if you're after sun and simply can't risk the chance of rain spoiling your holiday, we'd advise delaying your visit till June where you can enjoy average temperatures in excess of 30°C, continuing right the way through to September.
Looking in more detail at January, the month commences with a comfortable daily average temperature of 13.1°C, gently dropping to 12.5°C midway through the month, before dropping marginally to 12.2°C.
You can expect to enjoy daytime highs of around 16°C, with night-time averages bringing minimum temperatures down to around 7°C. The highs should allow you to sit comfortably watching the brightly coloured boats go by in the marina during the day, but we strongly advise on packing a coat, to protect you from the evening sea breeze.
Historically, the highest recent temperature in January reached 27°C on the 1 January 1995, with a lowest recorded temperature of 1°C on 12 January 2004. However, going off the averages, it is highly unlikely that you'll find yourself in either of these situations.
Although the coolest month of the year; if you are visiting in January, you are no more likely to experience rain than if you were to visit in any of the other winter months. Being situated within the northern hemisphere, the winter months in Port el Kantaoui are classed as December, January and February, which all feature an average of six rainy days per month Across January, Port el Kantaoui receives an average of 45 mm (1.8 inches) of rain fall, this is less than December's 75 mm (3.0 inches) and February's 66 mm (2.6 inches).
January, along with December, have the least hours of average sunshine with seven hours of sun. However, you still have a good deal of time to make the most of the sunshine, before the marina becomes illuminated by the ports tavernas and singing fountains.
Due to its geographical position, the north of the Tunisian Dorsal benefits from a Mediterranean climate. Because of the Mediterranean influence, Port el Kantaoui remains fairly humid all year round. The average daily relative humidity for January is around 74%, making it the most humid month of the year and at times slightly uncomfortable. In the context of other winter months, the average daily relative humidity for February is around 72%, with December coming in at around 71%
The average daily wind speed in January comes in at 15 km/h, equivalent to about 9 mph, or 8 knots (classed as a 'gentle breeze' on the Beaufort wind force scale). Historically, the maximum sustained wind speed in recent years has reached 83 km/h, that's equivalent to roughly 52 mph, or 45 knots (classed as a 'strong gale' on the Beaufort wind force scale).
If you're considering braving the January seas, the sea water temperature averages around 16°C. It's fair to say that most would consider this quite cool and only the more adventurous of swimmers need apply. Of course you can still enjoy the ocean from a distance in January, via one of the ports faux pirate ships or glass bottomed boats.
Things to do
Naturally for a beach resort, a January visit will afford you some advantages, such as lower prices and reduced crowds. However there are also certain drawbacks to take into consideration. Some of the summer attractions are closed in the winter, including the water park and a selection of rides at the Hannibal Park fun fair. Even some of the ports restaurants are known to close in the evening around the winter season. On a day-to-day basis you may also be faced with slightly more overbearing vendors, looking to vie for your attention during the slower off-season period.
Entrance to Hannibal Park, Port el Kantaoui photographed by David Weekly.
Despite the niggling down sides, a January trip to Port El Kantaoui still allows you to enjoy a world of narrow cobblestone streets and ice-white Mediterranean architecture in relative comfort. Nestled between the winding cobbles you will find hidden gems such as a singing fountain, which forms the centrepiece of Maisons des Jardins, just north of Hannibal Park.
Finding your way down to the marina, you'll see colourful fishing boats and opportunities to book yourself up on one of the mock 'pirate' or glass bottomed vessels. The winding streets of Port el Kantaoui don't quite match the vernacular of a souk, but they do benefit from a collection of international goods and bartering is less prevalent, a trait that many visitors will appreciate. Notable local products include Kairouan rugs, traditional spices, slippers, ceramics, bags and many others. About a 15 minute walk north from the Marina or a short taxi ride you'll find a local bazaar called the Hawaii Shopping Centre noted for its variety and reasonable prices.
Hawaii Shopping Centre, Port el Kantaoui.
No review of Port El Kantaoui is complete without making mention of the immensely popular 36-hole PGA approved championship golf course, situated North West of the marina. The course spans a whopping 250 acres and is split into two sections, one section is a sea course, overlooking the ocean and the other a panorama course, benefiting from a beautiful view across the manicured greens. The course has the feel of a botanical garden, with numerous lakes and fountains dotted across the green. The course should be relatively easy to book in January, too.
Casting an eye beyond the resort itself you can find Sousse, referred to in some quarters as the "the Pearl of the Sahel", due to its central location on Tunisia's east coast. Sousse rests only 10kms (6 miles) south of Port El Kantaoui and plays host to a number of absorbing attractions, including a 9th-century Great Mosque and a UNESCO World Heritage medina. Sousse is accessible by car if you're hiring, or if you are feeling more adventurous, it is known for local rickshaw owners to ferry tourists.
Looking even further afield, a drive of about an hour south gets you to El Jem. Once you've arrived you are presented with a UNESCO recognised Roman theatre – one of the largest ever built. In terms of scale, it's close to Rome's Colosseum, with a capacity in the region of 35,000 spectators. If you're a bit of a film buff, you may feel like you've been there before, with Hollywood having chosen it as a location when shooting Gladiator.
Hit the beach
Even though January is one of the coolest months of the year in Port el Kantaoui, it's still mild enough to take a stroll along the beach.
Port El Kantaoui beach comes in two parts, each one as striking as the other. On the northern side you've got the hotel zone; 20km of upmarket resorts complete with private beaches and beach-front restaurants. On the southern side is the public beach, still just as beautiful as the private areas. The water is fairly calm and a wide range of activities are available, including windsurfing, water scooters, parasailing, pedaloes and canoeing. You can hire the gear you need to practise these sports in the Riu hotels (Riu Imperial Marhaba, Club Hotel Riu Palace Green Park and Riu Bellevue Park) (removed other RUI links for other hotels mentioned and linked as one). However it should be noted that most of the water sport activities only start to come to life in April through to November, so it's possible that not all of the activities will be available early on in the month. It is always advisable to make enquiries prior to your trip to avoid disappointment.
Private beach, Port El Kantaoui.
Port El Kantaoui provides diving opportunities with a dedicated diving centre and several beach-front hotels providing diving courses. Our recommendation is to use Sdanek Club situated by the dry dock and the entrance to the Marina. Diving opportunities are available all season, however the best months for fall between March and November.
Where to eat & drink
Tunisian cuisine is widely regarded as a blend of Mediterranean and desert dwellers' culinary traditions. Like many Mediterranean menus, the food is based primarily on spices, tomatoes, seafood and meat (predominantly lamb). Unlike other North African cuisine, Tunisian food is relatively spicy due to the addition of harissa.
The Marina offers a veritable variety of eateries and tavernas, catering for a range of tastes. Le Mediterranee has been praised for its high quality ingredients and quality of service, pinching the top spot on Trip Advisor. As the name suggests, expect a Mediterranean style menu, with a particular flair for seafood. If seafood isn't your thing, many have heaped particular praise on the quality of Le Mediterranee's steaks.
You will find Le Mediterranee restaurant at the Marina and promenade of Port el Kantaoui.
Other honourable mentions go to the themed Formule 1 restaurant, which is sure to appeal to any motor enthusiasts and Les Emirs, who offer mouth-watering traditional Tunisian cuisine.
For something more light, head down to the strip and keep an eye out for Nirvana Café to settle down with a coffee and enjoy its vast array of ice creams, milkshakes and other refreshments.
In terms of nightlife beyond the comfort of your hotel, Port El Kantaoui is extremely limited. That being said, repeat visitors will be fondly familiar with the resorts only Irish bar, If you are seeking some lively entertainment, Sousse features a number of destinations, including two clubs, Bonaparte and Bora Bora. Although it should be noted that Bora Bora is an open-air venue and has been known to shut down in and around the winter period.
Where to stay
Port el Kantoui is awash with immaculately presented 4-5 star hotels, but there are also perfectly viable and more economic alternatives on offer.
Topping Trip Advisor is the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba situated in a beachfront location. An exercise in indulgence, the hotel boasts a fresh water swimming pool, solarium terrace, indoor pool and gym. A range of different treatments and massages combined with a purpose built thalassotherapy (sea water) centre, promise both relaxation and pampering in equal measure.
Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba, Port el Kantaoui.
Elmouradi is ideal for anyone looking for great accommodation on a budget. This all-inclusive water-front hotel offers a huge range of facilities for the whole family, including a beauty parlour, disco, spa, bar, tennis courts and swimming pool.
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