I find Monastir to be an amazingly beautiful city. Perhaps my favorite thing is that it features numerous monuments of great esteem, situated along historical roads that are dotted with regional shops and houses. In fact, I find that there are a lot of things that could motivate someone to visit Monastir when in Tunisia.
First of all, the Ribat, which was built in 796 AD by Harthama ben Ayan, is a must-see. This is especially true for movie buffs, who may or may not recognize the building from its appearance in the critically-acclaimed movie, “Life of Brian” by Monty Python. Interestingly, the famous Ribat was also featured in the film, “Jesus of Nazareth” by Franco Zeffirelli.
Not unlike the Ribat of Sousse, the Ribat of Monastir is one of the oldest Arabic fortresses in North Africa. Close by is the Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum – a mammoth-sized monument built in 1963 which sits on the northern edge of the esteemed Monastir cemetery. This site features opulent splendor executed with one of the world’s first gold domes, which serves as a tribute to Tunisia’s first president in commemoration of the country’s independence from the French. Furthermore, this burial mosque holds the bodies of ex-President Bourguiba and his chosen family members.
Looking at the mosque you see 25-meter minarets made of Italian marble and a stately facade showcasing delicate tiling. Deeper still, the tomb of Bourguiba can be found sitting amid a dazzling interior of glass-inlay and resting beneath a breathtaking chandelier – all constructed to honor Tunisia’s favorite son, the founder of the Republic. Historically significant and respected by contemporary crowds, it was modeled after the Hammouda Pache Mosque in Tunis which boasts a 14-meter tall octagonal minaret and a vast prayer hall that is designed to accommodate a congregation of 1000 people.
For many visitors, Monastir’s main attraction lays within its strips of perfect white sand. The town itself hugs a splendid coastline that is surrounded by public and private beaches in both directions. In fact, all the beaches in this area are very well maintained and closely protected, with excellent on-site facilities which feature restaurants, shops, cafés, and entertainment venues. There are even sunshades and loungers that visitors can rent for a relaxing stop.
A lot of visitors like to do more than simply walk around along the coastal beaches. Many also like to engage in the various water sports and boating events that take place in the nearby waters. While it is always fun to laze around and soak up the sun, Monastir offers much more than that and it should be explored, if possible.
Finally, the greatest thing about this place – Monastir – is that it is convergent. That means you do not ever need to pay for a taxi to get you around from place to place. Convenient, attractive, entertaining, and relaxing, there is no place quite like Monastir on the planet. It is one of the few places on Earth where you can see the local attractions in a single day and still have enough time to appreciate them all.
It is my suggestion to create an itinerary for your trip so that you don’t miss out on anything special. While it is a rather easily-traveled region, Monastir has a way of engulfing visitors. In other words: it is easy to lose track of time when you are out exploring the coastline. Since time flies when you are having the most fun, following a pre-ordained itinerary can keep your trip on track and prevent you from spending too much time in one location while neglecting the others on your list.