Monastir

Overview

Introduction

This medieval town has been developed into a popular resort, complete with gold-sand beaches. At the center of town is the impressive eighth-century red-stone ribat (a fortified monastery), which now houses a small museum of Islamic arts. Tunisia's first president after independence, Habib Bourguiba, was born and is buried in Monastir, and there are some attractions related to him and his family, including the Habib Bourguiba Mosque and the gold domes of the Bourguiba family mausoleum. There's also an interesting craft center in town.

From Monastir you can take a half-day trip to Mahdia, a quiet town built in the 10th century on a narrow peninsula. As you walk about town, you'll probably hear the clatter of hand looms: Mahdia is an important center of weaving. We suggest a minimum two-night stay in Monastir, longer if you use it as a base for day trips. 90 mi/145 km southeast of Tunis.

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