Monastir has a very pleasant southern charm. You can stroll along its seafront and then discover its marina and its historic district.
In addition, most establishments offer more in terms of architecture, restaurants and service. The high season attracts many people, but in medium and low season, Monastir appears to be one of the most pleasant seaside resorts in Tunisia. If you do not want to be dependent on transport, choose a hotel in the centre of town.
It overlooks the pleasant 'route de la falaise' that runs along the cliff. You will be within very short walking distance of the souk and the museums and monuments, but the beach is less beautiful than elsewhere. Relatively narrow and busy, you are more likely to be swimming in large crowds of people than in the sea.
If tanning and water sports are your priority, choose one of the hotels located to the west of the centre, along the Skanès beach. The buildings are new and of good standing. However, you should rent a car to leave in the evening and explore the surrounding area.
Monastir is a very pleasant city to explore on foot such as going along the seafront until Ribat (citadel), then a little time in the medina. The ideal time to discover it is early in the morning when the local people come to buy fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. Perfect to stir your appetite!
All water sports in season (April to October), jet ski parasailing, as well as the pedalo and the sailboat. Allow half a day to a full day to explore Kairouan (37 miles away from Monastir). Know that the courtyard of the Great Mosque is only open in the morning and the medina is also more animated before noon.
Go on the esplanades that open in front of the Bourguiba mosque and the Great Mosque. Do not hesitate to dwell in these beautiful paved squares, before visiting the museums (the Museum of Traditional Costume, located along Independence street, and the museum of Ribat, located in the fortress of the same name). Finish by strolling along the seafront.
The airport is not far from the hotel area (3 miles). It is ideal in case of late arrivals or early morning departures (which often happens when you take a charter flight).
Avoid travelling by car in Monastir as the streets are often congested. It is better to park near the Ribat and continue the visit on foot. The distances to cover are not great.
Couscous (with chicken or lamb). You can find buffets in the major hotels more and more (offered as a speciality or during Tunisian evenings). Try also other recipes of the country such as the fingers of Fatma (pastry stuffed with white chicken, potatoes and capers), tajine (omelette with meat and potatoes) and the brick (triangle of dough filled with tuna and a half-cooked egg).
If you go to Kairouan, you may leave with a carpet, because the town specialises in making them. Easier to transport are the 'makrouts', diamond shaped pasta filled with dates. They can be found in the many bakers at the Kairouan medina, which are among the best in the country. The other purchases possible are more 'classic', such as spices, turkish slippers, pottery, woven bags and baskets.
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