Snugly wrapping around the coast, the historic city of Monastir is prime beach territory.
Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum
The mammoth Habib Bourguiba Mausoleum sits on the northern edge of Monastir cemetery. Its opulent splendor, topped with a golden dome, is a tribute to Tunisia’s first president after independence from the French. Built in 1963, this burial mosque holds the bodies of ex-President Bourguiba as well as his family. Two 25-meter slender minarets are made of Italian marble, while the facade is covered with beautifully delicate tiling work. The tomb of Bourguiba itself sits amid a dazzling interior of glass-inlay and underneath a spectacular chandelier.
The Ribat, built by Harthama ben Ayan in AD 796. On the south-east side is the three-story Nador tower, from the top of which are fine views of the yachting harbor, the cemetery and the Bourguiba Mausoleum, the Great Mosque, and the roofs of the medina.
Immediately northwest of the Ribat lies Monastir’s atmospheric cemetery, which holds a vast number of beautiful old tombs. Many are decorated with bands of Kufic inscriptions and faience tiles.
Monastir’s pretty seafront promenade leads to the Port de Plaisance harbor, where pleasure yachts bob jauntily on the Mediterranean.