Monastir (Skanes) Resort in Tunisia
The city and resort of Monastir and its area Skanes is a popular tourist destination in Tunisia. Rest here has its advantages and disadvantages, but there are obviously more advantages than we will talk about in detail in this article.
Monastir on the map of Tunisia
Details of the location on the map of all Tunisian resorts, we told in the article " Map of Tunisia with resorts ."
Monastir and Skanes - what's the difference?
Skanes is a region in the west of the city of Monastir, and the next 5 kilometers of the beach zone to the west of the city is also called. In fact, Skanes is not a separate resort, but it is a tourist area of the city of Monastir. You can safely put an equal sign between the concepts of "resort Monastir" and "resort Skanes".
Advantages of rest in Monastir
The main advantage is our own international airport (pictured right). Monastir is a unique resort, where up to a dozen beach hotels from the airport can be reached on foot! Only there is one nuance - for this you need to cross the railway tracks.
Under the terms of the agreement, the tour operator is obliged to provide the tourist with a transfer from the airport, and some tourists are put on the bus and driven 300 meters to the hotel, it looks very funny. Unfortunately, these tourists have to wait half an hour until the bus is full, and they go out at the hotel with the words: "What the hell were we waiting for? Walk would have come faster! "
Important note! When buying a tour to Monastir, be sure that the charter flight arrives at the airport "Habib Bourguiba International Airport" (code "MIR"). Often there are tours, when the charter sits at the airport Enfidy (code "NBE"), and have to go by bus to Monastir 80 kilometers.
The second advantage is also from the field of transport. The most modern electrified railway line "Suss-Monastir-Mahdia" passes through Monastir. On this Tunisian train it is easy to get to the sights of the city of Mahdia or the city of Sousse . Trains run along this branch every 20 or 30 minutes.
The third advantage - most of the Skanes hotels are on the clean first beach line, the hotel from the beach does not separate either the roads or the buildings. In fact, most hotels have their own beaches, although Tunisian legislation does not provide such a concept - a line of 3 meters from the sea is officially considered public.
The fourth advantage is that hotels have no shortage of land. Most hotels have several swimming pools, including children's, sports facilities - tennis courts, basketball courts and the like. In any case, we strongly recommend that you specify the structure of the hotel's infrastructure before buying a tour.
If you stay at a hotel in Monastir itself, you will find another advantage - all local attractions can be reached on foot. Unfortunately, there are only a few such hotels and they do not have their own beaches.
The main drawback is the relatively weak tourist infrastructure in the Skanes area. There are almost no shops, restaurants and cafes. For all this from Skanes you need to go to Monastir.
Fortunately, a taxi in Tunisia (pictured left) is inexpensive, a trip from the outermost hotel to the city center will cost around 10 Tunisian dinars .
Another shortcoming also concerns infrastructure - in Monastir there is a lack of entertainment. There is no water park, you have to go to the nearest water park in Sousse. There is no amusement park, there is only go-karting and a paintball court. Disco is, but they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
And the main drawback is the weak choice of hotels, which we'll talk about in detail.
Hotels in Monastir and Skanes
Beach hotels are located in the tourist area in the Skanes area. It is 9 kilometers of coast, along which there are about 40 hotels.
Monastir is considered a place for budgetary rest, 5 star hotels here are only two - Amir Palace (pictured right) and Royal Thalasso Monastir. For lovers of relaxation with chic, there is nothing to choose from.
Most "fours" and "treshkas" have an average level on the principle "Here's to you the beach, here's the pool, what else do you need?". The assortment of dishes on the buffet is weak, the animation is monotonous (if it exists at all), the set of services is minimal.
Weather and beach season
The season of beach holidays in Monastir lasts from the beginning of May to the end of October. There are no significant differences in the weather from other resorts in Tunisia.
In the summer months the sea warms up to 23-27 degrees, in May - 19 degrees. Air in summer warms up to an average of 32-33 degrees. Read more in our article " Weather in Tunisia by Month ."
General information about the city
Monastir is one of the most interesting cities in Tunisia. The city is small - 95 000 people, of which about 70 000 permanent residents. The rest are students and seasonal workers of the tourism industry.
Monastir is one of the centers of education in Tunisia. University of Monastir (pictured left) is famous throughout the country for its faculties of medicine, pharmacology, and natural sciences. The city is considered a youth, in 2007 the authorities counted the total number of students in the city, 27,000 people turned out.
Monastir is the capital of the same province (province) of the country.
The economy of the city does not have a clear specialization. The local port works for export, mainly olives and olive oil. The agriculture and the food-processing industry are developed. The airport and the port "Monastir Marina" with a capacity of up to 400 yachts give a big income to the city.
Monastir is not called a rich city, but it looks very respectable - broad streets, everywhere greenery, high-quality roads. The fact is that Monastir is the hometown of Habib Bourguiba, the first President of Tunisia, who ruled the country for 30 years. During the years of his reign, large sums of money were invested in the city.
Some tourists call the city the word "monastyr". Of course, this is a mistake, but it is not so far from the true name of the city. The city is called the Greek word "monastir", which translates as "monastery".
The question is coming to a head: what kind of monastery was here, what city was named after him? Neither of which monastery medieval sources say. The name is inherited for a different reason. In the Middle Ages, monasteries and abbeys on the coast served as fortresses, and monks were part-time garrisons. So it was in Western Europe and the territories of Byzantium.
In Monastir there was a large fortress for the protection of the coast, from which the Byzantines called this place the word "monastir". Then the Byzantines called this word all the coastal fortresses. The name was adopted, the city founded later by the Muslims inherited this name.
A bit of history
In most guides or on the Internet you can read that the city originated on the ruins of the ancient city of Ruspina. In fact, this is only an assumption, historians have not yet determined the exact location of Ruspina. Most likely, Ruspina was not in the place of modern Monastir, but in the place of modern Suss, some archaeological finds in Sousse indicate this.
Ruspina is hardly mentioned in the historical chronicles of antiquity. The only mention that somehow sheds light on its location is a description of the Battle of Ruspin - a battle between the supporters of Pompey and Julius Caesar in the civil war of the Romans. This battle took place in 46 BC. Pompey won the battle of Ruspin, but could not defeat the army of Julius Caesar. The outcome of the war was decided in the next battle at Tubbs, where Pompey lost.
All the descriptions of the battle do not give us an idea of whether the city was really an ancient city in the place of modern Monastir.
The Arab city on this site was founded in the 7th century, it is one of the most ancient Arab cities in Tunisia. The city arose around the fortress (ribat), which guarded the coast. The citadel was built by Vali Harfam ibn Ayun by the order of Khalifa Harun al-Rashid (Abbasid dynasty) in 796. The main task was to guard against pirates and Byzantines.
It is difficult to say about some events in the city until the 16th century, as there are almost no mention in medieval chronicles. In the 16th century, Monastir became famous, as the Spaniards could not take it in 1534, when they took control of almost all the coast of Tunisia. The inhabitants declared independence and organized here a real people's republic, the earliest example of democracy in Tunisia.
In 1554 the city was occupied by the Turks, and Monastir became part of the Ottoman Empire and the provincial capital. The same status was preserved by the city during the time of the French protectorate.
Almost all the main attractions of Monastir are in the central part of the city, it is: the mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba, the ribat, the Great Mosque, the Habib Bourguiba Mosque and the National Costume Museum. Only Habib Bourguiba museum is located on the outskirts of the city in the Skanes area.
You can bypass all these attractions without haste in one day. For vacationers in Monastir, we recommend this one day and take a taxi to the city center. From beach hotels to go from 5 to 17 kilometers, the trip will cost 4-10 dinars.
For holidaymakers in Mahdia, Sousse or El Kantaoui, we recommend you to come on the morning train, see one day all the sights and leave in the evening.
Holidaymakers in other resorts in Tunisia, we do not recommend traveling to Monastir on their own - too tedious and expensive. It is better to buy a bus tour of Monastir.
Place of repose of the first President of Tunisia. Habib Bourguiba built this mausoleum during his lifetime for himself and his family. Now, besides him, there are still 14 of his relatives.
A beautiful building with a decoration of Carrara marble stylized as a classic Maghreb mosque. As in the mosque, there are high minarets, a gilded dome, and a colonnade.
In Monastir is the largest and oldest rebate, not only in Tunisia, but throughout the Maghreb. Here you can see how the fortress was rebuilt and rebuilt, how the art of fortification developed over the past 1200 years.
Tourists look at the high walls and powerful rebuilding bastions, prayer halls and cells, where the monks-warriors of Mirabitun lived. From the high watch tower of the ribat, picturesque views of the city of Monastir open.
The largest mosque in the city of Monastir was built by order of Habib Bourguiba in 1963. Its tall minaret (41 meters) is visible from any place in the city center, and the sight of snow-white domes is fascinating.
Non-Muslims are not allowed inside, but this does not prevent to enjoy the external beauty of the structure and use it as a guide.
The Great Mosque
One of the oldest mosques in the Maghreb, built in the 9th century. The Great Mosque of Monastir has many interesting features - there is no court and a dome above the mihrab. The modern version of the Great Mosque is the result of four stages of completion and reconstruction of the building.
Only Muslims are allowed inside, but you can see beautiful colonnades and arches.
This small museum is located 5 meters from the Habib Bourguiba mosque, it's not necessary to go anywhere specifically, all tourists pass it by.
Here you can see the clothes that Tunisians used to go 50 years ago. The museum will be pleased with the rich and interesting collection of wedding dresses, festive and everyday costume jewelry.
This is the only significant sight of Monastir, which is not in the center of the city, but in the suburbs. In the Skanes area, President Habib Bourguiba built his summer residence, now transformed into a museum.
Here you can see Habib Bourguiba's limousine, his personal belongings, gifts from leaders of other countries and the richest collection of designer furniture from the best masters from France and the Maghreb countries.
Perhaps there is nothing more to tell us about Monastir. Have a good rest in Tunisia, and read on our site JJ-Tours.ru interesting and useful reviews about this country (the list of links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website