1. review of Monastir
WeatherVisited Monastir in both July and April
The weather was perfect for sightseeing in April warm and not over hot, we wore t-shirts wheras the locals had cashmere overcoats on !!
July however is baking hot more for the beach and pool, than for tramping around the Ribat and the souks etc.
Monastir itself is the "showpiece" modernised town of Tunisia, it has a small Marina with the usual Pirate ship excursions (usually good value for money)
There are several Cafes which sell alcohol around the Marina very pleasant to rest awhile and maybe sample the pizza.
The beach area while not huge is nice and sits in the shadow of the Ribat, the Ribat famously where Monty Pythons Life of Brian was filmed is itself well worth a visit and is a reasonable priced entrance fee the museum inside is also included in the fee.
HolidayMonastir is clean and tidy and the locals are friendly and you can buy a stuffed camel, at numerous shops and the street hawkers who some find daunting are usually friendly but it depends how you treat them.
More annoying are the small children who constantly try and get you to buy one or two tabs of chewing gum from them.Apart from Monastir we travelled to other places mainly using the public transport, the rail network in particular is good but could benefit from more frequency in the high season.
We stayed at the Skanes Beach Hotel in April Hotel was lovely, location (near the power station) best avoided.
July we stayed at the Mahaba Salem, Sousse. Fantastic hotel, location 2k outside of main resort of Sousse plenty of easy transport links into Sousse or Port el Kantoui.
Places RecommendedMahdia easy by train, less commerial than Sousse Medina small town, big port, but interesting look into the open doors to see the local craftsmen in action.Avoid Friday if you dont like crowds this is market day and its huge!!!
Sousse busy, bussling, huge souks, colourful, noisy and well worth visiting.
El Jem is a must see Roman Ampitheater
wonderful museum, Gladiator was filmed here. The museum down the road is well worth a visit the mosaics are wonderful, we didnt have time to see the Roman Villa remains but will probably go back to them this year.
We travelled to El Jem on the bus from Sousse, we saw more of the real Tunisia that way, it was cheap and the passengers : mostly Tunisians were friendly
pointing out different things to us along the way.
Please be aware though that the buses from El Jem dont go back to Sousse only to Mahdia where you can get the Sahel Line train home, or you can enjoy a drink in the Hotel by the railway, watch the sun set, and wait for the train home.
Recommend Monastir to others