Following the picturesque coastal line covered with glistening white sands of the east part of Tunisia you will eventually reach Monastir and Mahdia. These two lovely sea resorts have inherited Tunisia’s ancient traditions.
Monastir was historically under the protection of the Ribat that was used in the past to scan the sea for hostile ships and served as a defense against the Byzantine fleet. The Ribat is well known among the locals who come and enjoy the view. It is also a place famous for the film setting of “Jesus of Nazareth”.
Monastir has been traditionally a fishing port before it has been transformed into major tourist resort. The medina and the port of the city are the landmark sites which contrast with the little villages hidden among fruit gardens. The specific landscape makes Monastir particularly beautiful. Thanks to its warm climate and easy access from all over the world, Monastir is a favourite destination for holiday breakaways and spa vacations.
While traveling in Monastir, you must visit the Bourguiba Mausoleum, the monumental grave of the former president Habib Bourguiba, the father of Tunisian independence.
Mahdia is located south of Monastir and is the provincial center of Sfax. The major importance of Mahdia is associated with the fish-processing and weaving industry. The city has preserved the spirit it was given by its founders and the ruling of the Fatimids. Its history is filled with battles and change of government after it was founded in 921. The city itself was an important military settlement during the time of the Phoenicians. In 1087, the town was attached from Genoa and Pisa which played a critical role in Christians’ establishing control over the Western Mediterranean. Some of the major buildings like the Great Mosque and the Casbah were built between the 10th and the 11th century. In 1390, the city was again under the attack by the French who failed to seize it. It was later on that the Mahdia was completely rebuilt by the Spanish. Mahdia is known for being the home of Khaled Abdelwahhab who hid twenty persecuted Jews during the World War II.