Full day Trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes
Full day Trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes
Day trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes is one of the most popular day trips from Fes, it is an opportunity to travel outside of Fes and visit three exciting places: the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the amazing small town of Mulay Idris Zerhoun that harbors a lot of spiritual meaning for Moroccans and Meknes, a quiet city and one of the imperial cities of Morocco.
The first stop is Volubilis, an archaeological site from Roman times. This site of Carthaginian origin and one of the best preserved archaeological sites not only in Morocco but in all of North Africa. Volubilis is the symbol of the ancient city of Meknes and one of its most important historical and tourist attractions.
This ancient city dating back to Roman times and beyond, some archaeological excavations that have been carried out since the early 20th century have shown that the origins of Volubilis date back to at least the 3rd century BC. His urban exploits still testify to the glory of a decades-old civilization in the region.
In addition, this city or archaeological zone is distinguished by the beauty of its nature and its splendor, as it draws the visitor’s attention due to the picturesque landscape in the midst of the city’s urban influence, from ancient columns written on some Roman letters, houses and temples, arches and fantastic mosaic panels surrounded by a great wall. Diana’s bath, the bath of the nymphs or the trials of Hercules are some of the best preserved mosaics.
Volubilis is rich in many public buildings, including the famous Capitol Temple, the Arch of Liberty, the court and the public square, as well as many monuments of mills, olive presses, baths and remains of the walls.
2. Molay Idriss Zerhoun
The second stop is Moulay Idris Zerhoun, which is considered the first Islamic city in North Africa. It derives its name from its founder Moulay Idris. It is located 550 meters above sea level, under Mount Zerhoun, and extends over two hills. It is surrounded by green plains where olive trees abound. The city was banned for up to a year. 1917, to non-Muslims. Today it retains its character as a holy city. Luckily, today the Moulay Idriss mausoleum is the only place that is off-limits to non-Muslims.
The city clings to a hill, which is a labyrinth of stairs. Some places, called “Terraces”, provide a wonderful view of the city, the mausoleum, the alleys and the small houses that surround it. You can lose yourself in the streets of this charming city, look for the only circular minaret in Morocco or enjoy beautiful views from one of the panoramic terraces.
Annually, this city hosts the Season of Moulay Idris the Elder. The biggest religious festival in this small holy city.
Thousands of pilgrims, Sufi sects and various gatherings in search of blessings make a pilgrimage every year at the end of August to visit Moulay Idris, bringing with them many gifts accompanied by folk groups such as Aissaoua, Hamadisha and the Tuat people. .
The last stop on the day trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes is Meknes, the least famous of the country’s four imperial cities. Meknes has been in the light since the 10th century AD. Its medina does not have the number of important buildings that the medina of Fez or Marrakech has, but it is very beautiful and quiet. It also has a madrasa, colorful souks where you can see artisans who work with weaving or iron with traditional techniques.
Although the Medina is beautiful, the most impressive places to see in Meknes are outside its medieval quarter. The city of Meknes is distinguished by its wide extension and the multiplicity of its historical buildings and walls. Mawla Ismail surrounded it with walls stretching for 40km left from that glorious time, interspersed with a bevy of massive gates and urban towers. In the walls, there are several spectacular doors, the Bab Mansour is the most impressive door in all of Morocco.
On the other side of this gate is Lahdem Square which looks a bit like the famous Jamaa el Fna Square in Marrakech. The square is delimited by the wall on one side and by the market with the restaurants on the other. This is also a big square with a lot of atmosphere, animals: snakes with their charmers, an ostrich and a Barbary ape and a lot of noise.
Finally, another interesting place that you will love during your visit to Meknes is Royal Stables. It is the only place of interest that is somewhat far from the center. Thousands of horses were kept in the stables and they also stored grain here. The outside of the stables is very nice, a place where you can take many beautiful photos.
The city of Meknes, with its important historical monuments, deserved to be registered by UNESCO on the World Heritage List in 1996.
Your day trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes ends with a transfer back to your accommodation in Fes.