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Thursday, 2 March 2017 12:00 AM

Roman Ruins In Morocco - Holidays Full of History and Culture

Volubilis near Meknes and the Chellah in Rabat are impressive Roman ruins and are discussed in some detail in our articles this week, Both can be visited as part of a Naturally Morocco two or three centre holiday in Northern Morocco.

Volubilis - a short drive from Meknes and/or Fez

Volubilis, the most impressive Roman ruins in Morocco, lies less than 1 hour’s drive north of Meknes (around 25 miles) or under 1.5 hour’s drive north west of Fez.

On a day trip from either Meknes or Fez it makes sense to pop into Moulay Idriss, which lies within sight of the ruins. Moulay Idriss is a white washed town, a sleepy place that seems almost deserted most of the time, but a pleasant place for a cup of tea or a light bite and a little stroll around. It is home of the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty and of Islamic Morocco, hence it is a pilgrimage site for many Moroccans, but the mausoleum is not open to non-Muslims.

Meknes is the closer base and is the understated sister of Fez, but it has a lot to offer visitors – a wonderful medina and historical Imperial city with several old buildings to explore. We recommend asking our guide from Fez to help you explore the city.

Fez is the more dramatic sister of Meknes, with a medina that is quite exceptional and unique – a maze of alleys covering two opposing hillsides, which seem to be stuck in mediaeval times. It is a great place to wander around, our local guide who is extemely knowledgeable, will bring the city to life.

The Chellah - just outside Rabat

The Chellah is a wonderful set of ruins lying a short walk outside of the medina of Rabat, the modern capital of Morocco.

Rabat is one of the least visited of the Moroccan Imperial cities but is a historical city that is buzzing with everyday Moroccan life and an interesting place for a short stay. Stroll around the medina and Kasbah, haggle in the market for plump dates or olives or for something to take home from the sharper tourist-savvy merchants of the more touristy destinations.


With the announcement of additional flights, travel options to this northern part of Morocco have been much better. In late February 2014 budget airline routes announced their flights from the UK to Fez and Rabat. All the northern cities are linked by an excellent rail network.

With several trains running daily between them (Rabat to Meknes in 3 hours, 1 hour further to Fez); these destinations are also accessible by rail from Marrakech and Tangier. A day trip from Meknes to Fez, or vice versa, is simple to arrange and it means either can be your base for a visit to Volubilis.

Short Break or Long Stays

We have a number of holiday options for visits to this 'off-the-beaten track" area of Morocco, including 3-4 night short breaks or try our 7 night itinerary to all three of the Imperial Cities.