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A Walking Tour of Fez el Bali Medina

A walking tour of the Fez Medina, exploring the thousands of alleys accessible only on foot and by donkey, and visiting a selection of sights within its heart.  Your guide will be able to discuss with you the history of Fez as well as current Moroccan culture, religion and politics.

A narrow alleyway in the Fez Souk

 

 

Overview

Thousands of Alleys

The medieval Medina of Fez is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Morocco's Imperial Cities. Today it is reported to be the most contiguous car-free urban area in the world, and is a labyrinth of thousands of interconnecting alleys accessible only on foot or by donkey. 

Your guide will meet you at your riad at 10 am (or later if required for a half day tour). He will take you through thenarrow alleys to various point of interest (some noted below, but you can agree with your guide what is of interest). Fez faces many challenges, most particularly from the unstable nature of many of its buildings which has led to the authorities reducing the population of the medina.

Tanners' Quarter

On the banks of the river that bisects the old medina lies the tanners’ quarter, which produces the raw materials for the most famous product of Fez. The sight of local men waist deep in vats of variously coloured dyes and handling the leather pelts is phenomenal. Only easily visible from one of the leather goods’ shops surrounding the lime and dye vats, it is fascinating to see what intensive work is required to produce the raw material.  If you are interested in a purchase, there is ample opportunity to do so, but equally you can state if you are not interested.

Kairaouine Mosque

In the heart of the western half of the medina is the Kairaouine Mosque.  The mosque is the holiest, and second largest, mosque in Morocco and is reported to be the oldest university in the world (Cairo also claims this title).  As you get lost in the narrow alleys of the medina, you will keep passing the mosque and getting interesting views of the interior, but non-Muslims are not allowed inside.

Nejjarine Museum

Whether you are interested in wood and woodworking or not, the Nejjarine museum may be an interesting sight to see as it is housed in a fully restored foundouk - a former inn for travellers, with large entrance gates allowing the guests and animals into the courtyard that was surrounded by several floors with inward facing balconies. Unfortunately, most foundouks are now in poor repair, so to see a fully restored one is impressive.

Merenid Tombs

Walking up the hill to the north of the medina you will be able to get a great view of the medina below and try to work out where you have walked before. The barren hillside is often used to dry dyed leather and to rest a donkey or two, and the crumbling city walls on the hillside are an interesting place to sit and relax for a while.  A good hike further up the hill are the 14th century Merenid Tombs, which offer higher views of the medina, but there is little to see of the ruined tombs themselves.

You will be guided back to your riad at around 4.30 pm.

Please Note: Naturally Morocco's walking tour of Fez is only available as part of a package that includes accommodation and transport.

Details

A Walking Tour of Fez el Bali Medina (Half Day or Full Day)

Your guide will meet you at your riad for your day or half day tour. Starting at 10 am he will take you through the narrow alleys to various points of interest which can include, time permitting - the Tanners’ Quarter; Nejjarine Museum; Merenid Tombs; El-sahrij Medersa; Andalusian Mosque and the Kairaouine Mosque.

Duration
  • Half day
  • 1 day
Trip Grade
Easy