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Meknes, Volubilis and Moulay Idriss Day Trip

A day trip taking in Meknes, the 18th century capital city of Morocco; the spiritual and pilgramage town of Moulay Idriss, and the Roman ruins at the World Heritage Site of Volubilis.

 

Please Note: Naturally Morocco's excursions are only available as part of a package booked through us that includes accommodation and transport.

Bab Mansour and walls of the kasbah

Overview

Fez - Meknes

Departure from Fez at around 10am for a 1 hour's drive west to the Imperial city of Meknes. Driving across the plain you will see vast acreages of vineyards which produce good quality wine, much of which is exported to France. You will have up to three hours in Meknes to explore the town including the expansive souks, the fascinating historical sites and to take lunch. Moulay Ismail made Meknes the capital city of Morocco during his reign around 1700; his mausoleum and the Rouah, his stables for over 12,000 horses, together with Place el-Hedim, the central pedestrian square in the Medina, are well worth a visit.  The souks of Meknes are refreshingly spacious compared to Fez, which makes the city a relaxing place to explore.

Meknes to Moulay Idriss

After lunch our journey takes you 30km north to the hillside settlement of Moulay Idriss. The town is one of the country's most important spiritual sites and a place of pilgrimage as it is the site of the tomb of Moulay Idriss, a prominent Moroccan saint in the late 8th century and a great grandson of the prophet Mohammed. The town is often bypassed by non-Muslim tourists, whose closest encounter is often a photograph taken from nearby Volubilis. There is limited access to the green-tiled shrine but the myriad of narrow streets leading to vantage points for views over the valley towards Volubilis are well worth a short stop.

Moulay Idriss to Volubilis and Fez

Leaving Moulay Idriss for the short 4km drive to the World Heritage Site of Volubilis, there are a number of vantage points to take photographs of the town. Volubilis is the site of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in Morocco, particularly noted for its superb mosaic floors; it has fabulous views of the Rif Mountain foothills, particularly at sunset. A guided tour of the Volubilis site with an official guide (20 dh paid locally) is well worth it if you are interested in some detail of the site's history. At around 4.30pm you depart Volubilis returning to Fez at around 6.30pm.

Options

Instead of one of the above sites, you may prefer to visit Moulay Yacoub, a small resort of hot springs and spas around 25 minutes' drive from Fez. The waters are reputed to cure skin complaints and rheumatism, and the spa treatments include detoxing and de-stressing thalassotherapy. Whilst most are public single sex baths, certain baths do accommodate visiting couples wishing for private bath space.

Details

Meknes and Volubilis Day Trip

1. Depart Fez 10.00am

2. Meknes, sightseeing and lunch

3. Meknes to Moulay Idriss

4. Moulay Idriss to Volubilis

6. Depart Volubilis at about 4.30pm

7. Arrive Fez 6.30pm

Duration
1 day