morocco desert trip

Fez travel guide : attractions and highlights of the city

Welcome to Fez, the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco. If you are planning a trip to Morocco, make sure you include Fez in your itinerary as it offers a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else. In this Fez travel guide, we will take you through the sights, attractions and highlights of the Fez medina.

Fez is a city that differs from Marrakech because it is more authentic and original. The medina of Fez is the heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be overwhelming at first with its narrow alleyways, busy markets and sensory overload. But, trust us, you will fall in love with its unique vibe and atmosphere.

The medina is not conventionally beautiful, but it is a sight that will leave an indelible impression on you. You will be enthralled by its old world charm and at times horrified by the stark reality of daily life. You will experience a mix of smells, tastes and sounds that will awaken all your senses.

Here are some highlights not to be missed as you explore the medina of Fez:

Bab Boujloud: Start your tour at the famous Blue Gate, also known as Bab Boujloud. It is a popular landmark and a gateway to the medina. Admire its intricate blue and white mosaic tiles and walk through the gate to enter the medina.

The Mellah: The Mellah is the Jewish quarter of Fez and is located within the larger medina. It was founded in the 15th century when the Jewish population of Fez was forced to relocate to an area designated by the ruling dynasty.

Bou Inania Madrasa: A short walk from Bab Boujloud, you will find Bou Inania Madrasa, an ancient Islamic school that dates back to the 14th century. It’s an impressive example of Islamic architecture, with its intricate stucco and wood carvings, and a peaceful courtyard perfect for a peaceful break.

Chouara Tannery: One of the most famous places in Fez is the Chouara Tannery, where leather has been produced in the same way for centuries. Take a guided tour to learn about the traditional leather-making process and marvel at the vibrant colors of dyed leather.

Al-Attarine Madrasa: Another beautiful madrasa worth visiting is the Al-Attarine Madrasa, built in the 14th century. It’s adorned with intricate tilework and wood carvings, and its central courtyard is a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the medina.

Zaouia Moulay Idriss II: Visit the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II, a shrine dedicated to the founder of Fez, Moulay Idriss II. It is a holy site and pilgrimage destination for Muslims, but non-Muslim visitors can admire its stunning architecture from the outside.

Karawin University: Also known as Al Karaouine University, it is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez, Morocco. Founded in 859 AD, it is considered to be one of the oldest universities in the world and has a rich history of Islamic culture and learning.

Dar Batha Museum: This 19th-century palace-turned-museum houses a collection of Moroccan arts and crafts, including ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

Royal Palace of Fez: While not open to the public, the Royal Palace of Fez is worth a visit just to see its stunning gilded doors and richly decorated architecture.

Guida turistica di Fez: attrazioni e punti salienti della città

Cibi and bevande to Fez:

Fez is a food lover's paradise, offering an array of traditional Moroccan dishes as well as modern twists on the local cuisine. Here are some suggestions for restaurants and cafés to try during your visit:

Restaurant Number 7: Located in the heart of the medina, this restaurant offers a welcoming atmosphere and serves a range of Moroccan dishes. Their tagine is a must try.

Cafe Clock: A popular spot with locals and travellers, Cafe Clock serves traditional Moroccan dishes as well as international options. They are known for their camel burger and their wide range of teas.

Dar Roumana Restaurant: This restaurant is located in a beautifully restored 17th century house and offers a fine dining experience with an emphasis on traditional Moroccan cuisine.
They also offer cooking classes if you are interested in learning how to make some of the dishes yourself.
La Maison Bleue: This restaurant is housed in a beautiful blue-painted building and offers a range of Moroccan dishes, including vegetarian options. They also offer live music performances in the evening.

Cafe Nejjarine: Located in the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts, this cafe offers a beautiful setting to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. They also offer light snacks like sandwiches and pastries.

Al Fassia: This restaurant is known for its traditional Moroccan dishes, especially couscous and pastilla. They also offer cooking classes if you’re interested in learning how to make these dishes yourself.

Dar Hatim Restaurant: Located in a restored riad, this restaurant offers a range of traditional Moroccan dishes with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.

When it comes to drinks, be sure to try Moroccan mint tea, which is a staple in Moroccan culture. You can also try fresh juices, such as orange or pomegranate juice, in many cafes and restaurants. If you're looking for something stronger, try a traditional Moroccan cocktail like a Moroccan martini or Casablanca beer. Fez has something to offer every type of foodie, from street food to fine dining. Be sure to check out some of these restaurants and cafés during your visit to sample the flavors of Fez.

Tours and activities in Fez:

If you are looking to explore beyond the city of Fez, there are plenty of desert tours and day trips to take. Here are some options to consider:

Sahara Desert Tour: A Sahara desert tour from Fez is a must when visiting Morocco. Many tour companies offer multi-day trips that include camel rides, desert camping, and visits to traditional Berber villages. You can start your tour from Fez and travel through the Atlas Mountains, stopping at places like Ifrane and Erfoud before reaching the desert.

Chefchaouen day trip: A day trip to Chefchaouen from Fez takes you to a picturesque blue-painted town located in the Rif Mountains. It is a popular day trip destination from Fez, as it is only about a three-hour drive away . Stroll through the narrow streets of the medina, enjoy a hike in the surrounding mountains or simply relax in one of the city’s many cafes.

Meknes and Volubilis Day Trip: Meknes is another imperial city located just an hour away from Fez. The city is known for its grand architecture, including the Bab Mansour gate and the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum. From Meknes, you can also take the short trip to the nearby ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, which are well preserved and offer a glimpse into Morocco’s early history.

These are just a few of the many day trips and tours available from Fez. Whether you are interested in history, nature or adventure, there is something for everyone. Be sure to research and book your tours in advance to ensure availability and get the most out of your time in Fez.

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