Day trip from Fes to Meknes, Mouly Idriss Zarhoun and Volubilis

 This is a wonderful day trip from Fez to Volubilis and Meknes that includes a visit to the ruined Roman city of Volubilis, which is Morocco‘s best preserved archaeological site. The many gorgeous mosaics that have been maintained in situ are its most stunning features. In 1997, the city of Volubilis was designated as a UNESCO World Heritag.



Mouly Idriss Zarhoun and Volubilis

 The day trip from Fez to Volubilis and Meknes is one of the most popular day trips from Fez, it is worth traveling out of Fez and visiting three interesting places: the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the incredible little town of Mulay Idris Zerhoun which holds holds much spiritual significance for Moroccans and Meknes, a peaceful town and one of Morocco’s imperial cities.

The first stop is Volubilis, an archaeological site from Roman times. This site is of Carthaginian and is one of the best­preserved archaeological sites not only in Morocco but in the whole of North Africa. Volubilis is the old city of Meknes’s symbol, as well as one of the city’s most notable historical and tourism attractions.

This ancient city dates back to Roman times and beyond, some archaeological excavations that have been carried out since the beginning of the 20th century have shown that the origins of Volubilis go back to at least the 3rd century XX. Its urban exploits still testify to the glory of a decades-­long civilization in the region.

In addition, this city or archaeological area is distinguished by the beauty of its nature and its splendor, as it attracts the visitor’s attention by the picturesque landscape amidst the urbanistic influence of the city, from ancient columns written in some Roman. letters, houses and temples, arches and fantastic mosaic panels surrounded by a great wall. Some of the best­ preserved mosaics include Diana’s Bath, the Bath of the Nymphs, and Hercules’ Trials.

Volubilis is rich in many public buildings, including the famous Temple of the Capitol, the Arch of Liberty, the court and the public square, as well as many monuments of mills, olive presses, baths and the remains of the walls.

 Moulay Idriss Zerhoun:

The second stop is Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, considered the first Islamic city in North Africa. Moulay Idris, the company’s founder, is its name. It lies 550 meters above sea level, below Mount Zerhoun, and spreads over two hills. It is surrounded by green plains with an abundance of olive trees. The town was forbidden for up to a year. 1917, to non-Muslims. Today, it retains its status as a holy city. Fortunately, today the mausoleum of Mulay Idris is the only place forbidden to non­-Muslims.

The city clings to a hill, which is a maze of stairs. Some places, called “Terraces”, offer 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 town hosts the Season of Moulay Idris the Great. This modest holy city’s largest religious celebration.

Thousands of pilgrims, Sufi sects and various gatherings in search of blessings make the pilgrimage every year in late August to visit Moulay Idris, bringing with them many gifts accompanied by folk groups such as Aissaoua, Hamadisha and the people of Tuat.


The last stop on the day trip from Fes to Meknes Volubilis is Meknes, the least famous of the country’s four imperial cities. Since the 10th century, Meknes has been in the spotlight. Its medina doesn’t have the number of important buildings that the medina in Fes or Marrakech has, but it’s very pretty and peaceful. It also has a madrasa, colorful souks where you can see artisans working with weaving or iron with traditional techniques.

Although the Medina is beautiful, the most impressive sights to see in Meknes are outside its medieval quarter. The city of Meknes is distinguished by its vast expanse and the multiplicity of its historic buildings and ramparts. Mawla Ismail surrounded it with walls stretching for 40km from that glorious era, interspersed with a cluster of massive urban gates and towers. Within the ramparts, there are several spectacular gates, Bab Mansour being the most impressive gate in all of Morocco.

On the other side of this gate is Lahdem Square which looks a little like the famous Jamaa el Fna Square in Marrakech. The square is bounded by the wall on one side and by the market with restaurants on the other. This is also a large square with many atmospheres, animals: snakes with their charmers, an ostrich and a Barbary monkey and a lot of noise.

Finally, another interesting place that you will love during your visit to Meknes is the Royal Stables. It is the only place of interest that is somewhat removed from the centre. Thousands of horses were kept in the stables and also stored grain here. The outside of the stables is very beautiful, a place where you can take many beautiful pictures.

The city of Meknes, with its important historical monuments, deserved to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.

Your day trip from Fez to Volubilis and Meknes ends with a transfer back to your accommodation in Fez.

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