The northern Morocco city of Fes (also spelt Fez) is known as the spiritual and cultural centre of the country. At one time, the city was the capital of Morocco, taking over the title from Marrakech, over 570km to the south. That was way back in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Today, Rabat is the seat of government and Morocco’s administrative centre, but Fes retains its crown as Morocco’s cultural capital.
Fes is also Morocco’s second-largest city after Casablanca and visitors taking a tour of Fes have a wealth of sights to savour — everything from stunning architecture and colourful bazaars to the world’s oldest university still in operation. It’s no wonder Fes carries the nicknames “Athens of Africa” and “Mecca of the West”.
Other places you can visit in Fes include the city’s famous leather tanneries. Watch out for pushy guides on the streets who may offer to take you, as all you need to do is enter one of the many leather shops in the city, which have balconies offering views of the tanneries. Also, take a walk, of about half an hour from the central medina, to the ornate Bab Al Amer Gate. Don’t overlook the spectacular Jnan sbil Gardens with their fountains and river — a great place to relax after a day’s sightseeing in this most magical of Morocco’s cities.
If you have time to head outside the city, you can visit the ancient Berber city of Volubilis and its spectacular Roman ruins — showing the Roman empire’s ultimately doomed attempts at taking over this part of North Africa that ended in the third century AD. The city is now a World Heritage site and you can spend an hour or two among the crumbling structures that once held so much promise for the ambitious Roman emperors.
Experience the magic of Fes and wider Morocco on an unforgettable trip organised just for you by the experts at Desert Majesty. Get in touch now and we’ll tell you more.