Today is a time travel through the scopes of space. We will discover two UNESCO sights in one day: the eternal Roman city at Volubilis and the Imperial City of Meknes. Early in a blue-skied morning, our professional driver will pick you up from your hotel in fez at an appointed time. Then, we will hit the road heading west as a start of our journey to uncover the mystics that surround the history of Morocco. For flexibility purposes, we will have a chance to decide, if we have any preferences, which route we take: the highway, or the scenic route. The latter is highly recommended for its panoramic views of Oulad Shaker reservoir and the surrounding rolling countryside. They are dotted with wheat fields, olive groves, fruit trees, and vineyards. Our first stop will be at the ruined Roman city of Volubilis. French archaeologists began excavating Volubilis in the early 20th century. However, half of the immense city remains beneath centuries of topsoil. We will plunge into the famous wonders of the Basilica, the Triumph Arc, and many other palaces with their exquisite mosaics. We can chose to have the tour of Volubilis either with or without a local guide. Afterward, we will make a quick stop in the adjacent small town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. Hovering atop a hill overlooking Volubilis, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun houses the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss I (745-791), the first Muslim king of Morocco. During our stop in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, we will go to a panoramic viewpoint to get a glimpse on the fascinating natural scenery joint with the centuries old houses. Then, we will hit downtown for lunch. Our last stop will be in the great ancient capital of Morocco: Meknes. Smaller in comparison to the other Moroccan Imperial Cities, Meknes held the status of capital of Morocco for only 55 years during the reign of the famous Sultan Moulay Ismail (1634-1727). This sultan is recorded as one of the few who reigned over Morocco with an iron fist. His capital was the strongest walled city in his time. The walls are more than 1.5m thick to sustain the canons of the rebellious tribes and foreign powers trying to seize power in Morocco. Meknes’s old city offers a trove of sights for curious visitors: Moulay Ismail’s massive stables, the capacious granary, and the cavernous underground prison. Foreign captive corsairs built most of these sites. They were a part of the European raid attacking the sultan navy on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic during the 17th century. We will also visit Moulay Ismail’s mausoleum (one of the only mosques in Morocco open to tourists). The monumental Mansour Gate is also a part of our journey. A Portuguese architect designed it as a price for his freedom. He was arrested in the shores of Morocco on the Atlantic heading toward one of the Moroccan colonised coastal cities at that time. We will also visit the covered food market, and the El Hedim Square. At the end of our drive, we will take the highway back to Fez. We will drop you off at your hotel in the late afternoon/evening.
Fez to Volubilis and Meknes: Fez – Volubilis – Meknes – Fez