We will start the excursion to Volubilis , Moulay Idriss, Meknes and back to Fez.
Fez to Meknes
Our driver will take you from the hotel through a beautiful countryside road to explore the breathtaking archaeological ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis Founded in the 3rd century BC, after a quick stop in panoramic view in Oulad Shaker reservoir.
The ruins remained substantially intact until they were devastated by an earthquake in the mid-18th century and subsequently looted by Moroccan rulers seeking stone for building Meknes.
It was not until the latter part of the 19th century that the site was definitively identified as that of the ancient city of Volubilis.
During and after the period of French rule over Morocco, about half of the site was excavated, revealing many fine mosaics, and some of the more prominent public buildings and high-status houses were restored or reconstructed.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for being “an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire”.
Now We move to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun city, where there is the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss the 1st the father of the founder of Fez city, one of the holiest cities in Morocco.
Then, you begin your tour of Meknes Bab Lekhmiss,then the jewish quarter calle El mellah.
Hri Souani : One of the prestigious Historic Monuments of Meknes, located about 500 m south of the Royal Palace and the place Mechouar, it dates from the time of Moulay Ismail in the early eighteenth century.
It groups a series of relatively cramped room around a spacious central hall 26m, 30 long / 10m, 70 of width. and 9m in height. It was a place for food storage. It contains 10 rooms with ten wells norias.
These well fed at the time as well as the building Souani basin, large water tank constituting the monument with a single entity.
It is a building composed of huge vaulted silos, built largely stores; it is covered terrace supported by huge pillars.
The thickness of the walls ensured a constant temperature that facilitated the preservation of food. Deep wells of several tens of meters provided, using a system of Norias powered by animals, water needed when the dominance of Dar El Ma (water house).
Now we move to The mausoleum of Moulay Ismail : The visit to the mausoleum of Moulay Ismail is permitted for non-Muslims (except access to the tomb of the ruler).
This mausoleum was built in 1703 and shows a particularly beautiful cedar painted ceiling mosaics on which figuent Koranic scriptures.
Now we will pass through the triumphal arch.
Standing at sixteen meters high with an eight meter long arch, the intricately patterned triumphal arch is argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco.
Enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah.
The square is lined with modern residential buildings and a covered food souk (market).
Among the most impressive elements of this imperial city is the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam.
The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns.
It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality.
The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis.
Return to Fez city to your riad or hotel.