Exploring Morocco's imperial city
Fez is one of the most ancient cities in Morocco, often referred to as the country's cultural capital. The oldest and largest Medina in North Africa is located here and is claimed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The combination of rich history, outstanding architecture and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit city in Morocco and probably Africa!
Founded in 789 AD by the Idrisid dynasty, Fez was named the empire's capital, encompassing most of northern Morocco and parts of Algeria, Spain, and Portugal. Even today, the city retains much of its medieval charm and character from those early days. With its labyrinthine streets, colorful markets and diverse cultural heritage, this vibrant city is unlike any other in Morocco and should be included on every visitor's to-do list!READ MORE... SHOW LESS
The day starts with a tour at Fes el-Bali, Fez's old town or so-called Medina, which is one of the best-preserved historic towns of the Arab-Muslim world. With its narrow lanes and traditional Moroccan architecture, Fes el Bali is an architectural gem that magnetizes everyone. Take some time to try local foods, buy handmade goods, and seek architectural highlights that fit between the markets and streets.
From the Old City's narrow streets, you can spot the minaret of the Kairaouine Mosque; the world's oldest university and the second-largest mosque in Morocco. It is considered to be one of the most important religious buildings in Fes and, thus, can only be visited by Muslims. Although tourists are not allowed to enter the interior, you can enjoy the elegant appearance from the gates admiring the imposing marble courtyards, fountains, arches, tiles, and carvings. More than this, many people come here to pray, even though this sacred building still operates as a university!
In Morocco, all educational buildings are known as medersas and Medersa Bou Inania is one of Fez's most architecturally beautiful theological colleges in the entire country, not to mention that it is the oldest one. It was built in the 14th century and has served as a religious college in its early years. The college is still used for religious purposes and is the only religious building in Fez open to non-Muslims. Do not miss the chance to visit this architectural gem near Medina and explore its impressive marble courtyard, unique wood carvings, and a variety of distinctive mosaic tilework in a variety of green shades.LEARN MORE SHOW LESS
Exploring the gorgeous Medina Fes-el-Bali is like stepping back in time. You can find a wide variety of spices, traditional handicrafts, and traditional tanneries, with Chaouwara Tannery being the oldest and the largest one of Fez's leather souk. It operates exactly as in medieval times, as skins are cured using archaic ingredients and then laid out to dry in the sunshine. Despite the overpowering ammonia and the instinct smells, it is absolutely worth visiting and a lifetime experience.
Last but not least, you can't leave Fez without drinking mint tea. The famous tea comes in flavors of apple, peach, and grapefruit. You can drink your mint tea at various places, including cafes where you can sit down or cafes on a cart when you're walking around. All cafes serve it up hot or cold, but if you want it cold and really fresh, order it at one of those carts that has their fresh ingredients inside while they make your drink. Enjoy!LEARN MORE SHOW LESS