Drive to Fes for a full-day’s guided walking tour of the medina, souks, and much more

Depart from Rabat at 8.30 am for the 2.30 hour drive to Fes.

The imperial city is the capital of traditional Moroccan culture; The entire medina has been designated UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity Site.

The medina: Traditionally the exploration of the medina starts at the Bab Boujlloud Gate. The first monument to visit is the vast Bou Inania medersa. Continue along Talaa Kebira Street (big climb), to admire the Tijani zaouïa (zaouïa: sanctuary of a religious brotherhood) and the instrument makers souk before arriving at the mzara (shrine) of the ancient sovereign Moulay Idriss situated at the place where he took the decision to build the town.

After passing the babouche vendors, arrive in En-Nejjarine Square and the cabinetmakers’ souk. The magnificent carved Foundouk (caravanserai) on the square houses the Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts. The kissaria (covered market), where jewellery and fine fabrics are on sold, is nearby. Next to it, admire the most visited and revered attraction in Fès: the zaouïa of Moulay Idriss, founder of the town.

The walk continues on to Es-Seffarine Square, the coppersmith square, and then to the tanners’ quarter situated just before the Andalusian quarter with its mosque and the Es-Sahrij medersa.

Midday: Lunch at Dar Al Fassia

Medersas: A Medersa is a school where the Koran is taught along with all the classic subject of learning: mathematics, grammar, history, astronomy, medicine… In Morocco, and especially in Fès, medersas have the important role of integrating students from other regions. Generally they are built around a central courtyard with a fountain.

El-Attarine : The Merenids built this masterpiece between 1323 and 1325. Its central courtyard is magnificently decorated. Its walls are covered with sura engraved in wood or plaster. The fountain and marble columns are embellished with zellige (tiled mosaic).

Bou Inania : This Medersa, built between 1350 and 1357, is the biggest in Fès . Pass through the magnificent entrance with its heavy copper work doors, to see the refinement of the sculptured wood and plaster and the chiselled stalactites called mukarnas, the hallmark of Merenid architecture. A canopy of typical Fès green tiles surmounts the onyx and marble courtyard.

At 4pm, leave Fes for the return drive to Rabat