Reasons to Visit
The Berbers are the indigenous people of Morocco. During the Arab conquest they retreated into their mountain strongholds and took refuge in the inhospitable deserts of the south. This is where their culture persists, based around fortified dwellings; a strong sense of community and an ability to cope with almost any hardship.
The Sahara washes into Morocco at its western extremities, and the Erg Chebbi sand sea is the best place to see this. Passing first through dramatic ridges of blackened rock, the going becomes sandier and sandier, until you're eventually confronted with towering dunes and the best sunsets in Morocco.
A kasbah is a fortified village, made from traditional pisé, or mud brick. Their distinctive towers, with ornate windows, are a dominant feature of the Moroccan landscape, none more so than along the Dades and Draa Valleys in the south: some have been converted into hotels, so you can even spend the night in your very own kasbah.
At the heart of any old Moroccan city will be the medina, the vital core encircled by walls punctuated by ornamental gates. It's in the medina that you'll nearly always find the souqs, and there will probably be a number of old palaces too: some of these are now hotels, some are museums, while others are abandoned and decaying gracefully.
The High Atlas are home to Jebel Toubkal, at over 4,100m the highest mountain in north Africa and a challenging climb. But the Atlas mountains also offer gentler hikes, perfect just to appreciate the scenery, the cool, clean air, and to enjoy Berber hospitality in remote villages.
The souqs of Marrakesh are the most famous in the country, but almost every town has its souq. Those of Fez seem endless and labyrinthine, whilst those in Taroudant are much more compact and sell the simple goods that the local, rural population need. It's unlikely you'll escape from Morocco without doing a bit of shopping at some point!
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North Africa & the Middle East
The city of Fez has always occupied a place at the spiritual and political heart of Morocco. Founded in the ninth century, many of the early settlers were Islamic refugees, fleeing neighbouring Spain and Tunisia.
Periodically capital of Morocco, the city of Fez has always occupied a place at the spiritual and political heart of the country. Founded in the ninth century, many of the early settlers were Islamic refugees, fleeing neighbouring Spain and Tunisia.
Those from Tunisia founded the Kairaouiyne Mosque at the heart of their quarter, which became one of the leading universities in the Islamic world, its theories were far in advance of those understood at the time in Europe.
Many of the medressahs, built to house its students, still stand today and display exquisite craftsmanship. The medina and souqs are probably the best in Morocco, truly labyrinthine, assaulting the senses with new sounds, exotic scents and an intense experience unlikely to be rivalled elsewhere.
Many compare Fez to Marrakesh before the tourists arrived: it is certainly the most Arab of Moroccan cities, and in that sense has greater appeal to the purist.
11 days from £1,835pp
12 days from £1,940pp
15 days from £2,840pp
36 miles away
78 miles away
107 miles away
114 miles away
127 miles away
Include a visit to Fez on your tailor-made trip around Morocco by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in MoroccoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout MoroccoCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:EgyptIranJordanLebanonLibyaOmanSyriaTunisia
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