Be transported back hundreds of years on this enthralling tour of Fez, Morocco's spiritual and cultural core.
Wander through the Medina's medieval labyrinth of winding alleys and golden-brown houses. There is much to intoxicate the senses – perfume and spices, the colors, the call to prayer and the sounds of sawing and chiseling from the city's legendary craftsmen.
You will see mosques and medresas (colleges), such as Al Karaouine, the world's oldest university, exquisitely decorated with carved wood, ornamental plaster and glorious mosiacs.
Further sensory assault comes at the tanneries – where colorful herbal dyes and smelly organic substances form part of a fascinating leather-preserving process unchanged for centuries – and at the restaurant where you will enjoy a delicious Moroccan lunch.
Go at your own pace – this is a private tour – and let your guide give you privileged glimpses into the heart of this enchanting city.
For your delightful Medina of Fez Private Sightseeing Tour you will be picked up at 0900h (09:00am) from your hotel.
You will set out in a mini-bus with your bilingual guide (English and French-speaking). The excursion takes around 5 ½ hours and you will cover a distance of approximately 20 km (12 miles).
This is a private tour, which means you have the flexibility to go at your own pace and spend more time at the places you really want to see.
Fez is the most complete medieval city in the Arab world. Founded in the 8th century and home to one of the world's oldest universities, it was the capital of Morocco for more than 400 years. It is still a leading cultural and religious center.
Some highlights of your tour will include:
• Andalusian Mosque: Built in 859 CE by a woman named Meriam, this mosque is famous for its exquisite wood carving. It lies on the east side of the Fez river, in a part of the city founded by Muslim refugees fleeing persecution in Andalusia. Only Muslims can enter the mosque.
• Leather Tanneries: Fez is famous for its leather. Little has changed at the tanneries since medieval times, which makes them fascinating to visit. The ideal time is early in the day because the dyes are at their most vivid and you can get the best photos. Most of the dyes are made from plants such as cedar wood (brown), Henna (orange), poppies (red), mint (white) and indigo (blue). The tannery smell is frankly terrible but sniffing a sprig of mint will help you cope!
• Medersa Attarine: Completed in 1325 and regarded by many as the most beautiful medersa (Islamic religious school) in Fez. The courtyard in particular is richly decorated with superlative tile work, intricate stucco (plasterwork) and carved and painted wood.
• Karaouine Mosque: The largest mosque in Africa and the base for the world's oldest university. It was founded in 859 by a woman whose family migrated to Fez from Tunisia. The buildings are beautifully decorated with carved cedar wood, stucco and mosaics. Many different subjects were taught here in medieval times, and the university played a leading role in interaction between Muslim and Christian scholars.
• Zaouia Moulay Idriss II Shrine: This important pilgrimage site contains the tomb of, and is dedicated to, Moulay Idriss II, who ruled Morocco from 807 to 828 and is believed to be a descendent of Prophet Mahomed. Non-Muslims cannot enter but you can admire the carved and painted wooden porches, the fine mosaics and ornamental plasterwork from the outside.
• Place Nejjarine (Carpenters' Square): This pretty square contains the Nejjarine Fountain, beautifully decorated with mosaics. In the alleys that lead off the square is the Nejjarine Souk, where carpenters still chisel and carve cedar wood.
You will stop for lunch at a restaurant (either Dar Salma or El Fassia) in the Medina. Drinks with the meal are payable direct.
The lunch menu will probably include the following:
Mixed Moroccan salad
Moroccan salad or Harira
Variety of Meat Skewers
Couscous with 7 vegetables and meat
Fruits of the season
Tea and Moroccan pastry
The tour ends around 1430h (02:30pm) and you will be dropped off back at your hotel.
Our guide met my wife and I punctually at our Riad. Like many young Moroccans he was a fluent English speaker, and was born and bred in the Fez medina. Hence his knowledge of... Mr M Brazier
This is a really good way to explore the medina, you'd find it difficult to do without a guide. And it's nice to finish of with a lovely lunch in a beautiful restaurant. Just... Stephen Dean
5 hours 30 minutes
Start time: 0900h (09:00am)
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
Your hotel in Fez.
(Please mention your hotel details at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 48 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)
Your hotel in Fez if centrally located
There are plenty of photo opportunities on this tour, so don’t forget your camera. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a hat. It's a good idea for men and women to cover legs and arms as much as possible. This advice is especially useful for women as it helps stop unwanted attention. Carry sunblock and some bottled water.
It is advisable to re-confirm the tour departure details 48 hours prior to the start of the tour as this tour has a minimum passenger requirement of 2 people, if this is not met the tour would either be rescheduled for another date or cancelled with a full refund
You must carry your identity papers (passport or identity card).
The activity operator reserves the right to modify the program in the case of unforeseen events.
Non-Muslims cannot enter the mosques.
Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.
See the Cancellation policy for this product