Fez was the medieval capital in the north of Morocco in the 9th century. Long considered the spiritual and intellectual center of Morocco, its history is ingrained in every dusty wall and ornate mosaic. To enter the medina is to enter an ancient world. The tomb of Fez’s founder Moulay Idriss II is frequented by mourners while the medina of Fès el-Bali (Old Fez) is a world of winding alleyways and souks featuring craft workshops and food stands, leather factories and tanneries, butcher shops and bakeries.

A good guide is essential here to get the full grasp of the long history and marvelous culture. Without one, you are almost guaranteed to get hopelessly lost in the warren of alleys that makes up the souk. Ideally, spend a day focusing on the history and another day eating through the market. We also strongly recommend a side visit to the nearby ruins of the Imperial city of Meknes and possibly a stop at Rabat on your way here.

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Marcia Gordon