Moulay Idriss is a small town perched a few kilometres above Volubilis, near Meknes. It’s easily reached by train from Fez to Meknes (40 minutes) and then by shared grand taxi from Meknes. The drive takes around 25 minutes and winds through spectacular countryside that’s awash with colourful wild flowers in spring. An important pilgrimage site, the town has an interesting main square with shops selling incense, prayer beads and candles for the faithful, and the main street is full of restaurants and cafés for watching the passing parade. You can visit the communal olive press and sample the local produce; this is best in November when the olives are harvested.
This guesthouse is an excellent place to stay with a relaxed, informal atmosphere. The traditional medina house is comfortably furnished and there’s plenty of light.
- double/triple rooms with en suite bathrooms
- terrific terrace views of surrounding village and mountains
- meals available: have lunch on the roof terrace after a visit to Volubilis, or take a picnic into the surrounding mountains. Dinner available, too.
- ‘Make your own afternoon tea’ course: learn how to make Moroccan breads and biscuits and take them to the community oven to be baked. Then enjoy them with a pot of Moroccan mint tea.
- Excursions to Meknes and Volubilis can be arranged, as well as hiking and cycling in the mountains
COST: double 600 including breakfast
Mike Richardson, founder of Café Clock in Fez, Marrakech and Chefchaouen, has recently opened his house high on the mountainside in Moulay Idriss. This whimsical property has just two suites booked in exclusivity, and a number of terraces with superb views.
If you don’t have time to stay, you can opt just for brunch or a sumptuous lunch, again on an exclusive basis (ie no other guests). Reservations essential.