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 Here are three exceptional experiences for you to incorporate into your Festival week. Contact us to book on fez-riads@gmail.com or conciergemorocco@gmail.com.

 

EXCURSION TO VOLUBILIS AND MOULAY IDRISS

Wednesday 19 June 2019

 

Each year, we organise a group tour to the UNESCO World Heritage Roman site of Volubilis and to the nearby pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss. This falls on the Wednesday of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, when there are no afternoon concerts.

Volubilis

We depart Batha in the Fez Medina at 09h00 for the 1 ½-hour journey to Volubilis. This magnificent site, less than 40% excavated, sits in verdant rolling hills dotted with olive trees. It was the breadbasket of the Roman army, producing olives, wheat and wine. We will provide you with a map of the site and some information, and you will have a local, English-speaking guide for your visit.

After Volubilis, we go on to Moulay Idriss (about 10 minutes’ drive), perched across two hilltops. It is the holiest of towns in Morocco, as it contains the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss I who brought Islam to the country. For Muslims, visiting the town five times in a lifetime is equivalent to the Hajj to Mecca.

In Moulay Idriss, we have a three-course lunch on the rooftop terrace of guesthouse Dar Zerhoune. Here there are magnificent views of the town and the surrounding mountains, all the way down to Volubilis. After lunch, a local, English-speaking guide will take you on a tour of the town.

We return to Fez (1 ½ hours’ drive) in time for evening concerts.

COST: €60 or Dh660 per person, which includes:

6-seater mini-van with air-conditioning, all fuel and road tolls, full insurance. English-speaking driver

Entrance to Volubilis and a local guide; map and information on the site

Lunch at Dar Zerhoune

Guided tour of Moulay Idriss

Gratuities

 

Please contact us at conciergemorocco@gmail.com if you would like to book.

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen, as there is no shade at Volubilis and it is likely to be very hot in June.

 

 

 

 

EXCURSION TO THE MELLAH, THE FORMER JEWISH QUARTER OF THE MEDINA

with renowned writer, photographer and film-maker Catherine Bendayan

Morning of 16, 17 or 18 June

Ibn-Danan-Synagogue

Ibn Danan synagogue, Fes el Jdid

 

In the 14th century, the Jews of Fez moved from old the medina (Fes el Bali) to a new quartier built for them next to the Sultan’s palace. This area is still known as Fes el Jdid, or ‘new’ Fez and has strikingly different architecture from the old medina. Join specialist Catherine Bendayan on a visit to the Mellah when she will explain the Jewish history and heritage of the city. Learn about:

* the ethnology of the Berber Jews of Morocco from their still uncertain origins to today

* Arabo-Andalus and colonial architecture of the area

* the traditions and customs of the Jews of the Mellah, and their way of life alongside the Muslims

* political and economic circumstances at the time of their living in the Mellah until they moved to the new city

* visits to two old synagogues, the commercial streets, old houses, the market place and the Jewish museum and cemetery

* an overview of the Jewish community living in Fez today

 catherine-bendayan

Meet Catherine at 10h00 at the Royal Palace Doors in the Mellah (a petit taxi from the medina is a good idea). The tour lasts three hours, with time for a coffee break. Each tour is limited to six people only.

Cost: €50 or Dh550 per person

 

 

ARTISANAL AFFAIRS TOUR, FEZ MEDINA

Morning of 16 or 19 June

 

Fez is Morocco’s crafts capital: tanners, leather-makers, wood carvers, copper beaters and potters were part of the founding of the imperial city that dates back more than 1200 years. The artisans’ skills and stories are embedded in the foundations of Fez.  Here is an immersive morning’s journey: be awe-inspired by the artistry that was carried out then and continues to be so, to this day.

AA tour weaver

 

The half-day excursion will take you to off-the-beaten-track places, to authentic workshops where artisans carve a daily practice.  You are invited to ask questions, exchange anecdotes and try your hand at the craft skills. In doing so, you gain an authentic insight into the artisanship of Morocco.

Tours are limited to six people. Our facilitators are official Fez guides who encourage interactive, responsible tourism and carry our ethos of respect and collaboration with the Moroccan artisanship. Crafts people visited are compensated for their time and information-sharing.

 Meet our facilitator at 10h00 at Café Clock (just off Tala’a Kebira opposite the Bouanania Medersa). Chat with him for a short while to orientate you about the project.  The invigorating tour ends around 1.30 p.m.

Cost: Dh960 per person