Moulay Idriss Zerhoun
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun 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 olive presses (both traditional manual ones and more modern electric ones) 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.
- all rooms with en suite bathrooms and heating/air-con
- 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
- The manager, Hajiba, leads a fascinating tour through the town, looking at it from a woman’s perspective. Visit the market where Hajiba does her shopping, the hammam where she bathes and the ferran, community oven, where she takes her bread to be baked.
Mike Richardson, founder of Café Clock in Fez, Marrakech and Chefchaouen, opens his house for a sumptuous lunch with a view, high on the mountainside in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. By reservation only, and payment in advance is required.