A mound of whitewashed buildings framed by lush mountains and olive groves, the hilltop town of Moulay Idriss is a striking proposition, and it’s a suitably picturesque setting for one of Morocco’s most important pilgrimage sites. The town takes its name from one of Morocco’s most revered saints, Moulay Idriss I, famous for bringing Islam to Morocco and founding the country’s first dynasty. Today, the grand Mausoleum of Idriss I is the focal point of pilgrim’s visits and plays an important role in celebrating the annual Festival of Moulay Idriss.
Although traditionally non-Muslims were unwelcome at the holy site, attitudes have relaxed considerably in recent years (although non-Muslims are not permitted access to the mausoleum) and Moulay Idriss has become a popular addition to tourist itineraries, often combined with a visit to near Meknès and Volubilis.
Moulay Idriss is located 30 km north of Meknès in northern Morocco, close to the Roman ruins of Volubilis.