Three days in Fez allow you to experience the city’s ancient walled medina, delicious food, and vibrant markets, and enjoy a hammam steam bath. But you can also travel far beyond the city, venturing into the Rif or Middle Atlas mountains, to ancient Volubilis, or as far as the Erg Chebbi dunes. Here’s how to get the most out of three days in Fez.
Day 1: Fez Fantastic
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fez’s medina dates back over 1,100 years. Start the day with a walking tour through its dynamic warren of streets. Discover historic madrassas (Islamic schools) and Kairaouine Mosque, which includes one of the world’s oldest universities, then immerse yourself in art at the Dar Batha Museum, once a royal palace. See traditional crafts at the Chouara Tannery; browse carpets and perfumes; and watch fountains dance against colorful tiles. Treat yourself to a cooking class for lunch, shopping in the souk and preparing Moroccan signature dishes such as tagine, couscous, or Fez’s favorite pastilla (sweet meat pie). Travel out to Art Naji, where some of the city’s finest potters labor, then start the evening by luxuriating in a hammam steam bath. Finish with a sophisticated dinner at one of the city’s palace restaurants.
Day 2: Mountain Magic
It’s a long way to go if you only have three days in Fez, but if a desert trip is on your Morocco bucket list, head south for an overnight adventure among the Saharan dune sea called Erg Chebbi. Typical tours include a sunset camel ride through the dunes, an overnight stay in a Berber camp with barbecue and stargazing, and stops in the Middle Atlas and an oasis along the way. Alternatively, stay closer to Fez with a trip to your choice of Moroccan mountains. Travel north to the Rif and the “blue city” of Chefchaouen, where cobbled lanes run down the hillside in shades of vivid blue and white and the medina is a shopper’s dream. Or head south to the Middle Atlas, with mountain lakes, cedar forests, Barbary macaques, and cool cities. Back in Fez, wrap up your day with a street-food safari.
Day 3: Royal Route
Spend your final day in the area exploring one or more of three heritage sites: Meknes, Moulay Idriss, and Volubilis. Founded in the 11th century and, like Fez, once a capital of Morocco, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meknes offers opulent imperial gates, a grand city square, and a wealth of palaces. A pilgrimage site for Muslims, Moulay Idriss is a charming hilltop town, although the mausoleum that makes it sacred is off-limits to non-Muslims. The UNESCO-listed Roman ruins of Volubilis, nearby, are Morocco’s best-preserved, known for their elaborate mosaics and the storks that nest atop the columns in season. Back in Fez, make time for dinner in a restaurant in a traditional riad (courtyard home), then say farewell with mint tea or Moroccan cocktails on the roof.