GMT/BST -1 hour
3 hours 10 minutes
Fez is the second largest city in Morocco, and the nation’s former capital. This fascinating destination is like a window onto a forgotten age, and when you embark on a holiday to Fez, you will find yourself entering into a world that has remained mostly unchanged for centuries.
The city of Fez is composed of three regions; Fes el Bali is the oldest of these, an ancient walled citadel. After that there is Fes-Jdid, which emerged in medieval times, and then the more modern French Quarter, known as Ville Nouvelle. The first of these is perhaps the most striking, and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This is where you’ll find some of the most fascinating sites on a holiday to Fez, including the University of Al-Karaouine, which was founded in 859AD. Fez has sometimes been referred to as the ‘Mecca of the West’, or the ‘Athens of Africa’.
The medina in Fes el Bali is the largest in the city, and is reported to be the world’s largest car-free urban zone. A visit to this medina is an experience in itself, as you enter into a timeless maze of narrow alleyways, market stalls and street performers. You’re likely to come across snake charmers, fakirs, and merchants selling items as diverse as fine fabrics, spices, livestock and designer clothing! It’s certainly a great place to come if you’re looking to pick up a cheap souvenir from your holiday in Fez. Check out other holidays to Tangier and holidays to Rabat.
Be sure to try the local cuisine, too – on a holiday to Fez you’ll get the chance to savour some of the finest Moroccan delicacies, including the famous tagines, hearty stews, grilled meats and colourful salads. Mint tea is the most popular drink here, and it is usually served in a small glass with a generous helping of sugar.
Other attractions on a Fez holiday include a range of holy sites, such as the shrine known as Zaouia Moulay Idriss II. This important religious monument was built in 1440AD, to commemorate the death of Moulay Idriss II, one of Morocco’s former rulers. Another popular attraction is the Dar al-Magana, which is Arabic for ‘clock house’. This curious building houses an antique water-powered clock; a revolution in engineering, when it was constructed in the 12th century. Then there’s the beautiful Ibn Danan Synagogue, a Jewish place of worship dating back to the 17th century.
Holidays in Fez will appeal to anyone with a love for culture, history and diversity. It would make a good option for a family holiday, or for anyone who just wants to experience something different. Book all your holidays to Morocco with lastminute.com.
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