UNESCO World Heritage Series: Volubilis

UNESCO World Heritage Series: Volubilis

There are many good reasons for the inquisitive traveler to visit Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains and their hiking trails. The old cities of Fez and Marrakesh with the largest traditional markets in all of Africa. And of course the impressive Roman ruins dotted throughout the country. Yes, you read that right. Roman ruins! In Morocco! The Roman ruins of Volubilis, Morocco, the finest of all the Roman ruins to be found in the country, are at once important for their Roman connections to the region, but for so many more reasons than that. (more…)

Things to Do in Tetouan, Morocco

tetouan morocco marketLocated on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, Tetouan was historically the main connection between the country and Andalusia, and Spanish influences are evident in town today. About an hour southeast of Tangier in Morocco, Tetouan allows visitors to experience northern Morocco on a smaller, less frantic level than in the major port city. Ferries leave regularly to and from Spain.

Tetouan’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Though it is smaller than those of larger cities, Tetouan’s medina has been largely untouched, making it an authentic site. Guides can point out the Andalusian, Jewish and Berber sections of the medina, though wandering solo will unearth plenty of interesting experiences. The smaller scale of this medina means fewer opportunities to get dizzyingly lost, making the purchase of rugs and other goods less stressful. (more…)

Things to Do in Tamdaght, Morocco

tamdaght moroccoBetween Marrakech and Ouarzazate is the small village of Tamdaght, a tranquil spot for relaxation and laid-back explorations. With the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop, this area, filled with almond tree groves, has pretty vistas that can be enjoyed on hikes. Camel treks and 4×4 tours allow visitors to more fully experience the landscape, but even easy strolls around a the palm trees let visitors enjoy the setting.

Tamdaght’s main attraction is its kasbah ruins, which are still unspoiled from mass tourism. Self-guided visits to the old kasbah give insight into the region’s history. Bird watchers will be especially interested in the huge storks’ nests that perch on the kasbah walls. Cliffs around Tamdaght reveal even more historical information, as cave dwellings still dot their sides. (more…)

The History of the Fez Medina

A unique, ancient, and appealing city, the Fez Medina in Morocco holds true to its definition that it once was a non-European city in Africa or the Middle East. In Morocco, medina simply means “city”. And, Fez has two: the Fes-el-Djedid (new), built in the 14th century and Fez-el-Bali (old), which was built towards the end of the late eighth century. Built by the first Muslim Dynasty, the Idrissids, the renowned medina sits on the banks of the Fez River. Locals claim that the Kairouiyine Mosque, constructed during the reign of Yahya ibn Muhammed, is one of the oldest in Africa. In 859, the University of Karueein, as it is now called, was officially founded, giving the Fez Medina one of the oldest universities in the world.