Daytrips from Fez

Meknes was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672–1727), before it was relocated to Rabat. Among the most impressive elements of the imperial city was the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail's death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. The story tells that when completed, Moulay Ismail inspected the gate, asking El-Mansur if he could do better. El-Mansur felt complied to answer yes, making the sultan so furious he had him executed. Its medina its much smaller than the Fes one, but its well preserved and a nice place to bargain for carpets.
You can easily get there by train, taxi or bus. Train is best and takes about one hour.

Volubilis features the best preserved ruins in this part of northern Africa. In 1997 the site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In antiquity, Volubilis was an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman conquests. The site contains the Mansion containing the mosaic of the Labours of Hercules, the Baths of Gallienus and Baths of Forum with their fragmentary mosaics, the House of Orpheus and its Dolphin mosaic and Orpheus Myth and many more amazing sights. Unfortunately is difficult to get there by public transportation, so its best to rent a car or arrange a private taxi.

Ifrane is a modern european looking and green little town with a very famous english speaking university, it is a good base to explore the area and in cold winter you can even do some ski in near Michliffen. The area is a very popular week-end destination for moroccans and therefore it is very busy on saturdays, sundays and holidays.

The cedar tree forest is unique. Today, unfortunately, it is only seen as a destination for a short excursion with chances to feed monkeys. Don't do it, and don't try to buy one, customs in the airports ain't what used to be.

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