The intoxicating city of Fez is one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets, and as such, can make for a very cheap holiday destination. Markets brim with textiles in every colour, the earthy fragrance of spicy street food drifts through winding and narrow streets, and intricate, colourful architecture punctuates the city’s skyline. Home to artists and craftsman for centuries, you’ll see locals working at wooden looms working silk into vivid cushions, bedspreads, scarves, and more: making the perfect opportunity to pick up a cultural bargain or two. Explore off the beaten track and you’ll find yourself in a warren of workshops, peaceful courtyards and authentic cafes touted by locals.
What’s more, Fez's status as the oldest imperial city in the country has certainly left a legacy that can be seen to this day. Donkeys pull carts laden with goods through cobbled streets, just as they once did in medieval times.
Further afield you’ll find Morocco has plenty to offer in the realms of relaxation, history, and culture. Head to Agadir for a coastline peppered with pastel coloured Arabic houses and azure waters, or to Marrakech or capital city Rabat to continue your authentic North African experience in 2018.
The natural starting point of your holiday in Fez will be exploring the captivating old Medina. The maze of shops, street-side stalls, the aromatic smell of lamb frying in spices, and sounds of traffic, people, and animals will transport to a bygone era. Besides the array of cultural and historical attractions, Fez is a fantastic shopping destination offering an abundance of authentic souvenirs, ranging from hand-made carpets to leather bags. Take a piece of Morocco back home and remember your unique experience in Fez.
Other points of interest in and around Fez include Mount Zalagh: a mountain from which you can gaze out over the jumble of rooftops that make up Fez or explore via mountain-bike, The Old Madrasas: one of the most stunning pieces of Arabic architecture in Morocco, and what remains of the Merenid Tombs: a scenic escape just outside of the city which makes for a perfect break from the bustle of Fez.
Holidaying in Fez is a feast for the senses in many ways, but none perhaps as vivd as its world-famous, mouth-watering cuisine. Amble through its warren of winding streets to discover street food vendors selling delicacies that encapsulate both the region’s history and penchant for the bold. Sample your way through sardines drizzled in tart lemon juice, hearty bean stews, soft breads flavoured with olives and spices, crispy aubergine fritters, and, of course, it’s range of flaky, date-laden pastries to finish off any tapas-style expedition.
For those looking to dine out in Fez, head to the centre for your pick of classy restaurants serving sumptuous Mediterranean feasts. Think fragrant couscous, char-grilled aubergines, baba ganoush, hummus, and lamb or beef tangine. We recommend paring these earthy, spicy flavours of northern Africa with a full-bodied red!
For those seeking a truly authentic experience: why not haggle yourself some spices at central market and whip up your own take on a Moroccan classic?
There are plenty of actives for the whole family to take part in on a holiday in Fez. This friendly city is brimming with locals ready to impart their wisdom of Arabic history and culture, as well as a short drive away from beach resorts and desert-based fun.
One of the best ways to educate the family while having fun is by checking into a local walking tour. These will take you through the city’s finest sights, with an expert guide providing a fun fact or two about the traditional architecture, or local marketplace. What’s more, Fez’s artisan community also have open workshops where kids can see for themselves the process that goes into creating a colourful carpet, or baking a loaf of bread. They may even have the chance to get involved themselves!
Further afield you’ll find that Morocco’s contrasting landscapes offer an endless spectrum of fun activities for all ages. Ride camels through the Sahara, find sweet treats in Fez’s winding lanes, or head to the coast for family-friendly beaches and eateries that serve home comforts like pizza.
Taking your holiday in Fez will open up a plethora of adventures to suit every type of traveller. Adventurous holidaymakers seeking a little more adrenaline will find the golden beaches and water sporting opportunities available in Tangier irresistible. Think kitesurfing, windsurfing, wake-boarding, waterskiing, and more.
Mountain-bikers and hikers alike will find the dramatic terrain of Mount Zalagh – a mountain overlooking the rooftops of Fez – ideal for stretching their legs outside the confines of the city, all the while never being too far away from a restorative date-pastry.
For those seeking a truly authentic Moroccan experience, trekking through the desert via camel is a must. Tours across the Sahara to nearby towns – or even Marrakech – are the perfect way to see some of north Africa’s most dramatic landscapes. Red sand dunes dominate the horizon, contrasting stark blue skies. There’s even the chance to camp out in the desert Moroccan style if you choose a tour that lasts a few days.
Take a trip to the coast to Agadir: a particularly attractive option for those looking to soak up some north African sunshine and relax by the enchantingly blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Pubs and eateries are abundant in this area, making it the perfect destination for a day trip.
Despite its often hectic jumble of sound, smell, and sight, the city of Fez is actually rather conservative and orthodox when it comes to life after dark. Because the main religion of the region is Islam, authentic bars selling alcohol are often hard to find: meaning nightlife as you know it is likely to be scarce. Fear not, however: there is still plenty to discover once daylight is over in the older quarters of the city. Storytellers, musicians, and African magicians can be found using the streets as their stage, and enchanting crowds with lore as old as the city itself. Take a stroll down one of Fez’s magical streets with a late-night coffee or mint-tea in hand, drinking in your captivating surroundings as well.
If you’re after a more lively nightlife scene, head to Fez’s newly developed quarter where new, upscale hotels, house international bars, clubs, and the odd cheesy disco.
Couples who choose to holiday in Fez will find an abundance of landscapes and fine-dining opportunities that will kindle any romance. Star-gaze under the vast skies of the Sahara desert while snuggled in swathes of Moroccan textiles, the closest village a mere handful of glimmering lights nestled in the foothills of sparse mountains or vivid red dunes. The highest waterfalls in Morocco, Cascades d’Ouzoud, are another of the many stunning sights to behold in northern Africa. Just 18km from the imperial city of Marrakech, you’ll watch clear water cascade into deep pools below. If you’re feeling particularly daring, take a boat out onto the waters for a truly immersive experience, or perhaps take a dip.
If you’re looking for a whole new perspective on Morocco and its impressive array of both new and old architecture, take a hot air balloon with your loved one at sunset. The domed roofs of Arabic mosques glow gold in this vivid light show, making for a stunningly romantic highlight.
There’s no real surpass that the Medina of Fez is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site — it offers endless opportunities to explore the turbulent and fascinating history of this special place in northern Africa. Practice your haggling skills and pick up a bargain or two at the many markets scattered across the city, visit the historic tannery to gain an insight into the cities' heritage industry, or descend upon the city’s numerous informative museums to learn about the many eras this magical city has lived through.
There are countless sites which cannot be missed when holidaying in Fez — the ancient Bab Bou Jeloud gate, Glaoui palace, the Merenid tombs, the university of al-Qarawiyyin, and the world's oldest university to name but a few. A number of incredibly detailed and colourful mosques are scattered across the city, providing an awe inspiring experience for anyone interested in architecture and Islamic culture, as well as displaying Fez’s proud religious devotion.