How many surprises can get you a trip to Morocco? If you follow our adventures on instagram, you would know, a lot. Our latest trip to Morocco, was full of interesting discoveries. One of these discoveries, were visiting Volubilis, Moulay Idriss and Meknes in one day tour from Fez with Viajes Marrakech.

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Mohamed from Viajes Marrakech came at 9am to pick up us on the Riad Borj Dhab. And our next day adventure began.

On our way we have seen a lot of olive trees, beautiful landscape and a lot of sheep. Volubilis is one of the best preserved archaeological place in Morocco. We went there with a special guide who told us the history of this place and guided us through the Roman ruins. It was 40 Celsius Degrees outside, and both our kids couldn’t stay too much on such a hot weather. So, we had to do a really quick visit through the ruins. Even though, it was an amazing experience.

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The settlement was dating 3rd century BC, and it is still considered one of Roman Empire’s most remote outposts. The production was often based on what the empire decided they need. Once walking, we passed through the different parts of the ruins. One of the sites includes a triumphal arch, capitol, baths and basilica.

Due to several earthquakes a lot of the buildings collapsed. The guide told us that Romans lived there 300 years, then came Berbers and the Romans left the place.

Nowadays, the ruins are spread on the area of 20 hectares, half of its original size. Every year different archaeological teams, from inside and outside of the country come and work to uncover the other half. Volubilis can be a difficult place to find due to lack of road signs.  It is recommended that you take a Morocco tour operator to the site. We took a specialist from Viajes Marrakech.

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Our second stop was a really quick one in Moulay Idriss, it is a town near Volubilis. A lot of tourists make a walk from Volubilis to Moulay Idris as it is very close.

And our last stop, was Meknes, one of four Imperial towns in Morocco. El-Hedim square is one of the biggest merchant place you can see within these 3 towns. It is spectacular, how many merchants and the variety of things you can buy there. It remembered me our trip to Marrakech almost 5 years ago.

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Apart of the stop we made in the El-Hedim square, we went to Bab Mansour, a huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling. This gate leads into the former imperial city. Apart of how amazing is this place, we enjoyed a cool stay there.

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Here our guided tour with Viajes Marrakech went to an end, and we came back to Riad Borj Dhab, where waited us a delicious dinner for our family.

I would like to say special thanks to Viajes Marrakech for a great planning of 2 days of our stay in this beautiful country, Morocco. And special thanks to Riad Borj Dhab for helping us to feel at home away from home.

I hope our kids will remember at least something from our stay there. 

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After having a great guided tour experience in Sardinia (with Bitan Tours), Italy, we decided that on our next adventures we will do the same. A contracted tour saves you money and your time, and you are sure about a great experience. After a lot of time wasted to look for a specialized travel tours in Fez, one of my ex-colleague recommended me to contact  Viajes Marrakech.

Nuria, the manager of the company replied us very quick to all our questions we made. And after 2 or 3 emails, our tour was prepared for our family of 4. Really great experience in terms of communication and planning the time. Believe me, as an agent travel (my main profession), if you don’t know the place where you are going, you spend much more time on planning your visit to a foreign country.

Fez, Morocco

Upon arriving, we made our way to the Riad Borj Dhab Fez, who welcomed us during our stay in Fez. Located on the Medina, old part of the city, with staff to match, we felt immediately at home. After a great night spent in this gorgeous hotel, we began to enjoy our tour with Viajes Marrakech.

Fez, Morocco

Viajes Marrakech prepared our agenda very wisely in terms of time and that we are a family with 2 little kids. FEZ – a city of contrast, as any city of Morocco.

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Fez was first capital of Morocco till 1912 and still it is considered one of the cultural city of the country. It is full of palaces, museums, mosques, fountains, residences, and tiny little alleyways. It splits in three different parts : Fes el-Jedid (the half-old) and Fes el-Bali ( the old) which form the medina, and Fes the young (new town). On our guided tour we have visited the Medina, the Old part of the city. And as we lived in the Old part of the town, we went walking to discover the city.

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Fez and its Medina is full of chaos and smells on the streets. The markets, and stalls are so busy during day hours that it can be very overwhelming and mentally exhausting after a one day tour there. The Medina’s labyrinth layout are so unpredictable, that without a guide you can get easily lost. With Chaima, from Viajes Marrakech, we went through the labyrinths very easy, and discovered the real culture and art that brings Fez.  

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After few hours of strolling within narrows streets of Fez, we have already seen a lot. We saw houses without windows, or with very small windows. The idea of this architecture is to give privacy to the family, and to the woman. We saw a lot of skilled craftsmen, exquisite aromas of local cuisine, crowds of people, and livestock running rampant.

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Our first stop to take some lovely pictures was, the oldest gate of the Medina, Fez, which is blue color from one side and green from another side. It is one of UNESCO World Heritage.

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Then, Chaima, from Viajes Marrakech we went till the World’s Oldest Universities, Kairaouine Mosque and University. Due to a lot of steps and inconvenience to move with our stroller, we haven’t entered inside. The price of the entrance is 20MDH per person(aprox 2EUR), what I think is a very good price.

During our walking, Chaima from Viajes Marrakech was very kind, and waited for us, at every stop we made, to take pictures or to take care of our kids. 

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Chouara Tanneries – was another stop, that we enjoyed a lot, but our kids not, very sorry for them. This place is a must-see place once in Fez. There you can see the origins of leather process. As well there are a lot of merchants who sells very beautiful bags. It smells quite bad, but not as much as I expected, because we already knew from previous travelers about this. What to say, the place is amazing, and the people seem to be very hard working.

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Medersa el-Attarine was one of our stops in Fez, designed as an annex to Kairaouine Mosque. The courtyard is comprised of cedar wood and carved plaster. Its mosaics, carvings, and impeccable detail are well worth the visit.

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Madrasa Bou Inania – This madrasa is another perfect example of Moroccan artisan skill. The intricate plaster and latticework of this structure are absolutely stunning. Unlike most madrasas that include a simple prayer hall, this one houses a complete mosque. The green-tiled minaret and marble columns are quite impressive. As you can know, if you are not Muslim, you can’t access the mosques. We enjoyed mosques from outside only.

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2 stops that made us Chaima, and I would like to mention, were:

1. Craftsmen shop, where you could find a lot of silver plates, lamps, and other home decor beauties that were handmade. The merchant, showed us the hard process of making a beautiful hand made plate, and explained us the technique. Really impressive.

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2. Shop with traditional clothing, where you can try any clothe you want. Great experience for daddy, while we were relaxing on very lovely chairs.

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Needless to say that we had a full day of different experiences. We enjoyed a lot our tour guide through la Medina with Viajes Marrakech.

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Later on the blog we will share our second day guided tour with Viajes Marrakech. How we discovered other 3 old cities: Volubilis, Mulay Idris, Meknes.

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On our recent trip to Fez, we went to somewhere quite special to us, Riad Borj Dhab. We choose a riad for different reasons. First, and most important, we wanted to feel like home, as any travel with kids is somehow exhausting. And you always look for a place to relax after your flight. I must confess, I wasn’t sure what to expect – but one thing kept me calm, it is a riad and the service has to be at its high.

Riad Borj Dhab Fez

Pre-arrival communication was maintained directly with the manager of the hotel, Mr. Saladin. He answered us very quick to any doubt we had. With Mr. Saladin, we also managed a transfer from the airport to the Riad (for a very reasonable price – 15EUR). The journey took us 25-30 minutes from the airport to the hotel. Once at the destination, we were met by the personnel of the Riad…how cool is that…! As we got very late to the Riad, I honestly didn’t expect such service. And my thought was, that they were taking care of us because we arrived late and we are with kids. But no, they offer this special facility to every guest that arrive to the Riad. Here I would like to comment, that the place where you arrive with the transfer is not in front of the Riad, then you have to walk almost 50m. That is why the staff meets you.

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The Riad was absolutely gorgeous – beautifully designed with the most amazing Moroccan decor. In terms of layout, Riad Borj Dhab Fez is a very typical Moroccan Riad. What that means? Normally, a riad, is a traditional house where lived the wealthiest citizens of the country, and that has two or more storeys around an Andalusian-style courtyard that contains a fountain. As well all the doors of the rooms gets to the central area of the riad, and there is lack of large window. It was created mainly for the privacy of the family. During the time it was transformed in a boutique hotel with very private service.

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Location of Riad Borj Dhab Fez.

The riad is located in the old part of the city, right in the city center. We went walking to all the main tourists attractions in Fez. Taxi stops are just 50m from the Riad. The food market is 30m from the riad.

Welcome amenity.

While completing some tourists forms, the person who was in charge of us, brought us very traditional mint tea, and some sweets to make our stay more pleasant.

Another great detail from our arrival that I would like to mention was, that we asked for something to eat. But, as the person who prepares the food went home, the receptionist brought us some sweets and milk. 12 points! I think this is an amazing detail that only in a Riad you can be offered.

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Our room at Riad Borj Dhab Fez

We loved our room which was a Family Suite (with a huge king bed, 1 single bed, 1 cot). The room was located on the second floor, but, comparing with other rooms, it helds second and third floor in the same room, this means we had a room with very high walls. I can’t complain anything – housekeeping was great, the beds, bed linen was very good.

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Feeling like an Arabian princess.

Our bathroom at Riad Borj Dhab Fez.

We loved the bathroom and the whole set up.

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Breakfast at Riad Borj Dhab Fez.

Breakfast is included in the reservation and is served between 8:00 – 11:00.

Because of the difference of hours between Fez and Barcelona (2 hours), and the routine our kids already have, we woke up earlier than the breakfast time. We went directly to the lounge, reception area. There we managed to take some lovely pictures of Riad Borj Dhab Fez. And because of staying there, the stuff prepared for us breakfast earlier than it is supposed to be served. 12 points again! Such little attentions make your stay more pleasant, and you want to come back every time.

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There is special area for Breakfast, but for our family they gave us a special room, I would say it seems like a living room in a house, and there they brought all the breakfast goodies. I think that every detail counts, especially when you travel with kids.

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Food at Borj Dhab Fez

Everytime we went outside to have our lunch or dinner. Only on our second day, after a guided tour to the Volubilis, Meknes we asked girls to prepare us soup for the dinner. We came earlier that it was supposed, and when we asked for the soup, it was already prepared. 12 points again and again!

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Staff at Riad Borj Dhab Fez.

As mentioned previously 12 points for their service. We felt like being at home, with a service to match. Even when my husband went to buy some fruits from the market, Hanane went with him to help him to choose the best fruits.

At the end of our stay, after Nour managed our transfer to the airport and while we were waiting for it. Hanane offered me henna painting. I was happy like a kid, it was a must-do on my wishlist for Morocco. But, with lack of time, I didn’t went to the city center to make this wish come true.

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Final thoughts about Riad Borj Dhab Fez.

To be honest, all of us liked this Riad – and everything about it. The staff was so friendly, the food was so delicious and the riad was so stunning.

Until the next time.

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Morocco is a country of contrasts. Here you can find about our experience in Marrakesh.

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