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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.