My Mum and I went to Fes at the beginning of this year and my god, it was utterly beautiful. It was an easy feat to fall in love with Fes. The Medina sucked me in instantly, and made me feel like I was a Moroccan goddess who was perhaps born in the wrong place. I threw flirty glances at the Souks, gawped at the large, colourful doors and fluttered my eyelashes at the Riyad I was staying in.
What could have easily been a case of confusing love and lust where I woke up the next day feeling awkward and only finding things that I find annoying about the place – turned into a deeper and more obsessive connection where it felt like it was just the two of us and that the rest of the 1.1 million inhabitants had left to give Fes and I a bit of space.
Before you get there
The Airport: Located approximately 15km South of the City – You can either make use of the airport bus (The number 16) or simply ask your hotel to arrange a taxi to pick you up and transport you there which is what we did. This was the safest and easiest option – and doesn’t knock you back too far money wise either.
Packing: Although there is no time difference between Fes and London, and it is only a short flight – I felt ridiculously removed from my life at home a short distance away.
The culture is completely different, so be sure to pack plenty of scarves, trousers and long skirts to cover yourself up with! Don’t be that tourist that decides they’re too important to ignore the social rules.
I stayed at The Riad Salam located in the old Medina. It was affordable luxury and was one of the best places I’ve ever stayed in. I can’t guarantee the price year around, however as I went out of season it was super cheap and great value for the royal treatment.
Staying here felt like I was being transported to a completely different place and time period. As you leave the busy and manic small streets of the Old Medina and step through the gate that leads you to the Hotel, you can’t help but feel that you are stepping into another World. A World that is more serene than you would ever expect could be hidden within the bustling streets of Fes and is complete with beautiful Moroccan decor and staff ready and waiting to give you every bucks worth of the money you’re spending there.
A Guided Tour
Fes is well known for so much of it being car free. As soon as you cross over into the Old Medina the only way to get around is by foot, and that’s part of it’s charms of what makes it so special!
I’d recommend to hire a guide to walk you round to all of the “can’t miss” spots! Make sure that you visit the University, the Souks, Tanners quarter and a rug shop. Make your way around the gates that are surrounding the City and take a trip to the Royal Palace too.
Outside Of Fes
Try booking out a tour guide to drive you round to a couple of places nearby which is what we did. We got to visit Middle Atlas, Azrou, Bhalil and a couple of other places that we fancied the look of along the way!
Go and high five a monkey… I double dare you!
Flying over the Medina
You know how every once in a while you’re lucky enough to experience a moment that is so magical that you know without a doubt that you will never forget that moment?
For me, watching the sunset over Fes from Borj Nord was one of the most magical moments in my life to date, and it’s an absolutely MUST DO for anyone during their visit to Fes in my opinion.
Final Things To Try
- Accept as many mint teas that are offered to you. It’s kinda rude in Moroccan culture if you don’t, and they’re an absolute delight.
- Do not by any means take any photos of guards, or in their general direction. Learn from my mistake that it is ridiculously scary to have to deal with the confrontation that follows.
- Take some time and effort to speak to the Elder generations that are working in some of the smaller, wooden shops. They’re ridiculously cute and so, so kind. You will also pick up some bargainous trinkets!
- I’ll say this again girls – Wrap up!
- Eat as much tagine as you possibly can – it’s absolutely delicious.
- Be willing to get lost. Set out to get lost in fact!
- Allow yourself to fall in love with Morocco.