Fez

Fez is not a destination it's a feeling ...

Five Nights Fez
The city of Fes is Morocco’s second largest city. It is considered to be Morocco's cultural and religious capital and often referred to as the Mecca of the West.

 

Divided into three districts, the oldest and most fascinating is Fes el Bali. Founded in the 9th century, venturing through its vast gates into the Medina is stepping back in time. It’s dense maze of some 9000 alleys are filled by donkeys and hand-pulled carts (said to be the largest car-free urban area in the world), with narrow passageways leading through beautiful squares, into the middle of a spice-scented food market or to a dead end and the ruins of an abandoned house.

Why not head up to a rooftop terrace to really appreciate the maelstrom at street level.

It’s in Fes el Bali that you’ll find out why its long been the city of intellectuals, imams and artisans. Among the dozens of madrasas (Islamic schools) is the University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest degree-granting university in the world, great mosques such as the Bou Inania Madrasaa and holy shrine to the city’s founder, the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II.

 

Countless workshops and souks are packed between the Tanner’s Quarter where barefoot workers treat hides in dyeing pits. The Medina is also famous for its brass and copper crafts, handmade ceramic, Berber rugs as well as its leather ware.

 

The fresh air of the public Jnan Sbil Gardens connects the old Medina to Fes el Jdid, or ‘New Fez’, the 13th century extension which contains the vast Royal Palace and the Mellah which was once home to some 250,000 Jews, many immigrants from Spain. Built by the French at the beginning of the 20th century, the Ville Nouvelle is the third and most modern of Fes’ districts.

Fes and its Medina offer a raw, sensuously intense experience 

FIVE NIGHTS FEZ 

 personally curated for you by Julie Stafford and delivered to you by the team at LUXURY TOURS MOROCCO Five Nights Fez is suitable for the solo woman traveler, couples, mother and daughters, girlfriend getaways, and small groups. 

 

You will stay in luxurious accommodation in Fez for five nights where you'll only need to unpack your suitcase once and from your hotel you will be expertly guided or transported to experience the highlights of Fez.

Add Five Nights Fez to any other package on the LUXURY TOURS MOROCCO website and taste, see and feel more of Morocco on your visit there.

FIVE NIGHTS FEZ  by Julie Stafford

DAY 2:

After a leisurely breakfast you'll explore the Medina of Fès el-Bali (Old Fez) with your expert local guides. The labyrinth of narrow lanes and covered bazaars of food and spices, crafts and wares, and the colliding cultures of the locals in their traditional costume with tourists in western dress, side-stepping men talking on mobile phones while steering donkeys (which remains the main form of traffic in the Medina) is at first a sensory overload. Mosque minarets compete with satellite dishes for sky space. Old and new constantly crash together and rather than overwhelming you, you'll find yourself constantly surprised when blind alleys lead to squares with exquisite fountains, filled with the rhythmic hammer-music of copper beaters.  In the afternoon take a cultural and heritage excursion to familiarize yourself with one of the oldest and most colorful civilizations.

 

Pre-dinner drinks in the hotel's Le Salon Bar and dinner at L'Amandier or a local restaurant.

DAY 3:

Rise with the sun over the Medina. After breakfast you are on the road to explore an otherworldly small city burrowed in Morocco’s Rif Mountains in the north. Founded in 1471, Chefchaouen served as a Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain. Over the centuries, the city grew and became a hub for Jews and Christian converts alike. But the city is best recognized for its powder-blue buildings that mirror the cloudless Moroccan sky. Jewish teachings suggest that by dyeing thread with tekhelel (an ancient natural dye) and weaving it into prayer shawls, people would be reminded of God’s power. The tradition means buildings are regularly repainted blue. Today, Chefchaouen is a rich cultural collective of Berber tribes’ people, Muslims and Jews, along with descendants of the Moorish exiles from Spain, from 1400s. Berber tribes people can be seen wearing distinctive cotton clothing paired with woven hats decorated with brightly colored threads. Stepping back in time, into another world we brave Chefchaouen’s charming Medina. Beware the bargains and prepare to haggle. What will your bounty be? Brass teapots, ceramics and handmade Tagine clay pots, decorated with delicate artistry; silver plates and jewelry; shawls and blankets made from sheep’s wool or camel hair; handwoven blankets and shawls or Aztec-patterned bags and Moroccan slippers? At a traditional local restaurant, we’ll try the town’s signature Tagines: a typical Moroccan-style dish made with fish, vegetables, a combination of the warmest, aromatic spices and oil served on a bed of fluffy couscous. Dinner at your hotel.

DAY 4:

After your long day on the road yesterday you get to sleep in. After late breakfast, visit the ceramics factories & famous tanneries. The Souk is home to three ancient leather tanneries, the largest and oldest being the Chouara Tannery, which is almost a thousand years old. The LUXURY TOURS MOROCCO team can organize to have any purchases shipped to your home address. Julie recommends a Haman & Spa afternoon. Reading out on the terrace before cocktails.

LUXURY TOURS MOROCCO will offer you other activities that you might like to ad on to your program in Fez.

 

Dinner at your hotel or at a local restaurant.

DAY 5:

Another early rise today. After breakfast,  drive to the city of Meknes. Driving through lush countryside of olive and citrus trees you are looking for old Roman ruins in Volubilis and the traditions of Fantasia.  Stop for a country lunch and visit the Valley of Oued Bou Fekrane and the French built ville nouvelle in the east before you return for your final night at Palais Faraj for dinner and local musicians. If you are a wine buff you could even stop at one of Morocco's renowned wineries up here in the north.

DAY 6:

After breakfast,  bid fond farewells as you wrap your memories of Fez in your hearts.

 

Depart or stay longer.

 

Why not add FIVE NIGHTS IN THE SAHARA ADVENTURE to your time in Morocco and travel deeper into Morocco's heart. Stay in luxury desert tents to experience sunrises and sunsets and a trillion stars in the bliss of desert silence close by the largest sand dune in Morocco - Erg Chebbi - before driving over the spectacular High Atlas Mountains and arriving in Marrakesh.

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 DAY 1: 

Arrive and settle into your luxurious accommodation. Perched high on Ziat Hill, in Fez - Morocco's second largest city - overlooking one of the most preserved Medinas in the Arab-Muslim World, a hotel of serious, sophisticated difference sits, as royalty sits. If position is everything, then Palais Faraj Suites and Spa Hotel scores beyond anyone's measure. Relax with traditional mint tea and Moroccan pastries. Take a leisurely tour of the meticulously restored Palais Faraj - your home for the next 5 nights. Its architecture will astound. Its African art collection will captivate. Treat yourself to a Hamman experience at the hotel or be adventurous and go for a saunter in the Medina of Fès el-Bali (Old Fez).

 

When you return, take a cocktail in the hotel’s Le Salon Bar. Enjoy the view over the oldest Medina in the world as the sun sets on the rooftops of an ancient civilization.

 

Take dinner at the Palais's renowned gastronomic restaurant L'Amandier and ready yourself for an exciting Fez program of activities.

Follow my journey @juliestaffordtravels

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© Julie Stafford 2017. Proudly created by Evie Foster Creative.