Step back in time by 2000 years with a guided tour of Meknes, the fascinating Roman city of Volubilis and Moulay Idriss in the Rif Mountains.
Activity code: ITCLFES10p
Duration: 1 Day
Starting at 9:00am from your hotel (or riad) for a drive across the Saiss Plain to the wonderful Roman ruins at Volubilis to marvel at the ancient olive presses, mansions, incredible mosaics, monumental arches and Corinthian columns where you’ll have a real sense of Roman lifestyle and of that of a subsequent medieval Berber town. The site contains the villa where you are able to view the mosaic of the Labours of Hercules, the Baths of Gallienus and the Forum with their fragmentary mosaics; the House of Orpheus and its Dolphin mosaic, the Gordian Palace with its bath house and pooled courtyards; the House of the Wild Beast, the House of Nymphs, the Triumphal Arch, the Capitol and the House of Ephebus with its pictorial mosaics, especially that of Bacchus Being drawn in a Chariot by Panthers.
Leaving Volubilis behind you now drive alongside the dark, outlaying ridges of the Zerhoun Hills to stop for a visit of the town of Moulay Idriss, the holiest Islamic town in the kingdom of Morocco, where thousands of Moroccan faithful come on pilgrimage (moussem) every August to pray at the tomb of this descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Arriving at the elongated square you will notice above the green-tiled pyramids of the Zaouia with its two conical quarters on either side and stroll amidst the labyrinth of alleyways before leaving for the Imperial City rebuilt by Moulay Ismail.
On, now, to the Imperial City of Meknes (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here you will visit the most beautiful Bab [gateway] in all of the Maghreb – the Bab Mansour. From here to the El Heri es-Souani – the granary of huge vaulted structures and stables built by Moulay Ismail’s soldiers next to a pool fed by underground channels that brought fresh water all the way from the distant Middle Atlas Mountains; the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum and the Place el-Hedim to see the famous State-owned stallion stables of Haras where these Arabo-Berber horses are bred. Time for lunch (optional, not included) before leaving Meknes around 4:30pm, arriving back at your hotel (or riad) at around 6pm, the drama, scope and beauty of your visit forever indelibly imprinted in memory.
This excursion is available as part of any tailor made holiday with Rediscover the World.