Home > Tours from Fes > Meknes
One Day Tour Meknès
Duration: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4x4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel In Fès
Travel to Meknes Morocco. (Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806. Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel.
Often referred to as the Versailles of Morocco, Meknès is located between the fertile plain of Rharb and the Middle Atlas. The historical importance of Meknes is reflected in its grand Moorish buildings and in Meknes’ close relationship with Volubilis, a nearby city known as the most important archeological site in Morocco. Meknes rose to imperial status when Moulay Ismail began a building program to bring prestige to Meknes. Today, Meknèsis the fifth largest city in Morocco and has a dynamic economic center that thrives on olives, wine and mint tea. The city's unity of style lends it undeniable charm, enhanced still further by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Come travel to Meknès and appreciate its beautiful gates, ramparts, mosques and palaces.
►After a breakfast of fresh fruits, jams, bread and mint tea, begin your tour of Meknes at Bab Mansour. We will take the road from Fès and travel to Meknès.
►First we will pass through the triumphal arch. Standing at sixteen meters high with an eight meter long arch, the intricately patterned triumphal arch is argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco. Pass under the arches framed by protruding towers and enter Place El-Hedime (Square of Ruins) which links the medina and the kasbah. The square is lined with modern residential buildings and a covered food souk (market).
►We will stop and visit the Musée Dar Jamaï, a museum showing modern Moroccan arts, woodwork, ceramics, carpets, costumes, jewelry and metalwork. The sophisticated building was once a palace incorporating a mosque, menzah (pavilion), courtyard, kitchen and hammam. Be sure to look for these as well as an Andalusian garden planted with cypresses. Moving along, stop by Bou Inania Medersa to explore the beautiful Koranic school established by the Merinids in the 14th century. Opposite of the Medersa, see the Grand Mosque.
►Then, take time to appreciate the green glazed terricota tiles of the roof and the striking 18th century minaret. Leaving the mosque you will see a series of open streets lined with workshops.
►Browse Rue de Souks, a street filled with hardware merchants (akarir), corn chandlers (bezzazine) and metalsmiths (haddadin). Also of interest may be a trip to the En-Nejjarine Mosque, a 12th century Almohad built structure. Before moving on to see the square towers and zellij tilework of the Bab el-Berdaïne gateway, catch the action of Ed-Dlala Kissaria. Every day in the Berber souk an auction takes place to sell carpets, blankets and other works made by the mountain dwellers.
►Among the most impressive elements of Meknes as an imperial city is the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail's death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. According to historical records, the gate was finished after Moulay Ismail's death. The gate itself is now used as an arts and crafts gallery with an entrance by the side gate.
►Lunch in the heart of the medina at Zitouna, a charming restaurant serving traditional Moroccan cuisine. After lunch continue the tour of Meknès in a Travel Exploration air-conditioned/heated 4x4. Explore Dar el-Kebira, a fortified quarter that is known as the imperial city. Dar el-Keibra is four times as large as the medina and has wide avenues and squares that are protected by a double line of walls and angled gates.
►Visit the palaces and mosques located within the heart of Ksar Dar el-Kebira, the heart of the Imperial city. Dar el-Keibra is also visited for the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Featuring a suite of three rooms, twelve columns and a sanctuary hosting the tyrannical sultan, the tombs are reminiscent of the Saadian Tombs in Marrakesh.
►Next, drive to see Koubba el-Khayatine and Habs Qara, an imperial pavilion that once received diplomats who came to negotiate the ransom of Christian prisoners. Behind the pavilion is Habs Qara, a former Christian prison. Continue on to see Dar el Makhzen, the “Palace of Labyrinths” and then to Bassin de l’Aguedal, a water tank built to supply water to the palace and imperial city. Before returning to Fès, we will visit the well known Haras de Meknès, the largest national stud that can accommodate up to two-hundred and thirty one horses. It's the home of noble Arabian and Berber Horses. Created in 1912, Haras de Meknès promotes the best breeds of horses to be used during a fantasia or competitive horse races. Your Morocco Travel experience to Meknes ends here.