In Fés, one can spend days roaming the ancient streets of the medinas, both old and new. The souq in Fés el Bali is a maze of alleys and narrow lanes bustling with locals, mules, businessmen and tourists. The goods for sale are overwhelming. Everything from fresh meat and spices, to carpets and leather goods can be purchased. In order to get the most out of your visit to the historic medina, it is best to have a guide. They are for hire through tourist offices and tour companies.
A bit northwest of Fés is the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Having visited numerous other Roman ruins in various countries, I thought this might just be another ‘broken pillar’ on my list. Volubilis is magnificent. Much of it is fairly well intact and the examples of tile work in some sections are amazing. Prepare to be overwhelmed by its size and beauty. Let your imagination run wild thinking about how this city bustled in the third century B.C.
Though I visited numerous other fantastic places on my Moroccan adventure, Essaouira and Marrakech were the final highlights of my trip. In Marrakech, you can wander the medina, as in Fés, but the real highlight here is the Djemaa el Fna Square. Here, you can eat your way through numerous stands selling grilled meats, couscous dishes, snails, desserts and freshly squeezed juices all while being entertained by snake charmers, monkeys, and dancers. It is an experience not to be missed.
Essaouira, directly west of Marrakech, is a beautiful seaside town on the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from making a point to enjoy several days on the beaches here, it is worthwhile to explore the port and afterward enjoy some of the fresh catch of the day. There are fortifications to explore and, of course, the souq. If a visit to the Western Sahara is not on the agenda, make sure you ride a camel while in Essaouira. It is an unexpected pleasure and will put a smile on your face.