Fez & the Imperial Cities

Overview

Casablanca may have the glittering name, but apart from the great Marrakech, Fez remains the most enchanting of the Imperial Cities. A grand old city with nearly ten miles of wall fortifications, it’s the cultural capital of Morocco and the largest continuously populated medieval city in the Islamic world.

It’s mostly known for its Unesco-listed – and easy to get lost in – medina, a medieval city within a city where a labyrinth of souks, 11th century tanneries and dye pits awaits. You’ll need a good guide for exploring the medina, which we’ll provide for you. Stand next to the Merenid Tombs for an iconic view of jumbled flat-topped roofs and spiralling minarets.

Smaller but equally charming is Meknes, a showcase of Islamic architecture and also a Unesco-listed fortified medieval city. Its souks are easier and more relaxed to explore than in Fez, but the highlight remains the imperial residences of 17th century sultan Moulay Ismail – containing palaces and gardens, mosques and macabre dungeons. On the outskirts of the city lie the superbly-preserved ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis.

On the coast, the once pirate haunt of Casablanca is now Morocco’s most cosmopolitan city with thriving art and fashion scenes, and yes, plenty of nostalgia-inducing piano bars. The charm lies in the old town where faded Art Deco buildings from the French protectorate days stand next to ornate Moorish buildings including one of the tallest minarets in the world.

Although, the capital Rabat has been inhabited since Roman times and has plenty to show for it, it receives far less attention than the other Imperial Cities. It’s a relaxed, European-feeling city with long palm-lined boulevards, grand colonial architecture and blue and white flat-roofed houses straight out of Andalucía. The quaint medina is pleasant to discover on foot, but the highlight remains the fortified kasbah with its sweeping panoramas of the Atlantic.

With a luxury tour from Lightfoot Travel, our Morocco specialists will use their own experience to help tailor your Imperial Cities experience to your exact requirements.

Fez & the Imperial Cities Itineraries

Fez & the Imperial Cities Properties

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La Maison Bleue

Morocco, Fez & the Imperial Cities

La Maison Bleue is a traditional Moroccan residence perched on a hillside overlooking the ancient medina in Fez. This century-old riad hotel in Morocco was built by a prominent judge and ast…

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Palais Amani

Morocco, Fez & the Imperial Cities

Within the walls of the ancient medina in the heart of Fez, Morocco, lies Palais Amani, an exceptionally luxurious boutique hotel. This century-old, riad-style palace was recently restored, …

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Riad Fes

Morocco, Fez & the Imperial Cities

In the heart of the medieval city of Fez, Morocco, lies Riad Fes, an exceptionally luxurious, boutique hotel built in the 1930’s by a wealthy noble family. The hotel features a magnificent…

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Riad Maison Bleue

Morocco, Fez & the Imperial Cities

Occupying a 19th century house that once belonged to famous Moroccan judge and philosopher, Riad Maison Bleue, sister property to La Maison Bleue, is an elegant hotel in Morocco that combine…

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Villa Mandarine Hotel Rabat

Morocco, Fez & the Imperial Cities

Set in over three acres of enchanting gardens filled with 700 orange trees and hundreds of flowers Villa Mandarine in Morocco is a charming and peaceful boutique hotel. Located in the histor…

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