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Moulay Idriss, Morocco
Fast Facts
Religious Site
Kid-Friendly Hotels
Points of Interest Nearby

Tajine, Moroccan Dish


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

The small village of Moulay Idriss (also known as Moulay Idriss Zerhoun) is a worthwhile place to visit. It's relaxed, cheerful and near hassle-free. Sited atop two verdant knolls, it's both charming and picturesque. Moulay Idriss is an important place of pilgrimage for Moroccan Muslims. It's the resting place of Morocco's most revered saint, Moulay Idris I. It's a holy city. And while non-Muslims aren't allowed in the town's mosques and shrines, twin terraces - petite and grande - afford panoramic views of the mausoleum, village and contiguous green hills. The cafes and food stalls that front the main square are a great place to sip mint tea and enjoy a leisurely lunch of grilled meat and tajine after a tiring tour of nearby Volubilis.
Getting There
Moulay Idriss is situated at the base of the Rif Mountains and is located 30km north of Meknes and 80km west of Fes. The Roman ruins of Volubilis are just 4km away. Moulay Idriss is accessible from the N13. The drive from Meknes is 30 minutes; the journey from Fes is 90 minutes on a winding road. The surest alternative is a grand taxi. From Meknes, grand taxis to Moulay Idriss depart from a small lot across from the French Institute in the Ville Nouvelle. Family Travel Tips: Grand taxis depart when full. It's possible to purchase one seat each or pay for all 6 and ride alone. Grand taxis can also hired for the day; the going rate is 350dh. Guided daytrips can be arranged through most riads.
Getting Around
Moulay Idriss is easily navigated on foot. To reach the main square from the taxi / bus depot, either walk up the street at the open end of the lot or wind through the small outdoor market situated just behind the parked buses. The Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss is located off the main square and is situated just beyond a three-arched doorway. The overlooks known as the petite and grande terraces can be reached by following the covered walkway to the left of the shrine.
When to Travel
Spring (April - May) and fall (September - October) are ideal for touring. Summer (June - August) is sweltering. Winter (November - March) is cold and rainy. Calendar of Events: An outdoor market is held each Saturday. The moussem or pilgrimage takes place each year in August.
Things to Keep in Mind
Moulay Idriss is the transit point for travel to the Roman ruins of Volubilis.
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Travel Trivia
Which of the following animals are you unlikely to spot in the Wisconsin Northwoods: