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“Fantastic tour of Fès the most "genuine" imperial city of Marocco;don't miss it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fes

Italy
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Fantastic tour of Fès the most "genuine" imperial city of Marocco;don't miss it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2010

Charming and the most "genuine" city of Morocco. This because we had the change to get half a day visit with official guide (Rachid-Krimi74@yahoo.fr) very brlliant and competent about what to show best tipical places in Fès. We've started with a panoramic view of Fès from one of the two mannor ovrlooking the old medina. Then we went to see Le Palais Royal one of the official residende of the you King Hassan VI. Nearby there is the old judish area (called mellah) plenty of people chatting, discussing about daily life. Very caracteristic place; but what really impressed us was the place where people are working and painting leather called Les Tanneries, which really impressive looking at those people working so hard and difficult conditions (see our pictures).
Also we went to visit where ceramist makers are making all kind of thinks using specific materials (argilla) and cooked into big own using wood and olive noodle. Astonish you can't beleive it.
Finally we went inside to huge old medina and we stayed for more then 2 hours looking almost every corner; plenty of people selling food, bread, meat, eggs,poultry, vegetables, fruit any kind and also a basket of alive "escargot"; unveliable.
I'm still enthusiastic watching to my own video and picture, so if you want to share some of our fun take a look.
Again a special thanks to our guide Rachid, which have done an outstanding job; well done and keep in touch, you'll never know in life. For those of you need to have more information I'll be glade to share it with you all (robertcolombo@tiscali.it)
But now take a few minutes to watch our coloured photos, about le Tanneries, old Medina and the ceramist makers; i'm sure you'll enjoy. If you want to watch full trip to Morocco, pls go under picasa site and ask for Roberto's Morocco pictures.
Have a great fun, then.
Roberto

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County Durham England
1 review
“January sunshine and Moroccan mystery in Fes”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2010

January 2010, Fes Morocco

My husband and I went to Fes this January on a whim - just fancied getting away from the snowy weather in England and wanted somewhere a bit different. It turned out to be one of the best ideas that we'd ever had! Temparatures were in the high 60s and low 70s Farenheit and we were able to walk around comfortably in long sleeved T-shirts even though the local people often had thick overcoats on and I was asked more than once if I was warm enough - they obviously hadn't experienced our British weather

The place was fantastic with really warm and friendly people. The medina is unspoiled by tourism and when in the souks that sell more traditional wares you can easily believe that the modern world has completely passed them by.

We did follow advice and get an official guide for part of the stay. Mohammad was very helpful and took us to areas and sights that we were interested in not just the standard tourist trail. The Medina is a maze of over 900 high, narrow streets full of colour, the smell of spices and street food and the sound of bartering but where you can only get a glimpse of sky . Mohammad's guidance and advice gave us the confidence to wander around it on our own even at night without feeling out of our comfort zone.

Bartering for goods other than food seems expected and good fun but I would advise you to have aprice in mind that you are willing to pay and be prepared to walk away if it the vendor can't or won't meet it. A vist to the leather pits worthwhile but do accept the sprig of mint they offer you as part of the tanning process uses pidgeon poo. If you do buy leather goods it's slightly more expensive from the shops that own the leather pits but doesn't smell of anything other than leather, if you buy in the leather souks you can still sometimes still smell the pidgeon poo!

If you have the time I would also recommend a visit to a Berber village at the base of the mountains where the residents still live in caves in the mountainside - albeit with a front door and stainless steel sinks! We were invited in and given mint tea by a very friendly lady and her elderly mother and spent a very interesting half hour or so in a traditionally decorated living space being shown family photos and given an insite to a way of life that in many ways has not changed for generations.

We also went further up into the mountains were we found ourselves at a lake side which combined picnics, boating and horse racing in glorious sunshine while you could see snow still on the peaks. As you go further still in to the wonderful mountain mountain landscape the traditional Moroccan style houses give way to Swiss style homes and a ski resort known as 'Suisse Maroc' - not what you expect but well worth a visit for the woodland with its cheeky monkeys living in the tree tops. We arranged with a driver how much it would cost for him to drive us around for a full day (9.00am to 8.00pm) before hand and got his services for 800 Dirhams

Food was great and very cheap, ranging from 10 Dirhams (under £1.00) from street vendors in the souks to a four course meal for two in a very nice riad style restaurant for 250 Dirhams (under £25.00)! There is a wide choice of food from more unusual meat cuts to vegetarian dishes, so there is something to suit all tastes. Fresh fruit is cheap and plentiful in the markets and it may just have been the relaxed pace of the whole experince having an influence but the oranges were the best we'd ever tasted. If you have a sweet tooth the honey and almond nougat is to die for

We stayed in Hotel Vathy which was once the home to Winston Churchill. The decor in the comunal areas was beautiful and typically Moroccan but the bedrooms, although very clean an with fresh towels daily, had an air of faded splendour. However, it was cheap, and included breakfast of eggs, bread, butter, jam and tea or coffee and being on the very edge of the medina you couldn't fault it for location (if you stay in the medina you will need to walk to your hotel from the walls or hire a cart as the are no cars allowed inside). Official taxis from the airport to Fes were a flat fee of 120 Dirhams, the bus was less than half of that but unless you know where you need to get off I would use the taxis

We travelled with Royal Air Maroc who I can recommend for courtesy and service. The only problem we had was that when we got to the airport on the way home the flight that we were booked on had been cancelled. Unfortunately, there wasn't another one until 5.45am the following day but Air Maroc were great - they booked us on the next flight, into a very nice hotel, arranged for transport back to the airport the next day all at their expense and even paid for our food. We were fortunate that we were able to take the extra day of f work without problem and thoroughly enjoyed the extra day in a great place that we intend to visit again.

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harrogate
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fes: What a mixture.....................Wonderful Marriage Ceremony”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2010

We went as guests to a Moroccan Wedding which was incredible, everyone feels welcome and its as if your a star in a Bollywood Movie. 5 Star Hotel, Red Carpet, Trumpet Players announce your arrival, Traditional Dress awesome looking clothes.Big Band playing on the stage. The Bride and Groom are carried in by pole bearers and a crowd of singers and greeters follow them. They are brought in and out about 5 or six times each time they have changed dress. How they hold the smiles from 11pm to 7 am I don't know but its marvellous. Guests are fed all night long with canapies of so many different foods WOW. Mint Tea, Water and Juice so no Hangover What Brilliant Evening.
Fes is a city of contrasts. Parts are steeped in the Middle Ages others are right up to date. The pavements are dodgy one minute there is one then next your climbing over a pile of rubble.
Medina ans Souk were interesting if you can stand the smells.
I did get sick of looking at stuff its a shopper's dream if you like tat and cheap stuff but its not for me. The Musee Batha was incredible with this huge old oak tree, the gardens are lovely, but once again spoiled by a pile of rubbish in the corner.
There are new builds going on all over, new towns even. Reminded my partner of Spain 30 yrs ago. Flats are dirt cheap to buy and we visited one that was now home to some freinds of freinds it had a very bad smell of damp like some musty old house in damp england and you could see the mould on the wall ? We questioned the finish and the uneven walls in one place we visited.
For old beauty go see Palais Jamai then sit on the terrace to see the incredible view, have a beer or wine and go about 6.30pm to see the sun setting , listen out for the call to prayer its mind blowing, (please be aware there are people praying who work there and please have some respect and wait till there finished, we saw to flip flopped tourists just walk passed the prayiing man talking and being very rude it made my blood boil) When it gets dark you realise its all dark around and there are hardly any lights on in peoples houses??
Meknes was next on our visit.it was too short a visit sadly just a few hours there. Beautiful and steeped in history even more interesting than Fes and not as busy The old royal palace is breathtaking, beautiful and beyond words. I liked it better than anything I have every seen. Don't forget to look up. I was annoyed I could not go into the Mosque. Silly signs say only for Muslim peoples. (Are they banned from our churches)
For accomodation we stayed in an Apartment Hotel. this is a new thing and supposedly the hotels are very expensive and not nessacarily a good deal by western standards also I heard there can be trouble with hot and cold running water. Yacout Appartment Hotel was indeed family run, Below is the Venizia Ice Cream parlour which did coffee and the most boring breakfast ever invented cardboard bread and tasteless cheese toasties.
The accomodation was a two roomed apartment. with toilet and separate bathroom. The toilet made a lot of noise when flushed and so did the flat above. The Bathroom had hot water that was the only thing it did have,oh and a spout of water as the shower head attachement was broken it was also filthy dirty and the shower door was rickity, hard to close and covered in scum and plaque it was ghastly. There idea of cleaning was to pile the hairs up in the corner of the bathroom. We were given 2 tiny towels that had seen better days I did ask for some more but all we every seemed to get were these towels back again. The kitchen had very old stuff in it. again old and tired. at night the cockroaches roamed. We did not eat in the apartment.
The bedding was like something from my late 60's childhood, but at least it was clean. Everything looked old tired,dirty and ready for the scrap heap by Uk standards.
I was most annoyed when the mother came into our room and took the laundry and washed it for us with out us asking. On the last day I put my delicate smalls in the suitcase because I didn't want her washing them ( I am allergic to soap powder) she just went in the suitcase and pulled them out and went ahead and washed them. I felt like this was an infringement of my privacy and I tried to tell her this but I wasted my time.
The Daughter was very helpful and a delight. The son was very kind too but when asked for an authentic place to eat he sent us to this very nice place with good food and an american menu also full of annoying tourists. MaMathia was the name, beware of Place Florence which its next too it was full of drunks and glue sniffing kids and its all run down. Royal Mirage Hotel very nice and was excellant for WIne, Beer and Lovely Omelette and Pizza. both times we went the waiters were spot on,funny and polite. Hotel Merinide for a drink with our hosts and as were walking threw I see him stand on a HUGE cockroach and flick it under the sofa Ugh.
I did eat traditional food at the home of our host it was excellant I love moroccan food.
Go do the Hammam (Baths) Excellant service Massage, Manicure/pedicure etc really good one is Nausikka on Ave Bahnini Route ain smen
Petite Taxis are excellant and very cheap, there all over just flag one down.Most people are polite,helpful and freindly. Go do it its an Experiance.... Best Coffee ever and everytime if you like strong coffee that is.

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Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Over-rated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

Spent 3 nights in a lovely dar in the medina over Christmas. I would not recommend going to Fes unless there is something in particular that you want to see. The medina is very crowded and dirty, and locals recommend that you don't go out at night due to a lot of robberies. This makes it rather dull if your hotel is not in close proximity to restaurants that you can go to for dinner. If you are planning on visiting Voloubilis, I would recommend looking into staying in the neighbouring town Meknes.

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Los Angeles
1 review
“WOMEN TRAVELLERS BEWARE!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2009

WOMAN! Because this happened to me I want you to know about this possible scam. What to wear as a woman in Morocco is not nearly as important as this! I didn't find my attire an issue at all. The issue is men trying to con you out of your money left and right. I was an American student studying in Spain and went to Morocco for a week. I was conned out of money and deceived by a local. Just be privy to men who may meet you on the train or public transport and tell you they live in the US and their life story in perfect English. If he starts talking about rugs or a profession in selling merchandise he bought abroad in the US it is a scam. He will try to get you to go to a rug store don't go. Government prices do not exist in Fes or Morocco and you can bargain for anything. Don't get talked into anything you don't want to do and never be with a guide, official or unofficial, in the medina at sundown or dark. Just be suspicious of everyone, in the end it will be worth it...

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