Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco 

The whitewashed town of Moulay Idriss sits astride two green hills in a cradle of mountains slightly less than 5km from Volubilis, and is one of the country’s most important pilgrimage sites. Given its picturesque setting, pretty historic core and national importance, it’s a mystery why more tourists don’t visit. The good news is that its lack of popularity means you can often have the place all to yourself.

Moulay Idriss’ holy status kept it closed to non-Muslims until 1912 and it wasn’t until 2005 that non-Muslims were allowed to stay overnight in the town. Its previous inaccessibility has helped protect the town’s peaceful way of life and those who do stay are invariably charmed. Appealing local guesthouses cater to visitors and while it’s no longer a safe haven from Morocco’s dreaded tourist touts, it’s still a relaxed place with a centre free of carpet shops.

Epic Morocco Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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