The city of Fez, located in northern Morocco, is the soul of a fascinating culture where rich colors and heady aromas intrigue the senses while wandering the narrow alleys of a traditional souk. Buildings intricately detailed with geometric patterns and high archways traditional to the medieval institutions jut up from walkways lined with vendors selling stacks of rolled up carpets, tinkling metal lanterns, colorful mounds of spices, fragrant carts of oranges and heaping bowls of olives. A city of beautifully forlorn relics of a mysterious time passed, visitors will find a jumble of ancient crafts, booths of delectable cuisine, and remnants of past eras of influence from Roman to Berber and French.
Endless historic and cultural sites are spread throughout the colorful mosaic of Fez. The Bou Inania Madrasa, Al-Attarine Madrasa and University of Al-Karaouine are religious educational institutions that have been integral parts of the city since the university, touted as the world's first, was founded in the mid 9th century. The Ibn Danan Synagogue provides a contrast to the Islamic influences that reach back for many centuries. Moulay Idriss II's tomb, a powerful former ruler and the patron saint of Fez is interesting to see, and the Dar al-Magana is a fascinating tower that houses a weight-powered water clock that uses brass bowls draining at a regular pace.
An eclectic and interesting collection of riads and boutique hotels are available. They give travelers a lovely sense of place with restored historical buildings that have been transformed and refurbished into hotels complete with all the modern conveniences.