Archaeological Site of Volubilis - Morocco
The Archaeologicial Site of Volubilis (UNESCO World Heritage) is an ancient Roman city situated in between Meknes and Fez. It is the best preserved and most visited archaeological site in the whole of Morocco. The area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
Excavations show that the first inhabitants of the city were the Carthaginians in the third century BC. Later in the year 42 AD, the city was annexed to the Roman Empire. The Roman city once numbered over 20,000 people dedicated mostly to wheat, as the Romans ordered at the time. Volubilis was part of the Roman Empire until the late third century, when it was held by Berbers, Greeks, Syrians and Jews.
In the late eighth century, Idris I made Volubilis his refuge. He proclaimed to be emir, the direct descendant of Mohammed. Volubilis was abandoned in the eighteenth century, when the Lisbon earthquake destroyed buildings and the city was sacked to build palaces in the nearest city of Meknes.
To go in the partly excavated city without getting lost and learn of its details, we recommend hiring a guide at the entrance. You will find official guides for all languages. The approximately one hour tour's cost can be distributed among the people that accompany you.
The main sites to look out for are the Mosaic test of Hercules, arch of Caracalla, temple of Jupiter and other great discoveries a tour guide can point out to you. The city occupies 40 hectares of land, so it is best to bring something a pair of sunglasses, some sunscreen and a bottle of water. At the end of your tour, do take a look into the many crafts that are sold outside the site. Everything is handmade and authentic, as they are produced in the nearby towns and cities.
Archaeological Site of Volubilis - UNESCO World Heritage | 70 km west of Fez / 20 km east of Meknes / 3.5 km from Moulay Idriss | Visiting hours: 8:00 am - late afternoon | Price: 20 dirhams (2€)