Morocco has plenty of attractions and activities to offer for any type of traveler. Some of the main touristy things to enjoy in the country include taking a city break in a Marrakesh Riad, visiting the famed blue alleys of Chefchaouen, sleeping under the stars at Erg Chebbi, shopping amid the Medina in Fes, and treating oneself to a traditional spa break. Adventure lovers will mostly enjoy hiking Jebel Toubkal, booking a camel trek to the dunes of Erg Chigaga, and exploring the colorful alleyways of Moulay Idriss.This is not to forget about shopping at the Souqs in Marrakesh, relaxing on the beach at Agadir, and windsurfing at Sidi Kaouki. However, nothing beats visiting one of the most uniquely preserved ancient sites in the country, the city of Volubilis, which once served as the kingdom of Mauretania’s capital. It was later turned into one of the Roman Empire’s southernmost cities.
Here’s What To Know About The Ruins Of Volubilis In Morocco
Until the mid-18th century, the ruins of the city remained intact. However, they had been largely destroyed by an earthquake by that time. Fast forward a few decades, and history shows that some Moroccan rulers, including Moulay Ismail, had stolen the ruins for their marble, which they used to construct many imperial buildings in the city of Meknes, which lies 35 kilometers away from Volubilis. It wasn’t until the 19th century that French archaeologists partially excavated the ruins and identified them as those of the ancient city of Volubilis. The ruins were excavated, restored, and sometimes rebuilt throughout the French colonial period. Since 1997, Volubilis has been recognized for its importance as a preserved large Roman colonial town and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
People enjoy today visiting the excavated section of Volubilis in Morocco, where they can witness the uniqueness of the crumbling walls and graceful columns, which are worth taking photographs of against the backdrop of the countryside of Morocco. People will also be amazed by wandering through the historic ruins.
Here’s What To See At The Ancient City Of Volubilis
In addition to the columns, walls, and historic ruins, visitors to Morocco’s Volubilis must ensure to see at the edge of the ruins the unique triumphal arch, what’s left of the city’s basilica, and the forum with its towering columns. This is not to forget the fascinating restored mosaic floors, which are the highlight of a trip to the city. All of these are on view in their original setting.
The House of Orpheus is a must-visit because it is the most beautiful and largest excavated private house. This is where people will be fascinated by the three stunning mosaics showing Orpheus playing his lute to wild Poseidon, a dolphin, and wild animals. At the House of Orpheus, people will also have the chance to see the remains of a private Hammam, with a solarium and hot and cold rooms.
- Opening times: People can visit the ruins of this ancient Roman city in Morocco every day from sunrise to sunset.
- Cost: Visitors to the ruins at Volubilis expect to pay an entrance fee of 70 Dirhams, or USD 7. They can also hire official guides for 120 dirhams or USD 12.
- How to get there: People can reach Volubilis on a day trip from Meknes, 35 kilometers away from the city. They can also head to the ancient city from Fes, which is 80 kilometers away from Volubilis. From Meknes, people can drive to Volubilis or hire a private taxi from the train station. From Fes, it is better to take the train to Meknes and then take a cab to Volubilis instead of booking the taxi directly from Fes. The former option is cheaper. People who’d like to stop at the sacred pilgrimage site and the mountain village of Moulay Idriss can book an organized tour to Volubilis through most riads and hotels.
This Is The Best Time To Visit Morocco’s Volubilis
There is no wrong time to visit Volubilis since the city is good to head to all year round. However, Morocco’s weather gets too hot during the summer season. Moreover, the ancient city of Volubilis offers little protection from the sun. This is why people must ensure to bring with them plenty of sunscreen and water if they’re visiting between June and August.
- Recommended: People are advised to visit Volubilis during the spring season between April and May when the city is at its most picturesque with lush surrounding fields and spring wildflowers all around. It is better to reach the place during the early morning or late afternoon to snap the best shots when the light gilds with gold the graceful columns of ancient Volubilis.
People staying for more than a day in the city will have to book accommodation at Moulay Idriss, which is only 5 kilometers away from Volubilis.