Walking the dry, empty streets of the ancient Roman town of Volubilis, your feet will kick up dust and ghosts. Volubilis, once a Carthaginian trading post and then a remote outpost of the Roman Empire, has been abandoned for more than 1,700 years. The ruined city was been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site to safeguard its amazing structures — some of the best preserved in North Africa — and especially its stunningly well preserved mosaics.
Once the administrative centre of a Roman province called Mauretania Tingitana, Volubilis may have once been home to as many as 18,000 to 20,000 people, all of whom were exempt from Roman taxation because they were so far away from the centre of power. Traces of the city’s inhabitants can be found everywhere, from the remains of the bathhouse to the olive presses that look as though you could almost start them up. Visitors can wander through the forum and the basilica, where the only remaining signs of life are the roosting storks whose nests top the beautiful columns that still stretch toward the sky. The dramatic mosaics are the highlight of any visit: these depict a host of mythological characters and events, from the lovers Bacchus and Ariadne to the Labours of Hercules.
There are guides available at the site, or you can hire one in Fès or Meknès. Though it is easy to wander the site yourself and guess at what you might be looking at, a guide — particularly an official guide — can offer a great deal more depth and detail about the site and its features. Most guides speak reasonably good English and all are fluent in French. Getting to Volubilis is easily done by shared taxi from Fès or Meknès.
Volubilis is accessible year-round and can be visited in any weather; rain will chase the tourists away and wash the dush off the mosaics to show their bright colours at their best, so don't be scared off by threatening clouds.
The mosaics and ruins are being well cared for, but they are said to have been degraded by the interference of visitors over the past ten years, so it might be wise to visit soon.
Odds n' Ends
Refrain from touching the mosaics or other delicate parts of the ruins; the oils in your hands can speed the erosion of the tiles. Do not climb on the ruins; it can be tempting, but it is important that the site remain for future generations!
Places to Stay Nearby
Search over 900,000 global hotel deals from over 30 merchants. Book via Expedia, Travelocity,
Hotels.com, Booking.com, Priceline and the websites of popular hotel chains.
Making instant ramen noodles at home isn't overly exciting, but visit the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka, Japan and making them will take on a whole different experience. Here, you get to become a part of the instant ramen noodle-making process, right from scratch. Sound interesting? Well here you are your own cook, designing your new favourite noodle and experimenting with various flavors. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum houses a wide collection of the instant ramen sold over the ages. From the packaging materials to the types of instant ramen noodles, everything is on display. Though the ...2385 miles away.
Experienced this and have something to share? Experienced something like this somewhere else? Looking for advise or travel companions? Use this space to leave your mark. Our writers and editors are more than happy to help answer your questions.
People with experience
Listed below are the most recent comments made on Twitter for "volubilis morocco":
"The same thing that makes you live can kill you in the end."