Before you leave:
- While you have wifi, open Google Maps to Meknes, Moulay Idriss, and Volubilis so that it downloads these areas for offline viewing later
- Having Google Maps handy was super helpful for me when I navigated my way to Volubilis, even just to get my orientation right
How to get there:
1.Make your way to Meknes
- I came from Fes and it was a short ride costing only 32 dirhams first class (22 dirhams second class)
- You can also get here from Rabat, Casablanca, or even Marrakech, but you won't be able to do day trips if you come from these places
2. Go to Institut Français
- Use Google Maps to navigate there
- About 40 minutes on foot from the train station
- Be very careful when you're crossing the street if you decide to walk as the drivers are pretty aggressive.
3. Take bus number 15 going north to a town called Moulay Idriss
- The bus stop for #15 is about 200 meters north of Institut Francais
- Just follow the main road (road N13 on Google Maps), and the bus stop is at the north east corner of the the intersection of road N13 and Avenue El Moukaouama
- The exact coordinates where I boarded the bus is (33.901527, -5.554236)
- The bus number will be displayed on the bottom left side of the windshield
- Bus is 7 dirhams to Moulay Idriss, cash only
- The bus got very crowded, and the two doors of the bus have this turnstile similar to what you see in metro stations in Europe and North America that only allow one passenger to board or get off the bus at a time.
4. Get off the bus in Moulay Idriss
- When the bus arrive in Moulay Idriss, there's no big bus terminal or anything. You need to get off the bus at the first stop in Moulay Idriss
- Basically, before you even arrive at the stop in Moulay Idriss, you will see the city on the right side of the bus already as you approach it. Then, you will go past by a giant roundabout (make a mental note of this roundabout as you will walk back to it later). Finally, the road goes uphill from the roundabout, and as soon as you "feel" like you're in the city, the bus will stop and you should get off there.
5. Take the green mini bus
- There will be these shabby-looking green mini buses that will also come uphill to the spot you got off bus #15. So wait there, get some water, and when you see a green mini bus, approach the driver and ask "Volubilis?
6. Get off when the driver tells you to
- These green mini buses will not take you to the front door of Volubilis
- They will drop you off at the intersection of N13 and a east-west road called Route de Volubilis. Coordinates is 34.073087, -5.543421
7. Walk a few hundred meters west and you'll arrive
- Once you are dropped off at the intersection, just walk west along Route de Volubilis for about 800 meters
- The entrance will be on your right hand side; you won't miss it.
How to get back from Volubilis
- Basically the same things in reverse
- But, instead of walking to the intersection of N13 and Route de Volubilis (i.e. the location of step 6 above) and wait for the green mini bus, it's better to walk to a bus #15 stop directly.
1. Walk back towards Moulay Idriss until the roundabout
- Walk south on Route de Volubilis (instead of east) for 100 meters until you get to P7006
- Turn left and follow P7006 southeast for about 1.6km until you get to N13
- Finally, make a right turn on N13 and walk south for about 300 meters and you will see the giant roundabout again
2. Wait for bus 15
- Wait on the south west side of the roundabout, so you can see the incoming bus easily
- When the bus arrives, raise your hand to stop the bus
3. Take bus 15
4. Get off in front of Institut Francais in Meknes
- The bus will drop you off closer to Institut Francais (rather than the spot you boarded the bus earlier in the day)
- Lots of people will get off there, so just follow them off
Some photos of Volubilis I took