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Lawrence of Morocco
SIAM 2016 in Meknes

The International Agricultural Fair of Morocco 2016 (Salon International de l' Agriculture au Maroc or Salon International de l' Agriculture de Meknes) is already preparing to open its doors.
The SIAM 2016 will take place from the 26th April to 1st May 2016. This will be the 11th edition of this annual agricultural fair in Meknes.

The Moroccan ministry of Agriculture organises the event and includes the participation of 16 Moroccan regions. It is probably the biggest event organised in Meknes and draws in hundreds thousands of visitors each year. The previous editions were equipped to receive close to one million visitors and covered 170 000 sq.m with over 1000 different stands from 50 countries.

You can find out more about the SIAM 2016 here :

As it is also one of the major tourism seasons in Morocco and Meknes, hotels and riads tend to be overbooked and professionals attending the fair often have to go as far as Fez to find accommodation.
Our guest house in Meknes is less than 2 kilometres away from the SIAM so it is an ideal location for your stay in Meknes.

Due to strong demand for hotels in Meknes during this period, we can only accept bookings that are paid for in advance.
This event has been one of the main reasons for the creation of new hotels and guest houses (riads) in Meknes but the offer of accommodation is still too low to provide for the strong demand.
We strongly recommend that you book your room at least 2 months in advance.

You can find out more about our guest house on the following pages :

Ramadan 2013

It is that special time of the year again. Next week will be the start of Ramadan 2013.
There are always lots of wonderful evenings organized during this unique event.

Please check the links below for more details about events in Meknes and all over Morocco.

Meknes to Merzouga

The road that leads from Meknes (or Fez) to Merzouga is one of the most fascinating you will find in all of Morocco. The road is about 450km and close to 6 hours of driving. If possible, it is best to do it in two days because there are so many places to stop along the way. Valley du Ziz is a great place to stop for the night.

When leaving Meknes you have about 70km of agricultural plains before reaching Azrou where you can go into the cedar forest and see wild apes. After this, you will be heading across the middle Atlas and experience very strong temperature changes and see the amazing lunar landscapes. Another hour or so and you reach the valleys with wonderful gorges and small villages near oases. These will continually be present until Erfoud and Rissani where the scenery progressively becomes drier and drier. The final step from Rissani to Merzouga being a veritable introduction to the Sahara desert with its enthralling dunes and endless plains. At this point you will be less than 50km away from the Algerian border.

Here is a fabulous blog that will give you an idea of what to expect. These guests did not stay at Riad Felloussia in Meknes but they were on an organized tour with Your Morocco Tour which is one of our regular collaborators.

Ramadan 2012

On Thursday evening, everyone was watching the sky in Morocco to see if the moon would appear. If it had appeared, Ramadan would have started the very next day all over Morocco. Since it didn't, Moroccans would only start fasting on the Saturday 21st July.

For the next 30 days, the entire country will live at the same rythm. No eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours. Then, at dusk, all Moroccans will be waiting to break the fast with the traditional meal called 'Ftour'. Usually, milk, dates, Moroccan breads, cakes and fruit. Not to forget the most traditional dish, a soup called 'Harira'. Absolutely delicious !

Now, the big question is : Is Ramadan a good period to visit Morocco and Meknes ?
I really don't have an answer to that one. It's definitely an experience. I remember that my first Ramadan in Morocco absolutely stunned me. It is simply amazing to see the whole country stop simultaneously once the signal to break the fast is given. It is a common joke to say that the only sound that can be heard in all of Morocco is the slurping of harira ;)

It is a great moment of celebration and joy for all Moroccans. A great majority of Moroccans living abroad do all they can to come back to celebrate with their families. It is definitely a different Morocco from any other time in the year. After the meal, people go out very late for long walks. The old medina of Meknes is absolutely flooded with crowds every evening.

The down side of course is that you can't really travel as you normally would. In modern cities like Tangiers or Rabat, you will always find something open for lunch. In Meknes, the choice is greatly reduced. You would have to stick to hotels or riads. Riad Felloussia of course continues to function normally.
You might also find it uncomfortable to eat, drink or smoke in front of people who are fasting. This of course should be avoided if possible. Though fasting is an individual choice, some people tend to get very nervous. Especially the smokers. It is especially not advised to take taxis in the hour that precedes the breaking of the fast. Traffic just goes haywire with all the drivers being eager to get home in time for the Ftour. Small accidents and loud arguments are very common.

Whatever you decide, it is just important to know what you are getting into. If you are willing to compromise on comfort during your trip, Ramadan is definitely a very rewarding experience.

Happy travels and see you soon in Meknes ;)

Getting ready for Meknes and Volubilis

As we've seen in previous entries in this Meknes blog, travel blogs have become an essential tool when preparing a trip. Travellers like to share their experiences with others and this allows us not to miss places or activities that might have gone unnoticed.

For those that might not have the patience (or interest) to read someone else's blog about their trip to Morocco, their are other alternatives. Take a look at TrekEarth. It's an astute combination of travel and photography. Their tagline is 'Learning about the world through photography'.

You can use their search engine to find the places you are looking for and also read comments from the author. This gives you insight into your destination while offering a point of view which can be original or curious.

Special June offer

Why not come to Meknes and get a free meal for 2 ?

If you book three consecutive nights in one of our suites (Afrika, Chouka or Toubkal), we'll offer you the meal of your choice for two guests. This offer is valid only in June 2012.

You can choose among our vast selection of Moroccan dishes : meat or vegetable couscous, beef and prune tagine, lemon or olive chicken tagine, pastilla ....

Make the most of your free meal and have it on our wonderful terrace overlooking the main square.

Meknes is a must for your trip in Morocco. Our medina is one of the best preserved in Morocco. Meknes is listed as a world heritage site for its imperial palace and endless medieval walls.

Photos of Meknes

Francois Struzik is a travel photographer that stayed with us in the riad during his visit to Meknes.

His blog now has an entry for 'The Imperial city of Meknes - Morocco'.
You can also see the photo gallery for Meknes here.

Be warned ... you start by viewing the Meknes photos but you will inevitably be urged to discover the rest of his fascinating work in his Simply Human travel blog.

Happy travels :-)

Traveller's blog

I have just now chanced upon yet another Moroccan travel blog written by a guest who stayed at Riad Felloussia while in Meknes.
Riad Felloussia
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Meknes

The blog is by an Australian traveller who uses Travelpod. He has written 17 travel blogs while travelling through 26 countries and posted over 1000 photos !
His comments about Riad Felloussia and Meknes are globally positive but he also provides useful insight into elements we yet need to work on.
He stayed in Suite Afrika and has posted several photos of the suite and the riad.
Afrika Suite, Riad Felloussia
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Meknes

While in Morocco he stayed in Marrakesh, Fez and Meknes. You will also find interesting photos of the Roman ruins of Volubilis which are only 30km away frm Meknes.

If you know of any interesting blogs from people who stayed at Riad Felloussia in Meknes, please let us know so that we can establish a link to their blog.

Try Bastilla in Meknes

While staying with us at Riad Felloussia, make sure you order one of our Bastillas. You'll have to tell Zohra and Nadia in advance as the preparation is quite long.

It is a sort of pie that offers sweet and salty flavours wrapped in a thin crispy crepe. The savory meat inside is slow-cooked in broth and spices before being shredded and then mixed with a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon, and sugar.

The traditional Moroccan recipe was made with young pigeons and some places in Meknes still claim to use them. In our riad we have opted for chicken as a replacement ;)

Once you've tried the original dish in Meknes you might want to have your friends tried it out at the end of your Moroccan tour so here is a link for the recipe : Bastilla Recipe

Destination Meknes

If you run out of ideas for places to visit, there is the perfect website for you. provides a wide range of fascinating holiday destinations. Just by browsing their site you are already tempted to pack your bags and get going.

And guess what ? Their latest destination of choice is the region of Meknes, Volubilis and Moulay Idriss ! Now is that a proof of quality content or what !


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