Ruins at Volubilis

Just North of the city of Meknes lies the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis – now just one of Morocco’s many protected UNESCO world heritage sites.

With a history dating back to around the 3rd century B.C, Volubilis is believed to be the strongest contender as the capital city of ancient Kingdom of Mauretania.

As was common with a lot of North Africa (and indeed much of Europe and the Middle East), Volubilis fell under the control of the Romans sometime in the 1st Century BC who built up the city’s walls.

map showing Volubilis and Rabat

Location of Volubilis

The ruins of Volubilis are located just North of Meknes along the N13 major road.

Specifically on the slopes of the Zerhoun mountain, Volubilis is only 179km by road from Rabat to the West, and just 69km West of Fes.

Volubilis History

Volubilis’s history is long and quite well documented. Archaeological evidence suggests that Volubilis began life as a neolithic settlement around 5000 years ago but began to come into its own in around the third century BC, a similar time to when the Punic god Baal’s temple was created.

Like many places in North Africa, eventually the Romans came in the 1st Century BC, and Volubilis went through a major phase of construction, bolstered by an age of prosperity.

By the 2nd century AD, Volubilis is estimated to have had a population of around 20,000 at its height making it fairly major for it’s time period, becoming an administrative centre for the Roman occupation.

But Rome’s third century crisis which almost saw the end of the Roman empire altogether did see the end of Rome’s occupation of Volubilis, and the following the crisis the city was not retaken.

It is believed an earthquake may have finished off any ideas of the Romans deciding the city was worth the effort.

Later, Berbe tribes took up residence in the city.

How To Get to Volubilis

The nearest city of Meknes is around 45s drive to the South, with Fes and Rabat both within day-tripping distance. 

Things To Do At Volubilis

Volubilis was a city that stood for centuries and was well developed in it’s peak. Now the main attraction is to visit the ruins of this once vibrant city, including:

  • Decumanus Maximus
  • The Tingis Gate
  • Northern Baths
  • The basilica
  • Capitoline Temple
  • The Arch of Caracalla

Places Nearby

Meknes – major town just 45 minutes drive South

Day Trips and Tours to Volubilis

The ancient ruins of Volubilis connect you with Morocco’s vibrant past.

Or you can build your own custom-made trips and tours around Morocco – just get in touch!

Request More Information

A legendary desert all schoolchildren dream of visiting, our Sahara tour is a firm favorite –  Get started planning your visit today by asking for more information.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]