The Best Places To Explore Roman Ruins In Morocco

The Best Places To Explore Roman Ruins In Morocco

Who knew that you could find Roman ruins in Morocco? Not many people travel to Morocco with the intention of getting a piece of ancient Italy, but these archaeological sites aren’t something to be missed. If you want to experience this country from a unique and interesting perspective, then here is where you find out the best places to explore Roman ruins in Morocco!

 

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Three Stunning Roman Ruins in Morocco

Morocco is the quaint home of three incredibly stunning Roman sites. The best places to explore Roman ruins in Morocco are Volubilis, Lixus and Sala Colonia. In these locations, tourists are free to roam around and be transported through the flavor of ancient Italian ruins.

Visiting these three destinations doesn’t require many detours for most travelers, and definitely offers something unique. It is very much worth the short journey out of the city to experience this unusual but delicately placed subculture within Morocco’s history. In fact, these ruins are often completely overlooked by travelers and probably even Moroccan locals. These three ancient cities don’t get as much attention as other Roman sites scattered around the world, which is arguably what allows them to keep their charm.

You’re considered to have found some unusual treasure if you find yourself visiting one of the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, Lixus and Sala Colonia.

 

Volubilis

Situated about 2 hours from Rabat, or much closer to the city of Mekenes (about 45 minutes) makes this site entirely worth the day trip if you’re just passing through one of these places. Where these ruins lie was once considered the capital city of the Kingdom of Mauretania. It was under Roman rule for a long time during which the Romans expanded it from 12 hectares to over 40.

 

roman ruins at Volubilis

 

Volubilis was discovered an excavated by the French during their rule in Morocco between 1912 and 1956.  The Arch of Caracalla shows where the old and new part of the cities meet, and the feeling of ancient Rome comes flooding into the Moroccan landscape. Baths, pillars, archways, and footways are just some of the architectural designs that give away the Roman flavor.

 

roman ruins at volubilis

 

All over Volubilis, a traveler can experience the ancient culture of Greece and Rome. Scattered over the city are depictions of ancient Greek and Roman gods, mosaics telling ancient stories, sacred geometry and statues suggesting that only royalty were the inhabitants of this city.

The history is just one of the reasons to explore Volubilis, but its beauty and feeling are the reason it makes it one of the best places to see Roman ruins in Morocco.

 

Lixus

This ancient Roman site is located a little further up the coast, which means it requires a little bit more traveling. However, don’t let that deter you from making your way over there. What you find over there is probably one of the most underrated and under-visited historical sites in the world.

 

roman ruins at Lixus

 

Lixus is at the heart of one of the most famous myths about Hercules, where he is required to steal golden apples from the Garden of Hesperides. Within the winding and narrow walls of this city, you can find Churches, a natural amphitheater that suggests some kind of combat sport went on there and beautiful Roma buildings.

 

roman ruins Lixus

 

What make Lixus one of the best places to see Roman runs in Morocco is the stunning views that surround this city. Summits, hilltops and winding rivers mean that even the surrounding area is a beautiful thing to experience. It is also free to roam around and enjoy this site! Travelers who visit Lixus might also want to visit the colonial Spanish town of Larache, only four kilometers away!

 

Sala Colonia

Of all the places to see Roman ruins in Morocco, Sala Colonia is probably the most popular and easily the most visited. It is a convenient place to visit because it is located in the city of Rabat itself. The Sala Colonia sits on top of a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is accompanied by beautiful gardens. This makes it a popular place for tourists and families alike to visit on the weekends, so if you’re looking for a quiet afternoon out, pick a weekday!

 

roman ruins at Sala Colonia

 

The Sala Colonia is not quite as elaborate as the other two places to see Roman ruins in Morocco. More is left to the imagination in terms of putting the ruins back together to get a picture of what this ancient city might look like. There is a statue of a figure in a toga somewhere in this port city, probably one of the clearest ways to identify that you are in fact, inside of a Roman city.

Having said all of this, the increased tourist appeal to Sala Colonia means that the whole set-up is much better organized that what you could expect at the other two locations.

 

Enjoy visiting Roman ruins in Morocco!

 

Sera Jane Ghaly

Author Bio: This article was written by Sera Jane Ghaly, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com, a personal travel blog of Adrian Sameli. To connect with Sera Jane, follow her on Facebook.

 

 

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Not many people travel to Morocco with the intention of seeing a piece of ancient Italy, but these Roman ruins aren’t something to be missed.

 

17 Comments
  • I didn’t realise there were so many ruins in Morocco. Although Sala Colonia is not elaborate it looks really interesting

  • Cory Varga says:

    This is perfect as our September anniversary is coming up so we were actually considering Morocco. We weren’t too sure what to add to the itinerary but having found your post I am now ready to add another dot on the map. Thank you for sharing.

  • Paige says:

    There is so much to do in Morocco! I cannot wait to get there next year. I didn’t even think about roman ruins being there! I want to see them all!

  • Claire says:

    I had no idea the Romans reached Morocco! They look well preserved – or restored – although I prefer the more ‘authentic’ ruins instead of using too much imagination!

  • Zainab says:

    Wow great details. My nephew would love to see all these, he’s into the Romans at the moment. Thanks I’m pinning this 🙂

  • Drew says:

    I love exploring Roman ruins. It is amazing though when you find sites like these in Morocco, and you think just how large the Roman Empire was and how far-reaching it’s power was. With sites in Turkey, UK, and North Africa, that’s an incredibly large area. I always try to seek out sites like these when I travel, since it is such a fascinating part of history!

  • Suruchi says:

    Before this post, I never knew that there are Roman ruins in Morocco too. All three looks really interesting, especially the Sala Colonia. We would love to explore them once around Morocco. Thanks for updating us.

  • sherianne says:

    These are in really good shape! Morocco certainly has a a lot of diversity

  • Wow – not something we’d expect to find in Morocco, but something we are now looking forward to. And such great ruins, too! This certainly adds a new dimension to our plans. Thanks for all the detail, and for putting it on our radar in the first place!

  • I was just in Morocco last month! And I still love it the way I did on my first time! And I agree that Sala Colonia is the most popular and mostly visited by people. There are some days that it is packed with visitors. But I understand, it is beautiful and with the view of the Atlantic ocean, I wouldn’t even ask why. LOL.

  • Elena says:

    Ha! I am not surprised. I haven’t thought of Greek ruins in Italy, so Roman ones in Morocco – why not. Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense.

  • Stefinia says:

    It’s incredible that there is preserved a piece of Rome in ancient Italy. Architectural wonders!! Definitely the three Roman ruins in Volubilis, Lixus and Sala Colonia are worth a visit when visiting Morocco. Stunning pictures of the structures too!!

  • David says:

    Wow! Never knew Romans reached North Africa. Love Morocco, have always wanted to visit.

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