The Roman Ruins of Volubilis are amazing and a must see, with in place and beautiful mosaics and roman structures that have been around since 3BC. You are lucky to be able to freely walk among them and see the storks that have nested in the roman columns for centuries. AND did you know that Moulay Idriss has an ancient Roman bath that is filled to the brim with thermal spring water? It is free to swim in so set your spirit soaring (see below).
Volubilis opens from about 8am till sunset, I recommend that the best times to go are in the morning, to avoid the tour buses. The ruins are called ‘Oulili’ by locals and are a 45 minute walk from Dar Zerhoune, or 5 Dh and 10 minutes in a shared grand taxi (from the local station). You can take a guide from Moulay Idriss or from Volubilis and they speak a range of languages well. At Dar Zerhoune we will leave you with a map of Volubilis to allow you the choice to use a guide or explore on your own. Whatever your choice; take your camera and expect to be wowed!
Your entrance will cost 10Dh and with a guide negotiate the price before you begin your tour. As a tip, if they say ‘as you like’ then a reasonable price is 120Dh for a 1 ½ hour tour. It is possible to navigate Volubilis on your own, with or without a good map.
to walk it is a simple 45 minute walk from Dar Zerhoune or you may prefer to take a grand taxi. This is from the grand taxi station and is 5Dh per place in a shared taxi (30Dh for the whole taxi). You may chose to arrange for the taxi to wait for you to explore the ruins and bring you back, this is possible and should be negotiated at the start. Expect to pay 100 Dh for a one hour wait, more if you want them to wait longer. Or take the chance that there will be a taxi waiting at Volubilis when you have finished. I have always trusted this and have had no problems for the return journey. Usually I have to pay for all 6 places as I leave after sunset.
About 10 minutes walk from Dar Zerhoune will take you to an ancient Roman bath that is filled to the brim with thermal spring water, which is said to have many curative properties, similar to Moulay Yacoub. It is FREE to use and open all day and night. Now please don’t imagine it is like going to a municipal swimming pool. It is literally a big bath tub, about 10 m diameter, there is nowhere to get changed and there is a ‘shack’ for a local café. I recommend you go dressed in what you want to swim in and enjoy the experience. Even Moroccans from outside of Moulay Idriss will not believe you about the Roman baths with thermal spring water so take a photo to prove it is there.
For women, it is possible and acceptable for you to swim in the thermal spring water in the roman baths. And the local men will even help you out of the baths at the end of your swim. It is however sometimes an uncomfortable experience when you have young men diving around you and others staring at you because they may not have seen a westerner in a swimming costume before. To be respectful to the culture, and to ensure your comfort, I recommend that woman swim at the start, or end of the day when the baths are not full, and consider wearing a tshirt over your swimming costume.
And a little further away, around the back of Moulay Idriss is a Roman aquaduct! See for yourself.