Middle East & Africa

Fez, Morocco

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Fez

Fez (Fes) is the second largest city in Morocco, and often referred to as the country’s “cultural capital.” It’s located in the north-central part of Morocco, northeast of the Atlas Mountains and along the River of Fez. This vibrant region is known for its Moorish architecture, historic Medina walls, and tanneries. Running in Fez is not a popular local activity, but there are some select routes if you know where to look.

The pedestrian friendly Medina is the highlight of our Fes El Bali ‘Runseeing’ tour, but other runnable areas include trail running the Forêt d’ain Chkef, park running in the Parc Champ de Course, and road running on the Meknes-Fes Road and Avenue Hassan II. The trail to Mount Zalagh also offers a scenic running adventure with great views of the city. Keep in mind that the weather in Fez can be quite hot and dry in the summer. It’s also very hilly — so plan accordingly and bring plenty of water. Tourists should also respect local customs and dress in modest, loose-fitting clothing.

There are buses throughout Fez, but they can be very crowded and difficult to navigate. Most tourists opt for the small red taxis that operate within the city limits, or the Grands taxis which travel fixed routes to more distant destinations. Within the car-free Medina, walking is the best way to get around, but personally, we’re partial to running! Go early if running within the Medina to beat the crowds!

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Some of our favorite runs in Fez, Morocco

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Forêt d’ain Chkef

Fez, Morocco

Some of the best running in Fez is located in the Forêt d'ain Chkef, a shaded forest located just south of the city center. Here, runners can find over 5k of smooth gravel and dirt pathways.
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Mount Zalagh

Fez, Morocco

This moderate trail run departs from the bustling streets of Fez and heads through farmland to great views of the city below. We’ve mapped a 7 km (one way) course.
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Forêt d’ain Chkef

Fez, Morocco

Some of the best running in Fez is located in the Forêt d'ain Chkef, a shaded forest located just south of the city center. Here, runners can find over 5k of smooth gravel and dirt pathways.
Explore

Fez has a warmer side Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Runners should be aware that summers can be hot, with temperatures habitually in the 90s (32-24C), though nights do coll off. Winters are delightfully mild, with daytime temperatures in the 15C (60F) range and lows in the 4C (high 30sF) range. Most of the 700mm (27 inches) of rainfall occurs during the winter months.

Most hotels in Fez are located within the Medina. However, there are a few budget options surrounding Fez Station.

There are no running-specific stores in Fez, but you may be able to find sneakers and athletic gear in other, more generalized, stores.

We don’t know of any running groups either, but let us know if you find one!

The most popular running event in Fez is the Fez International Marathon, which also includes a half marathon and a 10k.