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Village of cave houses

Bhalil, Morocco

Bhalil, Morocco

Bhalil, Morocco

The village of Bhalil is easy to pass by, it is not on the main road, and really not on the beaten track of tourism in northern Morocco.
But there are two clear reasons why you shouldn't miss out on it. First, it is a very charming village, with fairly well-kept houses, a seasonal river dividing it and covered with numerous bridges. When you climb up to the top, you will pass through the good parts of the Morocco that is about to disappear, where people work in the streets, making simple handicrafts or preparing crops of different kinds, all in a relaxed tone. The view from the top is beautiful, with a green valley and small hill tops.
The other reason to come here is the main reason for most: The cave houses. There aren't too many of them left now, but if you click "Continue" you can step into one of them.
The cave houses in Bhalil stand next to ordinary "over-ground" houses, and there is no other difference between them than practical ones. Digging into the cave allows good conditions for keeping a home cool in summer and keeping the worst cold out in winter.
The facades of the cave houses can therefore be easy to pass by, they do about the same decor work and put up the same walls in front as for the "over-ground" houses.
As we came here, it was with the assistance of Muhammad Ashraibi, the town guide. He will find you when you arrive in town, there aren't too many tourists coming here. The house on both these pictures belong to his family. You will be invited in, say hello to family members who have no stressful relation to time, be served mint tea, see through Muhammad's collection of messages from earlier visitors and some news clips from foreign countries.
When you leave, he will expect a token of your gratitude — no wonder, guiding tourists is his job. And when it actually involves taking care of his house, a fascinating part of mankind's history, the money feels well spent.

Bhalil, Morocco

Hotels and alternatives
Nothing. Your best option is to spend the night in Fez 40 km north.

Restaurants and alternatives
Almost as modest as for accommodation, but there are plenty of food stores for simple lunches and drinks.

Change Money
Nothing. As above.

There is a bus connection but this involves some planning, asking around and waiting. If you rent a taxi for the trip from Fez, including an hour wait in town, you will save a lot of time.

By Tore Kjeilen