Located in east Morocco in the Errachidia Province, Rissani or Reçani is a little town with a population of approximately 20,500. One of the closest towns to the largest Moroccan desert, Erg Chebbi, Rassini is a quite vibrant tourist spot. During the tourism seasons, you will find this tiny city packed with tourists from all over the world.
In the southern part of the town, Moulay Ali Cherif’s mausoleum is located with is a prime attraction for the tourists. He was the founder of the Moroccan Alaouite Dynasty. Rissani was earlier a widely known caravan center and is still a commercial hub of the region. The Rissani souk is visited by tourists and locals alike and is always crowded.
How to Reach Rissani?
One of the nearest airports to the town of Rissani is the Errachidia Airport, Morocco. There are three ways in which you can reach Rissani from the airport. However, this will also depend on the time that your flight reaches the airport. The first option is the bus, which is also the cheapest out of the three.
The bus will have certain timings which you will have to know from before. However, there are frequent bus departures, and you may find one which syncs with your flight timing. The fastest way to reach Rissani from the airport is through a taxi service. This is also the most expensive mode of transport.
The third option for you is maybe to drive on your own. You can find many self-drive car services near the airport. The distance from Errachidia Airport to Rissani is about 93km. It can take around 1.5 hours for you to reach the town by car. If you avail bus services, then it might take around 2 hours to reach your destination.
There are certain hotels that provide pick up and drop services. This would be the most convenient option for you, as you would not have to worry about finding a ride to the hotel. All you have to do is inform the hotel about your arrival time. The best thing about this service is that no matter when your flight lands, your car will be present at the airport.
They will also drop you off at the airport when it is time for you to go back home. Talk to your hotel when you are making the booking and ask for their complete process. Once this is done, you can freely make your travel bookings without having to spend time searching for a conveyance.
Getting Around In Rissani
Rissani is a very small town where you can visit most of the places on foot. The best thing is that the Rissani market is just a few miles away. You can explore the market easily, no matter where you stay. There are also many nearby small attractions that you can visit without using any conveyance.
If you need to visit any famous attractions which are far away from your hotel, then you can use the bus or taxi service for your journey. CTM bus is the most common option for going to any other town located near Rissani. If you want to opt for a more private mode of transport, then the taxi is available though it is more expensive than the bus.
Best Time to Visit Rissani
The best time to visit Rissani is during the spring season, which comes between the months of March to May. This is the busiest time for this small town, and you will find it packed with people. If you are planning to visit the town during this time, then you may have to make your bookings way earlier. The costs of accommodation and even travel tickets will be much higher in these months.
The second busiest time for Rissani is from December to February, which is the winter season. Here it rains as well as snows lightly, which makes the weather quite enjoyable. The hotels and plane tickets will be pricey during this time as well.
In the summer season, the weather in Rissani is very hot, which is why the months of June to August see a decline in their tourism sector. If you want to visit a peaceful and empty Rissani, then this is the perfect time for you. However, the visit can be a little unpleasant for you due to the scorching heat.
The slowest tourism season for Rissani is fall, which is from September to November. The prices of hotels are quite affordable since not many people plan their visit during this time. You can also find rain or snow at this time, though it is in a small amount.
Despite it being the slowest season, one of the biggest festivals of Morocco is celebrated during October. It is the Erfoud Date Festival, celebrated in Erfoud town, which is a little distance away from Rissani. You may find the accommodations in Rissani packed up, especially during the time of this festival.
The prices also soar up due to the presence of a large number of people. However, the period before and after this festival is generally empty.
Famous Attractions in Rissani
1. Ksar Abbar
The Ksar Abbar is a ruin that was originally a fortress in the early 19th century. This fortress has been an exile destination for the royal family members of Alaouite. People from the family who were banished into this fortress were not allowed to enter the city any longer.
It had also been the house of a section of the royal treasure and was protected by hundreds of black soldiers. Despite being a place of abandonment, the Ksar Abbar was always admired for its beautiful architecture. Currently, it is one of the most visited historical sites in the town of Rissani.
2. Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim
Located at a distance of 4km from the center of Rissani, Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim is a well-known historical building. Earlier called the Alhambra of the Tafilalt, this building was built for the elder brother of Sultan Moulay Hassan in 1863. It was built by Sultan Sidi Mohamed ben Abderrahmane.
Though the interior of the building has become damaged, parts of the wall and the huge carved door at the entrance are still standing. You will also be able to see three main sections of the building, which is the stable or the depot for weapons, the arsenal and the riad.
The oldest city in Morocco, Sijilmassa, was founded by Zenete Baerbers, a nomadic tribe in the year 757 AD. It was earlier the capital of Kharijites, which is a religious movement. The city was one of the main stop points for people to conduct their gold trade in earlier times. This flourishing city was destroyed by the Almoravids in 1818.
Currently, there are many ruins in this old city that the Moroccan Ministry of Culture protects. This has become a very famous tourist spot of Rissani. You cannot miss a trip to this old city if you are going on a vacation to Rissani.
4. Ksar El Fida
The Ksar El Fida is another very famous historic building in Rissani with its own splendid past. In earlier times, this was the palace of the local chief or as they were called the Qaid. After 1965, the Ksar El Fida was transformed into an archaeological museum.
If you visit the museum in current times, you can get an amazing of the museum from the former owner’s son in both Arabic and French. It is an enormous building where you can see many attractions related to the old Rissani town and also snippets of the royal family of the beautiful palace.
5. Ksar Tinheras
Ksar, which means a fortified village or a fort, is one of the main attractions of the town. There are various famous Ksars in Rissani, and Ksar Tinheras is one of them. From here, you can enjoy the beauty of the sandy plain and look around, admiring the scenery.
Although a ruin now, you can find local guides who will provide you with a tour of the fort and let you in on its history. Not only will you be able to gain knowledge about the true story behind the fort, but you will also be faced with the beautiful architecture of the Ksar.
6. Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum
The Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum is the museum of the Alouite Dynasty founder. People who are fond of artisan craftsmanship and architecture will be able to enjoy the museum. Here you can know about the history of the dynasty as well as Moroccan history.
Open on weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm you can visit the museum for a price. You will surely be astounded not only by the historical items present in the museum but also by the whole demeanor and architecture of the building itself. It is located at a little distance from the town, and you can find various transport options to reach the museum.
7. Rissani Museum of Fossil and Minerals
Another famous museum in the town is the Rissani Museum of Fossil and Minerals. Though it is not something that everyone would find interesting, it is a place worth visiting. You will be able to see the beautiful fossils and minerals that have been extracted and maintained.
This can be a great educational endeavor for your children as well as for yourself. There are so many things to learn from here that when you leave, you will find yourself more knowledgeable. For a better experience, you can hire a guide who can provide you with a well-informed tour of the museum.
8. Sahara Gallery
The Sahara Gallery in Rissani is heaven for antique lovers. Not only is it a place where you can view thousands of antiques, but you can also buy from the shop. The owners of the gallery are very hospitable and can also provide you with a proper tour of the gallery.
If you have an interest in knowing the history behind each of the antiques, they will be more than happy to tell you the story. You can buy souvenirs from the shops as well as gifts for your friends back home or yourself. You will be astounded by the vast collection of antiques present in the gallery.
9. Rissani Market
The Rissani market or souk is one of the biggest in the Tafilalet region. This souk is especially busy on Sunday, Thursday, and Tuesday. Traders from far away regions come to the souk to sell their goods. Here you will always find a good number of people even on the other days of the week.
Ranging from vegetables, dates, animals, spices, crafts, and household goods, there is nothing that you will not find in this souk. The traders can sometimes call you over in their shop to show you their goods or even to taste the famous Moroccan tea. Enjoy their hospitality, but be aware while doing so.
Festivals Celebrated in Rissani
There are many different kinds of festivals celebrated in different parts of Morocco throughout the year. But one of the most famous festivals is the Erfoud Date Festival which attracts thousands of people from all over the world. Though this festival is celebrated in the town of Erfoud, the nearby towns, mostly Rissani is also jammed with tourists.
Erfoud is an oasis town located in the Sahara Desert in Morocco and is surrounded by date palms and amazing scenery. Rissani is located to the south of Erfoud and is one of the closest to the oasis town.
The Erfoud Date Festival is celebrated in the early period of October. It goes on for three days, and the time of the festival may vary depending on the harvest of the dates. You can enjoy the traditional music of the region along with huge processions and dance.
This festival takes place after the harvesting of the dates and brings together people of the town as well as the nearby towns. Tourists can get a taste of the local festival cuisines, most of which have dates as their main ingredients. One of the main attractions of the date festival is the crowning of Date Queen.
For these three days, you will find many enjoyable events along with a fashion parade and dromedary race taking part in the town. You can try out more than a hundred varieties of dates of different parts of Morocco.
If you want to enjoy this festival, then you have to book your accommodation in advance. You can find many hotels in Rissani if you search for it early. Rissani is quite close to Erfoud, and you will find bus services taking you to the town. Not just you, but numerous people, including the locals of Rissani, will be attending this event for three days.
Where to Stay In Rissani?
When you are on a trip, one of the main things you need to pay attention to is your accommodation. The ratings and the amenities provided by the hotels are something that you have to check thoroughly before making the booking. You also need to see if the location of the hotel is suitable for you or not.
Here are some of the top hotels in Rissani that are recommended by travelers.
- Kasbah Hotel Ziz Palace
- Kasbah Panorama Oasis
- Dar Haroun
- Riad Lghiam
- Kasbah Ennasra
- Guest House Arinas
- Panorama Chez Hamid
- Gite Cafe Restaurant Manzah
Where to Eat in Rissani?
No matter which place you visit, one of the best experiences is to try out their local cuisine. Hence, your trip to Rissani would be incomplete without tasting some of the lip-smacking dishes that are the specialty of the region. You will find this only in the best restaurants in the region.
Not all restaurants or cafes would be able to provide you with authentic traditional dishes. You can take the help of the local people to find out the good restaurants in the region. To help you out in choosing the best restaurants in Rissani, we have shortlisted certain names that are famous for serving authentic Moroccan dishes.
- Cafe Restaurant Central
- Panoroma Restaurant
- Kasbah Ennasra Restaurant
- Auberge Restaurant
- Restaurant Chez M’barek
- Cafe snack L’expert
- La Baraka
- Cafe Restaurant Amraoui
- Restaurant Oasis Tafilalet
- Café Slimania
- Restaurant La Palmeraie
- Cafe Restaurant Tombouctou
- Restaurant Kasbah Tafilalet
What to Pack for Your Trip to Rissani?
When you are going on a trip, you need to be very careful about the things that you are packing. From clothes to the other essentials, you need to pack everything carefully and not miss out on the important items. Below mentioned are some of the important things that you should wear or pack to your trip to Rissani.
The winter season in Rissani is from December to February. The weather during this season is a mixture of rain and snow. In the nights it becomes chilly and the mornings are much pleasant. If you are planning to visit Rissani during these months, then the things you need to pack are
- Warm pants
- Light gloves
- Waterproof bag
- Waterproof footwear
- Long sleeve shirts
From March to May is the spring season, which is also the busiest season of Rissani. The weather is soothing, and you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. Though there might be slight rain during this time, it is not enough to obstruct your trip. The things you need to pack for a trip during the spring are
- Waterproof footwear
- Light jacket
- Pants or long skirts
- Short pants or skirts
- Sunscreen lotion
The summer season in Rissani is from June to August and is not a suitable time for the trip. However, the crowd is really low during this season, and you will have a more relaxing trip in this period. If you are planning to book your tickets in any of these months, then you need to pack some of the lightest clothes.
- Sunscreen lotion with high SPF
- Short-sleeved tops
- Light pants
The months from September to November are very dry, and the temperatures are very high in the morning. Though there can be occasional rains, it will contribute very little to change the weather scenario of the region. The things that you could carry during this time are
- Waterproof footwear
- Sunscreen lotion
- Light jacket
Travel Tips to Rissani
Your trip to Rissani would be full of wonderful experiences that you will never be able to forget in your life. This small town holds some of the most wonderful attractions. Even the other regions around this town are worth visiting. To get the full experience of the town, you can opt for guided tours of the attractions.
Medina houses various shops where you can find many different kinds of items. Here you will find a mixture of modern as well as traditional items that will leave you spellbound. The Rissani souk that is held for three days a week is where you will find an array of traders selling some of the most exquisite products.
Do not forget to take a trip to the different Ksars present in the region. Along with that, one of the places that you must visit is Maoulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum. Make your bookings early if you are planning to visit the region in the busy season. If you are late, you might find no accommodations at all, and the available ones will be expensive.
Choose your hotels carefully and ensure that they are well rated by the tourist. Check the reviews properly and talk to the owner before booking it online. Look for any discounts that may be available at your chosen hotel.
When in Rissani, try out the wonderful local cuisines from good restaurants or even street shops. Be safe while traveling at night as you might get lost if you do not know the place well. The local people are very helpful and will guide you if necessary, so do not feel shy to ask them for any help.
Lastly, pack all the necessary items and do not forget to take your ticket when you leave your home for the airport. Enjoy the most wonderful trip of your lifetime!