Rissani city, the gateway to the Merzouga desert

Rissani city is well-known for its natural beauty and biodiversity. It is an ideal destination for experiencing African flora and fauna. It is, located in eastern Morocco, close to Erfoud, and is the nearest town to Erg Chebbi, Morocco’s biggest sand desert.

Rissani city’s rich history

Rissani city donkeys park

Rissani has an illustrious past. It was the site of Sijilmassa, the legendary desert capital, during the 14th and 18th centuries. It was here when fortunes in gold and slaves were exchanged. Rissani is well-known for producing high-quality leather. It is crafted from goatskins that have been expertly tanned with Tamarisk bark.

Rissani’s geography was so vital that the reigning Alawite dynasty’s forebears, Filali, fought the epic struggle to supersede the Saadians. Despite the fact that just a quarter of the community lives in the seventeenth-century ksar and the contemporary town consists of a single street and one plaza, the past can still be sensed in the souks. The town is a cultural attraction in Morocco, with palaces and temples such as Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim and Ksar Aber showing exquisite specimens of early Moroccan artistic features.

The climate in Rissani

The city has a wide range of average temperatures. Because of the humidity, the weather is pleasant most of the year, although it is hot in the summer and chilly in the winter, with a very low possibility of rain throughout the entire year. Early August is the hottest month of the year, with highs typically reaching 104°F (40°C) and nighttime temperatures seldom falling below 80°F (26.7°C).

What to do in Rissani city?

The city will provide you with a memorable local experience. Wander the streets and take in the local vendors, particularly the water vendors. It should be noted that certain structures and holy places are not accessible to non-Muslims yet are as beautiful from the outside. Rissani is an excellent place to experience local life while walking through its tiny yet picturesque lanes.

Visit the Souk

The Rissani souk is tiny in comparison to the souks of Marrakech and Fes. However, it is notable for providing a genuine experience of the sheep and cattle markets, as well as local deals. You will be able to purchase souvenirs and presents.

Visit the Ouelad Abd El Halim Ksar

This is an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the daily lives of the inhabitants of Rissani city. The villagers have a modest and happy existence. The fact that the same extended family has lived in Ksar Oulad Abd El Halim for a hundred years is a highlight. It’s fun to tour one family’s living area.

Some of the village’s infrastructure has been repaired owing to donations from tourists who want to experience the way of life of the people who live there. However, several settlements still need repair and rehabilitation.

Visit Merzouga desert

The Sahara desert of Merzouga also known as Erg Chebbi is not too far from the town of Rissani. The best way to visit it is by taking a guided tour starting from Marrakech or Fes. You can also get there by yourself and book the camels and the camp yourself:

Visit Moulay Ali Cherif Tomb

The Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum is located 20 km away from Rissani in the town of Erfoud. For those interested in local culture and history, the place must be visited to appreciate Moroccan beauty and artisan skills.

Visit the Oasis of Rissani

This area has a pleasant, tranquil, and cool environment. However, only Muslim visitors are permitted to venture deeper into the garden. The garden is a heaven in and of itself.

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