The ability to travel through time is a long-held ambition for mankind, but we needn't bother - it's already quite possible to travel back hundreds of years on a holiday to Fez, the ancient capital of Morocco and one of the finest preserved cities in the Islamic world.
The enormous car-free medina (old town) is the main attraction and if ever the cliché 'an assault on the senses' was apt it's here - vibrant colours (plus an almighty pong) in the city's medieval tanneries and the buzz of a city going about it's business in much the same way it has for centuries mean you are made very aware of being somewhere magical. We say hat's off to Fez.
The obvious comparison is with Marrakech, some five hours to the south west and a city we also adore. There, the authorities have made a very conscious decision to chase the tourist dollar and an influx of seriously luxurious hotels has undoubtedly changed the atmosphere of the city. The medina is still a wonderful place to wander, but for the really, really authentic experience, nothing beats Fez, and there are some exquisite places to stay in town as well.
Aside from just soaking up the medina atmosphere and exploring the iconic tanneries, another huge highlight on a holiday to Fez is the Bou Inania madrasa, a beautiful centre of Islamic teaching dating from the 14th century and famous for exquisite wood carvings. The elegant minaret also acts as a useful reference point much as Marrakech's Katoubia mosque does for those busy getting lost in the winding alleyways below.