Sefrou Tourism: Sights and Attractions
Sefrou has an interesting and well preserved medina, with a Jewish quarter (Mellah) that once hosted the large Jewish community of the town. The Cherry Festival held in early June draws large crowds to celebrate the harvest and there is no shortage of the delicious fruit to sample. Other interests lie in the surrounding countryside, with walks ideal in summer to explore the springs and waterfalls in the hills above town.
Although the medina of Sefrou pales in comparison to Fez, it is well maintained and manageable to explore. Enclosed by its nineteenth-century ramparts, the Medina is split in two by the River Aggai which flows through its centre – giving it a more airy feel than many old medinas.
The most forward approach to the Medina is through Bab M’kam, the main gate on Place Moulay Hassan. Follow the main street past the many stalls of the souks until you reach the first bridge. Across the river, on your left, is Mosque Adloun and further ahead by a second bridge is the Grand Mosque with its domed minaret. From here, you can either explore the more traditional souks around the mosque and cross the river to leave the medina by Bab Meni Medrek or continue straight on through the food stalls all the way to the northern gate of Bab Lalla Setti Messaouda
The Mellah lies just across the bridge from the Grand Mosque, stretching northwest along the river. Although the quarters are largely occupied by Muslims today, it still retains a few distinctive characteristics.
In its heyday, the Mellah was known for its miserable living conditions: so crowded and dark alleys were lit even at midday! You can get a feel of this by walking through the cramped conglomeration with wooded-galleried houses and streets so narrow only two people can only just pass.
The Cherry Festival
Sefrou is sleepy and untouristy as a whole. The only time that the town livens up is during the annual Fetes des Cerises – Cherry Festival. Large crowds of Moroccans and tourists alike come here to celebrate the harvest in June when the cherry trees blossom.
The Cherry Festival lasts for a week, accompanied by folklore music, parades and sports events, culminating with the crowning of the Cherry Queen on Saturday.