Observe the completely manual process of leather dying that hasn't changed since the Middle Ages at Chouara Tannery, the largest and oldest of Fes' three tanneries. The only downside to your visit may be the stench of pigeon poop and cow urine, part of a mixture used for softening the hides. Plan my Fes trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.
Tours to Chouara Tannery
Fez Medina 4-Hour Guided Walking Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $50
Duration: 4 hours
Private Guided Full-Day Tour of Fez BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $102
Duration: 7 hours
Chouara Tannery reviews
We were lucky as there weren't any crowds when we visited and it was a cooler day. What this means is that it was very easy to see the entire tannery WITHOUT THE STINK. I'm not sure the leather... more »
The Chouara Tannery is in the old part of the city, in the Fes el Bali. It is located right by the river that runs through that particular area. The water comes in handy. We visited but on the day... more »
This is a historic 11th century tannery of Fes. We took a tour of this amazing but stinky place. The shopkeepers, in the area, take you to the balconies above the shop and explain the process for a... more »
We went with a guide to this tannery...We did not buy anything from the leather shops. It was good to go with a guide so you are not under pressure to buy things. Our Riad arranged a tour guide for us for half a day..Was good as he took us to a few places including the Tannery. You get explanation about the tannery and different leather products. Recommended
If you must go, go with a reputable local tour guide. The tannery is located close to the Place Saffrine, but there is no obvious signage or entrance to the tannery. It appears compulsory to visit a close-by shop to get a view of the tannery in action. While the tannery itself was impressive, the people who profit from the tannery are not. We were constantly misdirected by men stating either the tannery was “closed”, or the only way to view the tannery was by visiting a shop with a private terrace rooftop. Several men who insist they are “just helping” will lead you to a rooftop but you will be pressed to make a purchase at an affiliated store once you are finished with your viewing of the tannery. The goods in the shops are priced exorbitantly and you are expected to bargain (an experience that not everyone will enjoy). If you do not buy anything, they will turn nasty and ask for a fee ranging from 50 dirhams per person or more for their “guidance” (despite them having offered nothing more than accompanying you to the terrace in question). On more than one occasion I was rudely cursed at with the F word by these men simply for not listening to them or following them into a given shop. In summary, the site is poorly managed as a tourist destination and as a result, there exists a local ecosystem of swindlers preying and profiting on the vulnerability of tourists who want to visit this iconic site at Fes.
I had a very bad experince with this place, which is badly managed and very hard to find. You have to go to one of the terraces of the locals to see the tannery. There is no “official” location to get a view of it (not sure if it actually has one though) and you will be guided by differnet locals to different locations if you asked where the tannery is, which is very confusing. They just want you to go to their terrace and get money from you. After going to their terrace, you will be pushed to buy their products which are ridiculously expensive (I would say the quality of the products is not worth that much). You have to bargain with them for the price, which I personally don’t find it an interesting experience. If you don't buy their products, you will be asked to pay commission to the guy who brought you there. Some people have been asked to pay a lot for this. I would say this experience was quite unpleasant. I will not recommend going to this place if you do not have a local guide. You will only get a few pics of the tannery but nothing more.
It is a must in your visit. We looked at it from the rooftops above. They did not force us to buy anything and they were not pushy. The locals from the cooperatives explained the process and then showed us their store. Totally worth the experience.
Visiting the tannery was fun and interesting but the smell/stink of the place was too much for me! The guide gave me mint leaves to sniff but it didnt help! The entrance here is free but the people here are very pushy and will try to make you buy something...haggle if you do! Overall a good experience in Fes!
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