Béni Mellal, Morocco

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Béni Mellal, Morocco

Region: Béni Mellal-Khénifra

Geographic Coordinates: 32.339400, -6.360800
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 192676
Language: Arabic

Béni Mellal is a city located in the central region of Morocco, Approximately 200 kilometers south of Rabat. It is the capital of the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region and has a population of around 200, 000 people. The city sits at an elevation of 625 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Middle Atlas Mountains. One of the most notable features about Béni Mellal is its beautiful natural surroundings. The city is situated in a fertile plain that produces a variety of crops such as olives, Almonds, And citrus fruits.

Additionally, There are several nearby waterfalls that attract visitors from all over Morocco including Ouzoud waterfall which is considered one of the most beautiful in Africa. The history of Béni Mellal dates back to pre-Islamic times when it was inhabited by Berber tribes. Later on, It became an important trading center due to its strategic location between Marrakech and Fes. During French colonial rule in Morocco, Béni Mellal was developed into a modern city with new infrastructure such as roads and schools.

Today, Béni Mellal has become an important economic hub for central Morocco with several industries including agriculture, Textiles manufacturing and mining. The city also serves as a transportation hub connecting different parts of Morocco through its bus station and train station. In terms of cultural attractions, Béni Mellal has several historic sites worth visiting such as Kasbah Ras el Ain which was built during the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century. There are also several museums including Musée de la Palmeraie which showcases local crafts and traditions.

Another interesting aspect about Béni Mellal is its cuisine which features traditional Moroccan dishes such as tagine (slow-cooked stews) made with lamb or chicken accompanied by couscous or bread baked in traditional ovens called tabouna. Overall, Béni Mellal is a city that offers visitors an authentic Moroccan experience with its beautiful natural surroundings, Rich history, And unique cuisine. It is a great destination for those looking to explore the less touristy parts of Morocco and immerse themselves in local culture.

Important Landmarks

  1. Kasbah Ras el Ain: A historic fortress built in the 18th century that offers stunning views of the city.
  2. Ain Asserdoun: A natural spring that is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike.
  3. Jardin Habous: A beautiful garden filled with exotic plants and flowers, perfect for a relaxing stroll.
  4. Ouzoud Waterfalls: Located about 100 kilometers from Béni Mellal, these waterfalls are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Morocco.
  5. Mosque El Kebir: An ancient mosque built during the Almohad dynasty that is considered one of the most important religious sites in Béni Mellal.
  6. Lake Bin El Ouidane: A serene lake surrounded by mountains that offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.
  7. Plateau de Beni Snassen: A scenic plateau located about 50 kilometers from Béni Mellal that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
  8. Souk El Had d’Azilal: One of the largest traditional markets in Morocco where you can find everything from spices to handicrafts to clothing and more.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture, specifically citrus fruits and olives
  2. Textile manufacturing
  3. Production of construction materials like cement
  4. Tourism
  5. Mining of phosphate
  6. Handicrafts
  7. Food processing

Noteable History

  1. The city was founded by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century.
  2. During the French Protectorate era (1912-1956), Béni Mellal became an important administrative center and transportation hub.
  3. In 1955, King Mohammed V visited Béni Mellal as part of his tour to rally support for Moroccan independence from France.
  4. The city is known for its agriculture, particularly the production of olives and citrus fruits.
  5. Notable people from Béni Mellal include Abdellah Taïa, a writer who has been recognized internationally for his work on LGBTQ issues in Morocco; Abdelkebir Khatibi, a philosopher and writer who was a prominent figure in Moroccan literature; and Mohamed El Yazghi, a politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under King Hassan II.
  6. In recent years, Béni Mellal has seen significant development and growth thanks to investments in infrastructure projects such as highways and airports.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Kasbah Ras el Ain: This historical fortress is a must-visit for anyone interested in Moroccan architecture and history.
  2. Parc Hassan II: A beautiful park located in the heart of Béni Mellal, featuring gardens, fountains, and a lake.
  3. Musée de la Poterie: This museum showcases the traditional pottery of Béni Mellal and its surrounding areas.
  4. Bab Mansour: A historic gate that once guarded the entrance to the city.
  5. La Grande Mosquée de Béni Mellal: One of the largest mosques in Morocco, with incredible architecture and intricate details.
  6. Jardin d’Essais Botaniques: A botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plants from around Morocco and beyond.
  7. Tadla-Azilal Cultural Center: An art center that hosts exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and other cultural events throughout the year.
  8. Cascades d’Ouzoud: Located just outside of Béni Mellal, these stunning waterfalls are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
  9. Souk El Had de Beni Mellal: The city’s main market offers an authentic Moroccan shopping experience with everything from spices to textiles on offer.
  10. Mouloud Mammeri Cultural Center: This cultural center hosts events related to literature, music, theater as well as conferences on various topics like history or politics etc., making it an important hub for intellectual discourse in Béni Mellal.

Cultural Events

  1. Moussem of Sidi Yahya: This is an annual religious festival that takes place in Béni Mellal in honor of Sidi Yahya, a revered local saint.
  2. Festival of Almond Blossom: This festival celebrates the blooming of almond trees in the region and features music, dance, and traditional food.
  3. International Honey Festival: This festival showcases the region’s honey production and includes honey tasting, beekeeping demonstrations, and cultural performances.
  4. Béni Mellal International Film Festival: This film festival brings together filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work and promote cultural exchange.
  5. National Cherry Festival: This event celebrates the cherry harvest with a variety of activities including cherry picking contests, cooking competitions featuring cherry-based dishes, and live music performances.
  6. Fantasia Horse Show: A traditional equestrian show that features horse riders dressed in traditional costumes performing acrobatic feats while firing rifles into the air.
  7. Tissa Horse Racing Festival: An annual horse racing event held near Béni Mellal that attracts thousands of visitors from across Morocco to watch some of the country’s finest horses compete for prizes.


Traditional Moroccan Dishes:

  1. Tagine: A traditional Moroccan dish made with meat (usually chicken or lamb), vegetables, and spices.
  2. Couscous: A North African dish made from semolina grains that are steamed and served with a variety of vegetables and meats.
  3. Harira: A hearty soup made from lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices.
  4. Pastilla: A savory pastry filled with chicken or pigeon meat, almonds, and cinnamon.
  5. Mechoui: Roasted lamb or goat cooked over an open fire for several hours until it’s tender and juicy.

Popular Restaurants in Béni Mellal:

  1. Restaurant La Belle Vue: This restaurant offers a panoramic view of the city along with traditional Moroccan dishes like tagine and couscous.
  2. Restaurant Al Karama: Known for its delicious harira soup and grilled meats, this restaurant is a favorite among locals.
  3. Restaurant Le Casablancais: This cozy restaurant serves up authentic Moroccan cuisine including pastilla and mechoui.
  4. Cafe Restaurant Atlas Tadla Beni Mellal : This cafe-restaurant offers traditional Moroccan dishes as well as international cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere overlooking the river Oum Er-Rbia.
  5. Café Restaurant Riad El Amine : This charming riad-style eatery serves up delicious tagines alongside other classic Moroccan dishes in an intimate setting.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Ain Asserdoun Park is a beautiful recreational spot situated in the heart of Béni Mellal. It features a serene lake, well-maintained walking paths, playgrounds for children, and picnic areas.
  2. Oued El Abid River is a picturesque river that flows through Béni Mellal. Visitors can indulge in activities such as fishing, hiking, and picnicking along its banks.
  3. Tadla-Azilal Natural Park is located just outside of Béni Mellal and offers breathtaking views of the mountains. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails and witness wildlife in their natural habitat.
  4. Parc Ibn Zaidoun is a small park located in the center of town that has walking paths and a playground for children.
  5. Jardin El Massira is situated near the train station in Béni Mellal and provides visitors with an idyllic retreat from city life.
  6. Horseback riding tours are available through several stables around Béni Mellal for those who love horse riding adventures through scenic countryside landscapes.
  7. The Royal Golf Club de Béni Mellal offers an 18-hole golf course with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains to golf enthusiasts visiting this Moroccan city.
  8. Tennis lovers can find several public tennis courts throughout Béni Mellal to play recreationally while enjoying their vacation here at this vibrant location with much to offer visitors!


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