Sefrou is a city in central Morocco situated in the Fès-Meknès region. It recorded a population of 79,887 in the 2014 Moroccan census,[1] up from 63,872 in the 2004 census.[2]



The "medina" (Old city) in Sefrou
Coordinates: 33°49′45.68″N 4°50′22.12″W
  Total10.50 km2 (4.05 sq mi)
850 m (2,790 ft)
  Density7,600/km2 (20,000/sq mi)

Sefrou is known for its historical Jewish population, and its annual cherry festival.


Sefrou was named for the Ahel Sefrou, a Berber tribe that once inhabited the area.[3]

Sefrou's name might be brought from the berber name "Asfru" (ⴰⵙⴼⵔⵓ) which means "the solution" (in Morocco).[4]

Sefrou was once home to one of the largest settlements of Moroccan Jews, the population estimated to have been as high as 8,000.[5] The first Jewish people lived in the area of the Ahel Sefrou, most of whom were converted to Judaism around 2,000 years ago. In the 8th century, most of these were converted to Islam under Idris I of Morocco. In the 9th century, a second Jewish population settled from the Tafilalt area and Southern Algeria. Most of the descendants of these Jews stayed in Sefrou until 1967, when many moved to Israel.[3]

Idris II of Morocco lived in Sefrou temporarily while overseeing the development of Fez.[5]


Sefrou is located at the edge of the Middle Atlas mountain range, and is 30 kilometres (19 mi) southeast of Fez. Oued Aggai runs through the city, and about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) west of Sefrou are the Cascades, a small waterfall.[5] Wadi Aggai also takes part in irrigation for the area. The Kef el-Moumen caves contain ancient tombs, one of which is claimed to be the tomb of Daniel. There is also a spring near Sefrou called Lalla Rekia, which is purported to cure insanity.[3]

A synagogue in Sefrou


Sefrou is known for its Sefrou Cherry Festival, which is UNESCO-endorsed, and is held annually every June.[6] This festival, originally launched back in 1920, consists in a beauty contest in which Moroccan women would apply for the prestigious title of Miss Cherry. The festival lasts for three days and includes folk music, Moroccan traditional cuisine, fantasia performances, and sporting events.[7]

The town has a medina and two mosques, and every Thursday is market day.[5]


  1. "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. Maaroufi, Youssef. "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat 2004". Site institutionnel du Haut-Commissariat au Plan du Royaume du Maroc. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. DK Publishing (29 November 2010). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Morocco. DK Publishing. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-7566-8665-9.
  4. Lasri Amazigh, Brahim. (2011). Tadlist n ismawn Imazig̳n = Le petit livre des prénoms amazighes = The little book of Amazigh first names. Aguenaou, Karim., Institut royal de la culture amazighe. Rabat: Institut royal de la culture amazighe, centre de l'amenagement linquistique (CAL). ISBN 978-9954-28-080-5. OCLC 793012455.
  5. Paul Clammer (15 September 2010). Morocco. Lonely Planet. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-74220-360-7.
  6. "Terre de Traces Ecolodge". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  7. "Sefrou Cherry Festival". Moroccan Zest. 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
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