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Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour

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  • 12 Days 11 Nights
  • Min Guests : 1
  • Wifi Available
  • All Year

Detail

For over 2000 years, Jewish presence has existed in what is now known as Morocco. Waves of Jews have come or been pushed to Morocco due to immigration. Today, Morocco has the most significant remaining Jewish community in North Africa. In the late 1950s, the Jewish community was well-established and thriving in Morocco, with over a quarter of a million people.
Morocco is home to a plethora of Jewish sites, such as ancient synagogues, Mikvaot, old houses, Kosher restaurants, and tombs. Many of these sites are maintained by locals, and a significant number of them have been restored. The museum of Moroccan Judaism, the only Jewish museum in the Arab world, which has been re-opened in Casablanca, is an excellent example of the efforts to maintain these critical sites.

Price Includes

  • A/C modern vehicle
  • English/French speaking guide
  • 11 Nights accommodation
  • Local guides as stated in the itinerary below
  • Dinners as stated in the itinerary below

Price Excludes

  • Lunches
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities to your driver

Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour Highlights

  • Explore the Medians Jewish Quarters (or Mellah), where some of our most prominent Rabbinical scholars were born
  • Camel into the Sahara for an unforgettable overnight stay at a luxury desert camp
  • Walk through Fez el-Bali, Morocco’s cultural heart, exploring its winding alleyways and myriad souks
  • Discover Marrakech at its most authentic, taking in its Medina's sights, sounds, and scents

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Casablanca – Rabat

Upon arrival at Casablanca airport, meet our representatives (driver and guide), who will assist you. Transfer to your hotel in Rabat-Morocco’s capital. After checking in to your hotel, take the rest of the day to relax and unwind after the long-haul flight. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2Rabat sightseeing

Today your guide and driver will introduce you to Rabat’s major sites. Start your day with a visit to Rabat’s historical citadel, the Kasbah of Oudayas, with its chilled and serene Andalusian garden. Next visit is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, a masterpiece of modern Moroccan architecture hosted inside the tombs of past kings. Afterward, visit the Hassan Tower, standing opposite the Mausoleum. The tower is 44 meters (145 feet), dominating almost every view of the magnificent city of Rabat.

After lunch at leisure at a local café or restaurant, carry on with your tour to meander around Chellah, which houses both Roman ruins and a Mediaeval Muslim necropolis. Optional visit of Rabat Archaeological museum before heading back to your hotel.

Day 3Rabat – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes

After breakfast in your hotel, go on an hour-and-a-half drive east to Meknes. Once there, get ready for a tour by foot around the city. Visit the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, the founder of the city. Explore Bab Mansour and the granaries, which once were home to 12 000 horses. Visit the Mellah and take a walk through centuries of history of the Jewish and Muslim coexistence. Mellah is the first Jewish quarter In Morocco and was established in 1438. Continue then to the Talmud Torah Synagogue.

After lunch at a local restaurant or a café, head to the spiritual town of Moulay Driss, which hosts the tomb of Moulay Driss, the founder of Fes and a great-grandson of the prophet Mohammed. Afterward, continue to the Roman ruins of the Volubilis site, founded in the 3rd century B.C., about 33km north of Meknes. The site is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Morocco and was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Later in the afternoon, head back to Fes as we drive past vast acreages of vineyards producing the finest Moroccan red wine. Check into your Fes hotel or riad.

Day 4Fes sightseeing

On the fourth day of your trip, you will You will visit the spiritual capital of Morocco, Fes. The city is considered the oldest in the Kingdom and has a rich cultural heritage. First, you will take a guided tour of the ancient imperial city, starting with the broad esplanade of the Royal Palace.

From here, you will continue to 16th-century Borj Sud for a dazzling view of the walled city. Then, you will delve deep Into the UNESCO world heritage Medina to visit different Jewish sites: The Jewish Mellah: The old Jewish quarter in Fes, which dates back to the 15th century, is located near the Royal Palace. Ibn Danan Synagogue: Dating back to the 17th century and is one of the oldest and most preserved synagogues in North Africa. It is located in the Mellah and underwent renovation at the end of the 19th century. Maimonides: After choosing exile over the conversion to Islam at the hand of the Almohads, Almonides and his family ended up settling in Fes, where he studied at Qarawayin University. His house is now widely known as a Jewish community center and is open to the public.

After seeing these Jewish sites, you will visit the bustling Nejjarine square and discover Moroccan art in the Dar Batha Museum. Fes will not fail to capture you with its great places to see. After finishing your city tour, you will spend the night resting at your riad or hotel.

Day 5Fes – Midelt – Erfoud

After breakfast, make an early morning start to travel to the Tafillalt region, driving past the Middle Atlas Mountains and Ziz Valley. The road is filled with jaw-dropping sceneries of the fertile landscapes southeast of Fes towards Ifrane, a little gem of a town hidden in the Middle Atlas region. This little town feels more like Switzerland than Northern Africa. It is famous for its ski resorts in the winter. It is a number one holiday destination for the locals during summer and spring. A

fter driving through Ifran, we will then continue to Azrou. Still, before arriving there, you will be first greeted by the Barbary Macaques. They wander in the cedar forests along the way. By noon, arrive at Midelt, where you can have lunch at a local cafés. Later, make your way through little Berber Villages as you cross the Middle Atlas Mountains towards Ziz Valley. You might want to take pictures of the picturesque views of the vast valleys scattered with green date palm trees. Arrive at Erfoud late in the afternoon, where you can enjoy a chilled dinner at your hotel.

Day 6Erfoud – Merzouga

Start your day with a late breakfast in your hotel and then go off the beaten track with an exploration tour of the city of Erfoud, accompanied by a 4×4 driver. The city gave birth to the Alaouites dynasty, ruling Morocco since the 15th century.

Afterward, pay a visit to the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif and an adjacent Ksar. Once again hit the road driving past the stony desert southeast of Erfoud and the sight of isolated nomad camps made specifically for the herding of their camels.

After the exciting ride, arrive at the dunes of Erg Chebbi, where you will trigger your adrenaline in an exhilarating sand-bashing ride, then progress to the placid nomad village of Khamlia. Go off the beaten track with a visit to your camp operator lodge, where you will enjoy lunch at your leisure and have some rest or dive into the pool to cool off.

Shortly afterward, the camel caravan will be ready to take you on a lifetime experience as you ride your camel to your Morocco Sahara Desert camp while enjoying the sky, taking on shades of orange during sunset, serving as a backdrop of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Later in the evening, savor the aroma of Moroccan cuisine as you enjoy an authentic Moroccan dinner under the shining stars and entertain by the local music around the bonfire.

Day 7Merzouga – Ourrzazate

For the early risers, you can ask your nomad hosts to wake you up early in the morning to join them in a sunrise hunt at the top of a nearby hill. After breakfast, join the locals on a cultural insight journey and learn about fossils in a workshop on how they dig for ammonites, Orthoceras, trilobites, and dinosaur teeth before processing them for them sale.

The next visit is the oasis of Tinghir, in the southwest, where your guide will take you on a walk by the stream in the oasis. After the walk, you will find yourself in the breathtaking canyons of the valley of Todra. Take a small break in a local café for lunch, and then drive along the road of 1001 Kasbahs to Dades Valley, famous for its Damascus roses plantations.

Upon arrival at Skoura oasis, get an insider perspective of the Berber oases culture as you visit the Kasbah of Amridil. Learn more about how the Berbers conduct their lives in Morocco desert oases, get a taste of the Kasbahs architecture, and know more about the local irrigation techniques. Arrive at Ouarzazate late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 8Ourrzazate – Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech

After breakfast, go on a 30 minutes trip to the village of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO world heritage. Then, cross a river guided by your local guide, who will show you around the Kasbah. The adobe village might look familiar to you from some movie, as it was used as the set of various Hollywood epics (Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.)

We will carry on with our journey to the imperial city of Marrakech as we cross the High Atlas Mountains past Berber villages and Tizi Ntichka pass. Dinner and overnight at your riad in Marrakech.

Day 9Exploring Marrakech

After breakfast at your hotel or riad, make yourself ready for a full-day guided tour around the city of Marrakech. The tour will include visiting the city’s most popular destinations, such as historical sites, Souks, Medina walls, and gardens.

Start the day with a visit to the landmark of Marrakech, La Koutoubia Mosque, and its distinguished minaret. Next, continue to the Saadian tombs, which date back to when the Saadian dynasty reigned over Marrakech between 1524 and 1659. Then take a quick drive past the Mellah to visit the Bahia Palace, built in the 19th and became one of the masterpieces of Moroccan architecture.

The next stop will be the Medina. You will enjoy untangling the twisted Medina alleyways while tasting how the locals carry on with their lives in the old Medina. After a tasty lunch at one of the cafés in the Medina, head to Ben Youssef Madrassa. It is an Islamic College founded in the 14th century and was home to students searching for knowledge in various human sciences, including theology. The school’s dormitories accommodated up to 900 students, and the whole school exhibits classical Moroccan architecture.

Shortly after the Madrassa visit, you will ride around the city in a carriage outside Dar Elbacha Royal Palace. The ride itself is delightful and will take you on a trip down the memory lane of Marrakech’s history: you will drive from Gueliz, the French Colonial district, to the new town and then to Majorelle Gardens, the beautiful 12 acres of botanic garden that took the French painter Jacque Majorelle 40 years of passion and dedication to create, and then was saved from falling victim to a real estate project by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who bought it, renovated it and opened it to the public. After the gardens visit, make sure not to miss a lovely visit to Bet–El Synagogue.

Day 10Marrakech

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, or learn the secrets of traditional Moroccan recipes in a cooking class with a local Chef. This experience takes place in La Maison Arabe, a charming location exhibiting the Moroccan architecture, décor, and style.

In the afternoon, spoil yourself in one of the most prestigious spas in Morocco: Les Bains de Marrakech. Enjoy an hour of Hammam (steaming bath) and body scrub, followed by an hour of relaxing massage with local aromatic essential oils. Dinner will be served at a Moroccan restaurant, accompanied by a show.

Day 11Marrakech – Casablanca

After breakfast, depart this morning and travel to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and the industrial capital of the Kingdom. Upon arrival, visit Hassan II Mosque, the landmark of Casablanca and the only Mosque in Morocco that allows non-Muslims in.

After lunch in the Corniche of Casablanca, take the road to the museum of Moroccan Judaism, or El Mellah Museum, the only museum in the Arab-speaking world devoted to Judaism. This rich Jewish heritage site was created in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish Moroccan cultural heritage. The Jewish museum puts at your disposal an active roster exhibition of the Jewish heritage in Morocco available to all travelers interested in understanding Morocco’s Jewish past. From here, continue to the old Jewish quarter (Mellah), inhabited by several different cultures and religions throughout the centuries. Enjoy a walk through its long-standing streets before you arrive at the Jewish cemetery, famous for its well-kept white stones marked in French, Hebrew, and Spanish.

Tonight, a farewell dinner will be organized at Rick’s Cafe.

Day 12Departure

After breakfast, spend the rest of the morning leisurely before your transfer to Casablanca airport for your onward flight.

Map
Price
From2,750€2,200€
Available: 38 seats
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