MOROCCAN JEWISH HERITAGE OVERVIEW 11 days tour
- Romance tour group of 2 people
- Fun tour group of 4 to 5 people
- Family & friends group of 6 to 8 people
- Leisure group of 9 people & up
The Moroccan Jewish Community has always been, and still is, one of the largest in the Arab World. Its heritage and history are little known abroad although every part of the Kingdom records an important Jewish legend. You will be rediscovering this Jewish heritage with us, thereby learning more about the many-sided history of Morocco. Jews have been here for hundreds of years; they have lost nothing of their ancient traditions, special customs, and culture. Moroccan kings protected Jews from harm and helped some of them develop the wealth that sustained the monarchy for many years.
PROGRAM / ITINERARY:
DAY 1: CASABLANCA / RABAT (56 miles)
After your well-assisted 7-hour flight (on average), you will arrive at Casablanca Mohamed V airport. You will be welcomed and assisted by our tour operator who will take you on an orientation tour of Casablanca which includes the Habbous quarter, the United Nations square, the exterior of the Royal Palace, and an interior visit of the Hassan II mosque, one of the Islamic world’s stunning monuments. Casablanca is home to the largest Jewish community in Morocco and has numerous congregations, active communal institutions, and many highly recommended kosher restaurants. Visit the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) with its temples and synagogues such as Beth-El Em Habanim and Neve Shalom. In the afternoon, depart to Rabat or stay overnight in Casablanca.
Day 2: RABAT / Excursion to SALE / RABAT
After breakfast, visit the Chellah and Kasbah of Oudayas located next to the Medina within the ramparts of the old city. The Mellah, with its narrow lanes and colorful courtyards, is now the home of a few Jewish families. Continue on to Sale, the twin city of Rabat and the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar, the famous 18th-century scholar and kabbalist known throughout the Jewish world for his Bible commentary the “Or Ha-Hayyim.” Afterward, return to Rabat for dinner and stay overnight.
DAY 3: RABAT / MEKNES / VOLUBILIS / FES (123 miles)
Depart to Meknes, “the Moroccan Versailles” which was founded at the end of the 17th Century by Moulay Ismail, where the Jewish presence is evidenced by Hebraic Epitaphs dating from the Christian era, as well as Greek inscriptions that still appear in local synagogues and a place of pilgrimage where the tomb of Rabbi’ David Benmidan, also known as “The Patron of Meknes,” is located. The crowded old Mellah, known for its historic Jewish street names, is not to be missed. There is also the new Mellah (Jewish quarter), which harbors eleven synagogues; eight of which are still in use. Highlights will also include Bab El Mansour, the Hedim square, and the mosque of Moulay Ismail. Carry on to Fez via Volubilis, well-preserved remains of a Roman city. After that, check-in at the hotel and stay overnight in Fes.
DAY 4: FES
Fes is among the best-known cities in medieval Jewish history. Indeed, it was one the home of one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all times, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, as well as of Maimonides in the years 1160 to 1165. With a history that goes right back to the 9th century, the Medina of Fez is considered to be Morocco’s cultural and spiritual center.
The Medina consists of numerous beautifully preserved historical buildings, including mosques, palaces, residential home and squares with fountains, all set in a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways which are fascinating to explore. Highlights will also include the Mellah with all its synagogues. There will be an optional visit to Bhalil, which features the cemetery of Safroud where Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz are buried. At the end of the day, return to the hotel in Fes for an overnight stay.
DAY 5: FES / MIDELT / ERFOUD / MERZOUGA (336 Miles)
After breakfast, depart for Erfoud via Azrou and Ifrane city. It is said that Ifrane was the capital of a Jewish Kingdom in the distant past. What should not be missed is the village’s only synagogue; also, the cemetery has been a center of pilgrimage for Moroccan Jews for centuries.
Stop in Midelt and continue on to Erfoud. From there, you will ride a land rover with a driver who will take you to witness the sunset and enjoy a bivouac at Merzouga dunes. Enjoy Berber dinner and overnight stay under tents, or return back to Erfoud for accommodation at the hotel.
DAY 6: MERZOUGA / ERFOUD / OUARZAZATE (181 Miles)
After another breathtaking view of the sunrise, return to Erfoud for an orientation tour and continue on to the Todra Gorges which is known for their impressive bare escarpments. Head to the Tineghir and visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient and colorful Jewish quarter. Depart to Ouarzazate via El Kelaa des M’Gouna and visit the Tiliit (5 miles from El Kelaa De M’Gouna), also known as the Ancient City of the Jews of the Dades. The fortress of Tiliit has been the center of a Jewish region, ruled by the Spanish-Jewish family of Perez from the end of the fifteenth century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672. Continue on to Ouarzazate, where you will check in and stay overnight.
DAY 7: OUARZAZATE
After breakfast, visit the Taourirt and Tifoultout Kasbahs, the ancient residences of Glaoui (the former Pacha of Marrakesh). The rest of the day is for relaxation by the swimming pool or for further exploration of the city before an overnight stay at the hotel. You also have the option to go on an excursion to the Rabbi David Ou Mouchi tomb at Telouat by Land Rover.
DAY 8: OUARZAZATE / MARRAKECH (126 Miles)
After breakfast, depart for Marrakesh via the Tiz-in-Tichka pass (2260m) and Taddert. In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Marrakesh. Visit the Rabbi Hanania Hacohen cemetery, which is also the burial place of Rabbi Mordekhai Ben Attar and Rabbi Pinhas Hacohen Azough known as the “Patron of Marrakesh.” Then, return to the hotel or Riad for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 9: MARRAKECH
The day will be devoted to sightseeing of Marrakesh, the second oldest imperial city known as the “Pearl of the South” and home to the Saadian tombs, the Koutoubia Mosque, the Bahia Palace, and the Menara Garden. Return to the hotel for lunch (optional). In the afternoon, explore the souks and the world’s famous Djemaa El Fna square which offers various entertainments (storytellers, acrobats, snake charmers, magicians, etc.) Also, you have an option to go on an excursion to the Ourika valley in the afternoon to see the site of the famous tomb of Rabbi Salomon Bel Hens. Afterward, return to Marrakech for dinner and overnight stay at the Hotel.
DAY 10: MARRAKECH / CASABLANCA
This is your free day for leisure activities such as shopping, etc. Depart to Casablanca in the afternoon. You will have your dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Casablanca.
DAY 11: DEPARTURE from CASABLANCA
In the afternoon, depart to Casablanca Airport. You will be provided with assistance for check-in and boarding formalities.
Our Services Include:
- Welcome & assistance at Casablanca Airport
- Transportation with an A/C vehicle according to the number of participants
- Local guides in each major city
- Monuments entrance fees as indicated in the program
- Portage of luggage only at the airports and hotels
- Our assistance with our local office in Casablanca
- Cities and Accommodations
- Accommodation in 4* Hotels on HB: Daly Breakfast and choice between lunch and dinner at the Hotels.
- 5-Star Hotels and Riads (Typical Moroccan house) are available by request.
- Half Board (only in 4-star hotels): Daily breakfast and snack of your choice in between lunch or dinner at the indicated hotels.
- Meals in most 5-star hotels and Riads are on BB (Bed & Breakfast) only.
- Our Full Assistance: Our local office in Casablanca is at your service as needed.
- All applicable taxes are included.
Not included unless stated otherwise:
- Discounted Air Fares: from all major cities in the USA to Casablanca and beyond are available by request
- Insurance: we highly recommend for clients to buy an individual travel insurance
- Tips: tips to guides, drivers, laundry, phone calls, room service are beyond our package