Jewish Heritage Highlights : 15 Days / 14 Nights - From Casablanca
Jewish heritage is very much alive in Morocco. The importance of the Jewish presence in Morocco’s history is grabbing and an interesting focal point for any traveler. Experiencing it first-hand is a must!
Itinerary details :
- Welcome to Morocco! Arrival to Med V airport in Casablanca where you will meet your driver. The driver will provide a brief review of your tour. You will have an orientation tour of Casablanca the economic capital. The tour will begin with the exterior of royal palace and the internal visit of Hassan II Mosque. Visit the Jewish quarter (Mellah) with its temples and synagogues such as Bet-El, Em Habanim and Neve Shalom. You will have a guided visit through the Jewish heritage Museum for a glimpse into the rich and colorful world of Moroccan Jewry. Depart to Rabat to 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, now the home of few Jewish families. Continue to Sale as 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 hahayyim.” Overnight with dinner in Rabat.
- After breakfast at the hotel, you will tour the administrative capital of Morocco "Rabat". You will start with a visit to the Chellah ruins 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, now the home of few Jewish families. Continue to Sale as 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 hahayyim.” After lunch, departure north to the beautiful town of Tangier. Upon arrival, you will have a stop to see Cape Spartel and the Cave of Heraclius. Overnight with dinner at the hotel..
- After breakfast at the hotel, you will have a half day tour of Tangier. Indeed, Tangier has always been referred to as the crossroads between Europe and Africa. Tangier is a contrast of architecture and was a notable home for foreign residents such as Paul Bowles, Barbara Hutton, Gavin Maxwell (Ring of Bright Water fame) and Malcolm Forbes. The most visited parts of Tangier are, the Kasbah, one of the city's main attractions, The Grand and Petit Socco, the old American legation, Mendoubia Gardens. The tour will include as well the Jewish quarter "Mellah" - Nahon synagogue – dating from the 17th century and the Synagogue Shaar Raphael. After lunch, and just a couple of hours from Tangier, you’ll arrive into the Rif Mountains leading to Chefchaouen. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
- After breakfast at the hotel, you will explore the blue washed-wall of Chefchaouen, a charming and truly unique town. Its Jewish heritage is visible in one of its most distinctive characteristics: the picturesque blue-rinsed buildings that line the city’s narrow streets. Spend the day wandering the blue washed narrow alleys of the friendly medina. Visit the walled fortress of the Kasbah contains beautiful gardens, near which is the small Museum and art gallery which houses the rich culture of the Rif Mountains. From the rooftop of the Kasbah view a spectacular panorama of the blue and white washed houses, tiled roofs and tiny balconies. After exploring the medina, walk in the nearby hillsides with the wonderful and magnificent waterfalls. The blue buildings are a remnant of a Jewish religious tradition of weaving prayer shawls with Tekhelel (an ancient natural blue dye). The town offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese native to the area is also popular. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
- Today departure towards Meknes, a Moroccan imperial city known as "the Moroccan Versailles" .Meknes was the capital of Morocco by Moulay Ismail at the end of the 17th Century. The visit will include Bab El Mansour, the Hedim square and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. In Meknes the Jewish heritage is visible through Hebraic epitaphs dating from the Christian era in addition to Greek inscriptions still appear in local Synagogues. Meknes’ old Mellah (the jewish quarter) is known for its its historic Jewish street names and the new Mellah is home to eleven Synagogues, eight of which are still in use. Also not to miss the tomb of Rabbi' David Benmidan. You will have the chance to see Talmud Torah Syngagoue and the Jewish Quarter & Cemetery. After lunch, you will visit the ancient roman city of Volubilis. Arrival to Fez. Check in. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
- Today will be a full day guided tour to Fes. Fez has been considered as one of the best known cities in medieval Jewish history, it was home to one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all times, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, as well as Maimonides in the years of 1160 to 1165. Visit the Mellah with its synagogue. Fez is a spiritual and cultural center with many facets. The tour will take you back in time while visiting Al Quaraouiyine University, the oldest university in the world (before even Oxford or the Sorbonne). We will also visit the medieval Medina with its Bou Anania Medersa, the Nejjarine fountain, the Moulay Idriss Mausoleum. Afterwards, continue to explore the narrow alleys house hundreds of merchants and craftsmen selling a range of products such as dates, fish, spices, copper urns and musical instruments. Overnight with breakfast at your hotel.
- Today you will have a day trip not far from Fes so the drive won’t be too long and that would give you more time to enjoy our destination which is Sefrou, the capital of cherries. This town was known as Little Jerusalem due to its high percentage of Jews and its well-developed religious life. En route to Sefrou make a short stop in Bhalil to visit the cemetery where Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz are buried. This village is distinguished for its distinctive cave houses located in the old part of the town, and for its blend of colored homes, linked together by a network of bridges. Some of the cave houses in Bhalil are routinely open to tourists to visit, but are rapidly disappearing as the village modernizes. Arrival to Sefrou which was once a major center for Morocco's Jews and its walled white pedestrian medina is still characterized by their houses with wooden balconies. Overnight with breakfast at the hotel in Fez.
- Today departure South East towards Erfoud via Ifrane city and the cedar Forest. It is said that Ifrane was the capital of a Jewish kingdom in the far off past. Not to be missed the village’s only synagogues and the cemetery, which has been the center of pilgrimage for Moroccan Jews for centuries. Stop in Midelt and continue Erfoud. From there a 4x4 jeep with a driver at the clients disposal for the sunset and Bivouac at Merzouga dunes. Optional overnight with dinner at the Berber tent in the Camp or return to Erfoud for accommodation at the hotel.
- Your day starts early with a picturesque sunrise before enjoying a special breakfast, head back to Merzouga to re-join your car to continue the tour to Todra Gorges known for its impressive bare escarpments. Continue to Tinghir and visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient colorful Jewish quarter. We continue the journey to Ouarzazate via Kellat M’gouna and visit of Tiliit (5 miles from Kellat M’gouna), known as the ancient city of Jews of the Dades. The fortresds of Tiliit has been the center of Jewish region ruled by the Spanish – Jewish family of Perez from the end of the 15th century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672. Continue to the hollywood of Africa Ouarzazate, check in at hotel and overnight with dinner.
- After breakfast, departure to Ait Ben Haddou, the most spectacular Kasbah in the south of Morocco and the iconic landscape immortalized in such films as, Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, The Jewel of the Nile, The Living Daylights, The Sheltering Sky, Kundun, The Mummy, Gladiator, and Alexander the great. Drive west through the Souss Valley and Taliouine village to Taroudant town, a sightly village located in the Sous Valley. We will cross the city’s characteric ramparts and tour along narrow, winding streets before arriving at the souks, where some of Morocco’s most talented craftsmen tend their art. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
- After breakfast at the hotel, you take a tour outside Taroudant to the nearby village of Arazan to visit an exclusive site normally closed to the public. This tiny adobe synagogue is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Hebrew prayers are painted on its earthen walls and its ark is adorned with Amazigh decorations. Afterwards, you drive via the very lovely coast of the Atlantic Ocean towards Essaouira. On the way we will pass through Agadir where we will spend some time to discover the secrets of this great city. Agadir is one of the biggest cities in Morocco and it is very famous for its lovely beaches. After an optional lunch, we continue the journey to Essaouira along the Atlantic coast, passing through Taghazoute beach. Overnight with dinner at the hotel in Essaouira.
- Today you will explore Essaouira, easily navigable city and ideal for a free day. Although originally Portuguese, Essaouira was fortified by a French-influenced architect named Vauban, and also formed the settling ground for a large Jewish population, so the city has an eclectic, multicultural feel. As a result of these influences, Essaouira has become the premiere destination for artists and intellectuals. The city’s stable microclimate gives it a mild winter and a cool summer, so you can make the most of the beaches year round. The town was once over thirty percent Jewish and contained over thirty synagogues, some dating back to the eighteenth century. You will visit some of these synagogues, as well as the tomb of Rabbi Chaim Pinto, who is the object of an annual pilgrimage in the week preceding Rosh Hashanah, situated in the vast Jewish cemetery adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t leave Essaouira without visiting the local artisans, who are known for their marquetry furniture with intricate designs inlaid in the roots of cedar. On the aftrenoon, we’ll head towards Marrakech. En route, you will see many Argan trees, important to the region both economically and ecologically. At the women's Co-operative of Argan Oil, there will be an opportunity to learn about the wide ranging applications of the oil from cosmetics to medicines. After several stops to take photographs, you will continue your travel to Marrakech.
- After breakfast you will enjoy a guided tour of Marrakech. You will start the tour with a picturesque stop at the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque as the landmark of Marrakech which has inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. Your next stop is the Bahia Palace, and the Saadian Tombs. Afterwards, you will visit of the 16th century Jewish quarter , the Slat el Azama Synagogue, and the 16th century Jewish cemetery. After lunch break, You Continue to the world-famous Jemaa el Fna Square, which houses an array of food, snake charmers, local musicians, and fortune-tellers. There’s nowhere on Earth like the Jemaa el Fna, the square at the heart of old Marrakesh. You will also explore the colorful Souks where hundreds of handicrafts. Night with breakfast at the Hotel.
- The morning is at leisure to relax in Marrakech and visit the gorgeous Majorelle and Yve Saint Laurent gardens. After lunch, drive into the economic Capital Casablanca. Upon arrival you will have time to stroll along the Atlantic coast. Overnight with breakfast at the hotel.
- Transfer to Casablanca international airport for your return flight with plenty of tales of Arabian and Berber days and nights.
Day 1 : Arrival to Casablanca - Rabat
Day 2 : Rabat - Tangier
Day 3: Tangier - Chefchaouen
Day 4 : Chefchaouen Sightseeing Tour
Day 5 : Chefchaouen - Meknes - Fez
Day 6 : Fez Sightseeing Tour
Day 7 : Fes - Sefrou - Fes
Day 8 : Fes - Ifrane - Midelt - Erfoud - Merzuga Desert
Day 9 : Merzuga Desert - Todra Gorges - Rose valley - Ouarzazate
Day 10 : Ouarzazate - Ait Benhadou - Taliouine - Taroudant
Day 11 : Taroudant - Agadir - Essaouira
Day 12 : Essaouira - Marrakech
Day 13 : Marrakech City Tour
Day 14 : Marrakech - Casablanca
Day 15 : Casablanca - Back to the airport
What is Included :
- Private air conditioned vehicle at disposal.
- Private English Speaking driver throughout your Journey.
- 14 nights' accommodation in the category of hotel chosen.
- Daily breakfast.
- Dinner as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Camel treks, where applicable, with the services of a local camel guide.
- Sightseeing by English Speaking local guides as per itinerary.
- Entrance fees to the monuments & Museums.
- Hotel Taxes.
What is Excluded :
- Air fare travel.
- Dinner as mentioned in the itinerary.
⇒ The price for the tours will be dependent on numbers, the higher the number of people in your party the lower the cost per person.
⇒ All accommodation will be private, you will only share vehicles, if applicable.
⇒ We are not liable for personal injury or loss of your own property. You should take reasonable care with your belongings at all times.
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