JEWISH HERITAGE / 10 days 9 nights
DAY 1 ARRIVAL
You will find your driver and guide waiting for you at the airport to escort you to your hotel. Casablanca is known for 10 or more synagogues scattered around the city. We will start by Beth-El. The stainless steel windows and the vibrant artistic expressions all over this synagogue is what attracts most of the Jewish tourists coming to Morocco. Depending on your flight schedule, we can also schedule a visit to two interesting temples in the city: EmHabarim and Neve Chalom. Once the visits are over, we will be heading for a special dinner at an old world country club where the Jewish community hangs out. At any given time you will find a group of people different ages playing cards and socializing in one of the side rooms.
DAY 2 CASABLANCA – RABAT
Waking up early for breakfast and a explorational day ahead, we will discover the Moroccan Jewish heritage of the country. Our first stop is the Museum of Moroccan Judais in Casablanca where you will learn about the Jewish community in Morocco and how it started. Right after we will head to the Jewish cemetery to pray for the souls who passed away in this beautiful land and then we will shop at the Mellah for some souvenirs and have some conversations with the locals. After a delicious Moroccan lunch, we are off to Rabat for a dinner and overnight.
DAY 3 RABAT – FES (Via Meknes & Volubilis)
Waking up in Rabat, we will head first with your guide to the Almohad northern walls of the Oudaïa Kasbah where he explains the history of this ancient Kasbah. Then, we are off Meknes. We start there by Morocco’s most preserved Roman town Volubilis dating back 300BC. It has been considered the oldest Moroccan city according to the excavations discovered there, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The next stop will be the nearby MoulayIsmael Mausoleum, the holiest site that holds a special value in the hearts of the Moroccan people. It was the place where MoulayIsmael settled after bringing the Religion of Islam from the east. Later on, we will move to Meknes, also called the “Moroccan Versailles”. it is an imperial city with a Spanish-Moorish architecture, surrounded by huge stone walls with ancient historic doors. After lunch, we head to the Granaries and the Royal stables, before we go for an educational visit to the Torah Synagogue and the Jewish Quarter. We will also pass by the Jewish cemetery to pray for the passed away souls of this land, then we take route to the ancient city of Fes for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 FES SIGHTSEEING
Sip your coffe on your terrace overlooking the majestic medina walls and the Atlas Mountains. Then, you will visit the ancient Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University, founded by a Muslim woman. The University opened its doors in 859. Fes is surrounded with a large wall from the medieval Marinid era, vibrant souks and medina streets set out like a labyrinth. Your guide will take you to visit one of the biggest tanneries in the country that still today uses traditional methods. The rooftop of the tanneries offers a panoramic view of the Medina and the surrounding mountains. After, we discover the pottery factories onfoot; the souk, the square and the Nejjarine Fountain, and outdoor views of the Karaouyine Mosque in the heart of the Medina. The narrow streets are busy and you’ll need to watch out for the donkeys. Then, we will make our way to the Mellah, then Maimonides cemetery to learn about the famous Jews who passed away in this ancient city and how much difference they made. After that, we will head to the Danan and Fes Synagogue to learn about the history of these sacred places.
DAY 5 SEFROU EXCURSION
Today, we will visit a colourful little town called the Capital of Cherries. South of Fes is known as little Jerusalem due to its high population of Jews living in this sacred land and its well developed religious life and ceremonies. Upon Morocco’s independence, a Rabbi from Sefrou was elected to parliament. Sefrou Mellah makes up more than half of the Old City. On our way, we will visit the Bhalil Cemetery. Sefrou was once a major center for Morocco's Jews for a multitude of reasons and its walled white pedestrian Medina is still preserving the Jewish designed houses with wooden balconies. A great example of inter-faith dialogue can be witnessed in the city of Sefrou. In Sefrou, muslims and jews lived in good harmony, practising their religious rituals together. For an educational and historical visit, we will head to the Medrassa Boulnania. Overnight and dinner at your hotel.
DAY 6 FES – MARRAKECH
Today we travel throught the Atlas Mountains to reach the Red City. This incredible road trip goes through one of the most scenic roads in Morocco. Enjoy the views and stop by a local village to discover handmade products and taste some typical Moroccan cuisine before reaching Marrakech for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7 MARRAKECH MONUMENTS
Today we will go back in time to discover the mysteries of this amazing city that draws expats from all corners of the globe, in all areas of business and arts. We will start at the Bahia Palace, known for its incredible gardens. Built in the 19th century, to be one of the greatest palaces of its time, it derives its name Bahia from the word - Brilliance. We will continue our time travel through the Medina walls in the direction of the highest building in Marrakech. At the Kououbia Mosque, known as the mosque of the booksellers, follow your guide through the minarets while he explains to you the history of this marvel.
After lunch, we go to the Koranic school, Ben Youssef, named after the Almoravid Sultan who made Marrakech a well-known place worldwide. This school is the largest Madrassa in Morocco. Afterward we will go to the Jewish Mellah to shop for the best leather and pottery Morocco can offer. Later, we take tea at sunset to enjoy the golden views of the Jamaa El Fna Square. After tea, we will travel like a king and queen in your horse drawn carriage around the city and visit the famous Majorelle Gardens known internationally. Walk around the cactus trees and visit the newly opened museum to discover the Berber heritage of the country. Once done, head for the Menara Gardens overlooking the Marrakchi city life. Head back to your hotel for a 5-star dinner and overnight.
DAY 8 ESSAOUIRA
Wake up at a leisurely pace and enjoy the Marrakech sunshine and perfumed filled air. Marrakech is a city of flowers. After breakfast we travel west to Essaouira. This port city is protected by an 18th century wall named the Skala of the Kasbah. If wind surfing is your thing, Essaouira is known all over the world and holds international surfing competitions. Many of Essaouira’s homes still have the star of David above the doorways of Jewsih homes. Each year religious Jews from around the world come to Essaouira for an annual pilgrimage to visit the grave of Rabbi Haim Pinto who passed in the 1845. The Hiloula celebrating Rabbi Pinto is held each September. A generation ago there were Jewish Inhabitants in Essaouira, however today there is just one known family left called the Jacky Kadoch family and other descendants of other Jewish families who come seasonaly. Jacky Kadoch is the president of the Essaouira Jewish community.
DAY 9 MARRAKECH
Rest today and enjoy the souks at your pace. It’s been a long journey. Head to a Moroccan Hammam and get scrubbed with Moroccan soaps and oils and relax for a candle lit dinner at your hotel.
DAY 10 Departure
Seems like your holiday is over and we definitely will expect you again for another tour of our beautiful Morocco. Depending on your flight, we will escort you to the airport on time and wish you a safe flight back home.
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