Jewish Heritage


Jewish Heritage Tour (14 days)

Day 1: Casablanca Arrival

On arrival at the Casablanca Airport, meet your guide and transfer to your guesthouse for a relaxing spa/traditional hammam before dinner on your own and the night.

Day 2: Casablanca to Rabat

After breakfast, discover the most emblematic point of Casablanca: the Hassan II Mosque and museum, the second largest mosque in the world including a minaret 690 feet high, and one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims. Then depart via the Atlantic coast to Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco and another important imperial city of Morocco. Rabat is known for sites that illustrate the Islamic and French colonial heritage. Stop for lunch along the way and Visit Hassan Tower and the Mohamed V Mausoleum, a perfectly preserved example of the architectural style of the Alawite dynasty and explore the chellah or sacred necropolis. Continue to your guesthouse in Rabat for dinner and the night. (B, D)

Day 3: Rabat to Chefchaouen

Visit the old town of Rabat, called Oudayas, and Kasbah Oudaya, located adjacent to the Rabat medina at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River opposite Sale, a royal fort of the Berber era surrounded by formal Andalusian gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the ancient ruins of Chellah, the Royal Palace and Mausoleum of Mohamed V. Stop for lunch along the way and head up the coast through Kenitra then on to the “blue city” of Chefchaouen, a sleepy village in the heart of the Rif Mountains noted in the top 50 most beautiful places in the world. Visit the cobbled main square, Plaza Uta el Hammam, where the 15th-century Grand Mosque sits. The mosque and nearby buildings were built by Jewish refugees, who alongside Muslims, escaped the Spanish persecution. Continue to your guesthouse in Chefchaouen for dinner and the night. (B, D)

Day 4: Chefchaouen – Fes

After breakfast, depart for Fes through the Rif Mountains and Ouezzane (known as the Sacred City), a town which many Jewish of Morocco consider to be a holy city, journeying on pilgrimages there to acknowledge the tombs of several marabouts (Moroccan saints), particularly moul Anrhaz, the local name for Rabbi Amram ben Diwan, an eighteenth-century rabbi who lived in the city and whose burial site is associated with a number of miracles. Visit Ouezzane’ s unique medina, famous for its olive oil and pure wool Djellaba Ouazzania, distinguished by its patterns, stripes, and embroidery specific to Ouezzane. Stop for lunch at a local farmhouse and continue to your guesthouse for the night (B, L)

Day 5: Fes Cultural Tour

After breakfast, spend the day in the cultural capital and first imperial city of Morocco. Fes, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idriss II, is known for the fortified medina of Fez El Bali (Old Fes) and is one of the largest preserved medieval sites in the world, with medieval architecture, lively souks, and old-fashioned atmosphere. Visit the 14th-century Royal Palace, one of the oldest and largest in Morocco, the Jewish Mellah, the Ibn Danan Jewish Synagogue, and the Jewish Cemetery & Tomb of Solica, which contains the tombs of more Jewish saints than any other in Morocco. Explore the medina and the religious schools Bou Inania the Medersa Nejjarine, one of the most beautiful Koranic schools in Fes, dating back to the 14th century, decorated with carved cedar panels and delicate mosaics. Stop for lunch in the medina and explore picturesque gates, and cultural presentations in traditional Moroccan ceramic/tile (jelliz), textile items, and the city’s distinctive and colorful leather tanneries. Relax before a night out for a cocktail on the rooftop of a local restaurant followed by dinner. (B, D)

Day 6: Fes – Day Trip to Meknes

Depart after breakfast for the Sidi Chahed dam reservoir built in the 1990’s, and continue to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, Morocco’s holiest town at the base of Mount Zerhoun, and the home of the Idriss I, the first Moroccan ruler and first to bring Islam religion to the country. Stop for a Chef’s Table lunch in the vineyards and olive groves near Meknes. Continue to the imperial city of Meknes, (known as the “Versailles of Morocco”), one of the most important imperial cities of Morocco and former capital of Morocco under Sultan Moulay Ismail. Stop in Meknes, known for sites that illustrate both Islamic and French colonial heritage, the royal fort from the Berber era surrounded by formal French-style gardens overlooking the ocean. Visit the triumphant arch of Bab Mansour, argued to be the most beautiful in Morocco, and stop at Heri es Souani, a colossal stable and storage site, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and backdrop for the filming of The Last Temptation of Christ. Dinner on your own and return to your guesthouse in Fes for the night. (B, L)

Day 7:  Midelt & Voulibilis – Flanked by the Middle and High Atlas Mountains

Depart after breakfast for Midelt, situated in the high plains surrounding the Mlouya River, between the Middle and High Atlas Mountain ranges. Visit the Roman ruins of Voulibilis, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and filming location for Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.  Spread out across several acres, the ruins reveal the transformation of the Roman Empire Carthaginian settlement into a typical Roman city devoted to the Roman gods. Continue through the Middle Atlas Mountains, the Berber villages of Ifran (the “Switzerland of Morocco”), Immouzar Kandar, and the Berber market town of Azrou. Stop for lunch and cross the cedar forests near Ifran and Imouzar with century-old trees and delight in feeding the Barbary macaques of Gibraltar that thrive in the nearby groves of cedar trees. Stop for a walk in the Rif Mountains and continue to your guesthouse and relax before dinner and the night. (B, D)

Day 8: The Sahara Desert

Depart after breakfast for Merzouga via the villages of Erfoud, the date capital of Morocco, and Er Rachidia, and through Tizi Ntalghomt and the beautiful Ziz Valley, wedged between prehistoric cliffs dating back to the Jurassic period and scattered with ancient kasbahs and ksars lining the palmeraies, which are plentiful with dates, pomegranates, figs, and quince farmed there. Stop near Er Rachidia, one of Morocco’s most ancient and famous cities, known as the date capital of Morocco, for a couscous presentation through our local lifestyle program, which has been a part of Moroccan tradition for centuries, followed by local music and lunch. Arrive in Merzouga in late afternoon and meet your cameleers who will guide you to your desert camp for a sundowner over the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Enjoy a desert dinner followed by traditional Saharan music around the campfire and night at your luxury desert camp. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Dades Gorge

After watching sunrise over the dunes and breakfast, depart for Dades Gorge crossing the vast palm oasis of Tafilalet with many ksours. Visit the ancient and now dry khettara (aqueducts) near Er Rachidia, part of the nearly 300 km of subsurface irrigation channels excavated beginning in the 14th century and operational until the 1970’s. Stop for lunch in Tinghir and visit the magnificent Tinejdad palm grove, which stretches 30 miles (48 km) and take a walk in the impressive valley of the Todra Gorge. Continue to your guesthouse in Dades and relax before dinner and the night. (B, D)

Day 10: Monkey Fingers and Ouarzazate Road of a Thousand Kasbahs

After breakfast, depart for a guided hike of Dades Gorge and the Monkey Fingers (cliffs of Tamellalt), a natural rock formation resembling primate’s fingers rising from the Dades River. After the hike, depart for Ouarzazate, stopping for lunch along the way, through the Rose Valley and the home of Morocco’s Rose Festival, El Kelâa M’Gouna (commonly referred to as the Valley of Roses) and along the road of many kasbahs to Ouarzazate. Arrive at your exquisite guesthouse in Ouarzazate and relax with a spa or traditional hammam before dinner and the night. (B, D)

Day 11: Marrakech – Crossing the High Atlas Mountains

Depart early morning for Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tichka and the beautiful Ounila Valley, a part of the main caravan route from sub-Saharan Africa to Marrakech, and the narrow river valley connecting Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou.  Admire the stunning Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a photo. Stop for lunch along the way and continue to Telouet to visit one of the most extraordinary sights of the High Atlas Mountains, the famous Kasbah Telouet. Built in 1860, it is one of the former residences of Pacha Glaoui and perhaps with the best examples of Islamic architecture in Morocco. Continue over the High Atlas Mountains and arrive at your guesthouse in Marrakech in late afternoon for the night. (B)

Day 12: Marrakech – Behind the Doors Culture Tour 

After breakfast, visit Jardins Marjorelle, built by the painter Jacques Marjorelle, and the former home of Yves Saint Laurent and its spectacular Berber Museum. Visit the Saadian Tombs and other sites to learn about Moorish architecture, the Jewish Mellah, founded in 1558, to shop for spices, the 16th-century Lazama Synagogue or Synagogue Beth-El. Stop for lunch along the way and set off to explore the local culture via a tour of the daily life of Moroccan people through a “behind the doors” culture tour: a visit to a communal bakery, a walk through a local food market, and a visit to a traditional hammam and fondouk, an historic trading place for merchants from across North Africa. Take in the sites at Jemma el Fna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which for centuries has been an incredible world of native theater: snakes, musicians, dancers, storytellers, and fortune-tellers. Stop for dinner on your own and return to your guesthouse for the night. (B, L)

Day 13: Marrakech Arts Tour

After breakfast, head out for a morning cooking class Amal, a nonprofit dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women in Morocco. Learn to make a traditional Moroccan dishes and feast on the fruits of your labor. Visit Maison de la Photographie, a converted 3-story fondouk (the old inns and storage houses for camel trains coming to sell their wares in the souks) which was converted into a photographic gallery in 2009. Explore Le Jardin Secret, a charming garden in the Mouassine district of the medina. The origins of the garden date back to the Saadian Dynasty, more than 400-hundred years ago. Rebuilt in the mid-19th century at the behest the Caid of the Atlas Mountains, Le Jardin Secret has been the home of some of Morocco and Marrakech’s most important political figures and is now part of the great tradition of stately Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan palaces. Dinner on your own and return to your guesthouse for the night. (B)

Day 14: Marrakech – Casablanca

After breakfast, enjoy a drive up the coast to Casablanca via Safi, well known for its Moroccan ceramics. Stop for lunch along the way and continue to the Casablanca Airport for your flight home or wherever your next destination may be. (B)


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