10 days Morocco Jewish Heritage trip via Merzouga

Duration
10 Days / 9 Nights
From
Casablanca
Departure
Everyday
Time

Detailed Program

Day

Path: Arrival to Casablanca - Guided City tour

Arrival at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport. Dinner at Kosher Restaurant in Casablanca. Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements, is what attracts tourists to this synagogue. Option to visit Temple Em Habanim and Neve Chalom as time allows.
Overnight in Boutique Hotel in Casablanca.

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Path: Casablanca - Rabat

Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is tucked into a residential neighborhood and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery and Mellah

Visit the Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Afna quarter. After touring the Mosque, head over to the New Town of Casablanca also designed by the French architect Henri Prost.
Overnight at a Boutique Hotel or Riad in Rabat.

2

Path: Rabat Guided Historical Tour - Fes

Visit Rabat, and then take the road to visit Meknes and the Roman Ruins of Volubilis.
Visit the Royal Palace, the Hassan tower which stands on the hill overlooking the Wadi Bou Regreg. It is a gigantic mosque, emblematic of Rabat and famous for its unfinished minaret where storks nest. Next door, visit the beautiful Mausoleum of Mohammed V decorated with stained glass windows, white marble and a wrought-iron entryway with a stairway leading to an impressive dome. Visit the Jewish Mellah which today is now the home of very few Jewish families.
Explore the gardens nearby and visit the Palace of Rabat and visit the Necropolis at Chellah/ Kasbah of Chellah and Kasbah Oudaya. Option to visit the seaside community in Sale, which is the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar. Attar was an 18th Century Kabbalist born in Morocco in 1696 and known throughout the Jewish world for his Bible commentary with mystical content.
Take the road to visit Imperial City of Meknes, “the Moroccan Versailles” and the Roman Ruins of Volubilis “Walili.”
Panoramic View of Meknes – Begin the visit with a panoramic view of Meknes, which offers a splendid look at the old Islamic Medina with its numerous tall and soaring minarets. Other sites explored include Bab El Mansour, the Meknes Stables, Hedim Square, the Thursday Gate and mosque of Moulay Ismail.
Visit the Jewish Quarter on arrival in Meknes. Explore the Jewish Mellah, with its narrow lanes and colorful courtyards. The presency of Jewish history is evident in the Hebraic epitaphs that date back to the Christian era. These epitaphs along with Greek inscriptions can be seen on the Meknes Jewish zaouia, a place of pilgramage where the tomb of Rabbi David Benmidan still resides.
Visit Meknes Historic Sites in the Afternoon:

  • Talmud Torah Syngagoue
  • Jewish Quarter & Cemetery
  • Royal Stables & Agdal Reservoir
  • Musée Dar Jamaï, Museum
  • Bou Inania Medersa
  • Grand Gate
  • Old Medina
  • Bab El-Khemis
  • 17th Century Kasbah

Take the road to the Roman City of Volubilis.
Begin your visit by discovering the fascinating Roman ruins adorned with beautiful mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology. The ruins are spread out across several acres and what remain visible are several fragments of wall, parts of massive columns, the capitol, the basilica and a triumphal arch. The ruins reveal how the Roman Empire transformed the original Carthaginian settlement into a typical Roman city complete with mansions, a town center, a triumphal arc and temples devoted to the Roman gods. Commence your visit in Volubilis, and then take the road to Fes.
Overnight at a Boutique Hotel or Riad in Fes.

3

Path: Fes Historical GuidedTour

  • Visit Jewish & Muslim Historic Sites in Fes
  • The Jewish Mellah
  • The Jewish Cemetery
  • Maimonides
  • The Danan Synagogue
  • Synagogues of Fes

Unmarked on their exteriors – dating from the 17th century: among the most unique in the world. The Mellah of Fes once had 40 synagogues. See the vast and picturesque whitewashed Jewish cemetery adjacent to the gates to the Royal Palace and the nascent Jewish Museum at the Em HaBanim synagogue.
Old Medina Muslim Sites & Shopping in Fes:

  • University of Al-Karaouine
  • Zaouia Moulay Idriss II
  • Dar Batha
  • Weavers Cooperative

Overnight at a Boutique Hotel or Riad in Fes

4

Path: Ifrane - Midelt – Erfoud - Erg Chebbi

Early morning pickup from your Hotel in Fez head out through the fertile Saiss plains to the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas mountain range. Lunch break in Midelt, then continue to Ziz River where lush palm groves lie among the traditional Moroccan fortresses fortified kasbahs. Head through the oasis towns of Erfoud and Merzouga, then take your camel in Erg Chebbi and follow your camel guide into the Sahara Desert. Admire the incredible views as the sun sets over the high dunes. Then, arrive at a desert camp, where you spend the night, and have a traditional Moroccan dinner while local nomads play traditional folk songs. Overnight: Erg Chebbi desert camp

5

Path: Erg Chebbi – Tinghir – Boumalne – Dadès

After the breakfast in your hotel, we visit the town of Rissani, the incredible birthplace of Moulay Ali Cherif — founder of Morocco’s ruling Alaouite Dynasty. Get into your air-conditioned minivan and travel to the oasis of Tinghir in the foothills of the High Atlas mountain. Take a 1-hour walk along the Todgha River and admire the palm trees and olive groves. Visit Berber villages and learn about the locals’ traditional lifestyle. Head to the magnificent Todgha Gorge for lunch. In the afternoon, drive out through the Dadès Valley along the famous ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs.’ Visit one of the region’s ancient kasbahs, then join your guest house in Boumalne. Dinner and overnight in Boumalne.

6

Path: Boumalne – Dadès – Skoura – Marrakech

After breakfast, head to the Roses Valley to Kelaa Mgouna, a famous rose plantation. Visit one of the rose-growing cooperatives. Continue through palm groves of the Skoura oasis. Travel through Ouarzazate — also known as ‘The Gate of The Sahara’ — Lunch at the UNESCO-listed Aït Benhaddou kasbah. Explore the kasbah and learn of the many famous films and photo shoots in which it has featured over the years. In the afternoon, take the Tizi-n-Tichka through the Atlas mountain. In the early evening, arrive back at your riad or hotel in Marrakech.

7

Path: Marrakech Guided Historical Tour

Visit Marrakech’s Gardens, Palaces, and Jewish Heritage Sites.
The Majorelle Gardens & Berber Museum
The Majorelle Gardens, previously the Jardin Bou Saf, bears its name from its original creator, Jacques Majorelle, the French expatriate artist who was born in Nancy France in 1886. In 1947 he opened his gardens to the public and during this time also painted a magnificent ceiling space at La Mamounia hotel. Later, French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent purchased the gardens. Today the Majorelle Gardens house a unique collection of flora and fauna along with the Berber Museum.
The Old Spice Market
The Rahba Kedima is a colorful market filled with a wide array of spices from Cumin, Cinnamon, Saffron, Dried Pepper and more.
The Jewish Mellah
Founded in 1558 by Moulay Abdallah, the Mellah district was designated as the Jewish quarter in Marrakech.
El Bahia Palace
The El Bahia Palace in Marrakech is a beautiful building and an excellent example of Eastern Architecture from the 19th century that represents trends and standards of the wealthy that lived at that time.
Visit the Marrakech Lazama Synagogue in the old medina. This Quarter was created in the Kasbah area in 1558. The Jewish community enjoyed autonomy even though Jews weren’t allowed to own any property outside the Mellah and controlled the sugar trade. There are approximately 250 Jews still living in Marrakech, and most live outside the Medina.
Visit Synagogue Bet-El, Impasse Des Moulins (Centre American) – Gueliz.
The Saadian Tombs
The Saadian tombs in Marrakech date back from the time of the sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were only recently discovered (in 1917) and were restored by the Beaux-arts service. The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River.
Overnight at a Boutique Hotel or Riad in Marrakech.

8

Path: Marrakech Day Trip to Jewish Heritage Sites of Essaouira

Depart for Seaside Essaouira, a seaside fishing town known for it’s Portuguese and Jewish History along with hand painted charming blue, white and yellow painted houses, fresh seafood and artist community.
Essaouira’s charming artist colony that boasts lovely whitewashed and blue-shuttered houses, colonnades, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and mouthwatering seafood. Once called Mogador by European sailors and traders, Essaouria is known for its annual GnaouaMusicFestival that attracts 300,000+ people in June. It also has an expansive beach for surfing called Plage de Safi.
Many of Essaouira’s painted houses still have the Star of David above the doorways of Jewish 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 on in 1845. The hiloula celebrating Rabbi Haim Pinto is held each September.
Today the home of Rabbi Haim Pinto and the synagogue have been preserved as a historic and religious site. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city.
A generation ago there were Jewish inhabitants in Essaouira however today there is just one family left called the Jacky Kadoch family and descendants of other Jewish families. Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community.
Overnight in Marrakech.

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Path: Marrakech Departure

Departure from Casablanca or Marrakech’s airport.

10
PS:

If the program of this desert tour doesn't satisfy yours needs, Morocco Holiday Packages Agency offers you the possibility to customize it.
You only have to send us a quote request with all information about what you want to experience.

What is NOT included

  • Lunch
  • Drinks
  • Guide
  • Entrance fees, other personal expenses and gratuities

Prices per person

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