Morocco Jewish Tour Heritage
Morocco Jewish heritage Tour – 14 days
The Jewish presence in Morocco dates back 2500 years. After the Roman conquest of Judaea in 6 AD, Jews dispersed throughout the Roman Empire including modern day Morocco. Many Jews settled amongst the Berber tribes, adopting their languages, engaging in agriculture, cattle raising and trade. Sephardic Jews fled to Morocco and Northern Africa in the 15th century during the Spanish Expulsion. By 1948 the Jewish population was about 250,000, however that number began to decline in the 1950’s and 60’s due to continued aliyah and a new wave of emigraton to Europe and the Americas in the 1970’s and 80’s. About 2000-2500 Jews still live in Morocco today, primarily in Casablanca.
The following synagogues will be visited on the Jewish heritage tour:
Temple Beth El – Casablanca
Ibn Dannon – Fes
Lazama – Marrakech
Caim Pinto – Essaouira
Lkahal – Essaouira
Kosher restaurants exist in Morocco. Please check the following link for kosher restaurant options: Moroccan Restaurants
During the tour there will be places in the south east of Morocco that have limited cuisines, however there will be vegetarian options available.
Sabbath-Shabbat or Shabbos:
as the Day of Rest and the seventh day of the week, Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing. Traditionally three meals are eaten, beginning with the blessing Kiddush. Known also as a day for freedom from daily activities, to appreciate the spiritual aspect of life and to spend time with family.
Moroccan Jews are unique in their reverence for deceased pious and learned rabbis. Throughout Morocco there are hundreds of Jewish saints – as these rabbis are called – whose tombs are usually located in Jewish cemeteries and taken care of by followers. These followers arrange a festival once a year , many of which are small affairs, however some can attract thousands of people, from as far away as Israel or the US. During these events Jews return to their native villages or regions, often visiting with others from the community who have also moved away. The main religious purpose is to pray for good life and the resolution of problems, celebrated with food, drink and music.
Our tour will introduce you to the Jewish heritage and its deep roots in our Moroccan history and culture. Discover sites including synagogues, cemeteries, zaouias and mellahs. Enjoy authentic Moroccan style riads….. Welcome to Morocco! Marhaba!
1st day: Arrive in Casablanca
Arrive at the airport, we will pick you up from the airport and drive you to the City of Casablanca, you will see the Hassan II Mosque, the biggest out of Mecca, experience the Cornish seaside, as you will visit the Jewish Musuem, If you have time and energy, see the gates of the Royal Palace and the French-built Quartier Habous. Visit the ‘new mellah’, home to most of Morocco’s Jewish community, and the Bet El Synagogue. Later Check in and overnight in your hotel.
2nd day: Casablanca – Rabat – Ouzzane – Chefchaouen
After a luxury breakfast at your accommodation we will drive you to Rabat explore the capital of Morocco. Here you’ll see the Mosoleum, the Hassan tower and the oudaya Kasbah. Afterwards, travel to Chefchaouen via the city of Ouazzan. Here you will learn some history about Amram ben Diwan was a venerated 18th-century rabbi whose tomb has become the site of an annual pilgrimage. His burial place in Ouazzane became a pilgrimage site and is regularly visited, particularly by people who invoke him to heal their illness. Born in Jerusalem, he soon moved to Hebron in 1743 and was sent to Morocco in order to collect donations for the Holy land from the Jewish community there. He took residence in Ouazzane where he taught the Talmud and had many disciples. After 10 years spent in Morocco, Rabbi Amram returned to Hebron and, according to legend, entered the Cave of the Patriarchs disguised as a Muslim because it was forbidden for Jews at the time. Someone recognized him and reported him to the Ottoman Pasha, who ordered his arrest. He was compelled to flee and returned to Morocco, where he was welcomed by the Jewish community of Fes. He is credited with many healing miracles and had at least one son, Rabbi Hayyim ben Diwan. While touring Morocco with his son, he fell ill and died in Ouazzane in 1782. Get to Chefchaouen on the afternoon; here you will be accommodated in a Riad. Bed and breakfast.
3rd day: Explore Chefchaouen
After breakfast in your hotel you will start exploring the Medina. Chefchaouen is a beautiful unique city with its white washed walls and its blue doors, and windows. Unlike many parts of Morocco, Chefchaouen was occupied by Spain; therefore there is much influence of the Spanish civilisation and architecture. visiting the Mellah as Chefchaouen get more populated with more jews after the Spanish Reconquista during the 15th Century. You have the opportunity to meet locals and walk in this beautiful Medina. Overnight in your Riad. Bed and breakfast included.
4th day: Chefchaouen – Volubilis – Meknes – Fes
After breakfast in the hotel, and after exploring the city of Chefchaouen we travel south via Ouazzan towards to Volubilis, the well preserved Roman empire dating to 225BC, where some mosaics as still in very good shape, after that we travel to Meknes, the ismaili capital of Morocco. In Meknes we see the fascinating gate Bab Mansour built by the sultan My Ismail, the granary and the Sahrij Souani used for irrigation and plantation. We continue via the highway to Fes. Overnight accommodation in your riad located in the heart of the old Medina. Bed and breakfast included.
5th day: Fes Guided Walking Tour
After breakfast in your riad , you will start an explorative journey of the cultural capital of Morocco, walking in its alleys and small streets. Our visit starts by the Royal Palace, the Jewish headquarter, and the Synagougue Ibn Dannon, the first Mellah ever built in Morocco. We will ensure that you visit all sites with cultural and historical interest including the famous Al Qaraouine University,the oldest in the region, and the Tanneries. After lunch, you will visit the ceramic factory and have a panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fes. On the afternoon, we will visit the new city for a drink. Overnight accommodation in your riad. Bed and breakfast included.
6th day: Fes – Ifran – Azrou – Errachidia – Merzouga
After breakfast in your riad, you’ll leave Fes travelling towards Ifran, referred to as “the Switzerland of Morocco” and then to Merzouga via Azrou and the Ziz Valley. During this journey you’ll experience glimpses of the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains. Stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest – the largest in Morocco – where you may well sight Barbary apes. You’ll notice how the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as you approach teh city of Errachidia. Your journey continues to Merzouga via the Tizi Ntalghamt pass and along the luxuriant Ziz Valley , stopping for panoramic views along the way. Arrive to Merzouga at the end of the afternoon. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of mint tea before you check into your Riad. Bed and breakfast included.
7th day: Merzouga desert – Camel Trekking – Ovenight in luxury Berber tents
After breakfast in the riad you will start an explorative journey of the area. You’ll visit the Gnawa people, originally slaves brought from Sudan, to experience their music and lifestyle. Not far away there’s the lake of Merzouga, with its bird populations. You may also visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities. On the afternoon you will mount your camel, guided by an experienced camel man to explore within the sand sea of Merzouga. Enjoy a wonderful sunset over the golden dunes and overnight at the desert camp, equipped with flash toilets Bed and breakfast included.
8th day: Merzouga – Todra Gorge – Dades Gorge
You will wake up early to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life. Afterwards you will trek back to the village of Merzouga, enroute you couldn’t fail to appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi sand dunes. After breakfast in your riad, you’ll leave for the Dades Valley, visiting Todra Gorges – the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco. After lunch within the valley, you will have an optional hour’s hike through the fields where you will enjoy visiting an old mud village, meet locals and learn about the culture. On through Dades Valley, where you will have the opportunity to see majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”. Overnight accommodation will be in your hotel overlooking the Dades valley. Dinner, bed, and breakfast.
9th day: Dades Valley – Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah – Marrakech
Today, we will travel to Marrakech through the way of the thousand kasbahs – providing numerous opportunities to take some of your best photographic shots of the trip. We’ll stop at Kalaa Mgouna, “the rose city”, and Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah; the Kasbah was built by Et Hami El Glaoui, one of the last Berber chieftains during the 18th century, now a house of many Glaoui people. Your journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n’tichka Pass (2260m) over the High Atlas Mountains, before ending at your accommodation in Marrakech. Overnight in our Hotel/Riad. BB
10th day: Marrakech tour and visit with local guide
After breakfast in the riad , you can start exploring Marrakech “the red city of Morocco”. Your guide will ensure that you see the most important places of historical and cultural interest, including the Saadien tombs; the Palaces of El Bahia and El Badi; and the Ben Youssef Coranique School. Lunch at a restaurant near the square, then in the afternoon visit the gardens at Majorelle; Menara and the Koutoubia tower. as we will see the Synagougue Lazama and see the Mellah with the Jewish Cimetary, After dinner you will have the opportunity to walk around the ‘Square Jemaa El Fna’ full with magicians, story tellers, snake charmers and food sellers. Overnight accommodation your Riad. Bed and breakfast included.
11th day: Marrakech to Essaouira
After Breakfast at your accommodation in Marrakech we will travel to Essaouira. After several stops for pictures , and since this is the land of Argan culture – this is an opportunity to visit the women’s co- operative of Argan oil where they extract the oil that is famous for its culinary, cosmetic and medical properties. Overnight accommodation
12th day: Explore Essaouira
After Breakfast at your riad, then start exploring the city. You’ll visit the Skala Fortress, the port, the souks and see Thuya wood carved by artisans; walk through the alleys of the medina and view hundreds of handicrafts. Essaouira is known for its strong winds most of the year so it is known as the “City of the wind” thus it attracts surfers from all over the world. Essaouira knew many civilisations – including the Portuguese occupation, which affects much of its architecture – however, it remains a small village with much history. Because of its size and its characteristic blue doors and washed walls, it is also regarded as Morocco’s “Jewel of the Atlantics”. Your visit includes the Mellah – the Jewish headquarter, see the new and old Synagougues, Chaim Pinto and Lakhal, as you can visit the Cimetary as well. There is an annual festival of “Gnawa music”, where many musical groups come from different parts of Africa and the world
13th day: Essaouira to Casablanca
After breakfast at the riad in Essaouira, we will drive you through the coast after several Stops on the way to see the authentic Moroccan magical Coast to reach Casablanca and overnight in your hotel. Bed and breakfast.
14th day: Departure
After a Luxury breakfast at your accommodation, we will drive you to the airport where the tour ends depends on your flight’s departure
What’s included in the tour price:
- 14 Days Transportation in private Toyota Prado Land-Cruiser with A/C Or New Mini-Vans with A/C.
- 13 Nights Accommodation in a Moroccan Authentic Riads.
- All breakfasts and few dinners as per itinerary .
- English – speaking driver / guide for the entire trip.
- English – speaking city guides in Marrakech and Fes.
- Camel trekking to spend the night in a “Berber Tents” in the middle of Sahara desert of Erg Chebbi Dunes.
What’s not included in the tour price:
- Lunches, drinks, and tips.
- Hassan II Mosque entree fees.
- Dinners in Casablanca, Chefchaouen, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira.
- Travel insurance which is required (in case of any medical emergency).
- All that is not mentioned above.
We believe in the saying that our customer is a boss.” All our tours are private tours, personalized and flexible. You can ask the driver to stop at any time, you want to take pictures, drink, go shopping or just want to get out of the car and stretch out. You just need to relax and leave the Trip to us, we will give you unforgettable memories during your stay in Morocco