Jewish Heritage Tour
8 Days / 7 Nights
On arrival, meet and greet and private transfer to your hotel in the port city of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest metropolis and home to the largest Jewish community in the country.
Overnight in Casablanca.
Casablanca / Rabat
Morning visit the Hassan II Grand Mosque, the highlight of Casablanca, followed by a visit to the Mellah, the Jewish quarter, with its temples and synagogues. Continue on to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism displaying collections of religious books, costumes and artifacts reflecting the rich past of the Jewish civilization.
Early afternoon depart Casablanca for Rabat via the main highway linking these two major cities. Upon arrival, visit Rabat’s cultural highlights: the Hassan Tower, an excellent example of the gorgeous Mauresque syle and the nearby mausoleum dedicated to Mohamed V, the founder of modern Morocco and protector of the Moroccan Jewish community during World War II.
We will also visit the Mellah with its narrow streets, colorful courtyards and beautiful synagogue.
Overnight in Rabat.
Rabat / Meknes / Fez
This morning we will travel to Meknes, one of the Imperial capitals of Morocco, once inhabited by a large Jewish community. See the city’s impressive monuments: Bab Mansour gateway, one of the finest great gates of Morocco, the Granaries and the Royal Stables.
Visit the Jewish quarter and its old cemetery facing the former Hebraic Thalmud-Thora school. There are Hebraic epitaphs dating from the Christian era and Greek inscriptions still appearing in the local Synagogues. There are 11 synagogues in the new Jewish quarter of which eight are still functioning today.
On to Volubilis, the largest Roman site in Morocco with its Triumphal arches, basilicas and superb mosaic floors.
Arrive in Fez in the afternoon.
Overnight in Fez.
Discover the secrets of the medieval medina-city of Fez El Bali (old Fez), founded in the 9th century. See the Karaouine, one of the oldest still functioning universities, the Attarine Medersa (Koranic college), a jewel of Hispano-Moorish architecture, the Najjarine Square and its beautiful fountain and the nearby Fondouq (Caravanserail), now converted to a museum of carpentry artefacts. The medieval Medina is a UNESCO world heritage site.
In the afternoon, visit the Mellah, the Jewish quarter built in the 14th century, once home of most influential Talmudic scholars of all times such as Rabbi Isaac Alfasi and Maimonides in the years 1160 to 1165. See the cemetery where the Rabbis and the Saints of the Jewish community are buried. Some of the tombs are over 1600 years old. Walk in the Mellah to admire the beautiful Hispano-Moorish building style brought by the Jews from Andalucia and visit the Aben Danan synagogue (17th century). The old Jewish quarter provides an interesting insight into the typical local Jewish architecture.
Overnight in Fez.
Fez / Marrakech
After breakfast, we will journey into the cedar forested Middle Atlas, North Africa’s greatest mountain range. We will be crossing Berber villages of Azrou and Khenifra en route to Beni Mellal situated in the heart of the fertile Tadla Plain.
The latter part of the journey sees the rad descend from the Atlas Mountains further south and down into the Haouz Plain, before reaching Marrakech.
Overnight in Marrakech
Discover the city’s architectural attractions situated inside the Medina: the Koutoubia minaret, the moster perfect Islamic religious structure in North Africa, the Saadian Mausoleum displaying traditional stucco and Granada-style carving and the Bahia Palace, a masterpiece of domestic architecture.
In the afternoon, stroll through the 16th century Jewish quarter and visit the Rabbi Hanania Hacohen cemetery, the burial place of Rabbi Mordekhai Ben Attar and Rabbi Pinhas Hacohel. We will visit the labyrinthine souks in the old town to explore colorful alleys and small squares, home to stalls and ateliers devoted to specific crafts. In the early evening, we will head to Djemaa El Fna, the city’s main square and the beating heart of Marrakech.
Overnight in Marrakech.
Marrakech / Essaouira / Marrakech
Today we will journey to Essaouira n the Atlantic coast. Visit the city of Mogador, once one third Jewish and now known as Essaouira. See the Jewish cemetery in the Mellah, place of annual pilgrimage to the grave of the venerated Rabbi Haim Pinto whose home and synagogue are preserved as a historic and religious site.
We will also visit the city’s fortifications and Scala, a mixture of Berber and Portuguese architecture and the 18th century Medina with its carpentry cedar and thuya wood ateliers before returning to Marrakech.
Overnight in Marrakech.
Marrakech - Departure
After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Marrakech airport for your onward flight.