Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

Duration:
12 Days / 11 nights
Transport:
4x4 / minivan
Tour Type:
Cultural Tour, Desert Tours
Group size:
2 /20
Location:
Accommodations:
Hotels - Riads - Desert Camp
Languages:
English / Spanish

A transformative trip through Morocco’s Jewish Heritage, a 12 days odyssey filled with discovery, connection, and profound moments of reflection. Over 12 days and 11 nights, let the beauty, the history, and the spirit of Morocco’s Jewish heritage fill your heart and soul, leaving an indelible mark on your journey through life.

Discount:

Highlights: Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

→ highlights sites of Jewish cultural in Morocco → Fes City Tour with a local guide → Marrakech City Tour with a local guide → Visit of the Ait ben Haddou Kasbah → Camel trekking in the dunes of Erg Chebbi
→ Atlantic Coast including Casablanca &Essaouira

Schedule: Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

DAY 1: CASABLANCA

DAY 2: CASABLANCA - RABAT

DAY 3: RABAT - TANGIER

DAY 4: TANGIER - TETOUAN - CHEFCHAOUEN

DAY 5: TETOUAN - VOLUBILIS - MEKNES - FES

DAY 6: FES GUIDED TOUR

DAY 7: FES - IFRANE - CEDAR FOREST - ZIZ VALLEY - ERFOUD - MERZOUGA DESERT

DAY 8: MERZOUGA DESERT - RISSANI - TODRA

DAY 9: TODRA - ROSES VALLEY - OUARZAZATE – MARRAKECH

DAY 10: MARRAKECH SIGHTSEEING

DAY 11: MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA

DAY 12: ESSAOUIRA – CASABLANCA AIRPORT

Special offer

Description

Tour overview: Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

This exclusive Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca provides an opportunity to experience Morocco's renowned and captivating landmarks while emphasizing its rich Jewish heritage. You'll be accompanied by our expert guide, specializing in Moroccan history and Jewish culture, ensuring an enriching experience. As a private tour, you will enjoy the flexibility to adapt the itinerary to suit your preferences. We've chosen traditional Moroccan Riads and hotels for your accommodations, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of this fascinating country. The itinerary focuses on sites of Jewish cultural importance but also covers all major Moroccan attractions.

Itinerary : Morocco Jewish Heritage Tour from Casablanca

Day 1: Casablanca 

Upon your arrival at Casablanca Mohamed V Airport, and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be greeted by your English-speaking driver in the arrivals area. You will then be transferred to your hotel.

Following this, you will embark on a tour of Morocco’s economic capital. Casablanca, the primary gateway to the country, is a bustling business and industrial hub with a modern flair unlike any other city in Morocco. Your day will begin with a visit to the Hassan II Mosque. Situated on the shoreline just beyond the northern tip of Casablanca’s medina (old city), this mosque dominates the cityscape and is the second largest mosque in the world.

Next, you will explore the city’s downtown area. Place Mohamed V, the central plaza of Casablanca, houses many important official buildings, including the main post office, Palace of Justice, Prefecture, French consulate, and the Main Bank of Morocco. The district between Place Mohamed V and Boulevard Mohamed V features a unique blend of Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture with traditional Moroccan design.

South of Place Mohamed V lies the Parc de la Ligue Arabe (The League of Arab States Park). Designed in 1918, this park, complete with a palm tree-lined avenue, is Casablanca’s largest open space. Nearby, you will find the Villa des Arts, one of Morocco’s primary cultural foundations and one of the largest museums in Casablanca.

Casablanca is home to the largest Jewish community in Morocco, with numerous congregations, active communal institutions, and highly recommended kosher restaurants. You will visit the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and its temples and synagogues, including Beth-El, Em Habanim, and Neve Shalom. Additionally, you will visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, a museum dedicated to Jewish life in Casablanca established in 1997.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2: Casablanca - Rabat

Today, you'll depart from Casablanca and travel to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, situated along the shores of the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean. Rabat is a culturally rich city steeped in history, with many masterpieces adorning its streets and squares.

Your first stop will be the Kasbah des Oudayas, a stunning architectural marvel surrounded by beautiful gardens. Nearby, you will find the imposing walls of Chellah, a necropolis dating back to the Merinid period. Crossing these walls is like stepping into another world, where you can walk among ancient ruins, gardens, and storks.

Next, you will visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, an exquisite example of traditional Moroccan architecture. It houses the tombs of King Mohammed V and his two sons, the late King Hassan II and Prince Abdullah. Just across from the mausoleum stands the Hassan Tower, an iconic symbol of Rabat. Commissioned in 1196 by Sultan Yacoub el Mansour, the tower was intended to reach 60 meters, but construction halted at 40 meters after the sultan's death. Despite being unfinished, the tower is renowned worldwide.

You will then explore the Mellah, the Jewish Quarter, characterized by its narrow lanes and colorful courtyards. Today, it is home to a few Jewish families. Afterward, you'll continue to Salé, Rabat's twin city and a residential area on the other side of the Bouregreg River. Salé is the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar, the famed 18th-century scholar and kabbalist known for his biblical commentary.

You will return to Rabat for the night.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 3: Rabat - Tangier

Today, you'll depart from the capital city and travel north to Tangier. An exciting day awaits as you explore this beautiful city, renowned for its lively medina, stunning beaches, and the unique convergence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic waters. Tangier is a multicultural gem with a rich heritage. As you stroll through its white-washed streets lined with lime-coated houses, you'll be enchanted by the city's dreamy atmosphere.

Begin your adventure in the medina, delving into the authentic soul of Tangier. Your visit starts at the Grand Socco, the city's bustling hub. This vast square is filled with cafés, street vendors, women from the Rif in their colorful attire and big hats, and numerous artisan shops—a vibrant mix of sights, sounds, and scents.

Pass through the large arcade to find yourself in the heart of the medina, where the alleys become more mysterious as you venture deeper into the souks. Continue your walk until you reach a small alley leading up a staircase. Ascend along the Amrah to the Kasbah's gate, where a complete change of scenery awaits. Crossing the small Kasbah door, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking panoramic view extending all the way to Spain.

Next, visit the Moshe Nahon Synagogue on Synagogues Street, a testament to the rich Jewish history of the area. You'll also explore the Beit Yehuda Jewish Museum in the Tangier medina. The museum spans 260 m² and includes three exhibition halls, corridors around the synagogue's courtyard, and a souvenir shop.

After a day of discovery, head to your hotel for the night.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 4: Tangier - Tetouan - Chefchaouen

Today, you’ll bid farewell to Tangier and journey to the captivating city of Tetouan, lovingly known as the White Bird. This city, with its largest Jewish quarter in the region, carries a poignant history. Once bustling with a significant Jewish community from medieval Spain, it was home to some of the most distinguished Sephardic rabbis like Jacob Marrache, Menahem Attias, and Itsshaq Ben Oualid. As you explore the medina, admire the exquisite exterior of the Royal Palace, and stroll through the Jewish Quarter, you’ll feel the whispers of the past in every corner.

Next, you'll venture to the magical blue city of Chefchaouen. Perched on a mountainside, Chefchaouen exudes a charm so unique it feels like stepping into a dream. The blue-rinsed houses create a surreal, azure landscape that captivates the heart. This enchanting city offers a myriad of attractions. Begin with the medina, where narrow, winding alleys invite you to lose yourself among the locals, sampling freshly baked bread and savoring the aromatic flavors of skillfully prepared tagines. The Kasbah, at the heart of the old quarter, with its lush gardens, provides a serene retreat from the world. The Museum of Chefchaouen, housing a fascinating collection of old weapons, city photographs, and textiles, is not to be missed. Chefchaouen, with its unique geographical position, breathtaking natural beauty, and intimate size, is a walker’s paradise.

As the day draws to a close, you’ll settle into your riad, embraced by the blue hues of this mesmerizing city.

Overnight at your riad.

Day 5: Chefchaouen - Tetouan - Volubilis - Meknes - Fes

Today, you’ll get beck on the road and head back to Fes. First, you’ll pass throught the charming town of Ouazzane (pronounced Wazzan), a small city in the north central Morocco, located in the southwestern edge of the “Rif mountains”. It was founded as a religious community in the year 1727, and till this day it is still considered as a holy place. Moreover, Ouazzane is known also for being a green city with it’s breathtaking nature and green painted walls.

Then, you’ll continue your journey south through the fertile lands towards the middle Atlas mountains. The next stop will be the ancient Roman city of Volubilis, located between the imperial cites of Fes and Meknes on a fertile plain sorrounded by wheat fields. Volubilis is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the country where the diversity of scenery, architecture, and culture at the site is sure to impress. The more you explore Volubilis the more you get a sense of its scale and completeness, it’s easy to imagine what life was like in the city’s heyday when you can see the extensive ruins of a capital building, thermal baths, a forum and a abundance of columns.

Next up is Meknes, the Moroccan Versailles which was founded at the end of the 17 th by moulay Ismail, where the Jewish presence is evidenced by Hebraic epitaphs dating from the Christian era as well as Greek inscriptions that still appear in local Synagogues and a place of pilgrimige where the tomb F Rabbi David Benmidan (the Patron of Meknes) is located. The crowded old Mellah, known for its historic Jewish street names is not to be missed. There is also the new Mellah(Jewish quarter), which harbors eleven Synagogues, eight of which are stil in use. In addition to Bab el Mansour, the Hedim square and the mosque of Moulay Ismail. Afterwards, you’ll continue to Fes where you’ll spend the night.

Overnight at your riad.

Day 6: Fes Guided Tour

Fes, this 13th-century imperial city, is a tapestry of multicultural history that promises to enchant its visitors with unexpected surprises. Within the medieval walls of the wonderfully chaotic medina, you’ll embark on a journey back in time. Wander through the labyrinth of thousands of alleys, immersing yourself in the largest car-free urban area in the world. Here, towers of spices, traditional handicrafts, and bustling hammams beckon to be explored.

Your adventure will take you to the world-famous tanneries of Fes, where you’ll discover hundreds of earthen pits filled with vibrant dyes, creating a mesmerizing patchwork of color. You’ll also explore the pottery quarter of Fes, home to Morocco’s most prized ceramics. Learn about the intricate processes that go into this ancient craft, and perhaps find a unique piece to take home as a memory.

After lunch, you’ll delve into the city’s renowned madrasas, or Islamic schools. Visit the Bou Inania Madrasa, an iconic religious building located in the heart of the medina. This stunning site, one of the few holy places in Fes open to non-Muslims, is a testament to the city’s rich architectural and spiritual heritage.

Fes is also a cornerstone in medieval Jewish history. It was the home of one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all time, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, and the esteemed Maimonides from 1160 to 1165. You’ll visit the Mellah, the Jewish Quarter, with its historic synagogues. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to visit the Bahil and the cemetery of Safroud, where revered figures such as Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz are buried.

As the day draws to a close, let the timeless charm of Fes envelop you as you rest at your riad.

Overnight at your riad.

Day 7: Fes - Ifrane - Cedar Forest - Ziz Valley - Erfoud - Merzouga Desert

Today marks the beginning of your long-awaited journey to the Sahara Desert, a dream about to unfold. Your adventure commences with a passage through the city of Ifrane, affectionately known as Little Switzerland. This enchanting town, nestled high in the Atlas Mountains, captivates with its pristine air, immaculate streets, and serene lake. As you marvel at its tranquil beauty, surrounded by the vast cedar forests, you can almost feel the echoes of its ancient past, rumored to have been the capital of a Jewish kingdom.

Continuing southward, you'll pass through Azrou, where the Middle Atlas region greets you with its breathtaking vistas and crisp mountain air. Further along the journey lies the picturesque town of Midelt and the gateway city of Errachidia, beckoning you closer to the desert's embrace.

As you venture deeper into the heart of the Sahara, you'll arrive at Erfoud, a town steeped in desert charm. From here, a magical transformation awaits as you are whisked away to the mesmerizing dunes of Merzouga. Here, atop a majestic camel, you'll witness one of the most breathtaking sunsets the world has to offer. As night descends upon the desert, you'll gather around a crackling campfire, indulging in a traditional Moroccan feast under a canopy of star-studded skies.

Dinner and overnight at the camp—a night of enchantment amidst the timeless beauty of the Sahara.

Day 8: Merzouga Desert - Rissani - Todra

As the sun rises over the desert horizon, casting its golden hues upon the endless dunes, it's time to bid farewell to the desert camp that has been your sanctuary beneath the starry skies. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter as you journey westward towards the breathtaking Todra Gorges.

As you traverse this mesmerizing landscape, dotted with remote villages and lush oases, the sheer beauty of the Todra Gorges unfolds before you. Carved by the Todra and Dades rivers, these limestone river canyons stand as a testament to the power of nature's handiwork, inviting you to marvel at their grandeur.

Continuing onward to Tinghir, you'll encounter a gateway to history as you visit its Mellah and explore the ancient, vibrant Jewish Quarter. Here, amidst the colorful streets and bustling markets, echoes of a rich cultural heritage reverberate through time, offering glimpses into a bygone era.

As night falls, you'll retreat to your hotel, surrounded by the serene beauty of the Todra Gorges. Dinner awaits, a feast for the senses that promises to tantalize your taste buds and nourish your soul.

Overnight at your hotel—a sanctuary of comfort amidst the rugged beauty of the Moroccan landscape.

Day 9: Todra - Roses Valley - Ouarzazate – Marrakech

Starting on the next leg of your journey, you'll set off towards Ouarzazate via El Kelâa des M'Gouna, with a captivating stop at Tiliit, known as the Ancient City of the Jews of the Dades. Here, history whispers through the ancient fortress, once the nucleus of a vibrant Jewish community ruled by the Spanish-Jewish family of Perez. From the fifteenth century until the dawn of a new era under Moulay Ismail's reign in 1672, Tiliit flourished as a cultural haven, leaving behind a legacy etched in time.

Continuing onward, you'll arrive in Ouarzazate, where the echoes of bygone eras resonate within the walls of the Taourirt and Tifoultout Kasbahs, former abodes of the illustrious Glaoui, the former Pacha of Marrakech. As you wander through these ancient fortresses, immerse yourself in the tales of grandeur and intrigue that once unfolded within their walls.

As the sun begins its descent, your journey takes you through the majestic Atlas Mountains, leading you to the sun-kissed oasis of Marrakech. Here, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant energy, you'll experience the essence of Moroccan hospitality at La Tangia restaurant. Indulge in a sumptuous Moroccan dinner, accompanied by traditional entertainment that will captivate your senses and leave an indelible mark on your heart.

As the night unfolds, you'll retreat to your riad, the echoes of the day's adventures mingling with the promises of tomorrow's discoveries.

Overnight at your riad—a sanctuary of peace amidst the vibrant rhythm of Marrakech.

Day 10: Marrakech Sightseeing

In Marrakech, the meeting of tradition and modernity ignites a symphony of unparalleled sensations. Stepping beyond the ramparts, you're welcomed into a realm where splendor and diversity dance in harmony, painting the city with vibrant hues of red and gold.

Your journey begins with a glimpse of timeless elegance at the Koutoubia Mosque, its towering minaret a sister to Seville's Giralda, a beacon of Marrakech's rich history. From there, you'll delve into the secrets of the Saadian Tombs, fragments of a dynasty that once adorned the city with unparalleled magnificence, now shrouded in the mists of time.

As you wander through the Mellah, the Jewish Quarter, echoes of a thriving community resonate through the labyrinthine alleyways. Discover the hallowed grounds of the Rabbi Hanania Hacohen cemetery, where the spirits of esteemed scholars linger, their wisdom woven into the fabric of Marrakech's narrative.

A visit to the opulent Bahia Palace awaits, a testament to Moroccan craftsmanship and hospitality. Its ornate rooms and fragrant gardens whisper tales of grandeur and grace, inviting you to lose yourself in their splendor.

Venturing deeper into the Medina, you'll be swept away by the kaleidoscope of colors and scents that permeate the bustling souks. Here, amid the vibrant chaos, the heartbeat of Marrakech pulses with life, each alleyway a tapestry of culture and commerce.

Your journey culminates at the legendary Djemaa El Fna Square, where the spirit of Marrakech comes alive in a mesmerizing spectacle of street theater. Indulge in the local delicacy of snail soup, savoring the flavors of Morocco in every spoonful, as the magic of the city unfolds around you.

As night falls and the stars twinkle overhead, you'll retreat to your riad, the echoes of Marrakech's enchantment lingering in your heart.

Overnight at your riad—a sanctuary of tranquility amidst the vibrant rhythm of Marrakech's streets.

Day 11: Marrakech – Essaouira

Depart for Essaouira, a coastal city known for its fishing port and historic medina. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the sea. Explore the old medina, the Jewish quarter (el Mellah), Skalla, and traditional souks. Discover art galleries, stalls of traditional carpentry, and the unique atmosphere of the city. Watch the sunset with a glass of tea in the main square, have dinner, and stay overnight at your riad or hotel.

Day 12:  Essaouira Casablanca Airport

After breakfast, we drive along the scenic coastal route back to Casablanca. Enjoy the breathtaking views of nature and beaches along the way. Upon arrival in Casablanca, you have the option to be transferred to your hotel or dropped off at the airport for your flight. This marks the end of your 12 Days Best of Morocco Tour from Casablanca, filled with unforgettable experiences and memories.