||.Population : 30 million
.Capital city : Rabat
.People : 55% Arab, 44% Berbers
.Languages : Arabic (official) Berber dialects ,
French, Spanish and English.
||.Religion : Islam, Judaism.
.Government : Constitutional monarchy
.Head of State: King Mohammed VI
.Currency: Dirham (MAD) USD is worth
approximately 8,2 MAD
|Revered by his subjects, Mohammed V defied the orders of the
Vichy government during WWII when they required Moroccan
Jews to wear the Star of David on clothing and he subsequently
saved his Jewish subjects the fate of their European brethren
Jews of Morocco, even those who have emigrated to other
countries, hold a special reverence for Mohammed V,
who refused to distinguish between his subjects, and even
insisted that Moroccan Jews be present at the festivities during
the celebration of Coronation Day.
When this provoked the anger of the civil servants at the
French Residency, Mohammed V replied: “I in no way
approve of the anti-Semitic laws and I refuse to be
associated with an action I disapprove of. I insist on
informing you that, as in the past, the Jews are under my
protection and I refuse that any distinction be made among
Arrival at Casablanca Airport and transfer for a sightseeing of the chief port, the financial, commercial and manufacturing center of the Country. Your first treat is a panoramic drive through the city of Casablanca to view the Royal Palace, the architecture of Place Mohamed V, Anfa, the residential area and explore the romantic beachfront with its world famous shops, restaurants and nightclubs. You will visit the famous Hassan II Mosque (exterior). Recently built, it is the largest in the world outside Mecca. Then you will visit the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) with its temples and synagogues such as Beth-El, the largest synagogue and an important community center.
The Jewish cemetery in the Mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Tomb Of Rabbi Eliahou .We will visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca; this is the first Jewish Museum in an Arab country.
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is about 3 miles from the city center :It displays collections of religious books, costumes, artifacts reflecting the role that the Jewish community has had in Morocco. When fundamentalist bombers attacked properties and businesses in 2003 it sparked the country’s largest protest demonstration in history, marching under the banner “Jews and Muslims, we are all citizens, we are all Moroccans”. Website: www.casajewishmuseum.com Continue to Rabat for Overnight.
After breakfast visit of Rabat : the political capital of the Kingdom since 1912. Visit to the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the Great Mosque, the unfinished Hassan Tower ,the magnificent Mohammed V Mausoleum . (The Mausoleum also holds the tomb of King Hassan II, son of Mohammed V). Next , visit the Jewish quarter with its narrow lanes and colourful courtyards, the near-by Mellah has a beautiful synagogue just inside its gates,while the main synagogue is found a few blocks onward in the New City. You will drive past the ramparts and the walls of Mechouar that encompass the Royal Palace. Outside the city walls of Rabat, you will visit another walled city, the ancient ruins of Chellah, where Jews are believed to have lived during the time of the Phoenicians. You might be interested to visit the private Belghazi Museum. Three generations of the Belghazi family have amassed a vast collection of traditional Moroccan pieces, consisting of Andalusia, Jewish, and Islamic arts and crafts. Optional lunch.
Departure for Meknes .Travel through lush rolling hills studded with the fertile plains of ancient olive groves and vineyards . Known as Moroccan Versailles" Meknes was founded at the end of the 17th Century 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. You may wish to visit the aging Talmud Torah in the Jewish Quarter and the new Mellah. Visit the tomb of Rabbi David Benmidan, who was the "Patron of Meknes" and is another pilgrimage shrine and Rabbi Daoud Boussidan .In the new Mellah there are 11 synagogues of which eight are still in use today. Your journey will continue until you reach Moulay Idriss : the holiest Muslim site in all of Morocco. Afterward, you will visit the extensive ruins at Volubilis, once the Roman capital of North-western Africa, which is an archaeological site . Arrival at Fez in the evening & overnight in Fez .
Breakfast at your hotel , The whole day will be devoted to the sightseeing of Fez, the oldest cultural and spiritual imperial city of Morocco, which was founded in 790 B.C by Moulay Idriss II. Spend a memorable morning taking a special look at the Jewish history and culture of traditional Morocco .Fez is among the best known cities in medieval Jewish history. Indeed, it was one the home of one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all times, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, as well as of Maimonides in the years 1160 to 1165 Highlights will also include the Mellah with all its Synagogues. Visit of Bhalil featuring the cemetery of Safroud where Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz are buried. The Mellah of Fez is over 650 years old. This picturesque neighbourhood adjoins the Royal Palace, noted for its recently constructed bright brass doors. Jews took shelter in this palace during the 1912 pogrom.
The nearby cemetery contains the tombs of more Jewish saints than any other cemetery in Morocco. One of the more important saints is Lalla Solica.The Synagogue of Roben Ben Sadou ,built in the 1920's, is decorated with exquisite plaster carving reminiscent of the decoration of traditional mosques and medersas. Visit the recently restored Aben Danan synagogue .
In the afternoon we will explore Medieval Medina, the Medersas, the El Qaraouiyyin Mosque, Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss II the founder of Fez in the ninth century who encouraged the Jews to move to Fez and the sumptuous Nejjarin fountain, Then we will visit countless souks and the famous tanneries . Overnight in Fez
After breakfast, You will leave Fez and its magnificent history heading to the magical south of the Morocco. In some small villages in the south, You will come across Jewish Heritage as quite good numbers of the Jews used to live all over the south of Morocco in co-existence with the local Berbers of the area. You will leave through the scenic Middle Atlas Mountains and charming cities of Ifrane and Azrou. The latter is very famous for its craftsmanship. Stop lunch in small town of Midelt, and continue south along the Ziz River until it finally dies out in the Sahara desert and you arrive at Erfoud. This town was the major Jewish population center of the Tafilelt, where Jews lived and financed the caravan trade with Sub-Saharan Africa from as early as the eighth century. Jews worked as merchants and artisans as late as the twentieth century. Highlights will include also the Jewish cemetery; it is sandy but otherwise well-preserved.
|Morning at leisure: Erfoud doesn't
have a whole lot to offer a tourist.
It's really close to the desert and
thus experiences regular blasts of
sand tearing through the streets. It
has two main attractions: the dates
festival and Erfoud's marble
industry. Optional lunch
PM excursion to Rissani : The
capital of the Tafilalet where the
Alaouites dynasty ancestors are
Visit of the 17th century Kasbah and
the imposing ruins of Ksar Abbar.
Dinner & overnight at the Hotel
OR : SEE BELOW THE 3 OPTIONS
Erfoud is the gateway to one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world, the amazing dunes at Erg Chebbi. In the afternoon Arrival at your hotel where you change vehicles to a 4-wheel drive and departure over a track road (about 1 hour 15 mn) Arrive at the spectacular dunes of Erg Chebbi which were featured in the film Lawrence of Arabia. The dunes are a majestic sight and you can spend as much time as you like walking among them as you witness the sunset. If you get too tired or seem to go too far, there are several camel drivers who will find you and bring you back! Return to your hotel for a late supper
|Drive by 4x4 from Erfoud, 55 km .
En route you would stop at a fossil
quarry and visit the lake. If there is
water, you have to witness a
spectacular cluster of wild birds.
Proceed to desert, the golden sand
dunes of Merzouga, one of the
unforgettable sights in Morocco.
Switching to camels, and trek into the
vast and silent Sahara, to a Berber
camp for overnight
|Magic and unusual venue for an unforgettable experience
On arrival at the Camp, you would be greeted in a big nomadic
tent (made with camel hair). On the ground: Carpets, tables
and traditional chairs & lamps.
Light: Burning wood fire, storm lanterns and a light generator
for the whole camp.
Table set up (minimum basis): White or coloured napkins,
tables and traditional Chairs
Dinner: Meals are served on a round table for 6 to 8 pax.
Sample of menu served during a seated bivouac dinner:
*Variety of Moroccan salads Tagine with chicken, lemon and
olives*Tagine with beef and prunes*Kebab*Seasonal fruits*
Mint tea & Moroccan pastries
Sanitary: Chemical toilets, toilets paper and soap, hot water,
Optional Entertainment upon request: Folkloric entertainment,
blue men with torch, dromedaries.
Belly dancers, Henna, snakes charmer, monkey tamers,
fantasia (depends on location)…
Open air night club with DJ or orchestra, stage, lightning.
|One night in the sand dunes and Camel riding (according to the Bedouin way of life).
Upon your arrival, camels would be
waiting for you to experience an
unforgettable ride. The «desert
ship» would carry you through sand
dunes and spectacular scenery.
It will be followed by a magical guided-tour
and the admiration of astar studded sky.
Then a bivouac would be set up
around a wood fire.
Bedouin traditional dinner and
accommodation will be provided
under a nomadic tent.
||No one ever regretted getting up at 5 am to witness the
unique sunrise : admire and watch the pink disc of the
sun appearing over the gigantic dunes of
Merzouga.Depart for Tinghir with a detour to the
inspiring Todra Gorges, where you can stop for tea or
lunch You approach via palm grove oases and actually
cross a stream to get there! we will start the city tour of
Tinghir where a good number of Jews used to live
during the 20th century. We will visit the Jewish quarter,
the area where Jews used to live in co-existence of the
local Berbers, and the Jewish Cemetery. After the visit of
Tinghir, we will head to Ouarzazate through the route of
the one thousand and one Kasbahs. On the way, we will
pass via the Dades Valley, one of the longest valleys in
Morocco, and El Kelaa M’Gouna. The latter is famous
for cultivating roses, and every year, there is a big
festival celebrating this beautiful crop. In Kelaa Mgouna
also, many products extracted from roses are to be
expected. We will continue our tour to Ouarzazate.
Dinner & overnight at the Hotel.
||Breakfast & Visit of Ouarzazate
including Tiffeltout ,Kasbah
Taourirt, considered as one of the
most beautiful kasbah in Morocco.
Visit of Tomb Of David O Moche
and the village of Ait Ben Haddou,
the most spectacular fortress in
the south of Morocco and the film
making village where many great
films were shot.
Continuation to Marrakech through
the Tichka pass (2260m).
Dinner and Overnight in Marrakech
After breakfast, we will have a full day city tour of Marrakech to discover its rich Jewish Heritage along with some other historical monuments of the city. Our city tour will include the former and current synagogues within the Mellah near which we will also find an original Jewish cemetery, several centuries old. The cemetery is now below ground-level, completely covered, and hidden by a second "generation" (level) of graves. The current cemetery, at ground level, dates back about 200 to 300 years. Our city tour of Marrakech will also include the defining landmark of the city, the 12th century tiled minaret of the Koutoubia. Next to it, the Saadian tombs and Menara garden. Later we will enjoy sometime walk around the famous Jemaa El Fna square with its snake charmers, fortune tellers and acrobats… Optional Dinner in a typical Moroccan restaurant with folklore show.Overnight in Marrakech.
|The rural areas surrounding Marrakech
have the heaviest concentration of
Jewish saints of anywhere in Morocco.
- Demnate, northeast of Marrakech, is one of the few rural towns with a well
developed mellah, as well as a cemetery
with the saint David Draa Halevy.
- Near-by Sidi Rahal has the
mausoleum of Jacob Mahamias, called
- South of Marrakesh, in the ancient
town of Aghbalou in the Ourika Valley,
the tomb of Saloman Bel-Hench is
cared for by one of the few remaining
Berber Jews in Morocco.
30 km from Marrakech, this valley makes its way through the High Atlas Mountains, passing by a string of local villages then leading to the discovery of a small rivers, Lunch at local restaurant or under road along the valley is Setti –Fatima, famous for its seven waterfalls. Visit the tomb of Rabbi Shlomo, perched on the edge of a mountain above a river valley sits the 500 year-old tomb of an emissary from the land of Israel who died while on a fundraising trip in southern Morocco. The Rabbi Shlomo (Solomon) has been given the moniker “Bel-Hench” (“Son of the Snake”) and remains one of the most revered Jewish saints in Morocco, including by Muslims, who call him “Mul Asguine.” What makes his tomb even more remarkable is a living man who has resided there for over 30 years: Hananiyah Alfassi, the last Berber Jew in the Ourika Valley. Hannaniyah guards the rabbi’s tomb,
Visit of Essaouira. Formerly known as Mogador, the quaint fishing village has a Portuguese influence. Visit the bustling fish market, and the ramparts and bastions which served as the location for the Orson Welles film version of Othello. Visit the fortifications and the excellent factories which sell locally carved and polished thuya wood products. Today the town is considered a resort area and is known for windsurfing., but a generation ago there were thousands of Jewish inhabitants in the town. Even though today there are only a few families left you can visit the mellah where you can see the blue and white painted houses with the Stars of David above the doorways of former Jewish homes. Essaouira is the site of an annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Haïm Pinto died 1845. whose home and synagogue are preserved as an historic and religious site. It is situated in the Mellah. The hiloula of Haïm Pinto is held in September. Tomb Of Rabbi David Attar. Overnight.
Departure to Safi . Visit of the Portuguese Sea Castle, the Pottery's hill and the Jewish synagogue and Tombs of Ullad Zmirou. Optional lunch in Oualidia (Seaside resort) famous with its Oyster-Farming . Visit of Azemmour for Tomb of Rabbi Yhia El Khdar or Short visit of El Jadida once called “Mazagan” by the Portuguese and drive to Casablanca. Dinner and overnight.
- Transfer to Casablanca airport .
- Assistance and flight back Home
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