Discover Jewish Mellah’s in Morocco – 12 days
Discover Jewish Mellah’s in Morocco – 12 days & Traveling through Morocco, you will encounter a fascinating culture and image of the Jewish life. Your tour will shed light on the traces of the Jewish Heritage infused in the Moroccan culture.
Itinerary : Private 12 Days heritage tour
Day 1 : Arrival to Casablanca
Welcome to Morocco! Arrival to Med V airport in Casablanca where you will meet your driver. The driver will provide a brief review of your tour. Dinner & night at the hotel.
Day 2 : Casablanca – Rabat
Start your Morocco jewish & culture tour. After breakfast at the hotel, you will have an orientation tour of Casablanca the economic capital. The tour will begin with the Habbous Quarter, the United Nations Square, the exterior of royal palace and the internal visit of Hassan II Mosque. Visit the Jewish quarter (Mellah) with its temples and synagogues such as Bet-El, Em Habanim and Neve Shalom. You will have a guided visit through the Jewish heritage Museum for a glimpse into the rich and colorful world of Moroccan Jewry. Depart to Rabat to visit the Chellah and Kasbah of Oudayas located next to the Medina within the ramparts of the old city. The Mellah, with its narrow lanes and colorful courtyards, now the home of few Jewish families. Continue to Sale as the birthplace of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Moses Attar, the famous 18th Century scholar and Kabbalist, known throughout the Jewish world for his bible commentary the “or hahayyim.” Overnight with dinner in Rabat.
Day 3 : Rabat – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes
After breakfast, you will start a fresh day towards the imperial city of Meknes where the Jewish presence is evidenced by Hebraic epitaph dating from the Christian era as well as Greek inscriptions that still appear in local synagogues where the tomb of Rabbi David Ben imdan, “the patron of Meknes” is located. The crowded old Mellah, known by historic Jewish streets names is not to be missed. There is also the new Mellah (Jewish ghetto) which harbors eleven synagogues, eight of which are still in use. The tour will include a visit to Bab El Mansour, the Hedim Square and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismael. Continue to Fes via Volubilis, a very preserved Roman city. Check in at the hotel and overnight with dinner.
Day 4 : Visit Heritage of jewish in Fes
Today will be a full day guided tour to Fes. Fez has been considered as one of the best known cities in medieval Jewish history, it was home to one of the most influential Talmudic scholars of all times, Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, as well as Maimonides in the years of 1160 to 1165. Visit the Mellah with its synagogue. Fez is a spiritual and cultural center with many facets. The tour will take you back in time while visiting Al Quaraouiyine University, the oldest university in the world (before even Oxford or the Sorbonne). We will also visit the medieval Medina with its Bou Anania Medersa, the Nejjarine fountain, the Moulay Idriss Mausoleum. Afterwards, continue to explore the narrow alleys house hundreds of merchants and craftsmen selling a range of products such as dates, fish, spices, copper urns and musical instruments. Overnight with breakfast at your hotel.
Day 5 : Fes – Sefrou – Fes
Today you will have a day trip not far from Fes so the drive won’t be too long and that would give you more time to enjoy our destination which is Sefrou, the capital of cherries. This town was known as Little Jerusalem due to its high percentage of Jews and its well-developed religious life. En route to Sefrou make a short stop in Bhalil to visit the cemetery where Rabbi Lahou Harroch and Rabbi Raphael Moshe Elbaz are buried. This village is distinguished for its distinctive cave houses located in the old part of the town, and for its blend of colored homes, linked together by a network of bridges. Some of the cave houses in Bhalil are routinely open to tourists to visit, but are rapidly disappearing as the village modernizes. Arrival to Sefrou which was once a major center for Morocco’s Jews and its walled white pedestrian medina is still characterized by their houses with wooden balconies. Overnight with breakfast at the hotel in Fez.
Day 6 : Fes – Ifrane – Midelt – Erfoud – Merzuga Desert
Today departure South East towards Erfoud via Ifrane city and the cedar Forest. It is said that Ifrane was the capital of a Jewish kingdom in the far off past. Not to be missed the village’s only synagogues and the cemetery, which has been the center of pilgrimage for Moroccan Jews for centuries. Stop in Midelt and continue Erfoud. From there a 4×4 jeep with a driver at the clients disposal for the sunset and Bivouac at Merzouga dunes. Optional overnight with dinner at the Berber tent in the Camp or return to Erfoud for accommodation at the hotel.
Day 7 : Merzuga Desert – Todra Gorges – Rose valley – Ouarzazate
Your day starts early with a picturesque sunrise before enjoying a special breakfast, head back to Merzouga to re-join your car to continue the tour to Todra Gorges known for its impressive bare escarpments. Continue to Tinghir and visit its Mellah gateway and the ancient colorful Jewish quarter. We continue the journey to Ouarzazate via Kellat M’gouna and visit of Tiliit (5 miles from Kellat M’gouna), known as the ancient city of Jews of the Dades. The fortresds of Tiliit has been the center of Jewish region ruled by the Spanish – Jewish family of Perez from the end of the 15th century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672. Continue to the hollywood of Africa Ouarzazate, check in at hotel and overnight with dinner.
Day 8 : Ouarzazate- Ait benhadou – Atlas Mountains – Marrakech
After breakfast at the hotel. Our Discover Jewish Mellah’s in Morocco – 12 days Continues. you will have some time to explore “the Hollywood of Africa” Ouarzazate, whose geography and beautiful landscapes has attracted many world class movie producers. Here you may choose to visit the studios where some of the famous movies were filmed such as The Mummy and Gladiator. You will have time to explore the Jewish Quarter “Mellah” We will pass by Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah as a UNESCO heritage site and, the most spectacular fortress village in the south of Morocco and the iconic landscape immortalized in such films as, Lawrence of Arabia, The Man Who Would Be King, Jesus of Nazareth, The Jewel of the Nile, The Living Daylights, The Sheltering Sky, The Mummy, Gladiator, and Alexander. After that, we will begin to cross the high Atlas Mountains with many panoramic views and attractive Berber villages to reach Marrakech. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
Day 9 : Marrakech Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast, you will meet your tour guide for a sightseeing tour of Marrakech where the Jewish community increased in 1603. The Saadian dynasty, made Marrakech their capital, and extended the Jewish quarter Mellah into a home of a thriving community of native Spanish Jews, famed for its rabbinical schools and scholars. Visit the Rabbi Hanania Hacohen Cemetery which is also the burial place of Rabbi Mordekhai Ben Attar and Rabbi Pinhas Hacohen Azough known as the “patron of Marrakech.” The city tour will include the former and current synagogues. On the afternoon, strolling through the narrow streets of the old medina of Marrakech discovering artisans still working in the old-age traditional way. End up at Djemaa El Fna Square, considered to be the most famous and popular place in Marrakech. Overnight with breakfast at the hotel.
Day 10 : Marrakech – Essaouira
Depart from Marrakech west to the coastal city of Essaouira easily navigable and ideal for a free day. Essaouira was fortified by a French-influenced architect named Vauban, and also formed the settling ground for a large Jewish population, so the city has an eclectic, multicultural feel of Jewish heritage. As a result of these influences, Essaouira has become the premiere destination for artists and intellectuals. The city’s stable microclimate gives it a mild winter and a cool summer, so you can make the most of the beaches year round. Don’t leave Essaouira without visiting the local artisans, who are known for their marquetry furniture intricate designs inlaid in the roots of cedar. Overnight with dinner at the hotel.
Day 11 : Essaouira – Safi – El Jadida – Casablanca
Today you will drive back to Casablanca having completed a journey that has led you through immeasurable antiquity. Upon arrival to Safi, you visit the Portuguese Sea Castle, the Pottery’s hill ,the Jewish synagogue and Tombs of Ullad Zmirou. Then, to El Jadida, the 18th century Portuguese citadel later served as the Jewish quarter. It is possible to climb the bastions, where a star of David can be seen on an abandoned synagogue, which was converted from a Portuguese court house. Next to the Portuguese city is a large Jewish cemetery. The tombstones of Jewish translators and employees of foreign consuls demonstrate the Jewish role in 19th century trade with Europe. The saint Yahia Assouline is buried in this cemetery. You will conclude your day with a dinner and spend the night at the Hotel in Casablanca.
Day 12 : Casablanca – back to the airport
Transfer to Casablanca Mohammed V International airport. where our Discover Jewish Mellah’s in Morocco – 12 days ends.