"JUDAISM WAS THE FIRST ORGANIZED RELIGION TO BE INTRODUCED PEACEFULLY TO THE INDIGENOUS BERBER OF MOROCCO."
Jews came as merchants first by way of the desert with sub-Saharan caravans trading through Egypt and North Africa also the land of Sudan which is subsara or Sahel countries of today. This is the reason we find their early presence so rooted in the valley of Draa. Later they came trading sea faring with the Phoenicians in the early millenum BC. Traces of earlier existence can be traced in ritual and believe of early Berber. Engraves on the anti Atlas caves and rocks are strong evidence. Also the influence that we can find in the characters of Tafinagh early Berber script can lead us to an early presence of Jews in Morocco beyond the dates already established. Moroccan Jews locate their origins in the ancient kingdom of Israel. Legends recount that during the reigns of Prophet David and Solomon, merchants reached the southern parts of Morocco namely the Antis Atlas and the Draa valley. Ifrane in most southern part of Morocco is considered to be the oldest settlement estimated to be between the deportation of the ten tribes by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 587 BC. At first Diaspora Moroccan Jewish communities have been strongly present in southern Morocco not only to legitimize their roots in Moroccan soil but to establish their links to the Jewish world and the ancient land of Israel (361 BC)
You will arrive at the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, you will meet our guide, who will take you directly to your hotel, so that you can check in and relax before beginning your busy day. You will spend the remainder of your day visiting Casablanca's most esteemed monuments, including the recently completed Mosque Hassan II (one of the largest mosques outside of Mecca). You will tour the Quartier Habous, visiting the Law Courts and the Gates of the royal palace, and then at low tide, you will go to see the island of the Marabout Sidi Abderrahman. Afterward, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
After eating breakfast at your hotel, you will depart for Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. There, you will visit the Hassan Tower, the Chella Necropolis, and the Kasbah des Oudaias, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, you will see the Mausoleum of Mohamed V, grandfather of the ruling king, Mohamed VI. Revered by Muslims and Jews alike, Mohamed V was able to save Moroccan Jews from the fate of their European brethren during the Vichy regime's occupation in World War Two. Additionally, he achieved Morocco's independence from France in 1961. After visiting these spectacular monuments, you will go to a newly opened, private museum just outside Rabat. Founded by the 1991 Prix d'Or recipient, a craftsman and collector responsible for the restoration of the 27 domes of the mosque at Medina, it holds one of the finest collections of Moroccan crafts and relics in the world. Your journey will continue until you reach Moulay Idriss. For those who are unable to make the pilgrimage to Mecca for the Hajj duty, it is of equal merit to make five trips to Moulay Idriss, the holiest Muslim site in all of Morocco. Afterward, you will visit the extensive ruins at Volubilis, once the Roman capital of Northwestern Africa. You will complete the last leg of the day's journey, and will arrive at Fez in the evening. There, you will check into your hotel in the Ville Nouvelle, where you will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations.
You will spend your morning exploring the Fez J'did and the Mellah (Jewish quarter.) There, you will visit synagogues that date back to the seventeenth century, as well as the vast Jewish cemetery, which is adjacent to the gates of the Royal Palace, and the Jewish Museum, located at the Em HaBanim synagogue. Afterward, you will tour Fez el-Bali, visiting the medressa Bou Inania (a Koranic university), the Fondouk Nejjarine, the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss II, the Medressa Attarine, the famous tanneries, the House of Maimonides, which its fascinating water clock, and several other intriguing sites. The narrow, cobbled streets of Fez are lined with ancient mosques, towering minarets, crumbling fondouks (inns for medieval travelers), and narrow openings, which lead to a fascinating world filled with carved cedar portals, brilliantly colored mosaic tiles, delicately carved stucco ornaments, and green glazed roofs. This is a world caught in the past; veiled women hurry through the streets, donkeys plod along, laden with goods, and craftsmen forge their wares almost ceremoniously. Here, our staff will arrange for you a visit to a privately owned, 18th century Riad, a traditional Islamic courtyard house which was once one of the wealthiest mansions in Fez. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
You will spend your morning on an excursion to Meknes, visiting its famous city gates and the tomb of Moulay Ismail, both magnificent examples of Islamic architecture. You will then explore the Imperial quarters of Moulay Ismail, including the renowned Imperial Stables. You will spend your afternoon hiking at Ifrane and Immouzer heights, after which you will return to Fez for dinner and other accommodations.
Your morning will be spent traveling to Marrakech via the Middle Atlas Mountains and Ifrane. You will stop briefly to visit the Cascade of Ouzoud, and will spend your afternoon hiking. That evening, you will arrive in Marrakech, where you will immediately check into your hotel. Afterward, you will spend the remainder of your time before dinner at the bustling Jemaa el Fnaa Square, alive with storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, and street performers. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
After eating breakfast at your hotel, you will spend your morning exploring the Mellah, where you will see the cemetery and numerous synagogues. Afterward, you will discover the most exotic features of Marrakech, including the towering Koutoubia minaret, the Saadien Tombs, the Menara Gardens, the Medersa ben Youssef, the domed Koubba, the Dar Si Said Museum, the Maison Tiskiwin, the Bahia Palace, and Yves St. Laurent's Majorelle Gardens. You will return to your hotel for lunch and then venture into the colorful markets of Marrakech, replete with spices, carpets, jewelry, and countless other items. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
You will eat breakfast at your hotel, after which there will be an optional morning excursion to the Ourika Valley of the High Atlas Mountains. There, you can stroll through adobe villages with centuries of Jewish heritage. You will devote your afternoon to hiking in the valley, full of breathtaking scenery. In the evening, there will be an optional dinner at Yacout, the finest restaurant in all of Morocco.
Breakfast will be available in your hotel, and you will have the remainder of the morning at your leisure. In the early afternoon, you will travel to the seaside city of Essaouira, where you will check into your hotel. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to explore this former Portuguese colony. The town was once over thirty percent Jewish and contained over thirty synagogues, some dating back to the eighteenth century. You will visit some of these synagogues, as well as the tomb of Rabbi Chaim Pinto, who is the object of an annual pilgrimage in the week preceding Rosh Hashanah, situated in the vast Jewish cemetery adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. You will spend the rest of your day discovering the delights of Essaouira, including the ramparts, and the street of Thuya craftsmen. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
After eating breakfast at your hotel, you will have the remainder of the morning to complete your exploration of Essaouira. In the afternoon, you will depart for Taroudant, where you will check into your hotel, a former palace built against the city ramparts, where peacocks roam freely through the colorful gardens. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations.
You will eat breakfast at your hotel, and then enjoy an excursion to the nearby village of Arazan. There, you will visit the newly restored adobe synagogue, which is believed to be the only adobe synagogue in the world. With Hebrew prayers painted on its earthen walls, this gem is one of Morocco's best-kept secrets. You will spend the remainder of the morning exploring the village, with the rare opportunity of visiting a private home. You will have the afternoon to discover the beauty of Taroudant, followed by dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.
You will spend your morning on an excursion to Tafraout and the beautiful Valley des Ameln. Then, you will visit a weekly souk, one of the vital institutions of rural Morocco's economy, in the village of Ait Baha. You will spend the remainder of your day exploring the village of Tafrout and hiking to "Les Pierres Bleues," a project completed in 1984 by Belgian artist Jean Verame, who used over 18 tons of paint. You will then return to your hotel in Taroudant for dinner and other accommodations.
After breakfast at your hotel, your driver will take you to Agadir airport, where you will catch a plane to Casablanca. There, you will board a plane home bound.
We use 2018 model coaches that offer total comfort and safety. The hotels, meanwhile, are comfortable and well chosen. $ 5 per day per person is required as a tips for the guide ($ 3) and the driver ($ 2).
|August 24, 2020||$4,900||Available|