Travel

AACI Kosher Morocco   

November 21- December 1, 2022
11 days / 10 nights

AACI’s Morocco tour is an initiation into the magic of the Jewish, Islamic, Arabic, African world of Medinas, Minarets, Synagogues, deserts and mountains. Imbibe the spirit of Morocco and wander this fascinating country. Fes a stunning array of medieval buildings, Marrakech with its world-famous souk; Casablanca, a thriving commercial center, Rabat reflecting its modern French origins. Viewing these amazing places as well as the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the parched Sahara. Whether scaling distant ridges, jeeping, haggling for exotic artifacts, gazing at ancient wonders or marveling at the pink of a desert dawn, Morocco, will amaze you!

Day 1 Monday: Casablanca – Meknes – Fes
Our journey begins with our arrival to Casablanca the most important city in Morocco. From there we will travel to the city of Meknes which was built by Sultan Mulai Ismail in the 17th century and which is fondly known as the “Versailles of Morocco.” Meknes was a lively Jewish center until its Jewish inhabitants made aliyah with the founding of the State of Israel. We’ll tour the many sites that adorned the city in the times of Sultan Ismail, including the famous Mansur Gate.  After our visit we will continue to Fes for dinner and overnight in FesDay 2 Tuesday – Fes
Today will be mostly devoted to Fes, the religious and cultural capital of Morocco, which combines old and new. There will be a guided tour with a local guide. The area of Fes is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its narrow lanes with their workshops remain as they have been for hundreds of years. We’ll visit the Royal Palace square, which is by the Jewish quarter – the oldest mellah (Jewish quarter) in Morocco – as well as the Jewish cemetery and the Abu Danan Synagogue. We’ll view the Dynastic Tombs and city as a whole from the green roofs and walls of Fes. From the rooftops we’ll see the tannery quarter where hides are treated and visit a ceramics factory where we’ll learn about this unique local craft. The city’s ramparts surround a maze of winding alleys and a bustling market divided according to the guilds of its artisans.Dinner and overnight in FesDay 3 Wednesday: Fes – Ifran – Midelt – Erfoud
Today we have a long journey as we travel to Ifran, a Swiss-type Moroccan town, located at 1600 meters above sea level. The entire area is surrounded by magnificent monkey-inhabited cedar forests. The town also hosts the Peace University, where members of the three monotheistic religions were supposed to have studied together. We will follow the old caravan trail South, stopping in Midelt, a market town set in the high plains between the Middle and High Atlas Mountain ranges. We continue along the palm fringed Ziz Valley, famous for date cultivation, to the Tafilalt oasis on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Our day ends in Erfoud, where beautiful views across the shimmering Sahara have made this a popular location with filmmakers. Dinner and overnight in Erfoud.Day 4: Thursday: Erfoud – Merzouga duens – Todra Gorge – Ouarzazate
Rise and shine! We get up very early this morning and head out by Jeep to the Merzouga dunes, the largest dunes in the world, part of the western Sahara, from where we‘ll view a fantastic desert sunrise (weather permitting), and then return to Erfoud for Tefillah & breakfast. After breakfast we travel to the Todra Gorge at the southern edge of the High Atlas Mountains. We’ll see some magnificent scenery, dotted with orchards and Berber villages. We will examine how the locals store water for the long dry season. We will continue to Tinghir, one of the most beautiful oases in southern Morocco. Toward evening we arrive at the French-built regional city Ouarzazate. We’ll see the traditional villages and picturesque Kasbahs which are often used as backgrounds in the production of Hollywood movies.

Day 5: Friday: Quarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marrakech
Today we will visit Ait Benhaddou in the High Atlas Mountains. We continue through the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to Marrakech – the ‘Red City’. Like many other former imperial cities in Morocco, Marrakesh is comprised of an old, fortified city – the medina – and an adjacent modern city. Marrakech is home to Morocco’s largest traditional market (‘souk’) where you might like to do some shopping… we’ll arrive to our hotel and begin preparing for Shabbat.
Tefilah at the local synagogue and dinner with the community.

Day 6: Shabbat: Marrakech
Tefillah and Shabbat Lunch.
Enjoy an afternoon guided walking tour in the area.
Seudah Shlishit and Havdallah. In the evening, we’ll all go out to see “Fantasia” – a Berber folklore show.

Day 7: Sunday: Marrakech – Ourika Valley – Marrakesh
“The Red City” or the “Pearl of the South” are but two of the names given to Marrakesh – the most beautiful city in Morocco that lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. The city is divided in two: the new and the ancient. We will visit the Almanara Gardens and the city center with its lively markets. We will pass through the Melah, and stop by the Koutoubia Mosque, visit a Berber pharmacy and the Bahia Palace. Out next visit is the Melah where Jews no longer live, but where there is an ancient 500-year-old synagogue. We’ll tour the “medina” – the market quarter of the city. The market is a mass of colors, voices and smells, a polyglot of all the treasures that exist in this country. The ‘medina” is divided according to type of product: an area for silver houses silversmiths and silver copper and jewelry. We will end the day with a visit to the Ourika valley also known as “Valley of the Jews” and enjoy a view of the red wild scenery and the picturesque villages among the mountains. We return to Marrakech for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Monday: Marrakech – Essaouira
Today our sightseeing begins in Essaouira, a former Portuguese Mogador stronghold. In the 18th century, the Alaouite Sultan Mohamed Ben Abdallah charged some prominent Jewish families to promote international trade from the port of Essaouira. Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located. Former inhabitants of Essaouira, most of them Jewish, formed a committee to rehabilitate the town. The Jewish cemetery, just outside the city gates, is extremely well kept. Two historical synagogues should be renovated soon “Slat Rabbi Haim Pinto and Slat Attias”. Dinner & Overnight in Essaouira.

Day 9: Tuesday: Essaouira – Safi – Casablanca
This morning we will visit Safri and the Mellah in the Northern part of the medina, the sanctuary of Oulad Ben Zmirou and the Portuguese fortress. We will visit El Jadida, a major port city of the Atlantic coast of Morocco. After the tour we will continue to Casablanca. Upon arrival we’ll take a panoramic tour of the city during which we’ll see the newer part of this North African metropolis, including the United Nations Square, renowned for the Neo Moorish buildings that surround it, and the fountains, which sprays water all around. From there we’ll head to the Great Mosque built half on land and half on water. Many of Morocco’s finest artists and artisans worked for many years to create this magnificent edifice. In fact, every Moroccan citizen donated funds for the project in one way or another to ensure that the project’s costs, which soared to over $800 million, would be covered. The mosque’s minaret rises to a height of 200 meters, and its central prayer hall can hold thousands of worshippers. This is a true architectural wonder. We will visit the new and old cities, the colorful bazaars and the promenade along the ocean.

Overnight in Casablaca.

Day 10: Wednesday – Casablanca – Rabat
Today we will visit the capital of Rabat, where we’ll visit the Tour Hassan, the yet to be completed mammoth mosque. Then it’s off to see the King’s Palace and the mausoleum of King Hassan V as well as numerous other important sites.

After the visit we will drive back to our hotel in Casablanca

Day 11 Thursday: Casablanca – flight back home
After Tefilla and breakfast we sadly bid farewell to Morocco. Our tour is now over and we will take our memories with us as we head to the airport from where we take our flights home.

 

Price does not include flights:
NIS 8,900 per person in a double room
NIS 10,900 single supplement.

NIS 250 pp addition for non AACI member or join AACI
Prices are subject to change due to possible rise in port and fuel taxes to be determined by the airlines after 1.8.2022

Price includes:
*10 night’s hotel accommodation at good 4 & 5 star properties
*Kosher full board including provisions to make sandwiches for lunch
*Deluxe bus
*Sightseeing and other activities, and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
*Fantasia – Berber Folklore Show
*Tips for driver, local guides, waiters
*English-speaking tour leader from Israel
*AACI staff escort
*Water on the bus

Not Included:
*Insurance
*Drinks during the meals
*Any other item not mentioned in “Included”

Terms of payment:
Upon Registration – 50%
By September 28, 2022 full payment
Cancellation:
From time of registration until September 28, 2022: 50% per person
From: September 29, 2022 to day of departure: 100%

Flight details: Flight times subject to change.
Depart: Monday, November 21, flight IB3317 depart Tel Aviv-BG: 06:00. Arrival in Casablanca 13:10
Return: Thursday, December 1, 2023 flight IB3301 depart Casablanca 13:50. Arrival in Israel 22:45
Prices are subject to change due to possible rise in port and fuel taxes to be determined by the airlines after 1.9.2022

AACI Kosher Morocco Registration Form

For further details please call Carole at AACI 02-5661181 ext. 310 or email: info@aaci.org.il