AACI invites you to enter a world of mystery. Morocco 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; wander the streets of the great cities. Fez is a stunning array of medieval buildings; the world-famous souk of Marrakech sells a bewildering array of goods; Casablanca, is a thriving commercial center, and Rabat reflects its modern French origins. The snow-capped Atlas Mountains lie inland. Beyond them are the fringes of the parched Sahara. Whether scaling distant ridges, eating authentic kosher Moroccan cuisine, gazing at ancient wonders or marveling at the pink of a desert dawn, in Morocco, you will be mesmerized.
Day 1 Thursday October 15th Arrive at Casablanca airport where we meet our local guide.
Check into hotel and enjoy dinner at a restaurant.
Day 2 Friday October 16th An early drive to Rabat, the Imperial capital where we visit the exteriors of the Royal Palace, the Mellah, the Mohamed V mausoleum, Hassan Tower and the Oudayas before returning to Casablanca to prepare for Shabbat.
Tefillah at a nearby synagogue then Shabbat dinner.
Day 3 Shabbat October 17th Tefillah and Shabbat Lunch.
Enjoy an afternoon guided walking tour in the area.
After Seudah Shlishit and Havdallah drive along the Corniche by night to see this cosmopolitan city in action.
Day 4 Sunday October 18th Check out of our hotel. Visit Hassan II Mosque, the largest Mosque in Africa.
Leave Casablanca for 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.
Travel to Fez and enjoy dinner with the community.
Day 5 Monday October 19th Today will be mostly devoted to Fez, the religious and cultural capital of Morocco, which combines old and new. There will be a guided tour with a local English-speaking guide. The area of Fez 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 in Morocco – as well as the Jewish cemetery and the Abu Danan Synagogue in the mellah`. We’ll view the Dynastic Tombs and city as a whole from the green roofs and walls of Fez. 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 Fez
Day 6 Tuesday October 20th After breakfast 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 for lunch 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 Ta
filalt 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 7 Wednesday October 21st
We‘ll 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‘ll examine how the locals store water for the long dry season. We will continue to Tinghir, one of the most beautiful o
ases in southern Morocco. Toward evening we‘ll 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.
Dinner and Overnight in Ouarzazate.
Day 8 Thursday October 22nd Time will be spent in the area of Ait Ben Haddou with its wonderful Kasbah, now under the protection of UNESCO. Its ochre walls have been the backdrop for many a Hollywood movie, including recently Gladiator. We also visit the Taourirt Kasbah home of the Glaoui family who ruled Morocco during the French protectorate. Onto the Tiz’n Tichka pass to the Red City of Marrakech.
We also see Marrakech by night taking in the famous Djemma El Fna square with its’ fortune tellers, dancers, snake charmers and water sellers. This square really is the heart of Marrakech. You will have time to wander around or just sit in one of the roof top cafes surrounding the square. Sit and enjoy this incredible picture postcard – a living theatre before returning to our hotel.
Dinner and overnight in Marrakech
Day 9 Friday October 23rd Morning Jeep tour to Ourika, also known as ‘Valley of the Jews’, to enjoy the view of the red wild scenery and the picturesque villages among the mountains.
Before Shabbat visit the Yves St Laurent museum time permitting.
Tefilah at the local synagogue and dinner with the community.
Day 10 Shabbat October 24th 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 11 Sunday October 25th Today our sightseeing will begin 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.
Dinner and overnight in Essaouira
Day 12 Monday October 26th After breakfast, we travel to Safi and visit the mellah in the Northern part of the medina, the sanctuary of Oulad Ben Zmirou and the Portuguese fortress.
We will continue to Azemmour and explore the historic Kasbah and the attractive Jewish quarter. On up the coast to Safi famous for its potteries then further up the coast to El Jadida and Azzemour again strongly Jewish cities of old. Arrive in Casablanca where we visit the Jewish Museum and check into hotel for an overnight stay.
Dinner and overnight in Casablanca.
Day 13 Tuesday October 27th Enjoy some free time and transfer to airport for our flight home.
Price: $4250 per person in a double room for AACI members Currency Converter
$4325 per person in a double room for non-AACI members
$980 Single supplement / Credit if not taking flights (Land only) $450
Flights from Israel
12 night’s hotel accommodation
Kosher full board including provisions to make sandwiches for lunch
Local English-speaking guides in Fez and Marrakesh
Sightseeing and other activities, and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
Chez Ali show in Marrakesh
Tips for driver, local guides, waiters
English-speaking tour leader from Israel
AACI staff escort
Water on the bus
*Insurance *Drinks during the meals *Overweight luggage *Any other item not mentioned in “Included”