Itinerary for past tours

 
Day 1 Monday: Casablanca – Marrakesh
Arrival to Casablanca, meeting and orientation. We‘ll take the scenic route from Casablanca to Marrakesh, Pearl of the South. If there‘s time after dinner we‘ll visit one of the first jewels of our tour, the lively, bustling Jemaa el-Fna Square. Here food stalls are jammed together, water sellers, snake charmers, story tellers and “healers” of every type and kind. Alternately, we recommend taking a carriage ride through the city.

Day 2 Tuesday: 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’ll visit the Almanara Gardens and the city center with its lively markets. We’ll pass through the Melah, and stop by the Koutoubia Mosque, visit a Berber pharmacy and the Bahia Palace. We’ll visit a Melah where Jews no longer live, but where there is an ancient synagogue that is more than 500 years old. 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 dealers, while gold is dealt in a different area, and rows upon rows of stalls sell leather, copper and jewelry. We‘ll end the day with a visit to the Ourika valley also known as ‘Valley of the Jews’ and enjoy the view of the red wild scenery and the picturesque villages among the mountains. Then we‘ll return to the Marrakech. In the evening, we recommend seeing “Fantasia” – a Berber folklore show.

Day 3 Wednesday: Marrakesh – Aït Benhaddou – Ouarzazate
After breakfast we‘ll head to the French built regional city Ouarzazate. Along the way we‘ll stop at Aït Benhaddou, a Kasbah built in the 16th century and considered one of the most beautiful in Morocco. Upon arrival to Ouarzazate, we‘ll start with a panoramic tour of the city. We’ll then continue through beautiful scenery, traditional villages and picturesque Kasbahs which are often used as backgrounds in the production of Hollywood movies.

Day 4 Thursday: Ouarzazate – Tenerir – Todra Gorge - Erfoud
After breakfast we’ll start making our way toward the desert. We‘ll pass the city of Tenerir as 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. Toward evening we‘ll arrive at Erfoud, the place from where the famous Abu Hatzeira rabbinic dynasty originates.

Day 5 Friday: Erfoud – Midelt - Ifran - Fes
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 breakfast. After breakfast we’ll cross two important rivers, the Ziz and the Riche which lie along the Middle and High Atlas Mountains, an area of magnificent scenic vistas. We’ll stop at a cedar nature reserve where we’ll see towering cedar trees. From the mountain tops we’ll see the oasis of Tafilalt palm groves in the Sahara Desert; this amazing oasis runs for 50 kilometers, all along dotted with millions of date palm. We‘ll stop for lunch at the town of Midelt. We’ll travel along the oasis until we reach 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. After the tour continue to Fes, transfer to hotel to prepare for Shabbat. Shabbat prayers and meals in Fes.

Day 6, Shabbat Fes
After Shabbat services and lunch we‘ll taking a walking tour to the new city areas of Fes. After Shabbat we‘ll enjoy a typical Moroccan folklore evening and possibly a Moroccan wedding.

Day 7, Sunday Fes
Today will be mostly devoted to this, 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 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 square of the Royal Palace, which is alongside the Jewish quarter – the oldest Melah in Morocco, as well as the Jewish cemetery and the Abu Danan Synagogue in the Melah. 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 we’ll 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 the guilds of its artisans.

Day 8 Monday: Fes – Meknes – Rabat - Casablanca
After breakfast we‘ll head to the city 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. Continuing to 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. Toward evening, we’ll arrive to Casablanca.

Day 9 Tuesday: Casablanca
Today we‘ll spend the day visiting the most important city in Morocco. 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 for the fountain, which sprays water all around. From there we’ll head to 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 contain thousands of worshippers. This is a true architectural wonder. We‘ll visit the new and old cities, the colorful bazaars and the promenade along the ocean.

Day 10 Wednesday: Casablanca – Home Gateway
After breakfast we‘ll bid a sad farewell to Morocco. Our tour is now over and we take our memories with us as we head to the airport from where we take our flights home.
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