10 Days Morocco — On the Trail of Andalusian Heritage
Casablanca – Rabat - Tangier – Tetouan – Chefchaouene – Volubilis – Moulay Idriss – Fez - – Ifran – Midelt – Erfoud – Merzouga –Tinghir –Mgouna – Ouarzazate– Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech
Morocco has had a long Jewish history, dating back thousands of years. The complex, intertwining relationship between the Jewish and Arabic populations is fascinating and unique in the world. With the opening of Israel, many Moroccan Jews moved East, but the country is now experiencing a resurgence of interest in the country's Jewish heritage. Morocco is the only country in the Arab World both rich in Jewish history and with a living Jewish community. Both Jewish and non-Jewish tourists have delighted in its ancient walled cities, thriving markets, and sumptuous feasts. With a little effort, the discerning traveller interested in the Jewish heritage of Morocco can discover hundreds of fascinating historical and spiritual sites. Only through seeing Morocco through Jewish eyes can one understand the deep attachment of the Moroccan Jewish diaspora to their homeland.
Day 1 | D
Arrive Casablanca — Rabat
The discovery of Morocco tour will begin by meeting your driver at Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca The largest city in Northern Africa and the economic capital of the kingdom after the sightseeing which will include the United Nations place, Mohammed V square, the residential area of Anfa, external visit of the famous Hassan II Mosque one of the largest in the world, and one of the few Mosques open to non-Muslims in the country, and the beautiful Ain Diab corniche the nightlife of the city lined up with restaurants and swimming pools. Then we proceed to Rabat the capital of Morocco, our sightseeing begins with the Kasbah of the Oudayas, the exquisite Mohamed V Mausoleum tomb of the present king’s father and grandfather, the imposing Hassan Tower built in 1196, the 14 century Necropolis of Chellah and the ramparts and walls of the Mechouar surrounding the Royal Palace.
Day 2 | B, D
Rabat — Tangier
In the morning we depart for the “Bride of the North” Tangier.
The highlights start by visiting the modern new town and the wealthy “California” section where you will see the estates and palaces of the rich and famous. Stop at Cap Spartel, the lighthouse that marks the official convergence of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Travel on to Hercules Cave – continually inhabited since the Neolithic period. Optional lunch followed by touring of the old town. Visit the kasbah (fortified area). Descend through the labyrinthine roads of the medina through the spice markets, the Berber markets and amongst the craftsmen. Visit the Grand Socco and Andrew’s Church, quietly nestled off the busy market square.
Day 3 | B, D
Tangier — Tetouan — Chefchaouene
Depart from Tangier to the “White Bird” located in the Rif Mountains. Tetouan is a unique combination of Arab and Andalusian cultures. Visit the new town where you will see the Hassan II Square, governor’s palace, Spanish garden, the first North African mosque and the walls of the Kasbah. Enter the medina through Bab el Okla and continue on for a walking tour of the old town. This tour will include the Jewish section, the Andalusian section, the Berber market, the ladies market and Guersa el Kbira.
Leave the old town and then continue to Chefchaouen, a delightful town in the Rif Mountains and one of the most beautiful towns in Morocco. Chefchaouen is a typical Berber village. A tour of this blue and white village includes the Palace El Makhzen and the famous square Uta el Hamman, the city’s great Mosque, built in the 15th century and the medina.
Day 4 | B, D
Chefchaouene — Volubilis — Moulay Idriss — Fez
We depart for Fez via Moulay Idriss town, the holiest city in Morocco in the creation of the country’s first Arab dynasty and where the founder of Islam in Morocco is buried, then we visit Volubilis the settlement of the great Roman empire, Morocco’s largest and best preserved Roman ruins, and then we continue to Fez.
Day 5 | B, D
Breakfast, full-day tour of the city of Fez, the jewel of Spanish-Arabic civilization. The first imperial city of Morocco, it’s a leading intellectual, religious, cultural center and the kingdom’s spiritual capital founded in 790 B.C by Moulay Idriss II. The highlights will include the Medersas (an Islamic teaching university) to attest the importance of its thousand years of history, the great El Qaraouiyin Mosque the first university in the world and the sumptuous Nejjarine fountain. Independent lunch followed by a visit to the Medieval Medina of Fez has a world of its own a UNESCO world heritage, encircled by an unbroken line of ramparts and gates a labyrinth of sloping, winding alleyways are crammed full of artisans and merchants, each district has its own specialty; cobalt blue enameled pottery, carpets, wrought iron, and then Boujeloud gate with its decoration of green and blue faiences.
Day 6 | B, D
Fez — Ifrane — Midelt — Erfoud — Merzouga
After breakfast we leave for Erfoud via the mountains and the cedar woods of the middle Atlas through the berber villages and towns of Imouzzer, Azrou and Ifran a charming ski resort well known for its wood carving, we stop in the small town of Midelt for lunch. Continuing on to Erfoud via Errachidia and the Ziz valley dotted with palm trees, which are the source for the yearly date festival in Erfoud, you come across a totally different face of this country. Here you will find the huge sand dunes in Merzouga, the Saharan dune field closest to Europe where you can sit and gaze at this barren beauty, walk up one of the dunes.
Nearby Erfoud is the point of departure for your Sahara desert immersion we set out on a sunset excursion to the breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes at Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara in the enormous silence we watch the sun set over the desert as we take a camel ride along the dunes to experience an unforgettable ride according to the Bedouine way of life. The «desert ship» would carry you through sand dunes and spectacular scenery.
It will be followed by a magical guided-tour and the admiration of a star studded sky. Then a bivouac would be set up around a wood fire. You would appreciate the Bedouin traditional dinner. Accommodation will be provided under a nomadic tent to beneath the innumerable stars of the clear desert sky and awake with the sunrise to watch the colors of the desert changing in front of your eyes. Overnight under tent.
Day 7 | B, D
Erfoud — Tinghir — Mgouna — Ourzazate
After breakfast, continue the tour via Dades valley and its road of a thousand Kasbahs that rise up like turreted sand castles along this ancient caravan-trading route. Reaching Mgouna a big village famous for its roses and its annual rose festival attended by hundreds of people from all parts of the world. Continue to the Oasis of Tinghir via Tinjdad road. Visit the magnificent Todra canyons to marvel at the natural force that carved this quiet Berber oasis and rock-climbing haven, continue to Ouarzazate Morocco’s Hollywood where you be following the road of the thousand kasbahs and the Dades Valley.
Day 8 | B
Ourzazate — Ait Ben Haddou — Marrakech
Refreshed, breakfasted and raring to go, we will enjoy our visit in Morocco’s Hollywood, with its cinematographic studios offers an extremely appropriate environment for the biggest films shooting, we visit the magnificent Taourirt Kasbah together one of the few remaining Pasha Glaoui residences. This Kasbah is recently restored and receives thousands of people during the folkloric festival of the city every year. Later we set forth towards the north alongside the Ouarzazate valley to the magnificently exotic Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, declared, and rightly so, a world heritage site. Ait Ben Haddou is one of the most spectacular sights, the fortified village is a Unesco world heritage site and the backdrop for famous films such as Lawrence of Arabia not to be missed in the Atlas ranges the largest mountain chain in Africa, set upon a rock above a reed-strewn assif, commanding the area for miles around. This Kasbah had long controlled the route to Marrakech until the French blasted a road through the Tizi n’Tichka mountain (2260 m). Continue to Marrakech.
Day 9 | B, D
After breakfast, we will have a full day guided city tour of Marrakech. Most famous of all imperial cities and capital of Morocco several times, an ancient oasis city of weathered pink buildings and orange groves, known for its beautiful climate, charming position at the feet of the high Atlas Mountains, its nice gardens and mostly for its outstanding square in the heart of the medina. In the morning you will enjoy the tour of the main monuments of the city, including the beautiful 12th C Koutoubia mosque the fascinating Andalusian style of the 19th C Bahia Palace the interesting 16th C Saadian tombs and Menara gardens. After lunch, you will discover the mysteries of the medina and its fascinating local souks, then enjoy your time witnessing the carnivalesque public square Jamaa el-Fna square come alive at sunset and wander around the snake charmers, storytellers compete for an audience, water sellers, monkey players and acrobats.
Day 10 | B
Marrakech — Casablanca Airport
Breakfast at your hotel. Private transfer to Casablanca for your departure flight.
- Accommodation on twin/triple basis as per itinerary
- Luxury private A/C car and airport transfers
- Private English speaking driver/guide
- Meals as per itinerary
- Monuments / Museums entrance fees
- Four wheels drive to Merzouga dunes
- International airfare
- Entrance into Hassan II Mosque (optional)
- Travel Insurance
- All beverages and alcohols
- Camel ride & desert guide
- Optional activities