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The Moroccan Jewish Community has always been, and still is, one of the largest in the Arab World. Its heritage and history are little known abroad although every part of the Kingdom records an important Jewish legend. We are rediscovering this Jewish heritage, thereby learning more about the many sided histories of Morocco.
Jews have been here for hundreds of years, they have lost nothing of their ancient traditions, special customs and culture. Moroccan kings protected Jews from harm and helped some of them develop the wealth that sustained the monarchy for many years.
For Trekking Atlas Mountains you need to prepare as you would for walking in any mountain region; it can be warm and sunny during the day but the weather in the mountains can quickly change from sunshine to snow and cold winds (autumn through late spring). Please do not leave any rubbish behind you; carry out what you carry in.
Atlas Treks are tailored to match the season and your level of fitness. You have the choice of basing yourself in Berber Guesthouses, from where you can take daily walks, or you can Atlas Mule Trek for 2+ days. On mule treks you usually have the choice of staying in Berber Guesthouse/with families or wild camping in 2-person tents. In addition to regular packing, here is a Check List for Atlas Trekking:
You will be arriving at Casablanca, a Moroccan city well-known for its Moorish buildings and French colonial legacy. Considered as the main gateway to Morocco, Casablanca is an ideal place to kick-off your Jewish heritage tour. Make sure to get some rest, as our professional local guides are taking you on the tour of the city’s Jewish Neighborhood early in the morning.
Our day tour of Casablanca starts with a visit to the Jewish synagogue called Beth-El which is the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community in the city. We will also be paying a visit to the fabulous Museum of Moroccan Judaism where you will have a chance to see a variety of religious, ethnographic and artistic objects.
While no Jewish people are living in the city’s mellah nowadays, the area is still a great place to visit because of its lively old market. Close to the mellah, there is a Jewish cemetery with white stone markers in Spanish, Hebrew, and French. Another point of interest is the Mosque of Hassan It’s which is located in the picturesque Afna quarter.
Welcome to Rabat, a lovely Moroccan city famed for its Jewish quarter with colorful courtyards. Visit the city’s main synagogue in the New City and discover the ancient ruins of Chellah just outside the city gates. Offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Kasbah des Oudaias is also included in our list of places to visit in Rabat. However, the most interesting place we are visiting today is the unfinished Tour Hassan Mosque and the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V which is actually one of Moroccan’s pilgrimage sites for Jewish people.
Upon arrival in Meknes, our guides will show you around the Jewish Mellah and take you to some of the city’s most interesting attractions like the Talmud Torah Synagogue, Royal Stables & Agdal Reservoir, Bou Inania Medersa, and Jewish Quarter & Cemetery. In the afternoon, we are going on a short drive to explore the fascinating Roman ruins in Volubilis. Expect to see beautiful mosaics, parts of massive columns, and remains of the basilica and the triumphal arch.
On day 4 of our Jewish Heritage Morocco Tour, we are exploring one of Morocco’s oldest cities, the imperial city of Fes which was founded in 790 B.C. We will be visiting all major Jewish heritage sites and cultural attractions of Fes including the mellah with its charming synagogues, the Jewish cemetery where several tombs of Jewish saints are located, the famous house of Maimonides, mausoleum of Moulay Idriss II who is the city’s founder, and the lovely the El Qaraouiyyin Mosque. There is also the Arabian House where you can see craftsmen performing their works by using ancient techniques.
No trip to Morocco would be complete without paying a visit to the charming Sahara Desert. We will also stop by the lovely town of Midelt which is surrounded by the majestic Ayachi Mountain and is well-known for its synagogue, cemetery and the nearby Kasbah Myriem which is a Christian monastery. Here, you will see local women learning about the fine art of making traditional Moroccan carpets. An unforgettable evening trip to the Sahara desert is included in our Day 5 travel itinerary.
Your next destination offers some of the most spectacular views in Morocco. We are taking you to see Dades Gorge, a series of valleys blessed with fabulous rock formations. Admire the mesmerizing scenery and enjoy spectacular views of the river below. Along the way, we will be passing by the Rose Valley and a series of kasbahs and ksour which are fortified villages.
Our journey takes us to the town of Skoura which was founded back in the 12th century by the famous Almohad dynasty. See the impressive Amerhidl Kasbah which is the most famous attraction in the city. Ben Amar and Ait Ben Abou Kasbahs will also be included in our travel itinerary. After a short drive, we will be arriving at Ouarzazate, a picturesque town that is also called “Door of the Desert”. The city’s Atlas Mountain panoramas were featured in many popular movies and TV shows such as the Game of Thrones and the Gladiator. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the locals often call this place Ouallywood. Make sure to get some rest tonight, as tomorrow we are taking to Marrakech, one of Morocco’s most beautiful cities.
In the morning, our local guide is taking you to experience the beauty of Marrakech. This lovely imperial city is packed with numerous attractions ranging from palaces and tombs to picturesque gardens and centuries-old markets. The Jewish Quarter was founded in the 16h century and was well-known for its Rabbinical Schools. There is also the Jewish cemetery which is the burial site of the famous Rabbi Hanania Hacohen and Rabbi Mordekhai Ben Attar. See the El Bahia Palace which is an excellent example of Eastern architecture and shop for spices at the colorful Rahba Kedima market. In the old medina, you will find the Marrakech Slat Lazama Synagogue. Later in the day, we can visit the Majorelle Gardens & Berber Museum, as well as the Saadian Tombs.
Feel free to explore the picturesque streets of Marrakech in the morning before we organize your transport to the airport.