9 Days Jewish History Tour in Morocco

Tuesday: New York / Casablanca
Depart in the evening from JFK to Casablanca (6-1/2 hr flight).

Wednesday: Casablanca
7:10 AM arrival at Mohamed V airport in Casablanca. Your host guide will be waiting for you to greet and then transfer you to your hotel. Check in and refresh at your hotel. Visit recently-completed Mosque Hassan II - largest in world outside Mecca. Tour of French-built Quartier Habous, Law Courts, and the Gates of the Royal Palace. See the Island of the Marabout Sidi Abderrahman (at low tide). Dinner at your hotel. Overnight in Casablanca.
   
Thursday: Casablanca / Rabat / Volubilis / Fez
Breakfast will be served at the hotel and then drive to Rabat (1 º hours). Visit Hassan Tower, the Chellah Necropolis, and the Kasbah des Oudaias overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Visit the Mausoleum of Mohamed V. It was Mohamed V - father of King Hassan II - who achieved independence for Morocco in 1961. Revered by both Muslim and Jew alike, his bravery in the face of the occupying Vichy regime during WW2 that saved Moroccan Jews from the fate of their European brethren. Excursion to a newly -opened private museum outside Rabat. Among the finest collections of Moroccan crafts and relics in the world, opened by a third-generation craftsman and collector responsible for restoring the 27 domes of the mosque at the Medina. This gentleman is the recipient of the 1991 Prix díOr from His Majesty King Hassan II. His collection includes a number of items of Jewish interest. Tea and Moroccan cookies will be offered at the museum. Continue east (2 hours) to Moulay Idriss: the most venerated Muslim site in Morocco. For those without the means to make the pilgrimage, the hajj, to Mecca, five trips to Moulay Idriss is of equal merit. Visit Roman ruins at nearby Volubulis: among the most extensive in the world. Evening arrival in Fes and check-in at your hotel in the Ville Nouvelle. Dinner and your overnight at your hotel.
   
Friday: Fez
Breakfast at the hotel. Explore Fes J'did and the mellah (Jewish district). Visit synagogues - unmarked on their exteriors - dating from the 17th century: among the most unique in the world. The Mellah of Fes once had 40 synagogues. See the vast and picturesque whitewashed Jewish cemetery adjacent to the gates to the Royal Palace and the nascent Jewish Museum at the Em HaBanim synagogue. Tour Fes el-Bali: Visit the medressa (koranic university) Bou Inania, the Fondouk Nejjarine, the Zaouia (mausoleum) of Moulay Idriss II, the Medressa Attarine, the famous tanneries, the colorful silk dyers and countless other sites, including the House of Maimonedes with its mysterious water clock. The narrow and cobbled streets of Fes are filled with ancient mosques, towering minarets, crumbling fandouks (inns for medieval travelers and their animals) and narrow openings into the private world beyond: an architecture of carved cedar portals, brilliantly colored mosaic tiles, delicately carved stucco ornament, and green glazed roofs. In Fes, veiled women still hurry through the streets, donkeys - laden with their wares - take their time, and craftsmen forge objects much as they did centuries ago. Special arrangements to visit interior of a spectacular privately-owned 18th century Riad - traditional Islamic courtyard house- once one of the wealthiest mansions in Fes. Return to hotel. Optional Erev Shabat services (near hotel). Special Erev Shabat dinner at the Maimonedes Club - kosher Jewish club and center of the community. Overnight: Fes.
   
Saturday: Fez / Meknes / Fez
Breakfast at hotel. Day at leisure (optional services). Lunch at hotel. Your guide and private car will be available, if you wish, for an excursion to Imperial Meknes: its famous City Gates and the Tomb of Moulay Ismail - magnificent examples of Islamic architecture in North Africa. See Imperial Quarters of Moulay Ismail, including the renowned Imperial Stables. Dinner at hotel in Fes.
   
Sunday: Fez / Khenifra / Marrakech
Travel in the morning to Marrakech across the Middle Atlas mountains and Ifrane for your drive to Marrakech. Visit the Cascade of Ouzoud. Late afternoon arrival in Marrakech. Check-in at your hotel. Spend early evening at Djemaa el Fnaa, when the square comes alive with storytellers, snake charmers, magicians, and street performers: a unique spectacle. Dinner at your hotel in Marrakech.
   
Monday: Marrakech
Explore exotic Marrakech: the towering Koutoubia minaret, the Saadien Tombs, the Menara Gardens, the Medersa ben Youssef, the domed Koubba, and the Dar Si Said Museum. Visit the Maison Tiskiwin, the Bahia Palace, and the Majorelle Gardens of Yves St. Laurent. Visit the colorful souks of Marrakech - spices, carpets, jewelry, handicrafts produced in some cases the same way it was made hundreds of years ago. Overnight: Marrakech.
   
Tuesday: Marrakech / Eurika valley / Seti Fadma / Marrakech
Full day excursion to the scenic Ourika Valley of the High Atlas mountains. Walk through earthen adobe villages decorated with bas-relief indigenous patterns. Light a candle at the tomb of tzaddik Rabbi Shlomo bel Hansh in the High Atlas. This tomb is the site of one of the biggest pilgrimages in Morocco. Pilgrimages to the tombs of saints are unique to Judaism in Morocco. There are over 600 such sites; this is one of the most important. Once a year in the spring, Jews of Moroccan descent return from all over the world to sites like these for a weekend of festivities and celebration. The Muslims in Morocco do the same thing, a tradition inherited, it is believed, from the indigenous pre-Islam Berber traditions. Return to Marrakech. Optional evening of folklore and entertainment at Fantasia dinner under tents in a palm grove outside Marrakech. Overnight: Marrakech.
   
Wednesday: Marrakech
Breakfast at your hotel. Morning visit to Mellah (Jewish district): synagogues and cemetery. Lunch at hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Optional farewell dinner at renowned Yacout restaurant - Moroccoís finest. Overnight: Marrakech.  


Thursday: Marrakech / Casablanca / New York
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Marrakech airport for your 7:40 AM departure to Casablanca, where you will change plans for your 10:00 AM return home.

What is included
RT New York / Casablanca / Marrakech
Land transportation in deluxe chauffeured vehicle.
Accommodation in 4 star hotels
Breakfast daily
Fees to monuments and museums, guides and escort
All taxes. 

Cities and Hotels used
Casablanca: 1 night, Hotel Iddou Anfa
Fez: 3 nights, Riad el Yacout
Marrakech: 4 nights, Hotel  El Andalous

Cost per person based on double occupancy:                                               $2885.00 Air and Land
Single supplement:                                                                                         $  650.00

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Fax: 703-619-9399
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