Magical Jewish Morocco
From Thursday 2nd February 2017 to Wednesday 8th February 2017 visiting Fez Meknes Rabat Casablanca & Marrakesh
We will explore the fascinating past of the Jewish community, with its varied roots – Berber and Spanish – and its French affiliations. We will learn about its religion, culture, and customs and enjoy an unforgettable Purim celebration with the remaining community. We will also visit other key sites of beauty and historical interest. We will stay in excellent hotels, including a traditional riad, and have some stunning meals.
OUR EXCEPTIONAL GUIDE RAFI ELMALEH
Returned from Israel to live in Casablanca, Rafi is a Moroccan Jewish tour guide specialising in the 2,000 year old history of Morocco's Jews. Rafi is at the forefront of an effort to preserve Morocco's Jewish heritage and keep the memory of former Jewish Moroccan communities alive. You will learn and see his relentless efforts on the trip through Jewish sites around the country and his discovery of numerous exciting artefacts displayed in the Casablanca Jewish museum he has created. In fact, it is the only Jewish museum in the Arab world. A captivating speaker, he enthrals his listeners with remarkable stories and inspirational anecdotes. He is very entertaining and makes the tour a joyful and rewarding experience. Earlier this year his book on Jewish Morocco was presented by him to the King.
Day 1: Thursday 2nd February 2017 – We are recommending the RYANAIR flight from Stansted to Marrakech that takes off at 6.10am and lands at 9.50am where we will be met by our guide Raffi Elmaleh and our transport will take us to our lovely Ksar Anika Riad (above) in the Mellah Jewish quarter, after a welcome drink and some rest time an early buffet lunch awaits us followed by visit to the Bahia Palace, Synagogue and cemetery and a walk to the world famous Djemaa El Fna Square & Medina. Evening free.
Day 2: Friday 3rd – Leaving 9am to head for day trip to Ourika Valley for nature walk and see waterfalls to then spend time in a typical Berber Village and where our guide Raffi lived for a time doing his research of Morocco. Packed lunch option. Return to our Riad eaerly afternoon to prepare for Shabbat and attend Shabbat services at Marrakech Synagogue (optional – 5 minutes walk in the Medina) followed by kosher Shabbat meal at our Ksar Anika riad.
Day 3: Shabbat 4th FREE DAY though you might like to join the Synagogue service near the riad and the kosher Shabbat lunch with Moroccan chulent is not to be missed, and you might like to join a casual afternoon stroll, visiting the famous Mamouna Hotel and the posh district of the city seeing the exclusive hotels. Evening free
Day 4: Sunday 5th Leave for Casablanca There see the street of seven shuls, the kosher bakery, the Jewish museum and the Beth el Synagogue. There is an optional visit to the renowned Hassan 11 Mosque on the Corniche – 2nd biggest Mosque in the world. We stay at the Kenzi Basma hotel and take an early dinner with the community at their Communal Kosher Club with the community of Casablanca – Lamb in the oven is a particular speciality not to be missed
Day 5: Monday 6th We leave Casablanca to travel up the coast to the capital Rabat and view its shul in the mellah in what was once a Portuguese port. We see shrines of the Moroccan kings on the way to Meknes. This is another of the Imperial Cities where we see the Mellah, labelled with Jewish names, which once contained 11 Synagogues before visiting the famous royal stables (below), once home to 15,000 Arabian horses. Arrive at the Ramada Hotel Fez and have an evening meal at the Maimionides Kosher club, Chez Max.
Day 6: Tuesday 7th We spend the day in Fez visiting the extraordinary Jewish cemetery in the Mellah, hear the legend of Salika, visit the Ibn Dayan shul and newly renovated Synagogue plus mikva plus Maimonides house. We then walk through the biggest medina in the world, home to the first university long before Oxford & Cambridge were even though of. We visit the famous tannery (below) and lunch in the mellah before continuing the tour of the Medina, visiting local artisans. Before returning to our hotel we visit a park on a hill above the city of Fez so we can view the extraordinary size of the Medina - Evening final group meal together thereafter attending a Moroccan entertainment spectacular show
Day 7: Wednesday 8th February 2017 Free relaxing morning to either explore world's biggest Medina or shop or relax by the pool or visit the modern city and its wide boulevards built in a French style before our transport comes to collect us at 13.00 to take us to the airport to catch the 15.15 flight home landing Stansted at 18.30
OUTWARD: Thursday 2nd February: RyanAir Flight Gatwick to Marrakech RAK depart 6.10am arrive 9.50
Alternatively if you would prefer not to travel so early you could take a flight on Wednesday 1st on alternative airlines and pay for a night's extension at the Marrakesh Ksar Anika Riad at an extra cost of £135 per room including breakfast). Those wishing to spend more time in Marrakech can request further nights at the Riad.
RETURN: Wednesday 8th February RyanAir Leaves Fez at 15.15 am arrives Stansted 18.30. Currently £72 as of 3/11/16 (there are no later alternative flights on any day on any airline from Fez to London). Also there are only 2 flights per week directly from Fez to London or vice versa
TOTAL COST for the 7 day plus 6 night trip is £1,095 pp sharing a room – single room supplement £395. This cost covers all hotels breakfasts, all transport and guide throughout together with all museum fees. Most meals including lunch on first day, both Shabbat meals and kosher club meals in Casablanca and Fez plus final night meal at Moroccan show.
A deposit of £150 per person is required as soon as possible to reserve places – will be refunded if trip does not proceed
NOT INCLUDED are Air fares and INSRANCE vital to have this before you travel
Finally do not book flights till trip is confirmed with 8 people booking