Morocco Rich Jewish Heritage: 12 Days Guided Tour
Explore Morocco’s Fascinating Jewish Heritage with Our Expert-Guided Tours. Discover the Vibrant History and Culture of This Enchanting Community in a Unique and Immersive Way.
Explore Morocco’s Jewish legacy by taking one of Best Morocco Travel‘s specialised trips. Our skillfully produced itineraries are created expressly to provide a profound grasp of the nation’s rich Jewish history and culture. One million Jews, many of whom now live in Israel, may trace their ancestry to Morocco, which is home to several important Jewish cultural sites. Our 12-day journey takes you through the captivating Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, and lively city Medinas, giving you plenty of time to see cemeteries, notable synagogues, old Mellah neighbourhoods, and the graves of notable Jews. The journey also includes stops to the spectacular Adobe Synagogue of Arazan in Taroudant and the intriguing Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca. Experience the real Jewish culture of Morocco up close and personal.
Come, join us, to witness and experience the authentic Jewish culture of Morocco like never before!
Casablanca’s Jewish Heritage: Synagogues and More
Starting with Casablanca, the city is home to a number of major Jewish cultural treasures, such as the spectacular Hassan II Mosque, a prime example of the country of Morocco’s exquisite craftsmanship. Three synagogues—Beth-El, Temple Em Habanim, and Temple Neve Shalom—that constitute an essential component of the journey will also be visited. Discover Morocco’s rich Jewish history and culture by visiting the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, the only institution of its type in the Arab world.
Rabat Heritage Tour in Morocco: The Jewish Mellah and Historic Kasbah
Visit the Jewish Mellah, a historic district in Rabat where a small group of Jewish families still resides, to start your adventure. Learn everything there is to know about Jewish life in the capital, both now and in the past. Next, take a tour of the Chellah Kasbah, a mediaeval stronghold with important Jewish connections. Learn about the architecture’s cultural and historical significance while admiring its stunning design.
Meknes Jewish Heritage: Synagogues and Rabbi David ben Imdan’s Grave
Meknes is a city with a rich Jewish history. Pay your respects to Rabbi David ben Imdan’s grave, the city’s patron. Discover the ancient Jewish names connected to the old Jewish neighbourhood of Meknes and learn more about its cultural and historical significance. Visit the new Mellah as well, which has eight operating synagogues out of its eleven total.
The Medieval Jewish History of Fes: Synagogues, Mellah, and Cemeteries
Fes is home to Rabbi Isaac Elfasi, one of the most renowned Talmud scholars who lived during the Middle Ages. Your expert guide will take you on a journey through the city’s impressive synagogues, the Jewish Mellah of Fes, and its cemeteries.
Seffrou Jewish Heritage Tour
Jewish people used to make up the majority of residents in the Seffrou hamlet, and this is still evident in the Mellah of the community. As you cross the Middle Atlas Mountains and go south towards the Sahara Desert, you will pass through Berber settlements and the breathtaking Ziz valley, which is famous for its date palm trees and fortified Kasbahs.
Merzouga Desert Adventure: Camel Rides and Berber Music
On a camel, explore the amazing splendour of the Erg Chebbi dunes, and then ascend the dune to witness a breathtaking sunset. Join the campfire gathering as dusk falls for a memorable evening of traditional Berber music and drumming while savouring a delectable Moroccan meal. Relax in a comfortable tent at the opulent desert campground adjacent to Merzouga’s spectacular sand dunes, and spend a magical night sleeping beneath a sky filled with dazzling stars. Don’t pass up this unforgettable desert journey!
Dades Gorges: Natural Wonder in Morocco
Wander along the riverbank and into the deep valleys of Dades Gorges to discover its captivating natural beauty. Don’t pass up the chance to explore the cooperatives in Kel’aa M’gouna, which is situated in the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, and see how fragrant Damascene rose products are made. Visit the exquisitely restored Kasbah Amredhil in the Skoura oasis to gain a better understanding of the multigenerational family structure of the Berber people.
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah – UNESCO World Heritage
Just outside of Ouarzazate, explore the historic stronghold known as Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a favourite location for Hollywood movie companies. Observe how the residences in this amazing site combine modern and traditional architecture. Continue travelling west and stop at Taznakht to explore the Berber rug cooperatives and understand more about this age-old craft. Don’t pass up the chance to visit Taliouine’s Saffron Museum, run by the local government, to learn about the worth of this priceless plant that is almost as valuable as gold.
Taroudant: Discover the Charming Walled Medina
Discover the picturesque Taroudant Medina, a walled city with historically significant walls that have withstood the test of time. The existence of a Jewish Mellah and cemetery within the city is proof that the Jewish population was vital to the town’s growth. The revered David Ben Baruk Cohen Azog is located in the Jewish cemetery. Don’t forget to visit the adjacent village of Arazan as well, which is home to a unique 700-year-old adobe synagogue that is unique to no other place in the world.
Discovering Jewish Heritage in Essaouira
On this guided tour, learn about Essaouira’s rich Jewish history. Start by going to the Mellah, a historically Jewish neighbourhood that was essential to the growth of the city’s economy and social fabric. Before proceeding to the Jewish cemetery, tour the recently opened Bet Ha-Knesset Simon Attias Synagogue and its companion museum.
The once abandoned Jewish structures in Essaouira are being painstakingly restored and act as a symbol of intercultural understanding as the city develops into a centre for religious tourism. Be sure to check out the Skala fortifications and the famous blue boats in the harbour in addition to wandering the maze-like lanes of the medina. Our trip provides a thorough and fascinating look into Essaouira’s unique Jewish heritage.
Discover Marrakech’s Jewish Heritage on a Guided Tour
Join us on an educational adventure as we explore Marrakech, our final stop, and learn about its rich Jewish history. Admire the exquisitely preserved souks in the Jewish Mellah and tour the ancient Lazama Synagogue, a longtime spiritual hub for Moroccan Jews.
But Marrakech has more to offer than just that. Djemaa El Fna Square, El Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace, and the beautiful Majorelle Gardens are just a few of the city’s many intriguing attractions.
Your driver will make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time for your flight on the final day of your trip, capping off a memorable journey through Morocco’s Jewish past.
Morocco’s Rich Jewish Heritage: 12 Days Guided Tour Itinerary
Explore the rich and diverse Jewish heritage of Morocco on our 12-day guided tour, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to delve deep into the country’s history and culture. Morocco’s Jewish heritage dates back centuries and has played a vital role in shaping the country’s identity.
Jewish Heritage Tour
Day 1: Hassle-Free Arrival and Visit to Hassan II Mosque in Morocco
Greetings from Morocco! We will meet you at the airport and arrange a smooth ride to your lodging. We can take you on a tour of the majestic Hassan II Mosque if you come early. With a soaring 210-meter-tall minaret, this magnificent mosque is the fifth-biggest in the world and the tallest in Africa.
Day 2: Guided Tour from Casablanca to Rabat
This city has a rich Jewish past, with more than 20 synagogues and Jewish neighbourhoods. You will visit some of the most significant and historic synagogues in the city on our guided tour, including Temple Beth-El, Temple Em Habanim, and Temple Neve Shalom. You will also go to Casablanca’s Jewish Mellah and Cemetery, as well as the Museum of Moroccan Judaism.
The most famous synagogue in the nation and the centre of Casablanca’s bustling Jewish community is the majestic Temple Beth-El, which has stained-glass windows, gilded Bible verses, and enormous crystal chandeliers. You’ll see the Mellah, which was built less than a century ago, and its iconic synagogues, including Temple Em Habanim and Temple Neve Chalom, all of which have undergone elegant renovations and now feature a gallery of synagogue lights.
After lunch, we’ll visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, the first and only museum of its kind in the Arab world. Dedicated to Judaism, the museum is housed in a building that was formerly a Jewish orphanage and underwent renovations in 2013.
Day 3: Discovering the Jewish Mellah of Rabat and Meknes
We’ll travel with you from Rabat to Fes on this day. We will see Rabat’s Jewish Mellah and its winding alleyways after breakfast at your riad. A few Jewish families still live there. Additionally, you will get the opportunity to explore the Chellah Necropolis and discover its Jewish links.
We will travel to Meknes after lunch, where we will have a quick Jewish Heritage tour of the Imperial City. The Jewish neighbourhood, known for its twisting streets and vibrantly painted courtyards, will be available for you to explore. The Hebraic epitaphs from the Christian era that coexist with Greek inscriptions on the Meknes Zaouia are clear evidence of the city’s Jewish past. This sacred location is visited by pilgrims because it contains Rabbi David Benmidan’s tomb.
End your day at a stunning riad and get ready for the next adventure on our Jewish Heritage tour in Morocco.
Day 4: Discover Fes’ Jewish Heritage
On a guided tour, learn about Fes’ Jewish legacy and take in Morocco’s rich history. Discover the Mellah, royal palaces, universities, cemeteries, synagogues, and more. Start by taking a stroll through the Mellah, a 650-year-old neighbourhood that was home to more than 40 synagogues and provided safety during the pogrom of 1912. Discover the city’s ancient Jewish community by visiting the Danan synagogue, one of Morocco’s oldest and most complete synagogues. After lunch, go around Fes’ ancient Medina and stop by the University of Al-Kairaouine, the world’s first school.
Day 5: Discover the Jewish Heritage of Seffrou
Discover Seffrou’s Jewish past as you embark on an exciting trip from Fes to the Sahara Desert. After a great breakfast at your riad, start your day with a drive through Ifrane, which is referred to as Morocco’s “Switzerland” because of its European-style architecture and yearly snowfall. Discover Ifrane’s synagogues and cemetery, a major pilgrimage site for Jews. On the route to Seffrou, stop at the Bhalil cemetery, which was previously home to a sizeable Jewish population in Morocco.
Discover the white-walled medina of Seffrou, where Muslims and Jews lived side by side in peace and where Jewish homes still may be identified by their wooden balconies. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to observe the Barbary apes in the Middle Atlas oak and cedar forests close to Azrou. Continue south over the Middle Atlas Mountains to Midelt, referred to be Morocco’s “apple capital,” and then drop into the breathtaking Ziz Valley, which is renowned for its palm palms and little settlements with surrounding walls. Visit Erfoud to see how millions of fossils have been transformed into magnificent artefacts. Erfoud is known for its date festival and fossils. Arrive in Merzouga’s renowned red Erg Chebbi dunes at last, where you may drive or ride a camel to your desert tent. Enjoy a delicious supper and a celebration with Berber music.
Day 6: Explore Dades Valley and Kasbah Amredhil
Witness the spectacular dawn over the Merzouga dune system as you travel from the desert of Merzouga to the city of Ouarzazate. Admire the Khettarat water canals, which are known for their ingenious irrigation system that avoids evaporation in the hot summer months, as you go to Tinghir. Take a little stroll through the Dades Gorges and around the lovely Dades Valley after lunch. Visit the Klaat Mgouna cooperatives in the Valley of the Roses, where organic cosmetic products made from the renowned Damascene Rose are produced. Learn about the multi-generational Berber home in Skoura’s Kasbah Amredhil, which has been painstakingly restored to give you a true insight of life in such homes. made completely of adobe, a building material that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Day 7: Discover Morocco Rich Heritage: Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou to Taroudant
Discover the captivating Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After breakfast, a skilled guide will take you on a 30-minute trip to Ait Ben Haddou to tell you about the history of this famous and ancient Kasbah in Morocco. Visit Taznakht in the west to see how Berber rugs and carpets are made and to have a sumptuous meal. To reach Taliouine, the centre of Moroccan saffron growing, cross the Tizi-n-Ikhsane and Tizi-n-Tighatine passes. Here, you may explore a delightful government-run museum devoted to saffron planting. Finally, arrive at Taroudant, where you will spend the night and take in Morocco’s rich history.
Day 8: Discover the Jewish Heritage of Taroudant on Your Way to Essaouira
Take a morning tour to Taroudant, sometimes known as “the tiny Marrakech,” to learn more about its striking walls and active local markets. Explore the Jewish Mellah, cemetery, and the 700-year-old Azran’s adobe-built synagogue to learn more about the town’s rich Jewish heritage. The synagogue has Hebrew prayers and Berber calligraphy. Start your drive north along the coast after lunch in Agadir, passing through Taghazout, a surfing haven, and next to the Anti-Atlas Mountains with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Before you arrive in Essaouira to unwind and settle in your riad, take in the hundreds of argan trees, banana, and orange plantations in the Souss River Valley.
Day 9: Essaouira’s Jewish Heritage
On a day of cultural exploration, immerse yourself in the charming seaside town of Essaouira. You may see the town’s distinctive blue boats, white-painted houses, and delectable seafood as you meander through the twisting streets of the medina. Watch local craftspeople at work creating leather and metal goods, then proceed to the bustling beach to choose your fresh catch of the day for a delectable grilled lunch. Explore the Bet Ha-Knesset Simon Attias Synagogue, a recently established facility devoted to maintaining Moroccan Jewish culture and promoting Essaouira’s identity, during a guided tour of Essaouira’s Jewish neighbourhood in the afternoon. Visit the Jewish cemetery, which is the burial place of many Jewish rabbis, philosophers, and singers, including the grave of Rabi Haim Pinto.
Day 10: Jewish Heritage Tour: Essaouira to Marrakech
After enjoying breakfast in Essaouira, we continue our journey to Marrakech, exploring the rich Jewish heritage of Morocco along the way. Our drive will take us through several Berber communities, where we may make a stop at an argan cooperative to purchase high-quality argan products. You might even have the opportunity to photograph goats climbing argan trees to eat the leaves and nuts!
Once we arrive in Marrakech, the rest of the day is yours to explore the city’s historic medina and vibrant souks. Take in the sights and sounds of this colorful city, or unwind with a refreshing glass of mint tea at your accommodation.
Day 11: Marrakech’s Jewish Heritage From Mellah to Synagogues
Start your journey at the 1558-founded Jewish Mellah, where the Jewish population had some autonomy while being prohibited from holding property outside the Mellah. See the beautifully restored Mellah neighbourhood with its thriving Jewish souks. Visit the Bet-El Synagogue, one of the main Jewish gathering places in Marrakech.
Depending on your interests, you can also explore the stunning Majorelle Gardens, Yves St Laurent Museum, El Bahia Palace, El Badi Palace, the Quranic School Ben Youssef Medersa, and the Saadian Tombs. After a day of exploration, spend the night at a charming riad.
Final Day: Departure from Morocco on Day 12 of your Jewish Heritage Tour
Our chauffeur will make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time for your aircraft departure as your tour of the Jewish legacy of Morocco comes to a close. We sincerely hope that your exploration of the unique history and culture of Morocco’s Jewish communities has been enriching and unforgettable.
Highlights of Morocco’s Jewish Heritage Tour:
- Visit the Hassan II Mosque
- Visit the Mellah (Jewish quarter)
- Visit the Meknes Mellah
- Guided tour of the Fes Mellah
- Visit the Ibn Danan Synagogue and Jewish cemetery
- Travel through the Middle Atlas Mountains
- Stop at Ifrane and Midelt
- Visit a fossil factory in Erfoud
- Visit the Todra Gorge and Dades Valley
- Explore the UNESCO-listed Ait Benhaddou kasbah
- Visit a cooperative to see argan oil production
- Explore Essaouira’s vibrant medina and Jewish heritage
- Visit the Simon Attias Synagogue and Jewish cemetery
- Explore the historic medina and souks of Marrakech
- Visit the Jewish Mellah and Bet-El Synagogue
- Visit the Majorelle Gardens, El Bahia Palace, and other attractions
These are just some of the highlights of the tour, and there may be additional stops and experiences along the way.
What is Included in Morocco’s Jewish Heritage Tour:
- Hassle-free transportation in a private air-conditioned 4WD or mini van, including gasoline costs
- Convenient pick-up and drop-off at your hotel or riad, as well as airport transfers
- English-speaking driver/guide to enhance your experience and ensure smooth communication
- Air-conditioned accommodation with private bathrooms for your comfort and privacy
- Delicious dinners and breakfasts included in the package to satisfy your appetite
- One night in an Erg Chebbi Berber camp, featuring a private toilet and shower, ample space, and charming handmade furniture
- Camel rides with a guide, lasting around an hour and a half, and free sandboarding on request from the camp staff
- Option to travel to and from the camp by car or camel, according to your preference
- Luggage transport provided to and from the camp and all accommodations
- Berber music and drumming at night in the camp, providing a unique cultural experience
- Ample free time to explore and visit nearby attractions like Mellah and Ait Ben Haddou, for hiking, photography, and tea/coffee breaks
- The flexibility to request that the driver stop whenever and wherever you desire, allowing you to customize the tour to your preferences.
- Lunches: While dinners and breakfasts are partially included, lunches are not provided.
- Entrance fees: The cost of entry to attractions or monuments not be included in the tour price.
- Soft drinks: The tour may not cover the cost of soft drinks or other beverages.
- Tips: Gratuities for the driver/guide or other service staff are not included in the tour cost.