Morocco, from the shores of the Atlantic to the Atlas and the Sahara

April 23-May 4, 2018 — Morocco served as a bridge between the continents of Europe and Africa for hundreds of years. The southerners of Casablanca, Rabat and Fez traded in mysterious spices with the Spaniards. The fishermen of Essaouira sold the fish of the sea, and the name of the Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakesh reached all corners of Europe. Morocco has medieval cities, Roman ruins, barbaric forts, palaces and Muslim mosques considered the most beautiful in the world. Morocco is breathtaking, from the peaks of the Atlas mountains covered with snow, stormy rivers, and lakes to the endless expanses of the Sahara Desert.

Itinerary: April 23 - May 4, 2018

Day 1 – Monday, April 23: Toronto - Casablanca - Rabat

Flight from Toronto to Casablanca, landing in Casablanca on Monday (April 23rd).

Upon arrival we will pass the passport control and meet our Israeli contact person. After breakfast, our first tour of Casablanca. We will visit Mohammed V Square, where the traditional markets are located, surrounded by financial centers, banks, the Supreme Court and the municipality building as well as travel agencies, cafes, movie theaters and shops. We will walk in the alleys of the mausoleum, built in 1923 in the style of traditional architecture: labyrinths and alleys, arches, large wooden doors, bars and stylized windows, glazed ceramic tiles, columns, capitals and cedar wood. We will continue on Bab to Marx, the Malacca and the market of Casablanca.

Afternoon we will drive to Rabat, the capital. Travel along the Atlantic coast along the ancient road between the Riff Mountains and the Atlas Mountains. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and the seat of government offices, the House of Parliament and the King’s Palace. The name of the city is translated from Moroccan “fortress”, after the ancient fortress in the center of the city was the basis of the Mawhadon dynasty in the 12th century for their wars in Spain. It lies on the Atlantic coast south of the mouth of the Burg River, in the township that includes Salé on the other side of the river. Old Rabat lies on the shore and is close to a port that is no longer active because of the erosion that blocked it, including the state, the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall. Accommodation Rabat.

Day 2 – Tuesday April 24: Rabat - Meknes - Fez

In the morning we will take a tour of Rabat, visit the mausoleum built by Hassan II for his father Muhammad V and the mosque plaza which matches the Kutubia mosque in Marrakech. We will visit the Casbah Elwoodia. This is where the original rebate was built, the fortress of the city in the days of the Mujahideen, the Marinites and the Andalusians. Inside the Casbah there is an amazing residential quarter with its beauty and cleanliness. We will climb the walls of the Casbah to look out over the city of Salé on the other side of the river.

At noon we will travel to Meknes, the city of Moulay Ismail, who was the sultan in the 17th century, and one of the most impressive imperial cities. To strengthen his rule, Moulay Ismail built dozens of buildings. He built them with great majesty. Built a wall around the city 25 kilometers long, installed 20 gates and built 50 palaces with stables with more than 12,000 horses. Of all the splendour remained a little after the earthquake of 1,755, which destroyed many cities in Morocco. The magnificent construction projects and the king’s strong desire to strengthen trade relations with France gave Meknes the nickname, “Versailles of Morocco”. We will tour the city according to schedule and time of arrival. Afternoon ride to Fez. Accommodations in Fez.

Day 3 – Wednesday, April 25: Fez

A day devoted entirely to the unique and interesting old capital, a new and old shift and a symbol of the religious and cultural capital of Morocco. Founded in the 8th century by the Idrissian dynasty, Fez is the oldest of the royal cities in Morocco, and its foundation has always served as the spiritual capital of Morocco and the Maghreb countries, and is unique in its narrow alleys, palaces, burial structures, etc. The city of Fez is located at an important crossroad: And the width of the whole of Morocco passes through it.The city is situated in a fertile agricultural area on the soft hills of the Sebu river basin, and the state of Fez today preserves its narrow streets and workshops: colors, blacksmiths, tanners etc.

The visit will begin with an observation of the dynasties and the city as a whole, with its green walls and roofs. We will visit the King’s Palace which is located next to Malah - the Jewish Quarter. We will continue to the well-kept Jewish cemetery, including a visit to the grave of the “Lila Solika”, enter the ancient synagogue of Ibn Danan and pass the famous water clock of Maimonides. The names of Jewish spiritual leaders such as Maimonides, R. Isaac Alfasi, R. Yehuda Ibn Sussan and others who raised the city in the Middle Ages to the rank of Torah center competing with those of Babylon and Egypt. In addition, we will wander through the alleys of the ancient country, between the craftsmen and the colorful and fragrant markets, Suk al-Atrin – the sellers of spices, Suk Elhina – the infidel market, Suk a-Sabein. Time will leave us. Accommodations in Fez. In the evening we will go to a folklore show.

Day 4 – Thursday, April 26: Fez - Iperan - Crossing the Atlas Mountains - Al Rashida - Erfoud and the Valley of the Move

In the morning we will leave the city of Fez and descend south to the land of cedars in the Middle Atlas near the city of Ifrane, the resort town of the King of Morocco, reminiscent of the Alps in Switzerland. We will walk to the lake in the heart of the city and visit the monkeys in the nearby forest. Later, a long and interesting journey between nomadic shepherds who set up tents in the Valley of the Move. We will stop for a local lunch in Zaida and from there we will go to the entrance of the Sahara desert, through mud-built silves, across the land of palms and green oases through the Legionnaires’ passage, to the city of Erfoud, the home of the Abu Hazira family. Accommodation in Erfoud - the regional power center.

Day 5 – Friday, April 27: Erfoud - (with jeeps) Dunes Merzouga - Camels in the Sahara Desert - Desert Malls

In the early hours of the morning, we will ride out on jeeps and dive into camels (camel riders) into the dunes, which are dressed in new shapes, and may even meet the “Tuaregs” of the blue robe. Watch the impressive desert rise and return to a late breakfast at the hotel. After that, we will go on a tour of the oases of the oasis, including the amazing pogrom site - kilometers of underground water channels that provided water to the residents of the Sahara. We will not give up the lively desert market in the town of Risani. The Tuaregs come to the market from around the desert to sell their merchandise. Everything from shoelace to gold and silver ingots. After the tour we will go to the Todra Mall, and on arrival we will take a short walking tour of the Turda Mall. The special channel passes 15 kilometers north of the city of Tinnir at the edge of the fertile valley where desert palm groves and small mud-brick villages. On the cliff are high mountain peaks, cliffs and impressive rock formations. The channel depth reaches about 300 meters and is about 10 meters wide. At the bottom of the channel flows a clear stream that completes the pastoral picture of the place. After the fascinating tour we will continue to Boomlan where we will spend the night among the desert canyons. On the eve of Kabbalat Shabbat and the Friday night meal. Accommodation in Bowman.

Day 6 – Saturday, April 28: Hadas Mall - Old Casbah Ayat Ben Haddou - Ouarzazate

We will start the morning at the Dades Valley Mall, passing through remote barbaric villages and special red grapes. We will stop and go down an easy and magical and special walking path to the picturesque cliff at the bottom of the canyon, and from there we will walk along the flowing river of Hades. After we meet the escort, we will continue to Wadi Malah for a walking tour of one of the beautiful and well-preserved caves in Morocco - Kasbet Ayit Ben Hado, which is the same shift as in the afternoon, arriving in the city of Varazza, and visiting the Jewish tavern and the Jewish Malach. Later on, we will arrive at the city of Varzazat - a unique and heartbreaking desert city. It was not for nothing that she became the film site for photography crews from all over the world. The city was founded in 1928 by the French, as a guard city and as a provincial administrative center. Today the city has about 50,000 inhabitants. Accommodation in Ouarzazate.

Day 7 – Sunday, April 29: Ouarzazate - Ait Ben Haddou - Marrakech

We’ll start with a morning tour of Ouarzazate - a unique and heartbreaking desert city. It was not for nothing that she became the film site for photography crews from all over the world. The city was founded in 1928 by the French, as a guard city and as a provincial administrative center. Today the city has about 50,000 inhabitants. The city has fragrant markets and colorful streets, especially a special hearty desert atmosphere. We will then take a short drive north to tour one of the beautiful and well-preserved caves in Morocco - Kasbet Ait Ben Haddou, which is the same Nusco watch, from where we will climb to the heights of the Atlas Mountains in a spectacular and unique landscape. We will continue on the main road leading to the Tizi Tichka mountain pass, the “Shepherds Passage”, at an altitude of about 2550 meters, and in the afternoon we will arrive at the city of Marrakech. Where it comes to life and serves as a kind of stage for jugglers, snakes to the sound of the flute, opening cards and tellers Folk healers and idol doctors, toothbrushes, orchestras, bands of musicians and magicians who walk in magic and charm and characterize the enchanted city’s charms, walk through the alleyways of the covered market, and as long as time leaves us.

Day 8 – Monday, April 30: Marrakech - the Red City

Marrakech - the green pearl in the High Atlas Mountains. Built in the 11th century. The city is surrounded by a wall with magnificent gates, against the backdrop of the red houses. Without a doubt the most special and diverse city in Morocco. Today Marrakech is the commercial center and cultural center of southern Morocco, the Moroccans call it “the heart of Morocco”. The city is rich in markets, of all kinds and all kinds, in buildings and amazing monuments representing the dynasties that ruled Morocco. A large volume in the heart of the Khus Plateau, at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. It has a population of 1.5 million. The country, the ancient nucleus of the city, occupies its eastern part and is surrounded by a wall with splendid gates that have been well preserved. At its center is the large market square Jama’a al-Nana’a and in the south-eastern part of the city, the Jewish Malah. To the west of the Old City, a new European-style district was built in 1913, with broad avenues, residential quarters and public parks.

We will take a tour of the historical sites of Marrakech: the Bahia Palace - the palace was built by the Sultan’s vizier, Si Ahmad Ben Musa, known as Bah Hamed in 1894. Bahia was his favorite wife among his four wives. She was beautiful and beloved, To the palace after her name. There are 28 wings in the palace, 24 for concubines and four for women. The Katobiya Mosque - a mosque and minaret (tower) that rises to a height of 77 meters, and is seen from anywhere in the city and many kilometers away and beyond. And the fountain pool surrounded by olive trees. The gardens around the pool were used by Moroccan Jewry for the Mimouna celebrations. Families would come and spread under the many olive trees planted in the garden and make family picnics. Accommodation in Marrakech.

Day 9 – Tuesday, May 1: High Atlas - Marrakech

In the morning we will take a jeep trip to the Urica Valley, which is located at the foot of the Oukaimeden (one of the highest peaks in the High Atlas), along the Urica River, which drains the high Atlas ridges. It flows north and spills into the wadi. Above the valley are barbarian villages whose houses are stacked on top of each other, built of local stone, and clay is the material that connects the building stones. Where we will become acquainted with the lifestyle of those barbarian tribes in the high snow-covered mountains during the winter. A walking tour of short walking paths in fertile valleys, between fruit orchards and cultivated fields. We will visit a local barbarian house for lunch. In the afternoon we will return to Marrakesh for a tour of the city. In the evening we’ll go out for a barbarian show with Ali. A show of dancing, singing, acrobatics on horses and shooting in the air. The show includes a sumptuous dinner.

Day 10 – Wednesday, May 2: Essaouira (Mogador)

In the morning, we will travel to the Atlantic Plateau to visit the painted city of Essaouira, one of the Portuguese coastal cities on the Atlantic coast which is considered the most beautiful of all. Essaouira is an ancient port city whose houses are whitewashed and the houses are painted blue. We will tour the country’s full alleys in workshops and markets, elevated to the scale - the sea fortress offers a spectacular view of the sea and its rocky cliffs, the port, the Jewish salt and the state. Surround the city walls, visit the colorful and colorful port where fresh fish are sold and eaten. We will look into the alleys of the Jewish quarter where Rabbi Chaim Pinto lived and in the cemetery where he is buried, considered to be the most impressive in Morocco. Accommodation in Essaouira.

Day 11 – Thursday, May 3: The coastal cities of the Portuguese - Safi - Casablanca

In the morning we will complete the tour of Essaouira, then climb the coastal road and drive to Safi, which is the main port city for the country’s sardine industry, as well as phosphate, textile and ceramics exports. We will visit the Kedarim Quarter, which was built by the Beni Imgir tribe in 1514. From there we will travel northward, through Al-Jadida to Casablanca, and in time we will tour the Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the world built in the early 1990s. In September 1993, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres visited the mosque when they returned from the peace agreements in Washington and were the first foreign guests to visit the mosque, two months after its inauguration.

Day 12 - Friday, May 4: Casablanca - Toronto

According to the time of departure, fly back to Toronto.

Cost for package: CAD$3475 per person*

Tour includes:

Tour does not include:

* Based on a minimum of 30 participants

** The order of the route and visits to the sites may vary due to flight times, availability of hotels and other constraints.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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