(Rabat, Fes, Marrakech)
As you stroll through the old walled medina of Fez, the setting sun pressing itself onto ochre-colored buildings, the scent of turmeric and cinnamon clinging to the arid breeze; you’ll feel, perhaps for the first time, fully alive.
Westerners have long been seduced by Morocco’s unique architecture, vivid colors and dizzying labyrinthine medinas, and for good reason. From the sun-swept sands of the Sahara to the towering cliff faces of the Atlas Mountains to the kaleidoscopic bazaars replete with hand-knotted rugs, Morocco offers moments of astounding beauty that defy the imagination. Take an exotic journey through the resplendent imperial cities of Meknes, Fes and Marrakech and experience an adventure of a lifetime. In the evenings, relax in a selection of charming riads tucked away on quiet cobbled streets.
Tour vibrant Casablanca and visit some of its most renowned monuments including La Corniche on the ocean front and the outstanding Hassan II Mosque. Make your way to the Imperial City of Meknes, known as the “Moroccan Versailles” and visit Place el-Hedim, The Dar Jamaï museum, The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, and try to take in the 25-mile-long walls that surround the city. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fez and visit the many blacksmithing, leather working, silk and tapestry workshops that have been in existence for over 100 years. Arriving in beautifully chaotic Marrakech, visit the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the El-Bahia Palace, and the famous Saadian Tombs. These are just a handful of the highlights awaiting you on your glorious Imperial adventure.
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Arrival at Casablanca Airport.
Today enjoy a tour of Casablanca, before being transferred to Rabat in a private vehicle with English speaking driver. You will begin your sightseeing of Casablanca and the Jewish area (the largest such community in the Arab world). Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, established by the community in 1997. The Museum presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization. Visit communal organizations of the Jewish community including the Jewish Old Age home and the Levine
Casablanca is located on the coast the Atlantic ocean, and is the center of business in Morocco. Originally established by the French as a commercial center, this dynamic city boasts a combination of modern, art deco, and traditional architecture. Visit some of the city's most renowned monuments including La Corniche on the ocean front and the outstanding Hassan II Mosque. Upon completion of the tour, proceed to Rabat.
Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour & Community:
The 4,500 Jews in Casablanca live outside the mellah in the European city, where they worship in over 30 synagogues, eat in kosher restaurants, entertain themselves in community centers, and attend Jewish schools and social service centers. They worship at Temple Beth El, the largest synagogue and an important community center, seating 500 persons. The Jewish community of Casablanca also contributed to the construction of the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest in the world. Some Jews visit annually the Muslim shrine of Sidi Belyout, Casablanca's patron saint. Many Jews of Casablanca celebrate the hiloula of the saint Yahia Lakhdar in Ben Ahmed, about an hour south of Casablanca near the town of Settat.
On this Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour you will start your morning off visiting Casablanca’s Jewish Sacred sites and then continue seeing the highlights of old Casablanca. The synagogues, cemeteries, monuments and communal institutions of Casablanca show how important the city has been to the Jewish community during the twentieth century.
Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the center piece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements, is what attracts tourists to this synagogue.
The mellah of Casablanca is young by Moroccan standards, not much more than a century old. It assaults the senses in the evening, with a sea of women in brightly colored djellabas carrying and selling fruit and vegetables throughout the cramped, narrow streets. While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers are found in the old market, next to other butchers selling horse meat. The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
?Visit the Museum of Moroccan Judiasm in Casablanca.The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is tucked into a residential neighborhood and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization.
The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of:
? A large multipurpose room, used for exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture
? Three other rooms, with windows containing exhibits on religious and family life (oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, marriage contracts (ketubot) Torah covers… and exhibits on work life;
? Two rooms displaying complete Moroccan synagogues;
? A document library, a video library and a photo library.
? The Museum offers guided visits, sponsors seminars and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture, and organizes video and slide presentations. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English or Spanish.
?Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Cemetery on a Casablanca Jewish Heritage Tour:
The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Once a year, Casablanca's celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
?Visit Casablanca’s Jewish Club: Option - If time allows.
?Lunch Options: Kosher Food in Casablanca, Seafood or Moroccan Fare.
Kosher Jewish Lunch:
Cercle de L’Alliance is one of the centers/buildings where Jews from Casablanca hang around. The bottom floor/lobby is where people sit around, smoke cigars or cigarettes and socialize. You will also find a small bar and a mid size restaurant on the same floor with great appetizers and outstanding food
D.E.J. J. is a restaurant that primarily serves dairy, pizzas, salads and pastas. Meat is not served here.
La Truffe offers skewered chicken accompanied with sides of bread, salad, olives and pickles. It is the most reasonably priced kosher restaurant located in the downtown area of Casablanca across from the medina.
Seafood or International Fare:
An international seafood restaurant by Casa's port, the Corniche, or renowned seafood haunt, El Mer or Rick's Cafe- a famous Piano Bar run by an American and named after the Movie "Casablanca.".
Lunch not included in tour price. Your driver and/or guide will assist you for lunch options on the way.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Rabat and Fes. During the transfer, explore the Imperial City of Meknes along with the Roman city of Volubilis. In antiquity, Volubilis was an important Roman town situated near the westernmost border of Roman Empire. It was built on the site of a previous Carthaginian settlement from the third century BC. Volubilis was the administrative center of the province in Roman Africa called Mauretania Tingitana. The fertile lands of the province produced many commodities such as grain and olive oil, which were exported to Rome, contributing to the province's wealth and prosperity. Discover the Imperial city of Meknes known as the “Moroccan Versailles.” Meknes was founded in the 17th century by King Moulay Ismail. It is famous for its 25-mile-long walls. Upon arrival into Fes, a hotel drop-off is provided.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Explore the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco during this full day tour of Fes. Also known as Fes el Bali, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 9th century, and is home to the world's oldest university. The city of Fes reached its true economic and cultural height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Merinids, when it replaced Marrakech as the capital of the kingdom. Although the political capital of Morocco was transferred to Rabat in 1912, Fes has retained its status as the country's Artisan centre. Artisan workshops in the medina are as active today as they were 100 years ago, and strongly contribute to the city’s industrial economy. Trades such as blacksmithing, leather working, ceramics, silk, tapestries, and sculpting are still practiced in these workshops today. The original ramparts still protect this ancient city and its estimated 9000 narrow passageways and bustling streets.
Travel today between Fes and Marrakech with private vehicle, driver and your guide. Enjoy lunch en-route, your guide will take you to nice & recommended restaurant. Explore the Mountain range of the Middle Atlas, with incredible passes and dizzying sights to experience the countryside of Morocco.
The drive takes 7 hours in total, you will be stopping for an hour for lunch enroute.
Lunch not included in tour price. Your guide and/or guide will assist with lunch options on the way.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque's beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakech and can be seen from almost every approach to the city thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. You will also visit the El-Bahia Palace. This 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period of seven years for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture. One of most visited sites in Morocco is the Saadian Tombs, which were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic-decorated tombs. The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century. It was restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and Casablanca.
The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Airport Drop off is included.
The Riad Kalaa is a renovated Kasbah which originally dates back to the Almoravide dynasty. This ancient structure was built in 1815, in the heart of the ramparts of the medina only a few steps away from the ocean. This Kasbah converted into a hotel has undergone a thorough and lengthy restoration, using artisan workmanship traditional to Morocco. The Riad Kalaa features 11 rooms and suites designed to with tradition and convenience in mind with each room equipped with the modern amenities such as climate control, wireless internet access and more. The talented culinary team at the Riad Kalaa provide guests with a plethora of dishes to enjoy including an extensive menu of Moroccan specialities. The Riad Kalaa also features tree-lined terraces on the upper floors with a solarium and emerald swimming pool. A traditional hammam and spa are made available as well and offer relaxing massage treatments and old fashion shaves.
Riad Myra was built in the early last century and restored by the finest craftsmen in Fez. Riad Myra is one of the most prestigious guest houses in the city. Riad Myra enjoys a privileged location in the Batha district at the door of the Medina of Fez, a few minutes walking distance of the Batha Museum and the famous Bab Boujloud. Its Arab-Andalusian architecture, decor and cozy atmosphere recall the old bourgeois houses.
Riad Daria is a very charming guesthouse in the heart of the Kasbah area of the Medina, yet it is in a quiet street easily accessible by car or taxi. Originally the home of a noble Moroccan family, it is situated close to the Royal Palace and the Saadien Tombs. This gem of a riad has managed to retain many of its original features which combined with a modern touch, will make your stay very traditional and special.
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
Justin Yax ,
April 21, 2014
"Once again, a perfect trip. From Elizabeth's planning to Godfrey's guiding, we could not have asked for a more thorough and well planned safari. I can't wait to come back and do it again, this time with a Kilimanjaro climb added onto the trip!"
Nancy Frierson ,
April 21, 2014
"The entire trip was superb - all the transfers, the lodging and the food, the safari experience and the knowledgeable guides. The guide's ability to spot an animal and identify it at a great distance allowed us to see and photograph all the animals on our list and then some. The lodgings were even better than we had hoped and the staff could not possibly have been better. Our trip of a lifetime turned out to be just that."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - the best gift of all!
Ebony Hoskins ,
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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