FEZ FESTIVAL OF SUFI CULTURE 2021

SPIRITUAL TOUR OF WORLD SUFISM FESTIVAL IN FEZ MOROCCO...


tours of sufism in Morocco

Guided and escorted by a Sufi scholar, this specially designed journey includes 5 days of the Fez Sacred Music Festival, while exploring the depth of the Moroccan culture in the holy city of Fez. After the festival, we will embark on our Sufi retreat exploring notable spiritual and natural sites of Northern Morocco.

The festival of the Sufi Culture has not only the gift to identify a spiritual and artistic patrimony of an exceptional wealth, but also to open the thought on what could be the benefit of this patrimony on the heart of the Moroccan society today. Sufism can also inspire on global level, some new approaches for concrete maneuvers of peace mediations and for development of mutual dialogues between religions and cultures. This festival can contribute as well as promote and defuse throughout the world, particularly in a troubled era, the message of peace, universality and spirituality registered in the heart of Islam. Join us in the spirit of sharing and contributing to the world of intellect. Sufism is purification of the heart and nourishment of the SOul. Travel to make a diffrence.

Sufism is the mystical aspect of Islam, a spiritual path of love and peace. Its massage of universality has crossed all borders. From Malaysia, India, Persia and Turkey east to Egypt, Morocco and Andalusia west, Sufism is source of inspiration for stoics, mystics, thinkers, poets and a way of amelioration for disciples. This quest of divine love is the keyword of all time, sufi orders seek to nourish themselves with this divine light by meditation, contemplation and ecstasy. Rooted in all these parts of the world, Sufism, strong with its universality, is shaped in multiple spiritual, cultural and artistic forms. (architecture, music, art and way of life). The teachings of Naqshabandi principally in far East, the dervishes in Anatolia and Baltic Europe, the Qadiri and Shadhuli dominant in North Africa and Middle East, the Tijani order in the heart of Africa, illustrate the cultural and spiritual richness of Sufism. Due to The teachings of spiritual masters, disciples of divers’ Sufi paths has aspired the Excellency of this behavior. From early age of Sufism we can document treaties of chivalry, notably in the case of artists, craftsmen and thinkers who strive always to put in practice in the world, the teaching they received deep in heart.

It is said: “if the middle East is the land of prophets, then the Maghreb is the land of Saints” Sufism in this country has existed since the dawn of Islam. Its influence has traveled east to Egypt, north to Muslim Spain and south to the Sahara and the heart of West Africa. Since the 9th century, renowned masters considered to be universal in the spiritual teaching have taken their origin from Morocco. Mentioning for example some names of those who shaped the back bone in the body of Moroccan Sufism.

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

Upon your arrival at Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca largest city in Morocco, your guide will meet you at your arrival gate to take you immediately to check-in to your hotel in Rabat. This is a wonderful short drive of about 45 miles through the lush farms and exotic plants. You will reach Rabat (the capital of Morocco), a city styled in a spaciously elegant European grid, yet slightly aware of its modernity. Rabat and its twin city Sala Colonia are separated by only a river but are historically worlds apart. They have an ancient legacy that spans hundreds of generations. Each civilization that has inhabited each of the cities has left its mark, resulting in a wide variety in architectural styles, including those from the Phoenician and Roman eras.

You will spend your day discovering the delights that Rabat has to offer. Your guide will take on a historical and lively tour of the Jewish quarter, the Mellah in the Heart of the city starting at Place Sidi Makhlouf. The 12 century ramparts are best seen from this landmark. Walk up to Bab Chellah in the medina and cross Sidi Fateh St. This will lead you to the traditional Souk Laghzel (Yarn market). Your guide will introduce you to the importance of this guild on textile role in the Moroccan society.

Later, you will cross to the citadel of the Oudaya Kasbah entering from its 12th century main gate to explore an extraordinary Medieval Moorish marvel overlooking the delta of Bourgreg River. You will have the opportunity to visit the old-fashioned Moorish gardens, stop in a traditional coffee house for mint tea, and in between explore the Oudaya museum of tribal arts and crafts. A docent will introduce you to traditional Berber Textiles.

You will continue your quest exiting the Oudaya Kasbah and up the hill to visit the Hassan Tower and Mohamed the V Mausoleum, an emblem of the real Moroccan architecture at its finest. You will reach the Royal Palace and the Necropolis of Chellah at the end of your tour. Finally, you will return to the hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

Today is the day of time travel! This journey will take you from imperial Rome to the ninth century A.D. Unlike the movies, this temporal voyage will take almost the entire day. (Of course there will be stops along the way.) The first stop will be the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Volubilis was a critical city in the imperial Roman department of Mauritania (modern day Morocco, and the Western Sahara) during the reign of Caracalla. Volubilis is impressively well preserved and the genius of Roman urbanism is still intact. The two central integral streets in every Roman castrum, the Cardo and Decumanus, are prominent. The cardo is the boulevard which runs north-south and the Decumanus, east-west. The intersection of the two is the heart of every roman city. There you will find the ruins of the ancient forum.

Jumping forward in time and just few minutes away is the venerated citadel of Moulay Idris, founded in the 8th century by Moulay Idris Al Akbar, grandson of the Prophet Mohamed (s.a.w.s). This citadel is considered to be both the cradle of Sufism to Moroccan society as well as the first Islamic capital for the premier Arab dynasty. The city was created primarily for the indigenous population that migrated with Moulay Idris from the Middle East. You will drive around 15 miles to the next stop, the imperial city of Meknes. Meknes is a 17th Century city built by Moulay Ismail to rival Fez. It is also considered to be the Versailles of Morocco.

Finally, you have reached your destination, the ninth century city of Fez. In the evening, you will get a taste of the greatest of the Imperial Cities. You will visit the sights on the outside of ancient walled city, including the ramparts, the gates, and the Borjs (Moorish Forts). After this introductory aperitif to Fez, you will dine in your hotel and prepare for day three: Fez!

Undeniably fascinating, Fez stimulates the senses with its haunting yet beautiful sounds, visual splendor, and evocative smells. The most ancient of the imperial capitals and the most complete medieval city of the Islamic world, Fez is reminiscent of a city suspended in time, unfazed by the constantly evolving world outsides of its walls. Fez owes nothing to the Western world, save electricity.

Time spent in Fez will reveal much about the sophistication of the Moroccan artisan, providing an unparalleled learning experience to those who cross its path. Your morning will be spent visiting the Medina. Our specialized guide will take you on a historic discovery of the city of Fez starting at the King's Palace and its Meshwar with ramparts and majestic gates.

Next, you will explore the Jewish quarter, a 15th century citadel with all its Moorish maze architecture and medieval glory. Visits to Sephardic synagogues and mausoleums of holy Rabbis will be the highlights of this part of town. Then, we will drive to the Merinides hill to visit their necropolis. Here you will enjoy the best panoramic view on the old walled Medina, brimful with its countless minarets to call for the prayers in a city that has responded to these calls for 12 centuries. Drive down the hills to the gate of Bab Guissa to leave your vehicle and enter an ancient world. Fez has preserved its Medina as it was centuries ago. Not even a bicycle is able to be used as tool of transportation. Only donkeys, mules and horses are able to help moving all what the city produces and needs as supplies.

The first guilds you will immediately encounter are the cobblers, the saddlers and black smiths interlaced by some caravansaries for tribesmen who come from the surrounding areas to trade and supply their needs. Down the hill to Juteya you will encounter all sorts of crafts but noticeably carpenters and leather workers as one of the traditional tanneries is not far. This walk will lead you to El Ashabine square with its variety of activities. From there, you will wind your way to the Sgha square which will lead you to Attarine then Souk el Henna and the Mausoleum of Moulay Idris, the founder of Fez. Next to it, you will visit the Nejjarine square with its famous fountain, its guild of carpentry and the museum of folk arts at the Fondouk.

You will walk to the tannery and on to visit the great Mosque university of Al Quarrawiyyine, passing by Shemma'ine, the market of dried fruits. After that, you will visit the Medersa Attarine and walk to Sbetryyine, a guild of book binders, which will lead you to the Seffarine Square, where the tapping of metalworkers is still deafening passerby as it was the case for centuries. You will break for lunch then continue exploring the marvels of Fez Medina. These will highlight the Dyers souk, Foundouk Tetouani and the shrine of Sidi Ahmed Tijani. You will end your walk at foundouk Lihoudi where a local Fez family will host you for traditional mint tea in their home. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will spend your day discovering the rural environs of the Atlas Mountains Berber villages, wards, and nomadic settlements. Covered with evergreen pines, tall cedar trees, and poplars, and laced with flowing streams, your first view of the Middle Atlas will appear oddly un-Moroccan. Passing by Imouzzer, with a quick stop at the Swiss-like town of Ifrane, you will soon come across the first real town of the Middle Atlas, Azrou.

Azrou is an important market center for the region Berber tribes, located at a major junction of mountain routes. Your driver will take a little detour in a cedar forest to introduce you to one of the oldest inhabitants of this region, the Barbary apes. This may also coincide with the encounter of a nomadic family at its temporary encampment. As nomads are very hospitable people, whenever we encounter them we are all invited at least for a mint tea under their tents.

At Khenifra, the Middle Atlases give way to the High Atlas Mountains, whose peaks are visible through the haze, soaring to over 12,000 feet. You will reach the village of Afourer in the afternoon. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.

At Khenifra, the Middle Atlases give way to the High Atlas Mountains, whose peaks are visible through the haze, soaring to over 12,000 feet. You will reach the village of Afourer in the afternoon. You will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at your hotel.

You will devote your afternoon to the exploration of Marrakech many historical sites, starting at the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowerbeds, reflecting the image of an exquisite Moorish edifice. It was constructed in 1866 for dignitaries, who enjoyed glorious sunsets with the ethereal Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The pool also functions as an innovative irrigation system that is serving dry life in the desert.

Your tour will cover many impressive sites, including the Koutoubia Minaret (which is identical to la Giralda, a tower found in Sevilla, Spain), and the Saadien tombs, which demonstrate Moorish architecture at its best. The tombs consist of sixteenth-century mausoleums, which had lain walled-in and undiscovered until 1917. Next, you will explore the gardens of the Agdal then the Marjorelle. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

In the morning, you will venture into the High-Atlas Mountains, to visit the Telouat fortress. The fortress is what remains of a stronghold belonging to the Berber chieftain El Glaoui (the Lord of the Atlas). You will stop for lunch in Taddert, eating at the highest pass in Morocco, Tizi n Tishka. In the afternoon, you will return to Marrakech to visit the private art and craft collection of Riad El Fenn. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will spend your morning visiting the Mellah, the Synagogue, the Koranic School, and various Marrakech bazaars. You will have the afternoon to yourself. After sundown you will have the opportunity to enjoy the overwhelming beauty of Marrakech by night in a Renaissance horse carriage. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.

You will begin your day by traveling to Essaouira (Mogador), a picturesque city with a rich history. With a fascinating antiquity, Essaouira was occupied by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, supplied essential purple dyes to the Romans, absorbed the sophisticated Jewish arts of silversmith, and spent centuries as a Portuguese enclave.

Despite the obvious influence of these civilizations, Essaouira has managed to remain a small, authentic Berber town. Alive with the breath of fresh air provided by the Atlantic, Essaouira is a jewel nestled in the ragged coast, with a vast expanse of empty sands trailing back along the promontory towards the South. After an introductory tour, you will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations in your hotel.

In the morning, you will travel to Taroudant, where you will feast on a typical Berber tagine lunch, seated high above a banana plantation. You will pass through forests of the indigenous Argan and Thuya trees, where you may see the region s notorious tree climbing goats. You will break for afternoon tea at the Hotel Gazelle d Or, Morocco s most exclusive resort. Finally, you will conclude your day with dinner and other accommodations at the Palais Salam, formerly a Pasha s guest house, nestled into the city s massive walls.

You will spend your morning touring the city of Taroudant. Surrounded by red ochre walls, Taroudant is one of south Morocco s most ancient cities, with its rich bazaars reflecting a strong tradition of arts and crafts. Visiting this elegant imperial city is like discovering the classic Marrakech of the 1940s. You will conclude your day with a farewell dinner at your hotel.

You will depart for the Agadir Airport early in the morning. There you will catch a flight connecting you to Casablanca, where you will board your plane for a non-stop Royal Air Maroc flight home with a lifetime worth of memories packed neatly into your suitcase.

  • Six night accommodation in 4-star hotels
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Land transportation in chauffeured vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking guides in major & tour leader throughout
  • Entrance fees to monuments and museums
  • Hotel tax and service charges
  • Rabat: Hotel Chellah, one night
  • Fez: Riad El Yacout, two nights
  • Marrakech: Hotel El Andalous, three nights

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Land Transportation
  • Accommodation 4 star Hotels
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Guides and tour manager
  • Festival Entrance fees
  • Hotel taxes
  • Cost per person: $2,685.00

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • Round Trip Flight
  • Tips for Drivers and Guides
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal spending

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Fez Sufi group Tours

We are always available to answer any question you might have about this tour in Morocco (what to wear, weather, security...) or customizing this tour just for you.

info@alcazartours.com