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Taking the Ferry From Spain to Morocco

Getting from Spain to Morocco is quite easy. Especially as there are many flights into Morocco, including a relatively new direct flight from Malaga to Tangier. However, taking the ferry from Spain to Morocco might be a better, faster and more enjoyable option.

As of April 2022, ferries between Spain and Morocco have resumed their operations for passengers and vehicles. Please check the health protocols for travel by sea between Spain and Morocco before travel.

Note: Services between Málaga and Melilla and Gibraltar and Tangier have not yet resumed but are expected to resume in 2022.

Moroccan man sitting in front of hanging carpets in the medina in Tangier Morocco.

Arriving by Ferry in Tangier? Spend a few days and discover some of the incredible Things to do in Tangier


Advantages of Taking the Ferry Between Spain and Morocco

If you find yourself in Spain’s southern Andalusia region, travelling to Morocco by ferry offers a multitude of advantages.

  • No baggage restrictions of low cost or small airlines.
  • You can take your car if you want to explore more of Morocco than Tangier.
  • The ferry is far more relaxed and enjoyable than navigating airports.
  • The experience of crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.

There is also something more exciting and atmospheric arriving in a new country by boat or train rather than a sterile airport environment. You are immersed in the country as soon as you arrive.

Nowhere is this more apparent than when arriving in Tangier City from Tarifa. You find yourself in the centre of Tangier where the atmosphere of Morocco hits you as soon as you leave the ferry. From Tangier, it’s easy to jump on the train to Morocco’s most popular destination Marrakech or a bus to the Blue City of Chefchauan


Plan Your Trip to Morocco:


Mosque in Tangier Morocco.

Day Trips From Spain to Morocco by Ferry

Taking the ferry independently from Spain to Morocco is fantastic, especially if you have time, or, if you are already in a convenient ferry port.

But for those who don’t have unlimited time and would still like to experience a taste of Morocco, a day trip from Spain to Tangier is an efficient and cost-effective way to go.

These are two of the best day trips from Spain to Morocco, leaving two of the most popular destinations in southern Spain.

Each tour includes a professional guide, ferry transfers between Spain and Tangier, and hotel transfers.

Tarifa to Tangier Day Tour

Duration: Approx. 9 hrs  Cost: prices start at €89 pp

  • Enjoy the ferry crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • 6 hours in Tangier visiting the most interesting places in the city
  • See the grottoes of Hercules and Cape Spartel
  • Enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch
  • Walk through the Medina and the Petit Socco for free time and shopping.

See full tour details here.


Seville to Tangier Day Tour

Duration: 14 hrs  Cost: prices start at €200 pp

  • Enjoy views of the Bay of Tangier and the Strait of Gibraltar on the ferry crossing.
  • Take a guided tour of the best sights in Tangier city.
  • A traditional Moroccan lunch
  • Free time to explore the Medina and shopping.

Get full tour details here


Related: Best Day Trips from Seville (including Seville to Tangier)


Things to Know About Catching the Ferry From Spain to Morocco

  • Ferry schedules may be unreliable.
  • The ferry services will often run late so plan for this at either end.
  • Be careful with timetables as there is a one hour time difference between Morocco and Spain.
  • Make sure your travel insurance for Spain covers Morocco as well.

See what travel insurance will cover if your tip is affected by Covid 19.

How Far is Morocco From Spain

Morocco is separated from Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar. At its narrowest point, the distance between Spain and Morocco is just 14.5 kilometres (9 miles).

Taking a Car on the Ferry into Morocco

If you are taking a foreign vehicle into Morocco, you will have additional forms to complete ( available on the Moroccan Customs Site) and certain documents you will have to present.

Make sure you have these in order before you depart. Most of the ferry websites have detailed information on this process.

Main Routes of Ferry From Spain to Morocco

See Full Details Below.

Important note: Ferry schedules can change frequently. It is always important to check sailings well in advance of your planned travel, especially if weather may be a consideration.

Ferry Route
Journey Time
Services
Tarifa – Tangier City
30 min – 1 hr
13 services per day
Algeciras – Tangier Med
30 min – 2.5 hrs
20-29 services per day depending on the season.
Algeciras – Ceuta
1 hr – 1.5 hrs
21 services per day
Gibraltar – Tangier Med
1.5 hrs
Currently Inactive – usually 1 service per week.
Malaga – Melilla
6-7 hrs
9 services weekly
Almeria – Nador
5hrs – 10hrs
1 service per day
Barcelona – Tangier Med
32hrs – 35hrs
5 services per week
Barcelona – Nador
24 hrs
1 service per week
Is there a ferry between Gibraltar and Tangier?

Currently, there are no ferry routes from the port of Gibraltar to Morocco. Previously, there was a ferry service once a week between Gibraltar and the port of Tangier. This service may be reinstated in the future.

While the ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco is inactive, you can take a ferry to the north coast of Morocco from the port of Algeciras, 30 minutes (22km) west of Gibraltar. 


Map of Spain to Morocco Ferry Routes

Map of Spain and Morocco

Serch ferry times and book tickets.

It is advisable to always book tickets well in advance. Especially during peak season.


Information on the Ferry Routes Between Spain and Morocco

Tarifa to Tangier City

The southernmost tip of Spain, Tarifa has regular daily ferries to Tangier City and is the most efficient port to reach Morocco from Spain. Arrival in Morocco is at the port in Tangier City so there is no additional travel to reach the centre.

Quite a pretty town in its own right, Tarifa is the European capital for wind sports such as kite and windsurfing.

The Tarifa to Tangier Ferry is the best route for a day trip from Spain to Morocco. You can travel independently or as part of an all-inclusive tour which is a very easy and cost-effective option. See tour options.

Port of Tarifa as seen from the Spain to Morocco ferry.

Tarifa to Tangier City Ferry

  • The journey from Tarifa to Tangier will take around one hour depending on weather and the vessel.
  • There are around 13 ferries daily
  • Ferry Companies from Tarifa to Tangier: FRS and Intershipping
  • Expect fares to start at €80 pp return depending on the season and anywhere as much as €260 return with a standard vehicle.

We recommend booking tickets well in advance to ensure availability for your times and dates.

If you come from or decide to park in Algeciras, the ferry companies provide a free coach service from their offices in Algeciras port to the ferry in Tarifa.

Parking is available in both Algeciras and Tarifa.

Important facts on taking the ferry from Tarifa to Tangier Town

Tickets

  • If you need to buy tickets, you can do so at the ferry terminal or ferry offices in Tarifa. Do so no later than 45 minutes prior to departure.
  • If you have booked pre-paid tickets online, you still need to collect the boarding passes from the ferry terminal or ticket office in town.

Immigration

From Tarifa to Tangier you will clear Spanish immigration and security at the ferry terminal before boarding and Moroccan immigration onboard the ferry.

Important Tip About Immigration

As soon as you board the ferry in Tarifa to Tangier, head straight to the front of the vessel to find the passport control desk. It is advisable to get there quickly.

You will be required to present your passport and the pre-completed documents you will have received at the ticketing office.

There may be as many as 500 people on the vessel and the crossing usually takes less than an hour.

If you are not in the queue for immigration early, you may be still on board well after the vessel arrives in Morocco, sometimes as long as 45 minutes to an hour. This is obviously no good for day-trippers.

It is usually okay for one person in a group to present the entire groups’ passports, although the officer may ask to see each person.

Returning from Morocco, immigration will be done at the ferry terminal in both Morocco and Spain.

Tangier ferry Port in Morocco

Long Term Parking In Tarifa

Port Parking

Tarifa port has a small, open car park which costs about €18 a day. If you park there, take the ticket with you and stamp the ticket at the wall-mounted machine BEFORE passport control on your way back in to receive a €5 per day discount.

Street / Public Parking

The Tarifa port car park is free for the first 15 mins if you want to drop off and then look for street/town parking. You will find a full list of parking options for Tarifa here.

Secure Undercover Parking

While these are good options for day trips, you may want something more secure for overnight or longer.

We use the Parking San Sebastian covered garage. Expect around €14.50 per day for a standard car.

We highly recommend booking this in advance as the car park is often booked out.

Tarifa Spain

Algeciras to Tangier Med

Algeciras is slightly better connected than Tarifa, so is easier to get to and sometimes the ferries may be slightly cheaper.

However, the crossing time can be longer by about an hour and the ferry arrives at Tangier-Med Port, which is a 40+ minute drive or bus ride from the city of Tangier.

So, you may have to add any additional transports costs to reach Tangier City.

This may suit people who are self-driving in Morocco and wish to avoid the traffic in Tangier centre.

Algeciras to Tangier Med Ferry

  • The journey from Algeciras to Tangier Med will take anywhere from 30 min – 2 hrs depending on the ferry service.
  • There are as many as 29 ferries daily in the summer.
  • Ferry companies from Algeciras to Tangier Med: Balearia, Trasmediterranea, Intershipping, FRS Iberia, and Africa Morocco Link.
  • Expect fares to range from €30-€65 return pp depending on the ferry company and around €200 return with a standard vehicle.

Getting From Tangier Med to Tangier

Some ferry sites will show a free shuttle bus between Tangier Med and Tangier but this service may not be included on all ferry tickets. The current transport options to Tangier City are:

  • Train – There is a train service between Tangier-Med and Tangier, but there is only one service per day which leaves early in the morning. See ONCF Website for schedules.
  • Bus – When you leave the main Tangier Med Port, taxi drivers will tell you there is no bus service. This is not true.
    • Follow the bus signs out of the port complex and you will find a small white local bus shelter.
    • You are looking for the blue “ALSA” bus. It is the I-13 service.
    • Buses come approx every half-hour during peak times, and every hour for off-peak times. The trip will take over an hour.
    • The bus costs around 7 dirhams (~€0.65).
    • If you are staying in Tangier overnight, it might be wise to confirm bus schedules and services with your accommodation as these may change.
  • Public “Grand” Taxi – These are public taxis and carry up to 6 passengers at a time. Grand taxis are like a small minibus or van so sharing the vehicle with 5 other passengers may be uncomfortable. You can buy all of the seats in the taxi and travel on your own, but this will be more expensive. Expect around: 60 dirhams (€5.50) per seat or 350 dirhams (€30) for the entire car.
  • Petit Taxi – There will be plenty of taxis but make sure you negotiate a rate before you leave.
  • Private Taxi Service – Air-conditioned car with English speaking driver will cost around €45. Tangier Taxi seems to be the most reputable company for this at the moment.

Long Term Parking at Algeciras Port

Public / Port Parking

There are two public car parks at the port of Algeciras, one across from the dock, this is indoor parking – the first hour is free. The other is next to the ferry terminal with outdoor parking. Both have 24-hour surveillance.

Other undercover, secure parking options are –

  • Parking Verboom – 800 meters from the port.
  • El Carmen Algeciras Port Parking – a 7-minute walk from the port.
  • Continental Parking – less than a 5-minute walk from the port.

Reservations are recommended to ensure available space, especially during peak times. This can be done online.

If you choose these options for a Tarifa departure, the ferry companies offer a free shuttle from Algeciras to Tarifa to meet all ferry departures.

Arriving by ferry into Tangier Morocco.

Algeciras to Ceuta

While this is a fairly quick crossing and a convenient port from the Spanish side; you will not actually arrive in Morocco. 

Ceuta is a Spanish enclave on the African continent, so you will have a land border crossing from Ceuta to enter Morocco.

The actual border crossing is fairly straightforward but queues are becoming longer. Especially in peak months. Wait times can be as long as two hours if crossing on foot and up to four hours with a vehicle.

This crossing is not ideal for a day trip to Morocco.

Algeciras to Ceuta Ferry

  • The journey from Algeciras to Ceuta will take anywhere from 1-1.5 hrs depending on the ferry service.
  • There are as many as 21 ferries daily.
  • Ferry Companies from Algeciras to Tangier Med: Balearia, Trasmediterranea, and FRS.
  • Expect fares to range from €60-€70 return pp depending on the ferry company and between €100- €180 return with a standard vehicle.
Ferry arriving into Tangier Port

Gibraltar to Tangier Med

This service is currently not running but should return hopefully in 2022

The British enclave in Spain currently only has one ferry departing Gibraltar on a Friday evening for Tangier Med. It does not return from Tangier Med until Monday evening.

The service is primarily for Moroccan workers in Gibraltar but could suit those wanting a few days in Morocco from Gibraltar.

  • The journey from Gibraltar to Tangier Med will take approx.1-1.5 hrs.
  • There is 1 ferry per week
  • Ferry Companies from Gibraltar to Tangier Med: FRS
  • Expect Fares of €45 pp one way and €160 with a standard vehicle.

Malaga to Melilla

Malaga is a large tourist city on Spain’s Costa del Sol but is not the most ideal place to catch the ferry between Spain and Morocco.

There are 9 sailings per week to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. There may be more frequent sailings in the summer. The trip is quite long and you will have a land border crossing to deal with to enter Morocco. 

This service is currently not operating but should return in 2022. This crossing is not ideal for a day trip to Morocco. 

Malaga to Melilla Ferry

  • The journey from Malaga to Melilla will take around 6 hours.
  • There 9 ferries per week. possibly more in the summer.
  • Ferry companies from Malaga to Melilla: Trasmediterranea and Belearia.
  • Expect fares of around €77 return pp and around €270 return with a standard vehicle.

Related: Best Things to do in Malaga

Malaga Spain -A Guide to Taking the Ferry From Spain to Morocco

Almeria to Nador

Almeria is the most convenient port for those wishing to travel by ferry to Morocco from the east coast of Spain. However, there is currently only one ferry per day leaving Almeria late at night.

This means an overnight journey on the ferry. Sleeper cabins are available in this route was preferred.

This is a long and expensive option.

Almeria to Nador Ferry

  • The journey from Almeria to Nador takes between 5 -10 hours depending on the vessel and service.
  • There is one ferry per day – Some dates will not take vehicles.
  • Ferry companies from Almeria to Nador: Baleària, Trasmediterránea and Naviera Armas
  • Expect fares to range from €80 pp return to €180 pp return if you want a sleeper cabin. With vehicle – €500 – €700 including a sleeper cabin.

Barcelona to Morocco

While yes, you can catch a ferry from Barcelona to Tangier Med in Morocco and Barcelona to Nador, both journey’s are very long and comparatively expensive compared to flying so we won’t go into too much detail on these routes.

Barcelona to Morocco Ferry

Services are operated by GNV Grandi Navi Veloci

Barcelona to Tangier Med

  • From Barcelona to Tangier Med Morocco will take approx 32-35 hours.
  • There are 5 ferries weekly but this may change at short notice.
  • Expect prices of around €250 pp.

Barcelona to Nador

  • From Barcelona to Nador Morocco will take approx 24 hours.
  • There is currently one ferry per week. This may change at short notice.
  • Expect prices of around €250 pp.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Morocco

For us, travel insurance is the first thing we buy as soon as we book a trip. Aside from possible cancellations, we like to know we are covered, especially in medical emergencies.

Find out what World Nomads cover if Covid 19 affects your travel plans.

We have used World Nomads Travel Insurance since we started travelling full time over six years ago. We have made a couple of reasonably big claims, both of which involved medical assistance while travelling. Each time it was straightforward with access to support 24 hours a day.

We love that you can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Perfect if you need to extend your coverage while you’re still travelling. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

Get a Free Quote From World Nomads Travel Insurance.

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