In Africa, Destinations, Morocco Travel Guide, Spain, Travel Tips
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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.

 

Tangier Morocco

Advantages of Taking the Ferry Between Spain and Morocco

If you find yourself in Spains 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.

Tangier Mosque - Ferry Spain to Morocco

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).

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.

Day Trips From Spain to Morocco

Main Ferry Routes From Spain to Morocco

See Full Details Below


Tarifa – Tangier City 30 min – 1 hr 13 services per day
Algeciras – Tangier Med 1.5 hrs – 2.5 hrs 29 services per day
Algeciras – Ceuta 1 hr – 1.5 hrs 21 services per day
Gibraltar – Tangier Med 1.5 hrs 1 service per week
Malaga – Melilla 4 hrs 2 services per day
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

Map of Spain and Morocco

Map of Spain and Morocco


Tarifa – Tangier City

The southern-most 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 – Tangier ferry is the best way to do a day trip from Spain to Morocco.

 

Tarifa Spain - Ferry Spain to Morocco

Tarifa – Tangier City Ferry

  • The journey from Tarifa to Tangier will take no longer than an hour.
  • There are around 13 ferries daily
  • Ferry Companies from Tarifa to Tangier: FRS and Intershipping
  • Expect fares of around €60 return pp and anywhere as much as €260 return with a standard vehicle.

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.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Morocco

 

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 and Moroccan immigration on board the ferry.

Important Tip About Immigration .

As soon as you board the ferry 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-filled in documents you will have received at the ticketing office.

There may be as many as 500 people on the vessel and the crossing 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 Port - Ferry Spain to Morocco

Taking a Car 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.

Long Term Parking In Tarifa

Port Parking

Tarifa port has a small, open car park which costs about 18 euros 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 used 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 - Ferry Spain to Morocco


Algeciras – 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 is longer by about a half 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 – Tangier Med Ferry

  • The journey from Algeciras to Tangier Med will take anywhere from 1.5 hrs – 2.5 hrs depending on the ferry service.
  • There are as many as 29 ferries daily.
  • Ferry companies from Algeciras to Tangier Med: Balearia, Trasmediterranea, Intershipping, FRS.
  • 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.

Tangier - Ferry Spain to Morocco


Algeciras – 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 – 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.

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.

Tangier Port- Ferry Spain to Morocco


Gibraltar – Tangier Med

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 – Melilla

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

There is one ferry per day to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. The trip is quite long and you will have a land border crossing to deal with to enter Morocco. 

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

If wishing to visit Morocco from Malaga there are day trips that drive from Malaga to Tarifa where you will catch the ferry. This would be the best way to visit Morocco as a tourist.

Find out more about Day trips from Malaga to Tangier here.


Malaga – Melilla Ferry

  • The journey from Malaga to Melilla will take around 4 hours.
  • There 2 ferries per day.
  • Ferry companies from Malaga to Melilla: Trasmediterranea.
  • Expect fares of around €77 return pp and around €270 return with a standard vehicle.

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


Almeria – 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 if this route was prefered.

This is a long and expensive option.

Almeria – 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: Trasmediterranea.
  • Expect fares to range from €80 pp return to €180 pp return if you want a sleeper cabin. With vehicle – €500 – €700 including sleeper cabin.

Barcelona – 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

Barcelona – 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 on one ferry per week. This may change at short notice.
  • Expect prices of around €250 pp.

Discover More About Travel in Morocco

Driving from Marrakech to Fez – Morocco Road Trip

Complete Morocco Packing List

Getting the Train From Casablanca To Marrakech

Books about Morocco to Read Before You Visit


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