Getting from Spain to Morocco is quite easy. Especially as there are many flights into Morocco. However, taking the ferry from Spain to Morocco might be a better, faster, and more enjoyable option.
Are you arriving by Ferry in Tangier? Spend a few days and discover some incredible Things to do in Tangier.
Advantages of Taking the Ferry Between Spain and Morocco
Traveling to Morocco by ferry offers many advantages if you find yourself in Spain’s southern Andalusia region.
- No baggage restrictions of low-cost or small airlines.
- You can take your car 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 about 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 center of Tangier, where the atmosphere of Morocco hits you as soon as you leave the ferry.
Day Trips From Spain to Morocco by Ferry
Taking the ferry to Morocco from Spain independently is fantastic, especially if you have time or 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
- 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.
Seville to Tangier Day Tour
Duration: 14 hrs
- 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.
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 often run late, so plan for this at either end.
- Be careful with timetables, as Morocco and Spain have a one-hour time difference.
- Make sure your travel insurance for Spain covers Morocco as well.
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 kilometers (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.
Tarifa – Tangier City
Approx. 1 hr
Between 5-9 services per day each way
Algeciras – Tangier Med
30 min – 2.5 hrs
Between 5 and 30 services per day, depending on the season.
Algeciras – Ceuta
1 hr – 1.5 hrs
Up to 25 services per day, depending on the season
Gibraltar – Tangier Med
Seasonal – Ranges from 1 service per week – 1 service a month.
Malaga – Melilla
9 services weekly
Almeria – Nador
5hrs – 10hrs
1 -2 service per day
Barcelona – Tangier Med
28hrs – 31hrs
2-4 services per week
Barcelona – Nador
1 service per week
Ferries between Gibraltar and Morocco are sporadic at best. Depending on the season, they can range from one ferry per week to one per month.
Most ferries from Gibraltar to Tangier will leave on a Friday night and return on a Sunday evening.
The service is run by FRS ferries and aimed primarily at Moroccan workers in Gibraltar.
Map of Spain to Morocco Ferry Routes
Search 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 center.
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.
Tarifa to Tangier City Ferry
- The journey from Tarifa to Tangier will take around one hour, depending on the weather and the vessel.
- There are around 5-9 ferries daily, depending on the season, between Tarifa and Tangier Ville, and the same return from Tangier Ville to Tarifa.
- Ferry Companies from Tarifa to Tangier: FRS Ferry Company
- Expect fares of approx. €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
- 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 before departure. We recommend booking your tickets online in advance, especially in peak season.
- If you have booked pre-paid tickets online, you must collect the boarding passes from the ferry terminal or ticket office in town.
From Tarifa to Tangier, you will clear Spanish immigration and security at the ferry terminal before boarding and Moroccan immigration onboard the vessel before arriving in Tangier Ville.
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-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 still be 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 group’s 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.
Long Term Parking In Tarifa
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 €17 per day for a standard car.
We highly recommend booking this in advance as the car park is often booked.
Algeciras to Tangier Med
Algeciras is slightly better connected than Tarifa, so it 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, a 40+ minute drive or bus ride from the city of Tangier.
So, you may have to add any additional transport costs to reach Tangier City.
This route may suit people who are self-driving in Morocco and wish to avoid the traffic in Tangier Center.
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 a minimum of 5 crossings daily all year and as many as 30 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 Ville
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 look for 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 stay in Tangier overnight, confirming bus schedules and services with your accommodation might be wise, 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 €70 for two people. 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.
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 1-1.5 hrs, depending on the ferry service.
- There are as many as 25 ferries daily across the various ferry companies.
- 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.
Gibraltar to Tangier Med
The British enclave in Spain no longer has a regular weekly schedule. Depending on the season, they can range from one ferry per week to one per month. Ferries usually depart on a Friday evening and return on a Sunday 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, depending on the season. There can be as little as 1 ferry per month.
- 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 ideal for catching the ferry between Spain and Morocco.
There are an average of 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 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 €80 return pp and around €270 return with a standard vehicle.
Related: Best Things to do in Malaga
Almeria to Nador
Almeria is the most convenient port for those wishing to travel by ferry to Morocco from the east coast of Spain.
You can expect around 3 crossings daily across the various ferry companies. Ferries leave in the afternoon and evening, taking anywhere from 6 – 9 hrs, depending on the vessel, service, and weather.
Almeria to Nador Ferry
- The journey from Almeria to Nador takes 6 -9 hours, depending on the vessel and service.
- There are around 3 ferries daily – Some services will not take vehicles.
- Ferry companies from Almeria to Nador: Baleària, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), and Naviera Armas
- Expect fares to range from €100 pp return to €180 pp return if you want a sleeper cabin. With vehicle – €500 – €700, including a sleeper cabin.
Barcelona to Morocco
While there is plenty to do in Barcelona, you can catch a ferry from Barcelona to Tangier Med in Morocco and Barcelona to Nador if you want some adventure. Both journeys 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 Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV).
Barcelona to Tangier Med
- From Barcelona to Tangier Med Morocco will take approx 32-35 hours.
- There are as many as 4 ferries weekly, but this may change at short notice.
- Expect prices of around €250 pp return for a base far in the off-season.
Barcelona to Nador
- From Barcelona to Nador, Morocco can take as long as 31 hours.
- There is currently one ferry per week. This may change at short notice.
- Expect prices of around €250 pp return for a base fare in the off-season.