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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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
- 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.
From Tarifa to Tangier you will clear Spanish immigration and security at the ferry terminal and Moroccan immigration on board the ferry.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.