Have you ever ever regarded on the map and observed that Southern Spain is barely even separated from the African continent? Spain and Morocco are break up by only a tiny channel of water the place the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.
There are a ton of flights between mainland Spain and Morocco, and they are often very low-cost. However if you happen to’re not a fan of flying, have numerous baggage, or just favor overland journey, ferry providers are the best way to go. Plus, isn’t a world, intercontinental ferry route simply plain fascinating?
There are literally a ton of ferry providers from Spain to Morocco. Not too long ago, I had the possibility to journey on probably the most in style routes – from the southern tip of Spain to the northern Moroccan metropolis of Tangier.
I did it as a day journey, returning to my resort in Europe the identical night. This can be a widespread tour for guests to the attractive Costa del Sol area, the place you possibly can keep in superior seashore locations comparable to Marbella.
The Spain to Morocco ferry routes will be complicated to ebook and revel in, so I’d prefer to share my expertise, particularly on the Tangier ferry. Fortunately, it’s actually not so dangerous to do when you perceive the fundamentals. Hopefully, this recommendation will help you make it occur – hopping over from Europe to North Africa for just a few hours is a one-of-a-kind expertise!
The Varied Spain-Morocco Ferry Routes
As I stated, this text will primarily concentrate on the Costa del Sol (Southern Spain) to Tangier route, because it’s essentially the most traveled by vacationers and the one which normally makes essentially the most sense. Nevertheless, there are a variety of ferry corporations working from a number of Spanish ports to factors throughout northern Morocco. Listed here are among the important routes (Spanish port first, Moroccan port second):
- Costa del Sol <> Tangier
- Algeciras <> Tangier Med
- Tarifa <> Tangier Ville
- Motril <> Nador
- Motril <> Al Hoceima
- Almería <> Nador
- Barcelona <> Tangier
The Moroccan ports of Nador and Al Hoceima are a bit remoted within the distant japanese a part of the nation, plus they’ve an extended ferry crossing. Due to this fact, these routes are normally solely acceptable for roadtrippers who’re on a mission to get actually off the overwhelmed path. There are some unbelievable seashores on this facet of Morocco, although.
Ferry Schedules from Spain to Morocco
It wouldn’t be clever for me to place schedules right here – there are too many routes, and they’re topic to frequent change anyway. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re going for one of many widespread Costa del Sol to Tangier ferries, it’s secure to say that they’re very frequent.
Count on a ferry each two hours from the port of Tarifa from morning to nighttime. From Algeciras, close to Gibraltar, there are sometimes a number of ferries per hour, with the in a single day hours included. For the opposite routes to and from extra distant cities, ferries might solely be as soon as weekly, relying on the time of 12 months.
My favourite option to test schedules is utilizing the web sites FerryHopper and DirectFerries. It’s mainly like Google Flights or Skyscanner for ferry journey, which means you gained’t have to test every of the varied ferry corporations’ web sites. It’s additionally secure to buy tickets straight on these websites with out hidden charges.
Costa del Sol to Tangier Ferries
Now, we’ll go into extra element concerning the almost definitely route you need to take, as promised. The southern coast of Spain, often known as the Costa del Sol, is dwelling to many resort areas, together with Marbella and Málaga.
This coast is linked by ferry to the Moroccan metropolis of Tangier through the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrowest level between the 2 continents. Nevertheless, there are two ferry docks on the Costa del Sol, and it might probably make a giant distinction to decide on one or the opposite.
Algeciras to Tangier Med
The primary ferry port of the area is Algeciras, a small metropolis with a wealthy historical past, due to its strategic placement. It’s additionally simply minutes down the street from the British enclave of Gibraltar, which, by the best way, could be very a lot price a go to.
That is the ferry terminal with extraordinarily frequent crossings, with departures that usually proceed in a single day, and lots of ferry corporations. It’s additionally the better port to achieve, as Algeciras is linked to the remainder of Spain by practice and lots of buses. There are numerous resort choices inside strolling distance of the port, just like the AC Hotel Algeciras by Marriott, the place I stayed.
Nevertheless, there’s a serious disadvantage to the Morocco ferries that depart from Algeciras: they arrive in Tangier Med Port on the opposite facet. That will sound high quality by the identify of it, however Tangier Med is over 50 kilometers and a 1-hour drive to the east of Tangier metropolis! That’s a severe further voyage added to your travels.
If you happen to’re taking your automobile on the ferry, this isn’t as massive of a deal. However if you happen to’re a foot passenger, you’ll must deal with onward journey, as this port is type of in the midst of nowhere.
You could possibly discover automobile leases with pickup or supply on the dock – test RentalCars.com. Different choices embody bus providers to Tangier, taxis (that may absolutely attempt to rip you off), or pre-arranged transfers.
Tarifa to Tangier Ville
The choice to the Algeciras and Tangier Med ferry is to depart from Tarifa. This can be a a lot smaller port in a small city half-hour additional south of Algeciras. In truth, Tarifa is the southernmost tip of continental Europe – which is cool to go to and makes for the shortest crossing between the continents.
Tarifa is a bit additional to achieve in Spain and sadly doesn’t have a practice station or many inns. However if you happen to can handle to get right here, whether or not by driving or on a bus, you’ll arrive at a way more handy port on the opposite facet.
It’s referred to as Tangier Ville, which suggests Tangier metropolis, and that’s an correct description. The boat docks on the coast of the previous city, and you’ll stroll to simply about every thing from there.
You’ll additionally get to Morocco quicker, because the crossing solely takes about an hour from Tarifa, versus 1.5 to 2 hours from Algeciras. The one ferry firm working this handy ferry experience is FRS Ferries, which takes passengers and vehicles. Their schedules are simply searchable on FerryHopper and DirectFerries.
You pay just a bit bit further for this comfort – round 40 euros per particular person from Tarifa, as in comparison with 25 to 35 from Algeciras to Tangier Med. In my view, it was very a lot price it, particularly if you happen to’re simply doing a day journey to Morocco on which you gained’t need to waste time.
My Expertise Crossing from Tarifa to Tangier Ville
I did the Tarifa to Tangier Ville crossing in mid-April, which was a good time to go. The climate on each side of the Strait of Gibraltar was great, and the crowds weren’t very massive. My household and I went to a unique continent for a day, arriving simply after breakfast and returning after dinner!
Reserving and Ticket Pickup
I made a decision to ebook tickets upfront, regardless that I discovered it’s virtually all the time high quality to simply present up a bit early on the ferry workplaces and do it earlier than boarding. I used FerryHopper to search out my most popular departure however went to the FRS Ferry Firm web site to do the transaction.
There was a draw back to this. After making my reserving, I nonetheless needed to gather my boarding move from the ticket workplace on the port, whereas FerryHopper would have provided me a cell ticket to keep away from that.
We plugged Tarifa into Google Maps and drove our rental automobile there with sufficient time to reach about an hour earlier than departure. The drive could be very good, winding alongside small cliffs, from which you’ll see the African coast simply throughout the strait very clearly.
Nevertheless, we discovered that parking in Tarifa just isn’t easy. There’s not a giant automobile park, and we needed to seek for avenue parking, which we ultimately discovered about quarter-hour from the dock.
Lining as much as decide up our ferry tickets didn’t take very lengthy, and we bought stamped out of Europe by Spanish passport management in the identical constructing. Foot passengers went on the boat after that and will take any seat they discovered. Automobile passengers can have a barely totally different process for driving onto the ship.
On the Ferry
To start with, don’t run into the identical downside as me – I’m not certain if it is a frequent prevalence, however we waited a really, very very long time within the hallway to get into the boat. Finally, I pushed previous the road to see what was occurring.
Because it seems, it was the road for Moroccan immigration, which is on the ship and will be achieved throughout crusing! There was no want for everybody to be held up like that and delay the departure simply to get it achieved ASAP. I began the development, and everybody swarmed into the passenger lounge, permitting us to get underway.
The boat appeared clear, and you’ll take any seat you discover. I discovered one with a view of the passport management line, which I jumped on as soon as it bought smaller. It was good that they stamped you into Morocco en route, because it saves a while.
The ferry experience is just an hour, so there’s no have to get too settled in. There’s somewhat café on board with some snacks and drinks.
Don’t count on any wifi. The experience wasn’t very tough after I went, however I perceive that it may be at occasions.
Arrival in Tangier
After a fast experience, you’ll dock in essentially the most handy port in northern Morocco: Tangier Ville. As a foot passenger, getting off the boat was so simple as displaying that my passport was stamped. When you have your automobile, you’ll want to attend a bit longer and present further paperwork to drive it out of the port space.
The traditional medina of Tangier and the remainder of the previous city are lower than 10 minutes away from the terminal constructing, and it’s quite simple to stroll – you’ll see all of it instantly upon exiting. Simply cross the road and also you’ll see the town partitions, together with a big, open sq., from which you’ll stroll up the steps into the previous city.
Pay attention to the FRS ticket workplace in your approach in, because it’s in a separate small constructing simply outdoors the terminal. That’s the place you’d decide up your return ferry ticket, if needed, or go for any requests to alter your boat. By the best way, FRS permits free modifications in case you need to take an earlier or later boat!
Suggestions for Tangier & The Costa del Sol
Now that you understand how to make the journey, let’s be sure you have a good time on each side of the Strait of Gibraltar! To start with, be sure you decide up some journey insurance coverage for Morocco – I exploit TravelInsurance.com to look many suppliers without delay. I don’t know what medical prices can be in Morocco with out it, and I wasn’t actually fascinated about discovering out.
Exploring Tangier & Northwestern Morocco
In Tangier, you possibly can select to discover the traditional metropolis heart by yourself or with a private guide. It’s very hilly, and the slender streets will be complicated, however the wandering is a part of the enjoyable. Don’t miss the Kasbah Museum close to the highest of the medina, and have a Moroccan tea at one of many many cafés.
Yow will discover a automobile on RentalCars.com to discover the various sights simply past Tangier. Cap Spartel is the nook of the nation the place the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, and there’s a fantastic nature park there with a lighthouse you possibly can climb for views again to Spain.
Just some minutes south of that’s Hercules Cave, the place the mythological God is claimed to have slept after doing one in all his 12 labors. Different actions over listed here are doing a camel ride on the beach and visiting the quiet seaside city of Asilah.
Personally, I selected to do a guided tour of the sights and actions outdoors of Tangier and discover the town heart by myself, which was a sensible choice. If you happen to determine to remain the night time in Tangier, there are two Hilton inns within the metropolis heart – the Hilton Tanger City Center and the Hilton Garden Inn Tanger City Center. Each are pretty priced, clear, and cozy.
Throughout the Strait in Spain
There are many issues to do within the south of Spain. If it’s summertime, there are miles of sandy shoreline for seashore bums to get pleasure from and delightful resorts with swimming pools and bars. I all the time select Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort, which is a timeshare property with outsized rooms that may be booked as a traditional resort.
In addition to stress-free on the seashore, don’t miss the possibility to cross one other border and go to the British enclave of Gibraltar. This tiny nation surrounds the large, strategic Rock of Gibraltar that guards the doorway to the Mediterranean. A guided day trip to Gibraltar ought to take you to the highest of the rock, the place you’ll meet the daring resident monkeys (recognized regionally as “rock apes”) after which descend into Saint Michael’s Cave deep throughout the mountain.
Guests can tour the picturesque resort city of Marbella, the principle southern metropolis of Málaga, or get out into the countryside for actions like canyoning. Within the evenings, get pleasure from an evening of Spanish cultural leisure at a flamenco performance.
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Woodrow is a journey author who desires to do and see nearly every thing. He’s been to 40+ nations, all 50 US states plus Puerto Rico and the USVI, and is at present dwelling in France and exploring Europe. Woodrow is an professional in journey hacking, discovering discount flights, and coined the time period “improve engineering” referring to his expertise to improve easy resort room bookings into suite stays. Woodrow loves SCUBA diving, fishing, and all issues aviation.
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