Taking The Morocco Ferry From Spain: Some Helpful Tips
Are you making plans to travel to Spain and considering taking the Morocco ferry over? Last fall when I went to Morocco, my brother and I drove from Madrid and took the ferry rather than flying. Prior to leaving for Spain, I did a lot of research to plan my Morocco trip and see what the best options were. I didn’t find a lot of helpful information in one place so I thought I would share some helpful tips.
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After spending a day in Sevilla, we drove to Algeciras. We spent a night at the AC Hotel Algeciras and got organized for the ferry ride over to Morocco. The hotel is conveniently located not too far from the ferry terminal and has free parking. We went to the ferry terminal to pre-purchase our tickets and afterward went to a Hipercor (a grocery store type place) where we bought snacks and provisions for our journey to Morocco. Since we parked our car we wanted to stay close for lunch and ate at the Corte Ingles department store. We could have done without spending a night in Algeciras but there was a Muslim holiday happening in Morocco and many businesses were closed.
In the evening we found an area on Calle Sevilla where there are several bars and restaurants are located in a plaza. We shared tapas and I drank mucho cervesas. Please remember because I always forget that when you order an alcoholic beverage, you will get snacks! We had a double order of French fries. Algeciras isn’t too pretty of a city but it’s right next to Gibraltar if you want to head there. Because we were leaving our car in Algeciras, we stayed here rather than in Tarifa.
Looking back at Spain from the FRS ferry to Morocco
Helpful tips for taking the Morocco ferry ride from Spain:
- Take the Morocco ferry from Tarifa, Spain if you are planning to travel to Tangier Ville (you will see it listed as Tanger on websites, etc.)
- If you are planning to ride the train in Morocco, take the ferry that brings you to Tangier Med (40 km away from Tangier city center)
- There is a complimentary bus from Algeciras to Tarifa with FRS. You will need to show your ticket before you board the bus. The buses leave approximately 1 hour before the ferry departs
- Ferries run usually every 2 hours
- Short-term parking is available in Tarifa if you are just going to Tangier for the day
- If you are planning extended travel to Morocco and leaving your car in Spain, the best place to park if you are driving is in Algeciras. There is a multi-level structure where we parked for over 2 weeks. The longer we stayed, the cheaper the price was! When you drive into the ferry port, you will see it. It’s the only multi-level structure. If I recall correctly, the long-term parking is on the second floor. When we exited we paid via the machine with our ticket
- When taking the ferry to Morocco from Algeciras, you will be going either to Ceuta or Tangier Med (not the city center!). From there you can take a grand taxi (shared) to Chefchaouen. Our plans were to rent a car in Tangier (Ville) so we took our ferry from Tarifa
- There are several ferries that go to Morocco but we went with FRS
- Please note the time change of 1 hour from Morocco to Spain. It is the same time zone as Portugal and the UK
- Do not forget your passport!
- This is a very important tip: when you get onto the ferry, immediately head to the little kiosk that says passport control and line up. This is immigration into Morocco. Here is where you will get your passport stamped. If you wait, you will be stuck in a really long line
- When you get on the ferry you can leave your luggage and bags on the ground level of the ferry. On the ferry to Tangier, we didn’t but it was a pain to lug our gear around with us. I left my bag on the ferry back from Morocco to Spain and just carried my valuables (camera gear, etc.) with me
- You can book your ticket online in advance but we just bought our tickets the day before. From friends who have gone, they said they bought their tickets right before they crossed
- When you get your tickets, they will give you customs forms to fill out. Fill those out immediately and don’t lose them!!! The white form is what you hand in with your passport on the boat. Hang onto this white form because you will need it to get off the ferry in Morocco. The yellow form is what needs to be handed in before you leave Morocco.
- It’s really windy on the top deck of the ferry. You can take photos for photo’s sake but nothing to write home about.
The Continental parking structure at the Algeciras ferry terminal
Ferry terminal at Algeciras
Taking the bus from Algeciras to Tarifa
The ferry terminal in Tarifa….pretty basic
Loading onto the Morocco ferry
Inside the FRS ferry
Multi-level passenger only ferry with a little cafe and duty-free
This is Moroccan immigration! You must line up here to get your passport stamped to enter Morocco!
Getting off the ferry in Tangier!
Have any Morocco ferry tips to add? Leave them in the comments!
FOR MORE HELPFUL POSTS AND LINKS:
- The hotel we stayed at in Algeciras, AC Hotels Algeciras by Marriott
- For more travel tips and other destination guides
- Riads: Where To Stay In Morocco
- 24 Hour Itinerary For Sevilla, Spain
- 2 Week Morocco Itinerary Without A Guide
- 48 Hour Itinerary for Essaouira
- Essaouira, Morocco Photo Diary
- Use this link to book the best deals on your accommodations
- Use this link to research your flights and car rental
- Get a discount off your first stay with Air Bnb by using this link