How To Do A Day Trip To Morocco From Spain

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Last Updated on September 19, 2020 by Mary Emmer

Are you planning a trip to southern Spain and wishing you could fit in a visit to Morocco as well?

Well, guess what?  You can.  Even if you don’t have time in your itinerary (or in your budget) to stay there for multiple days.  You can actually do a day-trip to Morocco from Spain.

This is the perfect option if you have already planned a southern Spain itinerary but didn’t include Morocco either because you didn’t have time and additional days, or because you didn’t want the added expense of a multi-day stopover in Morocco before or after the Spanish part of your trip.

Why Visit Morocco?

OK, so you may be wondering why you should visit Morocco.

Spain is absolutely wonderful, of course, so it may seem like nothing more is needed once you’re exploring the wonders of all that Spain has to offer.

But the idea of stepping foot into something more exotic is exciting for me.  There’s something almost tempting about it.

Once you’re on the southern coast of Spain you can actually see Morocco from certain points.  After all, the shortest distance between Europe and Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar at the narrowest point is only about 9 miles.

And once you can see it, that temptation to embrace a new country and culture becomes almost irresistible.

Where To Go In Morocco On A Day Trip?

If you’re visiting Morocco on a day-trip from Spain, you will most likely be visiting the city of Tangier.  This is the most accessible city for day-trips from Spain.

Tangier is located at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar and is considered the “Gateway to Africa.”  It’s an ancient city with a history that begins before the 5th Century BC, and it’s gone by many different versions of its name ever since.  Today, its a bustling city that has a reputation for being a little rough around the edges, but it’s still worthwhile if you have that urge to dip into Africa while you’re visiting Spain.

Also, once you get a taste of Morocco, you may decide to return for a longer and more comprehensive visit to this interesting country.

Tangier has been somewhat romanticized over the years by writers, poets, and artists who came to Morocco looking for adventure and then wrote about it or brought their experiences to a canvas in the form of a painting.

Tangier has definitely lost some of the charms of yesteryear and its now quite touristy, but despite that fact, there are still many worthwhile things to see here and I would recommend that you grab the chance to make the trip if you have the opportunity.

How To Get To Tangier From Spain

The best and fastest way to make the trip from Spain to Tangier is on the ferry from Tarifa, Spain.

The Tarifa to Tangier ferry is the fastest crossing available and only takes around 30 minutes.  There are also ferries crossing from Algeciras, Spain to Tangier which take about 70 minutes.  And it’s also possible to cross from Gibraltar to Tangier in about 80 minutes.

Is It Safe To Visit Tangier Alone?

While it’s possible to visit Tangier alone without too much trouble, I don’t recommend doing it that way.

Even though it seems pretty straightforward to get on the ferry from Spain to Morocco, there are some other things to consider.

Remember that “reputation of roughness” that Tangier is known for?  That’s something to keep in mind before planning your day trip.  While the physical aspect of taking the ferry and getting over to Tangier would most likely be no problem, you still need to spend the day there, in a big bustling city that you’re unfamiliar with, and that could lead to problems for tourists that don’t know what to expect.

Best Way To Visit Morocco From Spain

So, while you certainly could opt to set out on your own from either Tarifa, Algeciras, or even Gibraltar, catch the ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar, and wind up for a fun-filled (hopefully) day on your own in mysterious and exotic Tangier, it’s not what I would recommend.

My recommendation is to take a full-day tour instead.

These are some of the benefits of taking a tour instead of schlepping over there on your own –

  • Pickup from your location included
  • Roundtrip ferry transfer included
  • Transportation in Tangier included
  • Lunch or other meal usually included
  • Local guide included
  • Tours in your native language
  • Everything is included in one price
  • Worry-free visit

One of the best things is that it’s entirely possible to get a tour even if you’re not staying in or near Tarifa which is where the ferry departs from.

It’s actually possible to get a tour from other cities in the region such as Malaga or Seville which are locations that may already be in your southern Spain itinerary.

And having all the transportation included means that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own, either on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar or on the African side where you would most likely have more difficulty.

And finally, having a guide for the day (in your native language) is what really makes or breaks a day trip to an exotic spot.  If you’re making the effort to go, you want to make sure that you see everything you should, and that you actually understand what you’re seeing.

A guide will make that happen.

Examples Of Day Trips To Morocco From Spain

Tangier Private Full-Day Trip From Tarifa/Algeciras

Tangier, Morocco Day Trip From Costa Del Sol

Tangier Day Trip From Seville

Private Morocco Day Tour – Tangier From Sevilla

There are quite a few different options for day trips.  Some of the tours will be in small groups, and some are private.

And while each tour includes something slightly different, the important thing is that every tour will include a worry-free day trip for you.

Have you already been to Tangier?  If so, please share your impressions of the place in a comment below!


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