What a shock I had in my second visit, from the ferry to the hotel continental, 5 minutes walk, they wanted to charge me 50 dirhams!!! 5 Euros!!! Even more expensive than in Marbella! The petit taxi was a little more reasonable, only 40 dirhams, still 4 Euros, incredible!!!
Ok, many will know about the differences between the petit taxis (the blue ones normally Fiat puntos or small peugeots) and the Grand Taxis (normally bigger cars as old Mercedes and not so old lately), normally you share but in my last visits we had been able to book them for ourselves, for more price .The petit taxis normally do a fix itinerary as if they were little buses . remember to confirm the tariff beforehand and that if you book through the hotel reception it will be more expensive as they will get their own commission
Arriving by Ferry
If you take the ferry from Spain, there are a couple of options: Algeciras or Tarifa (also sometimes from Gibraltar). All of them go to Tangier. Also you can cross to Ceuta and from there cross the border to Tetuan (I heard for cars it is easier from there, but if you plan using public transport around Morocco Tangier has better options)
there are a couple of companies to choose, if you go to Algeciras there are boats nearly every hour, from Tarifa the company is called FRS, check at www.frs.com, I use it often as I prefer to leave my car there that at Algeciras, looks much safe and it is high speed (it is says 45 minutes, but I had never been lucky on it, always delays getting into the boat!
You can get buses from many European cities to Morocco that includes the ferry ticket on the bus ticket, Eurolines is most famous one
Arrive by air
If you plan to arrive to Morocco, there are 3 main international airports: Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier. Tangier airport is just outside the city and I can not help you in relation with prices or ways to get to Tangier as I always arrived by ferry
for flights check on the following companies: British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Sabena and Swissair. Also Royal Air Moroc and Atlas blue
Beware Algeciras/Tangér ferry schedules
At the Spanish port of Algeciras, you can find many ferries to Tangier, Ceuta, and other Moroccan ports. If you decide to take one of these trips, please, leave about 4 hours open in your schedule. The ferries do not run on time. And no one seems to know why!
Also, keep in mind that Morocco is in a different time zone than Spain, it is two hours behind! So, keep that in mind when making plans, otherwise you will, like us, have to cut our Moroccan tour short.
If you can, ride the ferry at sunset. The sun setting over the Atlantic is the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen, period. This picture does not come close to doing it justice.
- Sailing and Boating
- Study Abroad
- School Holidays
Onwards from Tangier
Tangier's main train station is about 3km out of town, in the Malabata district. There is another smaller station at Mororo, but for most journeys onwards from Tangier you will want Malabata. A taxi from the centre should cost no more than 25 Dirham. It's probably best to avois the taxis at the port as they will try to overcharge you. Instead, walk up towards the town and flag down one of the yellow petit taxis near the medina.
From Tarifa to Tangier
We travelled by ferry to Tangier from Tarifa in Spain. The crossing took about 30 minutes and, though we had bought our tickets the day before, it's probably safe enough buying your tickets on the day. However, this was a rainy Sunday morning in March - I imagine in summer things get a lot busier. There are a number of daily crossings from Tarifa and it cost us 24 Euro each for a single ticket. You can buy tickets down at the port area in Tarifa or in the town itself.
I was walking around Tangier's medina a few hours which is the only way to visit the old arab town. I didn't drive a car around Tangier. With all that chaotic traffic, narrow streets (with no sidewalks) full of pedestrians, shortage of parking place and "soft" traffic rules, it would be craziness even for me. I would rather took a taxi from Grand Socco.
My first problem was where to park a car in Tangier. I was not going to sleep in Tangier, thus I couldn't leave a car at a hotel parking. I was looking for a safe place not very far from the medina. Well, forget about air-conditioned, underground or multistory parking lots. It's neither Western Europe nor the USA, it's Africa.
As usual, before entering any larger foreign city, I studied a map (French Michelin offers the best one) and decided to drive towards Grand Socco. There were many cars and taxis parked on the square but no place for my car. I parked a car on this poor street, up the square, on my picture. My car was left hidden among local cars, at approx. 5 min. walk down Grand Socco. The street was full of local craftsmen (in metal) working hard and noisy.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Get your passport stamped on the ferry!
You should get your passport stamped on the ferry before you disembark into Tangier. Otherwise, you'll be turned back at customs and have to wait around (like we did) for the stamp guy to make his way into the bar area to stamp. This will likley mean you will be the LAST people off. Conversley, have your passport stamped at the office in Tangier before you get back on the ferry. Or they wont let you on.
Spain to Tangier
Although we got the ferry from Algicras to Ceuta. The easiest way to get to Tangier is obviously to get the ferry directly to Tangier itself.
You can get the ferry from Tafila,Cadiz, Algiciras, Gibraltar, Alermeria, Sete, Malaga and probably even more places directly to Tangier, although some of these only run in the summer.
Euro Ferries to Morocco
We got the Euro Ferry hydrofoil to from Algicras is southen Spain Ceuta (Spanish Alcave in North Morocco).
The boat itself was lovely & the journey went smoothly and took roughly 45 minutes.
From Ceuta our tour bus took us through the boarder and eventually on to Tangier
if you are taking the train to different cities, you can stop by any city along the way and use the same train ticket when you hop back on the train, BUT your final destination ticket has to be used on the SAME DAY (so, please make sure there is another train going your way).
i really really really missed a cushiony seat on the train, i travelled on 2nd class, and let me tell you: it's tough for long journeys...
Tips about choosing a one day-trip to Tangier
First of all, don't even think about visiting Tangier on your own. It's not only a safety measure but you won't be able to see the right places, find transportation and make the most of your scarce time. A guided tour is absolutely a must if this is your first time.
Next, if your hotel offers a good reliable tour departing from your place, take it. It may seem that you would save some euros if you drive and buy the tour at the port but it's not that easy. Add the money spent at tolls (+12 euros), gas and parking at the port and both alternatives get almost even.
If you prefer to drive, go directly to Tarifa and skip Algeciras. Departures are more frequent and reliable. The extra drive to Tarifa takes 30' but it is very scenic and worths it. Ferries Rapidos del Sur (FRS) operates its "Tanger Jet" fast ferry which takes only 35' to reach the African shore. You don't need to book in advance or thru any travel agency. Just arrive in the modern Tarifa port terminal and buy the tour directly from FRS. The cost is 49.50 euros per person and includes round trip ferry, guided tour and moroccan lunch. (The tour offered at the Marriott's Marbella was 63 euros each).
Tabletime: You don't need to get there as early as I thought. Remember that Tangier is 2 hours behind Spain. The tour leaves with the 11.30 am ferry (arrives 10.05 am Tangier time) and return is in the 4 pm ferry which arrives at 6.35 pm Spain time. These times are rather flexible and you'll probably arrive later to both destinations.
Don't forget to get your Boarding Card !
Before you take the ferry from Tangier to anywhere, especially in Spain, please do not forget to take your boarding card from the main office of your ferry company before getting an exit stamp from the immigration of Morocco.
- Budget Travel
Ferry to Tangier
We took a ferry from Algeciras to Tangier. It took 2 1/2 hours each way. There are fast ferries, about 1 hour each way, but they don't run as often. The one we took cost 24 euros each way. The ferry companies operate in conjunction with each other. They sell tickets on each others ferries, so it really doesn't matter which slow ferry you take. They're all the same price. They run every hour in high season, less in low season. Just show up at the ferry terminal in Algeciras and buy a ticket. I have heard that you may need advance tickets during the summer though. The ferries are clean, and they sell drinks and snacks (nothing fancy). You can get your money changed and your passport stamped on the boat. I highly recommend doing this to save time and hassle.
- Family Travel
Crossing to/from Spain
You have different options to cross the 3rd most busiest strait in the world in order to get from Spain to Tanger, Morocco. Algeciras has a modern port terminal and provides more frequent and convenient crossings than Gibraltar, but it is not as cute as than Tarifa, the third option. However, Tarifa, where the crossing ois the fastest with 35 minutes is only for EU Nationals. This will change Sep 1, 2003, when other nationalities will be allowed to cross from Tarifa as well.