We get many questions about the best route to go to Morocco. One first piece of advice, is to always compare the prices of the various ferry companies and to book directly with the one you choose online and buy the return ticket. A price saving tip if you know you are traveling months ahead, you can buy your ferry tickets in low season and the choose to not use it in for example in February since most tickets are valid for a year. Keep an eye out for discounts. There are many ports to choose from Malaga, Algeciras, Motril, Almeria, Gibraltar and Tarifa. Also please note that if you have a tendency to be sea sick, please keep an eye on windfinder before your departure.

Where is your first destination in Morocco? Here are some recommendations:

  • Algeciras to Tanger MED: If you are traveling south by your own car to Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech or to Chefchaouen, this is the ferry to choose. You can quickly access the highway to take you south or travel on to Tétouan and then to Chefchaouen. All ferries here are big ones and will keep crossing even if it is windy.
    The ferry companies I traveled with include: Trasmediterranea, Balearia and FRS. Of the three, Trasmediterranea usually offer the best rates and I like the fact that you can keep a personal profile in an account to save time when booking
  • Tarifa to Tanger Ville(City): Stopping in the gorgeous port city that is Tanger (my city guide in Swedish here), then this is the one ferry you choose, especially if you are traveling without a car. Compare suitable times for your departure and choose between FRS and Intershipping. The ferry takes you just about one hour. From Tanger you can connect to travel on with public transports such bus services like CTM and trains ONCF in Morocco.
  • IF you hope to catch the ferry anytime near the correct departure time… please choose the first morning ferries. The waiting game is key and simply pack loads of patience and enjoy the crossing. Keep an eye out for dolphins in the water. In high seasons, make sure you get to ports minimum 1.5 hrs ahead of time especially if you are traveling with your own vehicle.

Travel Procedures for ferry travelers

  • All passengers show their passport on the ferry to get it stamped by onboard customs and with an arrival form (usually white) that you get with your ticket. Everyone gets a local CIN number (usually 5 numbers and 2 letters) in the passport.
  • Note that you must write on the form and give the authorities an address in Morocco where you are staying the first night.
  • Customs will be cleared smoothly in the arrival hall where they check your passport. Note that you need a passport valid longer a minimum 6 months passed your return date. 
  • Check if you need a VISA to enter Morocco here
  • IF you take your vehicle, you will need to clear customs and show them necessary car ownership papers, your green card and a form (same info in three copies). The form you will get when you book. Please fill out before and bring with you to save time at customs. FRS has assembled great information here.
  • Do not pay anyone to help you fill out any papers! The car papers you easily fill in online and print when booking your ticket and then the customs agents will tell you. Simply wait and they will come to your car (Yes, I know you might find it annoying to wait while they smoke, but trust me, just do it).
  • On your return trip, fill out the exit form (sometimes yellow and same info almost as in the entry form). Give yourself extra time to clear customs, especially if you travel by car since it will be scanned and searched.
  • Bring sea sickness tables in case of a lot wind a bumpy ride.

Read also:

Vilostrada offers:

I first visited Morocco in 2002. I now call Tagounite, Essaouira “home” as well as Frigiliana (Malaga). I take pride in the extensive network of great people, awesome & unique places and amazing artisans. Of course, I want to share all this with you.

  • Our Vilostrada team can help personalize your tour for the day, days or weeks with recommendations on tour guides, trusted hotels and restaurants starting at €20. 50% of our fee, we donate to our non-profit work with the Vilostrada Foundation.
  • If you are looking for a personal shopping guide or come shopping with us, ask for a quote.
  • We can also recommend tour operators all around Morocco.
  • Welcome to visit one of my personal basecamps which is Sahara Sunrise desert camp

Happy traveling.

/ Victoria Ahlén, founder Vilostrada, hello(at)vilostrada.com

Sahara Sunrise Desert Camp Erg Lihudie

Sahara Sunrise Desert Camp by Erg Lihudie