Here is a detailed guide on how to take a ferry from Tangier to Tarifa.
I’ll tell you where to take the ferry, where to buy tickets and how much the tickets cost from Morocco to Spain.
Nowadays, getting from Morocco to Spain is very easy because there are many direct flights connecting the two countries. Taking a plane, however, has certain disadvantages. Not only can it be expensive, but there are baggage restrictions and airplanes are not always the most convenient way to travel. Taking the ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain is much better in many ways.
First of all, it is a much cheaper and more entertaining option. You will see the port of Tangier slowly disappearing in the distance and you can admire the Spanish port when you arrive in Tarifa. There is almost no restriction on the amount of luggage you can bring on board, and the overall experience will be much more relaxed.
The distance between the two countries is only 14 kilometers at the narrowest point of the route, so crossing the sea can be done very quickly by ferry and takes just under an hour with the FRS service. .
You can also extend your Moroccan travel visa quickly and easily with the ferry from Tangier to Tarifa. You can take a ferry to Spain and easily return the same day to get a brand new tourist visa.
Crossing the road by boat is also the perfect way to take a short day trip from Morocco to Spain. Tarifa is a beautiful Spanish city and an excellent destination for sports like wind and kite surfing.
In this article, I will explain how to take a ferry between Tangier and Spain, where to buy your tickets and what to expect on board. I will also explain where you can stay in Tarifa and how to renew your return visa.
Which ferry companies operate on the Strait of Gibraltar?
There are currently only two ferry companies on the Strait of Gibraltar that take people from Tangier to Tarifa and vice versa.
The FRS service travels up to 8 times a day with a navigation time of around 45 minutes (the fastest boats) to 1 hour, while Inter Shipping travels up to 6 times a day with a duration of ‘about 2 hours.
I have traveled across the Strait of Gibraltar with both companies on several occasions and I think the FRS service far outweighs its competitors. Their seats are very comfortable, they have large tables, very good WiFi, immaculate toilets and a large choice of snacks.
It is also possible to bring other ferries to different cities in Spain and other European countries. This expands your travel options between the two continents. Ferries from Tangier connect Morocco to Spain, Italy and France. Crossings to Tarifa, Algeciras, Malaga and Barcelona (in Spain), Genoa and Savona (in Italy) and Sète (in France).
Tangier ferry crossings are operated by FRS, Inter Shipping, Balearia, Trasmediterranea, Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines & AML. Depending on the season, you can drive up to 69 ferries across the Mediterranean each day.
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Where can you buy a ferry ticket to Tangier Morocco?
In Tangier, there are shops in the port itself where you can buy FRS and Inter Shipping ferry tickets. It is not necessary to go to the port because the two companies sell their tickets at different places in the city of Tangier. Tickets can also be purchased in different cities along the coast. It is very convenient if you are driving north along the coastal road with your own car or with a rental car.
Here are the locations of the different FRS stores in Tangier:
FRS Tanger Ville Port
Maritime Station S / N Tanger 90000
Avenue Mohamed VI, 2bis C (entrance to the port of Tangier City)
Avenue Mohamed VI, 2bis C (entrance to the port of Tangier City)
Here you can buy FRS tickets on the coastal road to Tangier:
You can also buy your FRS ticket online.
The Intershipping service also has several stores in Tangier where you can buy ferry tickets. A full list of these outlets can be found on their website.
What is the ferry schedule?
Ferry timetables are often unreliable due to inclement weather. This is especially true in winter when northern Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar are covered with heavy rain. At this time of year, the sea is not very stable and high waves can sometimes prevent ferries from crossing the road.
The FRS service ferries cross the straight line of Gibraltar from Tanger Ville (just opposite the old medina) and Tanger Med (a port further away from the city) to Tarifa according to this schedule.
Intershipping ferries operate only from Tangier City to Tarifa and cross the Strait of Gibraltar according to the following schedule.
If you buy tickets for the ferry in a sales pitch in Morocco or in the port rather than online, buy your ticket at least 45 minutes before departure. If you bought your ticket online, you must always collect your boarding pass at the ferry terminal or at the various points of sale in Tangier.
How much does a ferry from Tangier to Tarifa cost?
If you don’t have a car, a one-way trip from Tangier to Tarifa with the FRS service costs around 420 MAD (around 42 USD).
A return ticket for a passenger on foot costs around MAD 660 or around USD 66.
With a car, a one-way ticket costs MAD 1,920 or around $ 192.
Here you can buy your FRS ferry tickets online.
A one-way ticket for a passenger on foot with intershipping costs around 380 MAD or 38 USD, while a return ticket costs around 580 MAD.
Here you can buy Intershipping tickets online.
What to expect when you take the ferry from Morocco to Spain
Before taking the ferry from Morocco to Spain, you must have a departure stamp in your passport at the port. Once done, you can board your ferry.
Here is the port of Tangier:
Another option is to leave Tanger Med. This port is a little further from the city:
When I crossed the Strait of Gibraltar for the first time, I was amazed at how comfortable the ferry from Tangier to Tarifa was. I crossed paths with FRS Service and their ferry was much better than I expected.
They have plenty of seating inside so you can choose where you feel most comfortable. They have an area with rows of comfortable seats and another area with dining tables where you can eat your own food or snacks in the cafeteria.
Food in the cafeteria itself is a bit expensive. I would recommend bringing your own snacks instead of buying food on the ferry. If you want to buy snacks on the boat, you can only pay with a card or in euros.
The area with dining tables has very large seats and a family of four can easily sit around the table. The ferry also has a WiFi signal, but I must say that during my crossing, it was not particularly reliable and I lost the connection several times.
There are many sockets near the windows where you can charge your electronic devices. If you want to stretch your legs during the crossing, you can go from the seating area to the top of the boat, from where you have a magnificent view of the Spanish and African coast on a sunny and clear day.
When you arrive in Spain, passport control takes place directly in the port. Passport control on the Spanish side generally does not take long.
If you are sailing from Spain to Morocco, you must have your passport stamped in a boat before arriving in the port of Tangier (see below).
Moroccan passport control in the ferry from Tangier to Tarifa
If you travel from Tangier to Tarifa to renew your Moroccan visa. You will receive a new Moroccan stamp on the boat when you return. Try to board the ferry on the way back to Tangier as soon as you are cleared to be the first in the passport control queue.
You must go to the front of the ship where there is a small passport control cabin (see photo below). I would recommend queuing as soon as possible. There could be a few hundred people on the boat queuing to have their passports stamped, and the crossing takes only about an hour.
When the ferry is full, the last people in the queue can still wait for their passport to be stamped after the ferry arrives on board.
Accommodation in Tarifa, Spain
Tarifa is a beautiful city at the southern tip of Spain. Its climate and character are very different from those of the rest of Andalusia. The strong winds that blow almost constantly attract surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers from all over Europe. It is a great place to stay a day or two before returning to the African country if you are here for a Moroccan visa.
Tarifa has some good cheap hostels where you can stay overnight before returning to Morocco.
Here are the ones I recommend:
The Melting Pot Tarifa Hostel & Kiteschool
This super cool hostel is only 300 meters from the beach. You can watch people kite surf from the hostel everyday. It has a large kitchen where you can prepare your own meals and an outdoor seating area with a table where you can share your meals with other travelers and enjoy the sun. It also has a large living room with fireplace and bar.
They serve a very good breakfast every morning. Besides being right on the beach, this inn is also close to restaurants, convenience stores, and shops.
Click here to check prices and availability for “The Melting Pot Tarifa Hostel & Kiteschool”.
This beautiful hostel is located in the historic city center of Tarifa. The rooms are quite large and each room has its own bathroom and toiletries. The staff here are very helpful and happy to tell you where you can get tapas and drinks.
This hostel also has a large terrace with a beautiful veranda and a breathtaking view of the Moroccan coast.
Click here to check prices and availability for “Hostal Africa”.
Tarifa Kite Hostel
The atmosphere in this inn is very welcoming. The rooms are very comfortable and the hostel has a large garden with many sitting areas where you can spend time with other travelers. You can also prepare meals in the kitchen. There are enough lockers in the room for everyone so you can easily store your things.
Click here to check prices and availability for “Tarifa Kite Hostel”.
I hope this article has been useful to you and that you enjoy your ferry trip between Tangier and Tarifa or vice versa.
Have you ever tried to take a ferry between Morocco and Spain? What was your experience Let us know in the comments below.
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