How to Get to and from Malaga and Morocco

Travel to Africa from the Costa del Sol

The blue town of Chefchaouen is not too far from Tangiers
The blue town of Chefchaouen is not too far from Tangiers. Mark Fischer/Creative Commons

Morocco is not far from Malaga, Spain, it is just on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. There are plenty of ferries, but actually, getting from Malaga to Morocco is a little more complicated than you would think. Other Costa del Sol ports along the southern coast of Spain are better port cities for getting you to Tangier or most other points in Morocco. 

If you are intent on getting to and from Malaga and Morocco, your best bets are taking​ a guided tour, taking a ferry from Malaga, taking a plane, or taking a ferry from elsewhere in Spain.

Visiting Tangier from Malaga by Guided Tour 

A guided tour is one of the easiest ways to get to Morocco from Malaga. You can choose between just visiting Tangier for the day or you can opt for a longer, three-day tour of Tangier.

Tangier is Morocco's main port city and is the point where Africa almost touches Europe. It is only nine miles to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. This is the best option if you just want to touch African soil for a day, but it is not the best gateway to do a full tour of Morocco.  The day trip is a long 15-hour day, starting at 5:30 a.m. with tour buses and ferries. A tour company handles all the transportation between ports and points of interest.

The three-day trip to Tangier helps you really get the flavor for Morocco. You would stay in a hotel, visit the markets, and eat at the local restaurants. Although Tangier is not Morroco's most exciting city, it is full of culture, amazing food, sights, and energy.

Visiting the Rest of Morocco from Malaga by Guided Tour 

If you would prefer to see more of Morocco, like Marrakech and Casablanca, then you have several robust options with multiple stops in different areas of Morocco. Four-, five-, and seven-day tours take in a city a day. Note that the four-day tour does not visit Marrakech, so your best value for your money is the five-day tour. You will not want to miss the markets, the gardens, or the bathhouses of Marrakech.

Ferries from Other Cities in Spain

The best Spanish ports for getting to Morocco are Tarifa and Algeciras, not Malaga. The journey time about 30 minutes and it costs about 25 euros. There are several voyages per day from Tarifa and three per day from Algeciras.

Not only are there more ferries from Tarifa, but they dock in Tangier itself, rather than the new out-of-town Tangier Med port that the other ferries go to. Book both Tangier and Algeciras from the local Spanish ferry company, FRS. If you prefer to leave from Algeciras, those ferries would take you to Tangier Med and Ceuta with another ferry company, Trasmediterranea.

How to Get to Tarifa or Algeciras

There are buses from Malaga to Tarifa and Algeciras from Malaga Bus Station. Tarifa has no train station and there are no direct trains to Algeciras. You would need to change in Antequera.

Ferries from Malaga to Morocco

The car ferry from Malaga to Morocco, run by Acciona, costs about 70 euros per person. The car ferry docks in Melilla, a Spanish autonomous city on the northern coast of Africa that shares a border with Morocco.

There is a downside. There are only one or two journeys a day, and the trip is long (more than seven hours). Often, the ferry leaves you in Melilla in the evening, with no time to get to one of the more interesting cities (Fez or Chefchaouen would be your obvious choices, but they are still quite far).

Air Travel

Your quickest option of travel to and from Malaga and Morocco is by taking a plane. This option is your pricier option. And price varies depending on where in Morocco you fly. There are no non-stop flights from Malaga to Tangier. However, you can find direct flights from Malaga to Casablanca.