At its narrowest point, the Strait of Gibraltar separates Spain from Morocco by just 14.5 kilometers/9 miles. Here, the African and European continents are so close that it's actually possible to swim from one to the other. However, unless you're an athlete in prime condition, it's likely that you're looking for a more conventional mode of transport. There are several ways to make the crossing. You can fly, or you can book tickets for a number of different ferry routes. In this article, we look at the easiest ways to get to Morocco from Spain.
Ferries from Spain to Tangier, Morocco
Located on Morocco's northern coast, the city of Tangier is a natural entry point for visitors from Europe. If you're planning to explore the country by train, Tangier is your best option for frequent rail connections to major destinations like Fez, Casablanca and Marrakesh.
Algeciras to Tangier-Med:
The ferry route from Algeciras to the port of Tangier-Med is by far the most well traveled. Five different companies operate on this route, including Baleària, Trasmediterranea, FRS, Intershipping and AML. Between them, they offer up to 34 sailings every day that vary in speed and price. At €22.50 per person for a one-way ticket, Baleària offers the cheapest fare. You can travel as a foot passenger, or with a vehicle if you're planning on embarking on a grand Moroccan road trip. It's important to be aware that Tangier-Med is a cargo port, located 25 miles/40 kilometers east of Tangier city center.
Most ferry tickets include a bus transfer to the city.
Tarifa to Tangier-Ville:
FRS and Intershipping also offer high-speed ferry services to Tangier from Spain's windsurfing capital, Tarifa. Together, the two companies offer up to 14 daily sailings. FRS is the fastest, taking approximately one hour to reach Tangier. Intershipping is the cheapest, with prices starting from around €30 per person each way. This route offers the benefit of disembarking in Tangier town itself and you can travel with a vehicle or as a foot passenger.
Barcelona to Tangier-Med:
This route is less popular, but allows passengers to embark in Barcelona rather than having to travel all the way south to Tarifa or Algeciras. Two companies offer a total of six sailings per week - Grandi Navi Veloci (five sailings) and Grimaldi Lines (one sailing). Grandi Navi Veloci is the fastest service, taking approximately 26 hours. Save money by sharing a berth or splurge on your own private suite. Prices for a seat only start at around €81.
Ferries from Spain to Nador, Morocco
If you're not set on landing in Tangier, another option is to take the ferry from Spain to Nador, a city located near the Algerian border on Morocco's Mediterranean coast. Three companies offer sailings from Almería to Nador: Baleària (up to two daily departures), Trasmediterranea (one daily departure) and Naviera Armas (one daily departure). Durations range from 7 to 7.5 hours with prices starting at around €35 per person each way.
Grandi Navi Veloci also offers a route from Barcelona to Nador which takes 24.5 hours.
Ferries from Mainland Spain to Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous Spanish city located directly opposite Gibraltar on the tip of the African continent. It shares a border with Morocco and therefore offers an interesting overland route into the country. Ferries run throughout the day from Algeciras to Ceuta, thanks to three separate companies - Trasmediterranea, FRS and Baleària. The fastest (FRS) takes under an hour, and prices start at €30. Once you arrive in Ceuta you'll need to take a taxi to the border, where you'll have to go through passport control to enter Morocco.
Ferries from Mainland Spain to Melilla
Another autonomous Spanish city, Melilla is located just north of Nador and also offers easy entry into Morocco. There are a number of ferries to Melilla from the Spanish mainland - including routes from Malaga, Motril and Almería. Naviera Armas offers six weekly sailings from Motril, while Baleària and Trasmediterranea offer a total of 13 weekly sailings from Malaga. All three companies sail to Melilla from Algeciras, with the fastest of these services taking 4.5 hours.
Flights From Spain to Morocco
If traveling to Morocco by ferry doesn't appeal, don't worry. There are plenty of flights to the North African country from several cities in Spain. The international carriers for Spain and Morocco are Iberia and Royal Air Maroc respectively. For cheaper flights, research budget airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair.
This article was updated by Jessica Macdonald on September 12th 2018.