From Spain, Making a New Plan, to Fez and....
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jan 30, 2013 2:16 AM Last Post By: wonderlust_king
Oct 3, 2012 3:49 PM
We are what we hear is referred to as a "mature couple"... Adventurous retired folk. We are currently in Sevilla, and are now embarking on a whole change of itinerary. We'd like to have a relatively quick, approximately 5 day trip into Morocco, with Fez as our presumed destination. Help in terms of where to park n Algeciras, what ferry to take, train advice, itinerary advice,
etc.... Let's hear it! Please!!
Oct 3, 2012 6:14 PM
Oct 4, 2012 3:00 AM
2Try the Spanish branch of ThornTree for long term parking information.
Ferries from Algeciras go to Tanger Med or Ceuta, however the easiest connection on the Morocco side is to get the ferry into Tanger City which goes from Tarifa, see http://www.frs.es
The train station is a short taxi ride from the port. The train connection goes via Meknes so stopping here overnight on either the outbound or return trip could be an option to enable you to also visit Moulay Idriss and Voloubilis.
What's on in Fez: http://riadzany.blogspot.co.uk/
Fez medina map: http://www.fez-riads.com/Fez.htm
Cafe Clock: http://cafeclock.com/
Oct 4, 2012 4:17 PM
3I would concur --- definitely take the ferry from Tarifa to Tangier Ville. Not sure about parking in Tarifa, but I wouldn't leave anything in the car while it's parked.
Once through customs/passport control, grab a cab over to the train station in Tangier. There are 5 trains daily, but 3 of them require a change.
Cash only at the train ticket windows (unless they've modernized recently) ---- change money just outside the ferry terminal at Tangier port.
Fez a fascinating place but the touts can be overwhelming. Best advice is keep your sense of humor!
Jan 24, 2013 5:16 AM
4I want to thank those who replied to my request for information,
Taking the fast ferry from Tarifa to Tangiers (which docks in town) would have been the wise thing to do. What we didn't realize was how MUCH this was the better thing to do. We didn't realize all the negatives associated with the alternative (going from Aljeciras to the new Tagiers Med commercial port).
We hope the tale of what happened to us may serve to be instructive for you:
What happened was that we just missed the fast ferry in Tarifa by minutes. Not wanting to wait three hours to the next ferry, we drove the 15 minutes or so to Algeciras (thinking that because there are so many ferries that go from Algeciras, we'll just take the next one out, despite its longer ride). That was a BAD MOVE for many reasons.
First the objective reasons, that would apply to any traveler: Your transport time on the Algeciras-Tangiers Med route is about three times longer than on the new fast ferries. Even more disadvantageous: the Tangiers Med Port you arrive to is about an HOUR's taxi ride outside of town. Besides taking a lot of time out of your day, it's also an expensive taxi ride! (More on this later.). Finally, Tangiers Med is a huge new commercial port "in the middle of nowhere"' and coming here is unattractive compared to the typical experience of arriving by sea to a city's harbor. (Not fun.)
Further negatives of our own experience: When we arrived in Aljeciras looking to find out about the next ferry out, we paused at the closest parking lot. The men working at the lot saw us as an opportunity, and immediately convinced us that we had no time to spare. Although at 17+Euros a day, we recognized we were paying for the convenience of parking so close, we said OK, not wanting to miss yet another ferry, and they waved us into a parking spot. One of the men ran with me over to a ticket AGENCY close by. This is where he told me we'd have to buy our tickets, (I see this all now as theatrical, getting us to rush, and by rushing we made commitments that were bad for us, but by which these "helpers" profited.) Only upon the conclusion of the credit card payment did I see that we'd been charged twenty Euros "handling fee". This was for two round trip fares. (Booking a round trip was another mistake, but in the rush, it's just another thing I accepted.) Upon returning to the car, meeting back up with my husband and gathering our things, this fellow had the further audacity to ask for a tip for helping us out (which we stupidly gave him).
As we hustled toward the boarding area, it started to dawn on us: We saw MANY ferry ticket offices, where one could buy tickets direct (without the hefty handling fee we'd just paid). I suspect (but am not positive) that the ferry we were rushed to book, may not have even been the next one leaving. (Speaking with the mean at the parking lot at 1:45 PM, they had us rush for what they said was "the two o'clock ferry". It turned out that BOARDING for this ferry was scheduled to BEGIN at two o'clock. It didn't actually leave until about 3:30.)
We would have arrived in Tangiers earlier if we had waited the three hours for the next ferry back at Tarifa.
I see this all now as a theatrical scam on the part of those guys who were so "helpful" in Algeciras: getting us to rush, and by rushing we made commitments that were bad for us, but by which these "helpers" profited..
About that long taxi ride from the new Tangiers Med port where we arrived after our (long) ferry ride: Knowing it was a long trip to Tangiers we accepted a deal with a taxi driver to take us for 400 Diram (about $38US). (By the way, the price had been negotiated down from 500.) For a one hour taxi ride, it seemed realistic. Somewhat surprisingly, on our return, the fare charged was for the one hour taxi ride BACK to the Tangiers Med port was HALF as much (200 Diram, easily negotiated down from an initial quote of $250.). That seemed to be a going rate. So buyer beware of the inflationary scams being played, if you arrive at port uninformed.
Jan 24, 2013 7:14 AM
6Marocfan, Tangier is international. International terrain. If you are a cosmopolit you know how to handle scams.
Jan 24, 2013 11:51 AM
7I don't suppose you want to know there's a free shuttle bus from Tanger Med to Tanger, and return.
Really sorry to hear what happened, especially in Spain. You started so well with researching and asking for advice...
Jan 24, 2013 5:51 PM
8clockwork, I guess I am just not enough of a cosmopolit LOL. I do not like Tanger but I handle scams just fine, there and elsewhere. And Tanger has not been "international" for decades.
Jan 24, 2013 11:26 PM
Jan 25, 2013 7:10 AM
10Founded by the Carthaginians, it also usted to be Portuguese, French, Spanish and from 1923 until the 1940s?, an International Zone. Wikipedia has a good article on its history. Today it seems to me to be more Spanish than Moroccan.
Jan 28, 2013 10:50 AM
11Well, at least we finally got some idea of what the new port, TangerMed, is really like.
I really don't think there's any reason to go Algeciras-TangerMed if you are on foot.
and that "ticket agency" thing they work in Algeciras is a little touch of Morocco in Spain. Everybody needs to know if you just keep going all the way to the building in back, you can buy your ticket direct from the ferry company, rather than use one of those agencies/re-sellers which are housed in a large glass fronted building on your right as you head all the way to the building in the back.
Jan 28, 2013 10:52 AM
12agree Tanger is worth avoiding. the quick taxi from ferry to train is a good move. don't figure you can save a few dirham by walking out of the port and grabbing a cab on the street. you'll be preyed upon in no time.
Jan 30, 2013 2:16 AM
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