Direct flights are available from cities across Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and North America.
Airports & Airlines
Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com) is Morocco’s national carrier. For information about Moroccan airports, visit the website of Office National des Aéroports (www.onda.ma). Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport is the country's main gateway, followed by Menara airport (Marrakesh). Other important airports include Fes–Saïss (Fez), Ibn Batouta International (Tangier), as well as Ouazazarte, Agadir, Essaouira, Oujda and Nador.
Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.
- Algeria This border remains closed. Algeria is reluctant to reopen it until the status of the Western Sahara is resolved – don't hold your breath.
- Mauritania The only crossing is in the Western Sahara between Dakhla (Morocco) and Nouâdhibou (Mauritania).
- Spain You can cross to mainland Spain via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco.
Buses mostly enter Morocco on the ferries from Spain, with connections from across Europe. Routes are busiest during major Spanish or French holidays, as buses fill up with Moroccans working abroad.
CTM (www.ctm.ma) Compagnie de Transports au Maroc, Morocco’s national line, operates buses from Casablanca and other Moroccan cities to Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy.
Eurolines (www.eurolines.com) A consortium of European coach companies operating across Europe and into Morocco (partnering with CTM).
Supratours (www.oncf.ma) Run by train company ONCF, has weekly departures from the major northern Moroccan cities to destinations across Spain, France and Italy.
Car & Motorcycle
European hire companies do not usually permit their vehicles to be driven to Morocco.
If you intend to take a Moroccan hire car to the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta or Melilla, you must have a letter from the hire company authorising you to take the car out of Morocco.
Some hire companies will not allow you to take their car out of the country.
You can travel from London to Tangier via Paris and Madrid in less than 48 hours, with a night in Algeciras (Spain).
Morocco is no longer part of the InterRail/Eurail systems, so you will have to buy tickets locally to add the country onto a European trip.
In Algeciras, the train station is about 10 minutes’ walk from the ferry terminals for Morocco. If you arrive during the day you should be able to quickly transfer to the ferries.
A useful resource is the website Man in Seat 61 (www.seat61.com), which has comprehensive, regularly updated information on getting to Morocco by train.
The trans-Saharan route via Mauritania is the main route from North Africa into Sub-Saharan Africa.
From Dakhla follow the N1 south along the coast for 328km to the border, past Nouâdhibou and south to the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.
While this route is generally regarded as safe, check both Western Sahara and Mauritania safety advice before travelling. Take plenty of water and food, and set off early in the morning.
This route is entirely paved (apart from a 5km stretch in the no-man’s land between the two border posts). Moroccan border formalities are processed at Guergarat. The border is mined, so stay on the road. From the border, it’s a 41km drive along the peninsula to Nouâdhibou.
Mauritanian currency (ouguiya, UM) is available at the border, and on the black market in no-man’s land.
Vehicle searches and requests for a petit cadeau (little present) are not unknown in Mauritania, particularly if officials find alcohol on you (illegal in Mauritania).
Prepare a fiche (form) or ordre de mission (itinerary) for Mauritanian checkpoints. List all your passport and visa details, occupation, destination and your vehicle’s make, colour and registration number. Make plenty of photocopies.
Useful resources include the Moroccan/North African forums at overland motorbiking website Horizons Unlimited (www.horizonsunlimited.com) and Sahara Overland (https://sahara-overland.com).
Car & Motorcycle
Some stations south of Dakhla may be out of fuel, in particular the last station 50km before the border.
As well as getting stamped in by the police, you need to buy a 30-day temporary-vehicle-import form (€10).
Minibus & Jeep
There are ad hoc transport links from Dakhla to the Mauritanian border and beyond. Minibuses and 4WDs leave from the military checkpoint on the road out of Dakhla. Grands taxis occasionally run to the border from the main station (Dh220). You’ll then need to hitch to get to the Mauritanian checkpoint, as walking across the border is forbidden. A lift all the way to Nouâdhibou is preferable, or you will likely have to pay extortionate fees to travel on from the border.
In Dakhla, hotels Erraha and Sahara and the Sahara Regency are good places to pick up information and arrange transport, with locals or overlanders.
From Nouâdhibou, bush taxis to the border/Dakhla cost around UM2000/11,500, leaving in the early morning.
There are extensive ferry links between northern Morocco and southern Europe, the most popular of which is Algeciras (Spain) to Tangier. Ferries to Tangier now dock at Tanger Med terminal, except for those from Tarifa, 40km from Tangier.
- From southern Spain and northern Morocco, you can just turn up at the dock and buy a ticket for the next ferry, but book in advance online during high season (mid-June to mid-September, Christmas, New Year and Easter).
- In Tangier and Algeciras, avoid touts who try to guide you towards travel agencies for commission.
- Discounts for students and young people with an ISIC card or similar, and InterRail or Eurail passholders are common. Children aged between two and 12 years often travel for half the fare, those aged under two travel free, and over-60s can often get reductions.
- Vehicles can be taken on most ferries for an extra fee; bicycles are normally free.
- Cabins are available on longer crossings.
Ferry Companies & Routes
Direct Ferries (www.directferries.com) sells tickets for most of the following. The Europe-wide service has sites in most European languages.
Trasmediterranea (www.trasmediterranea.es) Almería–Melilla, Almería–Nador, Algeciras–Ceuta, Algeciras–Tangier Med, Málaga–Melilla.
Baleària (www.balearia.com) Algeciras–Ceuta, Algeciras–Tangier Med, Algeciras-Melilla, Motril-Melilla.
FRS (www.frs.es) Algeciras–Ceuta, Algeciras–Tangier Med, Gibraltar–Tangier Med, Tarifa–Tangier.
Grandi Navi Veloci (www.gnv.it) Barcelona–Tangier Med, Genoa–Tangier Med, Sète–Tangier Med, Sète–Nador.
Grimaldi Lines (www.grimaldi-lines.com) Savona–Tangier Med, Barcelona–Tangier Med.
- The journey from Sète (two hours by train from Marseilles) to Tangier takes 36 hours, to Nador takes 28 hours.
- There are three sailings weekly to Tangier, and one to Nador.
- There’s one ferry a week from Tangier Med.
- The trip takes a similar length of time to sailings to/from Algeciras (90 minutes), and tickets cost the same.
- Algeciras is a better option as it’s a busier port with more choice.
- Ferries from Spain to Morocco are plentiful. Tickets start at about €30, depending on season.
- Hydrofoils and catamarans (also referred to as fast ferries) are used extensively.
- Spanish passport control is uncomplicated, but non-EU citizens and Schengen visa-holders should make sure they get an exit stamp before boarding the ferry.
- You need to fill in an embarkation form on board, and get your passport stamped before disembarking.
Algeciras to Tangier Med
- The busiest crossing between Europe and Morocco. Ferries run at least every 90 minutes, and hourly in the summer. The crossing usually takes an hour.
- Services typically run from 7am (or 6am in summer) until 10pm, but during peak demand in August 24-hour services aren’t unknown.
Algeciras to Ceuta
- Several daily high-speed ferries (30 minutes to one hour) leave in both directions.
Almería to Melilla
- Two sailings most days of the week. Crossings take up to eight hours.
Almería to Nador
- Daily departures in either direction, taking six/eight hours to Almería/Nador.
Barcelona to Tangier
- Two companies offer this route to Tangier, one stopping in Barcelona en route from Genoa (Italy).
- The three weekly sailings; takes about 36 hours.
Málaga to Melilla
- The daily (apart from Sunday) service is normally an afternoon/night ferry between Motil (Málaga) and Melilla.
- It takes up to eight hours.
Tarifa to Tangier
- Catamarans leave every hour or so and cross the strait in 40 minutes, making this the fastest and most practical route.
- The fare includes a free bus transfer to Algeciras on presentation of your ferry ticket.
- The transfer takes 50 minutes, making the trip via Tarifa a faster way to get to Algeciras than the slower direct ferries.
Motil to Al-Hoceima
- Naviera Armas has summer services between Motil and Al-Hoceima.
- Sailings are every Saturday.
- Two companies sail the Mediterranean from Italy to Tangier, from Genoa (via Barcelona) and Savona.
- The twice-weekly Genoa service takes 48 hours.
- The weekly Savona service takes 48 hours.