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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.