Morocco by Campervan: How Much Does it Cost?
In this post I outline the cost of travelling Morocco by campervan. I’ve included a detailed breakdown of most of my day-to-day living costs and how much you can expect to pay for certain things.
Morocco is pretty much a cash based society which means paying with cash is the norm unless you go to big supermarkets or petrol stations. I found that this made it a bit more difficult to keep track of my spending but I’ve tried to document as much as I can.
You can see the total amount I spent over three months in the final section TL:DR Total Cost Breakdown.
Algeciras – Tangier Med €180 (£157) for an open return.
I’ve written about the route that I took previously in my post The Cheapest Way to Travel From Spain to Morocco by Campervan.
For me the cheapest and easiest route was to go from Algeciras to Tangier Med with an open return. This cost €180 (£157) from a travel agent in Algeciras.
There are loads of other routes available though so a different route might be better for you. You can find them all online, although it’s worth checking if you can get a better deal if you buy straight from the port. I met a few people in Morocco who did this and saved quite a bit of money.
€190 (£166) for three months cover.
The insurance company that cover me for the van wouldn’t extend my cover for North Africa so I had to buy insurance when I crossed the border.
This was pretty quick and easy. At Tangier Med there are a row of offices and cash machines once you pass through the border checkpoint. You can buy insurance at the one that has ‘Assurances’ written above it.
I knew I would be staying for about three months (the max the visa allows) so bought insurance for this time. Once you present them with your vehicle registration documents (V5C if registered in the UK) and passport they will issue you with a certificate.
10DH (£8.20) per month for 10GB of data.
From the texts I received from my provider I knew that using my existing SIM card wasn’t going to be an option. It was about £1.50 per MB of data!
I didn’t know anything about Moroccan mobile networks but thankfully when I parked up to buy insurance a guy approached me and quickly tried to sell me a SIM card. Initially he tried to sell me as much data as he possibly could but after telling him repeatedly that I didn’t need 50GB of data, I bought 10GB for 10DH (£8.20) which, when compared to Europe, is a pretty good deal.
All three networks in Morocco operate pretty much the same deals. It’s 1Dh (£0.80) per GB and you can buy just data or have minutes and texts included too. If you have texts, minutes and data then using one will reduce the amount of the others. For example if you used data then your allowance of minutes and texts will also be decreased. It took me a while to understand this, even when somebody explained it in English to me.
Something to be aware of is that when I bought 10GB of data this was available for me to use for 30 days. Near the end of my time in Morocco I bought 1GB and realised that it was only available on my phone for 3 days. It’s definitely worth checking this when you recharge your allowance otherwise you might be caught short in the middle of nowhere with no phone data!
I went with INWI and never had a problem with signal or download/upload speed. A few people mentioned that they got faster download speeds and better coverage with Maroc Telecom but I never tested it.
Between 30DH – 150DH (£2.30 – £12) per night.
As with a lot of things in Morocco, there was no real standard for campsites and the cost to park and camp varied hugely.
The campsites ranged from something similar to what you’d find in Europe with toilets, showers and washing machines to a patch of dirt with no added extras. For the former I paid about £12 per night and the latter just £2.30!
150DH – 250DH (£12 – £20) per week.
This was approximately how much I spent on food per week. I’m pretty active and like to eat well but I tend to try to eat what’s produced locally to the region. In Morocco I ate a lot of eggs, avocados and fresh veg sometimes with some fish or red meat to mix it up. Eating like this I could happily buy everything I wanted and spend no more than £20 per week.
Occasionally I would drive to a supermarket which have a much more varied range of food, similar to in Europe. These were slightly cheaper than the equivalent in Europe but often several times more expensive than buying from a market or small shops.
Alcohol was tricky to find and was really only available at big supermarkets or in Cities. The price varied but in supermarkets it was similar to the price in England, about 80p for a 330ml can or bottle of beer and anything from £4 for a bottle of wine. It was possible to find alcohol outside of Supermarkets but it was much more expensive.
Markets are by far the cheapest way to buy food and other day to day items. It’s a bit more faff and you risk getting ripped off but it’s way more fun to try and negotiate the crazyness to find some hidden gems.
In true Moroccan form, the markets were busy, hectic and full of shouting. You’d see the farmers sat among huge piles of fruit and veg and it’s expected that you’ll buy in half kilos or kilos. I haven’t got space to store that much food so I’d always try and buy just two or three of something. I got mixed reactions to this. A few of the sellers just laughed at me, some tried to add more and a couple just told me I could take what I wanted for nothing!
A good guide for the price of fruit and veg from small shops and markets is about 23DH (£2) per kilo excluding some items like avocados and mangoes which are worked out separately.
Compared to Europe, eating out in Morocco is really cheap. Like most things in Morocco, however, the prices and quality vary hugely depending on where you are. I had a great three course meal in the small mountain town of Tafraoute (at Chez Mohammad. It’s worth checking out if you’re there!) which came to about £8 with drinks. A similar meal in Tangier, although nowhere near as good quality, came to nearly £20.
In big cities like Agadir the food available is much more varied and often you can find more European dishes. In smaller towns, restaurants will serve more traditional and simple food but will be much, much cheaper.
If you’re on the coast it’s definitely worth stopping at a small seafood restaurant. Quite often the small towns will have a fish market where fisherman will sell their catches so you can bet on the fish being lovely and fresh. Of if you want to be a bit more adventurous have a BBQ…
We bought enough fish from the market for three meals. Red Snapper, Squid, Sardines and Silver Scabbard Fish (which is possibly the tastiest fish I’ve ever eaten) all freshly caught that morning for about £12. It was unbelievable!
About half of my monthly costs are travel related. Luckily in Morocco getting around is relatively cheap.
Fuel is really cheap, about half the price of England at the time I was there. This made a huge difference to my monthly expenditure. The prices were fairly consistent but they did get slightly cheaper as I traveled further South.
I pretty much always avoid tolls. I find the alternative routes are often much more picturesque, through tiny villages and down windy roads and sometimes I find interesting places to park up. On my way down to the South of Morocco I applied the same logic and stuck to the smaller roads rather than pay for the motorway.
This was OK but it was often slow and quite hard work. Some of the roads in Morocco are great but some are unlit stretches of pothole ridden tarmac where people on mopeds whizz past without warning (or lights) and suddenly you’ll be surrounded by horses and carts and find yourself driving through the middle of a very busy market.
Driving a big van through this chaos meant paying attention particularly hard and was often quite tiring. Don’t get me wrong, it turned any small journey into an absolute adventure which was fun but when it’s 9pm and you’ve been driving for hours and you’re nackered and just want to find somewhere to park up for the night, it gets old quite quickly!
On the way back up to the North of Morocco and back to Europe I decided I’d seen enough madness and treated myself and took the toll roads. The roads were fantastic and such a pleasure to drive along after so many questionable tracks. I drove from Agadir up to Casablanca in a breeze. I was bracing myself for the cost every time I drove up to the barrier to pay but it was always surprisingly cheap. From Agadir to Casablanca cost about £31.
Paying to park
Between 10 – 30DH (0.80 – £2.30) per day (often negotiable)
Something that shouldn’t be overlooked is the cost of parking. At pretty much every decent place to park, in cities, by the coast, in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere you will be met by a parking guardian in a hi-viz vest who will ask for a small amount of money in order to look after your van. Initially I thought I could beat the system but everywhere that looked like a good place to park I found a parking guardian, the tenacity was incredible!
Coming from mainland Europe, where you can basically park all over without having to pay, this took a bit of getting used to and at first I resented having to pay. By the end of my time in Morocco, however, I just accepted it as something that was always going to happen and started to carry a few Dirham on my dashboard ready to pay.
Once I’d adopted this mindset it became much less annoying and I found that I started relax and have more of a laugh with the parking guardians. I found when I was just willing to pay and was smiley and polite, they were always really friendly and would help me out much more getting to know the area and giving me advice. This was always appreciated.
Like many things in Morocco the cost varied according to the location, time of day, how nicely you smile and how much money you look like you have. If you’re a wealthy-looking European couple with a sparkly white van then you’ll probably pay more than the lone surfer travelling in a beaten up T4. On average I paid between 10 – 30DH (0.80 – £2.30) to park for the day and sometimes another 10DH for the evening but quite often there is room for negotiation.
TL:DR Total Cost Breakdown
Here’s the total cost breakdown of roughly how much it cost me to spend nearly three months in Morocco.
|Return on ferry||157|
|Paying to camp||134|