The Cheapest Way to Travel from Spain to Morocco in a Van
I looked at several different ways to get to Morocco from Spain. There are lots of ferries from locations all along the coast. It was quite confusing so I just tried to find the cheapest!
One thing I knew was that I wanted an open return, these are valid on the route that you choose for a year from the date of sale so gives you the most flexibility. I like flexibility, it means I don’t have to be so organised.
These prices are for an open return, one person and a Camper/Motorhome.
Algeciras – Tangier Med
This seems to be the most popular route for van travellers, everyone I spoke to who was en route to Morocco was taking or had taken this route.
I had been looking online and the prices seemed to vary quite a bit.
If you really want to book your tickets online I found the cheapest way was to put in the date of departure and then select ‘Open Ticket?‘ on the return route. For some reason this knocks the price down from €471 to €317. Quite a difference!
Direct from port
I’d heard that it was a bit cheaper if you just went directly to the port and bought them on the day so I went Port of Algeciras to find out.
Drive over what seems like 15 roundabouts and you’ll eventually see a sign for the ticket office. Follow this and take a ticket from the barriers (tricky with a right hand drive van) and you’ll get 30 minutes free parking.
I went to the first available counter and asked for an open return. He told me I could leave immediately and it would cost only €195. He also gave me a timetable of the ferry crossings which was quite useful.
I would have snapped this up but I’d heard of a slightly cheaper way…
The day before I travelled to Algeciras I’d parked next to a German family, also travelling to Morocco. They said they’d heard about a guy named Carlos who sold discount tickets. I asked for the information but they were a bit vague, it sounded shady.
After a bit of searching I found what appeared to be a small travel agent in a business park just outside the centre of Algeciras. I was intrigued. Eventually I found some directions and went to see if Carlos could offer me a better deal than I’d already found.
I followed the directions and arrived at a large carpark next to a Mercadona supermarket. There were lots of other vans, it looked promising although I couldn’t see a travel agent.
I walked to the end of the carpark and noticed a sign for ‘AGENCIA DE VIAJES’, maybe this was it. I kept walking and saw this tiny shop next to a hostel that was closed.
Still sceptical, I went in. It was a small shop and there was a man behind a low counter. He was talking to a German couple and I overheard that they were going to Morocco. This must be Carlos! The shop was a bit smaller than I imagined but at least it was a proper shop and not some shady back alley ticket dealer. No large overcoats or funky handshakes needed.
He was a really nice guy. He informed me that an open return from Algeciras to Tangier Med was €180.
He went through everything with me and gave me a timetable of the crossings. He also gave me a packet with various bits in, including the paperwork you need to fill in for the Moroccan visa.
He also gave me a bag with a bottle of cider and some biscuits which I thought was a nice touch.
Carlos only takes cash so make sure you take money with you. There is a cash point near to his shop but it wanted to charge me €8! I ended up walking for about 20 mins to find a different one.
Where is Carlos?
On his business card there’s a handy map:
Confused? If you want to use Maps or your SatNav the GPS Coordinates are: 36.179210, -5.441109
His details are on the other side of his card.
Nice one Carlos, you win the day!
Tarifa – Tangier Med
As an alternative to Algeciras, you can get a ferry from Tarifa. Online this actually looked like a cheaper option and in November when I was looking I found an open return for €159. I checked back a week later and they’d gone up to €185 so it’s possible if you get in there early you can get a good deal.
It’s an extra 20km down the coast though so the money you might save on a ticket may be used in fuel. And you won’t get any biscuits.