Day Trip from Seville to Tangier – A Bad Idea?

Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea?
Image by Adam Heitzman via Flickr

Nestled on the coast of Morocco, Tangier has long served as the gateway between Europe and North Africa. It exotic side has attracted travelers for centuries. With its vibrant markets, intriguing history, and a unique blend of cultures, Tangier offers an experience like no other found in Spain.

One of the best things about Tangier is how easy it is to reach from Seville. It is just a short 60-minute boat ride from Tarifa, which makes it a convenient day trip option from the sophisticated Andalusian city. You can go and spend a memorable day in Tangier and be back in Seville by the evening. It’s definitely a choice to consider if you ever come to the hills of Andalusia.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to get to Tangier from Seville, and review the different ways you can travel there. Here’s everything you need to know before taking that ferry ride across the Strait of Gibraltar.

key takeaways

  • The ferry from Tarifa to Tangier takes 45 min. Tarifa is the best port to get to Morocco for travelers visiting Seville.
  • To get to Tangier from Seville, you’ll either have to take a bus + ferry or get on tour.
  • A day trip to Tangier is perfect for travelers who have been itching to go to Morocco for some years.
Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea? seville to tangier

Guided Day Trip from Seville (Camel Ride included!)

Why Tangier?

Positioned strategically on the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier’s has many charms, one of them being its immaculate white houses. An important trade hub between Europe and Africa throughout history, when you’re in Tangier you have the sense of being at the crossroads of continents.

The city’s main attractions include the lively medina with its narrow streets and busy souks, as well as the impressive kasbah situated on top of it. Additionally, you can explore some interesting spots along the nearby coast like Cape Spartel and the Cave of Hercules. And the views of Spain are simply stunning form here.

Even though it’s difficult to explore everything in a single day, a visit to Tangier lets you experience some of Morocco’s charm and, I’m sure, will leave you wanting for more North African adventures in the future.

Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea? seville to tangier

Guided Day Trip from Seville (Camel Ride included!) : Visit the Medina of Tangier, the Caves of Hercules and Cape Spartel.

cape spartel in tangier
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr
kasbah of tangier
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr

Deciding How to Get from Seville to Tangier

TO do a day trip to Tangier, the first step is to choose a port city. There are two ferry ports at the very South of the Iberian Peninsula that you can use to get to Tangier: Tarifa and Algeciras.

Tarifa vs Algeciras

When is Tarifa the better choice:

  • Tarifa is geographically closer to Morocco.
  • The crossing time from Tarifa to Tangier is around 1 hour on the fast ferry (which is shorter than from Algeciras).
  • If you have your own car, Tarifa is a better option. While it takes a little longer to get to Tarifa than Algeciras, the shorter ferry time and the ease of arriving directly in Tangier Ville make it the best choice for many travelers.
  • Tarifa is more tourist-friendly than Algeciras.

When is Algeciras the better choice?

  • It is closer to Gibraltar than Tarifa. Great if your itinerary already includes Gibraltar.
  • If you’re relying on public transportation, it’s generally easier to reach Algeciras from Seville compared to Tarifa. This makes up for the fact that the trip from Algeciras to Tangier takes about 90 minutes.
  • If you want to visit Tetouan too, you destination port of Tangier Med (which is 60 km from Tangier Ville) is the same distance from both Tangier and Tetouan.
Day Trip from Seville to Tangier
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr
Day Trip from Seville to Morocco
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr

By Car

Getting from Seville to Tarifa

It takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to covbetween Seville and Tarifa. It is usually recommended to follow is the E-5.

Getting from Tarifa to Tangier

If you are traveling from Tarifa to Tangier Ville, FRS is the only company that operates this route. The crossing takes about 1 hour.

By Bus/Train

I would never suggest doing a day trip from Seville to Tangier without a car or a tour. The hassle of taking multiple buses isn’t worth it in my opinion. If you don’t have a car, I can’t stress this enough, just get on a tour! If you don’t believe me, read below.

Getting from Seville to Algeciras

  • To reach Algeciras from Seville, you can take either a direct bus or a combination of train and bus.
  • While there are buses that go directly, the fastest option by public transport is to take a train to Jerez de la Frontera and then transfer to a bus that will get you to Algericas. This should take around 2.5 hours, whereas the direct bus journey usually takes about 4 hours.
  • The trains to Jerez are operated by Alvia and MD and leave from Santa Justa Train Station in Seville. From Jerez you’ll take a bus operated by Monbus.
  • The buses from Seville, operated by ALSA and Monbus, depart from Estación Prado de San Sebastián and Plaza Armas.
  • If you plan on using public transport, there is a bus or train departing every 30 to 45 minutes, so you can check the schedule to find the one that suits you better.

Getting from Algeciras to Tangier

You can travel between Algeciras and Tangier Med using transportation services provided by Balearia, Trasmediterranea, and FRS. These three companies operate more than 20 ships daily on this route. The crossing takes about 90 min.

By Plane

You can take a direct flight from Seville to Tangier with Ryanair, which only takes about 50 minutes. The ticket price for this flight is around 50 EUR. It seems that Ryanair is the only airline offering this direct route. If you choose other airlines, you may need to make a layover in either Barcelona (BCN) or Madrid (MAD) before reaching Tangier.

I’d be surprised you’d choose to get to Tangier by plane, but still. Now you know it’s an option.

Tangier in One day, medina
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr
Tangier Medina
Tangier, Image by Carl Ottersen via Flickr

Tips on Doing a Day Trip to Tangier

  • You can easily book your bus/train tickets online with the companies I mentioned earlier. (ALSA, Alvia, MD, Monbus)
  • Remember to be careful about possible timezone changes between Morocco and Spain at certain times of the year. (See Below)
  • You have the option to buy your tickets in advance online or directly at the port. I’d usually suggest getting them at the port.
  • Considering everything, the best time to take the boat is around 9 am, whether you’re departing from Tarifa or Algeciras.
  • Try to catch a return ferry between 2 pm and 5 pm, as it’s more reasonable considering you have to go all the way back to Seville.
  • Keep in mind that there is passport control both on the ferry (so join the line as soon as you board) and when you return at the Spanish ferry terminal. You’ll need your passport and to fill out a form.
  • Don’t worry about getting Moroccan currency before your trip (Morocco has a closed currency anyways); euros will work just fine for your day in Tangier.
Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea? seville to tangier

Seesighting in Tangier and Camel Trek from Tangier Ville port

camel ride in tangier, morocco
Camel Trek in Tangier, Image by Joan Nova via Flickr
Day Trip from Seville to Tangier
Image by Ruben Balderas via Flickr

Upon arriving in Tangier, a great way to start this day trip is by visiting the medina and its ancient Kasbah (the old town and the citadel). You’ll find the medina is just a few steps away from the port, on the other side of the roundabout.

The old district of Tangier is a delightful place that caters to tourists. Easy to navigate, it offers fantastic views of the port and the seafront below. While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to visit the Musée de la Kasbah, located inside a beautifully restored palace, where you can learn about the city’s history. Afterward, explore the street markets (the famous souks of Morocco) and fascinating shops that belongs to Tangier’s narrow alleys.

While the medina is the main attraction, it’s also worth seeing the iconic lighthouse of Cape Spartel with your own eyes.

Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea? seville to tangier

Private Medina Walking Tour : See the best of Tangier in 3 hours

mosque in tangier, tour from spain
Image by Adam Reeder via Flickr
day trip seville tangier
Image by Adam Reeder via Flickr

Time zone difference between Spain and Morocco

When traveling between Spain and Morocco, it’s important to consider the possible time zone difference.

Morocco follows daylight savings time all year, except during Ramadan. This means that at certain times, Morocco can be up to 2 hours behind the time in Spain.

The dates of Ramadan change every year, so if you’re visiting Spain in the spring and planning to go to Morocco during that time, make sure to check when Ramadan is happening.

Mosque in Tangier
Tangier, Image by Leng Cheng via Flickr
Day trip to Tangier form Spain
Tangier, Image by Leng Cheng via Flickr

Experiencing Tangier’s Cuisine

While Tangier is just a short boat ride from Spain, the food in the two countries is quite different. Visiting Morocco on a day trip from Spain gives you the perfect chance to try some traditional Moroccan food in its original setting.

Here are 5 classic Moroccan dishes to try while in Tangier:

  • Mint Tea: A refreshing drink made with green tea, fresh mint leaves, and sugar.
  • Couscous: Small grains of semolina served with a variety of vegetables, meat, and sauces.
  • Tagine: Tender meat cooked with spices, vegetables, and dried fruits in a cone-shaped clay pot.
  • Pastilla: A tasty pastry filled with spiced meat, almonds, eggs, and cinnamon.
  • Chebakia: Fried strips of dough shaped like roses, coated with sweet syrup and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Should you do a day trip to Tangier?

If you’re still trying to decide whether to visit Tangier from Seville, it’s important to think about your options.

  • If you’re already in Tarifa or Gibraltar, the boat ride to Tangier is definitely worth the adventure.
  • If this might be your only chance of ever going to Morocco, a day trip to Tangier is a great idea!
  • Yet, Tangier isn’t like any other city in Morocco. The city has always stood at the crossroads of continents, strongly influenced by Europe. Just being in Tangier won’t give you the complete Moroccan experience, but it might inspire you to return for more Moroccan magic, whether in the old-world charm of Fez or the stylish and lively atmosphere of Marrakesh.
  • It’s still tough for me to recommend a day trip to Tangier when there are many wonderful cities to explore in Spain, like Cordoba, Las Alpujarras, or Cadiz.

What about Chefchaouen?

Whether we like it or not, Chefchaouen is a really long way from Spain in general and Seville in particular. It’s a good 2h 10 min. from Tangier.

If you’re daring enough, there is a 2-day tour going from Tarifa to Chefchaouen and back.

Day Trip from Seville to Tangier - A Bad Idea? seville to tangier

2-day trip to Chefchaouen from Spain! Embark on a Blue adventure

chefchaouen blue medina
Image by Aleksandr Zykov via Flickr
chefchaouen medina
Image by dm1795 via Flickr


If you’re already in Tarifa or Gibraltar, a day trip to Tangier from Seville is a fun adventure to the African continent.

However, if Seville is your last stop on a southward journey, it may not be worth it. The best way to get to Tangier is usually by taking the one-hour boat ride from Tarifa to Tangier Ville. This is the easiest way to travel between Spain and Morocco, giving you more time to explore the captivating city nestled between the Rif Mountains and the Mediterranean.

If you have the chance, a day trip to Tangier can add an exciting and different experience to your southern Spain itinerary.