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Day trip from Tarifa to Tangier

We are planning our February 2020 trip to Spain and are thinking of spending two nights in Tarifa. Has anyone taken a day trip package tour to Tangier? Should we wait until we arrive to purchase our tour tickets? We understand ferries do not run if the weather is poor. What happens if weather is poor and we have purchased trip tickets in advance? Any help in planning our time in Tarifa is appreciated.
We have not booked Tarifa accommodations yet any suggestions?

Posted by
2504 posts

There are many threads on here about Tangiers, and the consensus is that a day trip there is FAR from the best use of one's time in Andalucía. This is because ferry procedures waste a lot of time and Tangiers, while much improved, isn't that impressive to begin with.

Tarifa itself is OK, but nothing much happens there in February.

So I'd spend these two nights elsewhere!

Posted by
5085 posts

Many travelers find that a day trip to Tangier is equivalent to a day trip to Tijuana, not exactly a good representation of the destination country. Personally, I'm of the opinion that your time is probably better spent in Spain - that is, unless you have plenty of time already allocated for the Spain part of your trip, in which case I'd argue that you should find another few days and make a better trip to the real Morocco, the good stuff, which you will find beyond the day-tripper ferry ports. If you play your cards right, you can fly to Marrakech for no more than it would cost for your plan (less, actually), the flights from Spain are crazy cheap, quick, easy, and instead of a ferry delivering you into the tender mercies of all the touts and hawkers waiting for you in Tangier, you would fly to the Morocco that's worth your time. Even if all you can manage is a couple days there, I'd rather fly to Marrakech or Fes (or spend another couple days better seeing Spain's wonderful places) rather than heading for the grotesque experience waiting for ferry day-trippers in Tangier.

Morocco is a wonderful destination, well worth a real look not just a drive-by...same as going to Tijuana thinking you're getting a quick glimpse at Mexico, in both cases you would see them at their worst and not a great use of your time.

Some folks would (and will) disagree.

Posted by
371 posts

We took the ferry from Tarifa to Tangier for the day and did not find anything at all "worst" or "Tijuana-like" about Tangier. I can't speak to the issue of weather in February, but I am glad we went.

Posted by
4450 posts

Another vote to avoid Tangier, it really was a huge disappointment. The winds in the Straits of Gibraltar are regularly high and ferry crossings frequently disrupted.

If I hadn't already spent so much time in Andalucia and with plenty more visits intended I would feel cheated of my precious time in Spain if I wasted a day visiting Tangier. I'm of the impression that most people go simply so that they can say they've been to Africa.

Posted by
258 posts

My usual advice is that if you want to go, consider doing more than a day trip. Could one (or both) of those overnights be in Tangier? If so, that would give you the chance to enjoy a stay in a riad and perhaps even going to Asilah in addition to Tangier.

I agree with the sentiment that it's not a great use of time if it's mostly to say you've set foot on the African continent. If that's the case, maybe start planning a longer trip. I like Tangier more for its atmosphere than specific touristic sites, but places like that can be less rewarding as day trips. Especially since there is an "edge" of grittiness to the atmosphere - for many folks, that's a turnoff.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you everyone who replied. Based on your recommendations we will stay in Spain for our trip. Your replies were very much appreciated.