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How to get there and how to get around

How to get to Morocco? How to move around Morocco? Your means of transportation

The question of how to get to Morocco has many answers, depending on the place of origin of each traveler. In this page we show you an overview of the options you have in your hand, taking into account the different means of transport you can use to enter and move around the country.

Table of Contents

How to get to Morocco: land, sea and air

Being such a large country and so focused on tourism, Morocco offers many options to enter its territory. The two most important are air and ferry, but there are also less common ones available. We review them below.

How to get to Morocco by plane

Traveling to Morocco by plane is the most comfortable, fast and varied way for every tourist. The country has more than a dozen international airports, served by numerous air routes from other countries. In addition, the network of domestic flights, operated mainly by Moroccan airlines (Royal Air Maroc, Air Arabia Maroc), expands the possibilities for those who want to reach their destination directly by adding a stopover.

These are the international airports in Morocco, and a summary of their connections:

  • Casablanca Mohammed V Airport (CMN): it is the most important airport in terms of passenger volume (about 10 million) and airlines operating there, including low cost airlines. It has connections to practically all domestic airports and to destinations in Africa, North America (Montreal, Boston, Miami, New York, Washington), Latin America, Asia and Europe (Gibraltar, London, Manchester, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich).
  • Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK): it is the second most important airport in the country and very much used by foreign visitors, since this city is the tourist ‘capital’ of Morocco. Its connections with Europe stand out: London, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Berlin, Munich, Bremen, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Weeze…
  • Agadir Al Massira Airport (AGA): very busy all year round, including the European low season, as this is a fully operational holiday destination at any time of the year. It has connections to Dublin, Cologne, Munich, Berlin, Hanover, Dusseldorf, Weeze, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Manchester, London and Birmingham, among other cities.
  • Tangier Ibn Batouta Airport (TNG): it is the main gateway to the country from the north. It has flights from London, Gibraltar and Frankfurt, among others.
  • Nador Airport (NDR): it is an airport widely used to reach holiday destinations on the Mediterranean coast, especially with flights from central and northern Europe.
  • Fez Saïss Airport (FEZ): very close to this important cultural tourist destination, with abundant connections to Europe, including several low cost companies. Some of its flights come from London, Frankfurt, Weeze, Bremen or Memmingen.
  • Rabat-Salé Airport (RBA): it is the airport serving the capital and, as such, is served by many direct flights, despite the relative proximity of the major airport of Casablanca. It is well connected to other European capitals, such as London and Brussels.
  • Oujda Angads Airport (OUD): serves holiday destinations on the eastern end of the Mediterranean coast, such as Saidia, which is served by European and Middle Eastern travelers.
  • Tan Tan Airport (TTA): very limited traffic, its main use is around the dates of its famous moussem, in August.
  • Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ): one of the preferred options for those who wish to travel to the desert, although this usually requires a stopover in Casablanca.
  • Al Hoceima Cherif Al Idrissi Airport (AHU): the closest airport to this important Mediterranean holiday destination, with flights from some European cities.
  • Essaouira Mogador Airport (ESU): one of the airports on the Atlantic coast connected to London.
  • Tetouan-Sania Ramel Airport (TTU): flights arrive at this airport mainly from Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • Dakhla Airport (VIL): its traffic is limited to domestic connections or to the Canary Islands.
  • El Aaiún Hassan I Airport (EUN): like the previous one, it is connected only with other Moroccan airports or those of the Canary Islands.
  • Zagora Airport (OZG): airport close to the Sahara desert but limited to short-haul, private and charter flights, primarily

In addition, there are other smaller airports that can be useful for travel within the Moroccan territory, such as Errachidia, Beni Mellal, Bouarfa or Smara.

In any case, we suggest you check beforehand the status of these routes, since companies may modify their availability or frequency according to their operational needs.

How to get to Morocco by boat

The boat is the other great option to travel to Morocco. There are four main ports in the country, and two ways to reach them:

  • Regular ferry lines: they arrive mainly in Tangier, either to the city port (from Tarifa) or to the larger but more distant Tangier Med (from Gibraltar, Algeciras, Barcelona, Sete or Genoa). You can also consider the Motril-Al Hoceima line, although with a lower frequency.
  • Private cruises, often as part of a large Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean route. The ports capable of berthing large vessels are Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir.

Some companies operating regular ferry lines to Morocco are Balearia, Trasmediterranea, Armas, GNV (Grandi Navi Veloci), Grimaldi Lines, FRS, Inter Shipping and Africa Morocco Link.

Other travel alternatives

The boat and, above all, the plane are the most common ways to travel to Marrakech for tourism. However, there are others that you can also take into consideration: they are not exactly the most comfortable or the fastest, but we mention them because of their existence.

How to get to Morocco by helicopter

This is one of the most novel and unknown options to reach Morocco. This option is based in Ceuta, the Spanish autonomous city located on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, on African soil. Since Ceuta does not have an airport and does not have much space to do so, its heliport was launched as an alternative, which has an operation similar to that of an airport, but with capacity for helicopters only.

At the time of writing (February 2023), the only company operating in this heliport is Hélity, with a service already consolidated for years and with two regular airlines connecting Ceuta with two points in the south of the Iberian Peninsula:

  • Ceuta – Malaga
  • Ceuta – Algeciras

In this way, Ceuta can become the gateway for a traveler coming from Spain, although in this way it is necessary to take into account the border formalities to be carried out at the land crossing between Ceuta and Castillejos (Fnideq).

In addition, also as of February 2023, the approval of two more direct airlines (Algeciras – Tangier and Algeciras – Tetouan) is in process, pending bureaucratic approval at the European level.

How to get to Morocco by bus

Some companies have international lines that depart from different points of Europe and go to the south of Spain, where the traveler transfers to take one of the ferries mentioned above and, already in Moroccan territory, continue in another coach. The ticket to be purchased already includes this transfer, as they are sold as a pack.

In any case, you should keep in mind that it is not a very popular system among tourists. And the companies that usually offer these routes may modify the routes or cancel their service based on operational reasons at any given time. The Spanish Alsa, the Belgian Eurolines or the German Flixbus are some of the companies that have been offering this service in the past, but we recommend you to check their availability or not at the moment of designing your trip.

How to get to Morocco by car or motorhome

Those wishing to enter Morocco in this way must rely on the passage of the Strait of Gibraltar by ferry, with the consequent bureaucratic formalities (consult the company operating the service). Some of the above ferry lines usually have the capacity to transport passengers and vehicles. This is a very common solution in the so-called Operation Crossing the Strait, when thousands of Moroccans residing in Europe cross the strait with their vehicles in this way.

Therefore, to get to Morocco in your own car or motorhome, you will have to travel mainly to Algeciras, the largest port in southern Spain, being the AP-7 highway the main entrance to the city, coming from the Costa del Sol (Malaga).

If you are considering entering Morocco from Algeria from the east, you will have to give up this idea for the time being: due to diplomatic problems between the two countries, mainly resulting from the disparity of criteria on Western Sahara, the border crossings are closed. And it seems that the situation is going to continue for a long time.

The border post between Morocco and Mauritania, to the south, is at El Guergarat, in Western Sahara, but due to its remoteness from other tourist destinations, it cannot be considered as an option to reach Morocco. And of course, the vast natural border of the Sahara between Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria makes it an insurmountable obstacle, also for tourists.

Getting around Morocco

Getting around Morocco

If you are already in Morocco and what you want is to know the different ways to move around the country, you will see that the options are even more numerous and oriented to different traveler profiles.

How to get around Morocco by plane

As mentioned in the section on airports, there are many flights between the country’s tourist destinations. These routes are chartered by Moroccan airlines: Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia Maroc. Casablanca airport is the real hub of the domestic flight network, but not all flights necessarily pass through it.

This is the list of domestic connections between the different Moroccan airports:

  • Casablanca Mohammed V Airport (CMN): Dakhla, Agadir, Beni Mellal, Fez, Laayoune, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Tangier, Rabat, Tétouan, Bouarfa
  • Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK): Agadir, Casablanca, Tangier, Tan Tan
  • Agadir Al Massira Airport (AGA): Dakhla, Laayoune, Ouarzazate, Casablanca, Essaouira, Rabat, Zagora
  • Nador Airport (NDR): Tangier, Casablanca
  • Tangier Ibn Batouta Airport (TNG): Casablanca, Laayoune, Nador
  • Fez Saïss Airport (FEZ): Casablanca, Errachidia
  • Rabat-Salé Airport (RBA): Agadir
  • Oujda Angads Airport (OUD): Casablanca, Nador
  • Tan Tan Airport (TTA): Casablanca
  • Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ): Casablanca, Zagora
  • Al Hoceima Cherif Al Idrissi Airport (AHU): Oujda, Casablanca
  • Tetouan-Sania Ramel Airport (TTU): Casablanca, Nador, Al Hoceima
  • Dakhla Airport (VIL): Casablanca, Agadir, Laayoune
  • Laayoune Hassan I Airport (EUN): Agadir, Casablanca, Dakhla
  • Zagora Airport (OZG): Casablanca, Ouarzazate
  • Errachidia Moulay Ali Cherif Airport (ERH): Casablanca
  • Beni Mellal Airport (BEM)
  • Bouarfa airport (UAR): Casablanca
  • Smara Airport (SMW)

As with international routes, the availability and frequency of domestic routes may be subject to variations or even cancellations depending on the operational needs of the companies. Therefore, we recommend that you check if your route is in effect for your travel dates or if new ones have arisen.

How to get around Morocco by train

The train is a means of transport that is not available to access Morocco from other countries, but it is valid to move between some of its cities. The Moroccan railroad network is one of the most extensive and functional in Africa, but still does not cover the entire territory.

In Morocco, broadly speaking, there are two types of trains to move between different cities and regions:

  • The conventional train, with renewed and increasingly punctual convoys, is widely used by the local population. Its network of lines runs only from Tangier to Marrakech, so it does not reach any further south than the Atlas Mountains. The main cities that have a train station and are integrated in the network are: Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, El Jadida, Kenitra, Oued Zem, Sidi Kacem, Meknes, Fez and Oujda.
  • The high-speed train is one of the country’s great bets for the future. At the time of writing (February 2023), there is only one operational line, called Al Boraq, with the following route: Tangier – Kenitra – Rabat – Casablanca. The total duration of the tour is about 2 hours. Other high-speed lines are planned or under development, which will form a real network, integrating other tourist destinations such as Marrakech, Agadir, Meknes, Fez and Oujda.

How to get around Morocco by bus

It is one of the most popular means of transport in Morocco, because its lines reach places where the train does not and, in addition, at very competitive prices. Coaches are becoming more modern and comfortable, so it can be a valid option for more independent travelers.

The main transportation company is CTM, with a wide variety of lines and destinations. For long journeys, Supratours stands out, with very high levels of comfort. The Spanish company Alsa also operates some intercity and urban bus services. However, due to mergers, name changes or terminations, this list of companies may be modified.

How to get around by private car

If you decide to drive your own car in Morocco, you must cross the Strait of Gibraltar by ferry and have all documents in order, both for the driver and the vehicle. We explain it in more detail on the page dedicated to bureaucratic issues .

Once in Moroccan territory, you will be able to move along its roads easily. There are more and more well paved and maintained highways connecting the main cities, which are usually toll roads. Conventional national highways are still the available option in less densely populated areas, especially in the south and between small towns.

It will do you good to know some important details about driving in Morocco:

  • The network of gas stations is good and sufficient in large population centers, but in the desert and its surroundings they are much scarcer. It is therefore recommended to fill the tank when traveling to this region or when encountering one on the way.
  • In the desert environment, some roads are not paved. To enter these tracks it is essential to have an off-road vehicle and experience in this type of driving.
  • If you are going to cross the Atlas Mountains by car, be extra cautious, as the roads are winding and not always equipped with the most suitable asphalt and signage. In addition, during the cold season, ice can form on some points, which are not always treated with salt.
  • There are numerous police controls, often with mobile radars that fine for speeding. Local authorities have also stepped up their efforts (and penalties) for other infractions, such as driving without seat belts fastened.
  • All this has made driving more and more orderly, but you still have to reckon with a certain level of chaos in some cities and with the ‘relaxation’ in the compliance of some rules, such as overtaking or safety distance. Therefore, you should be especially cautious if you get behind the wheel.
  • Before driving into the medina, make sure you can do it, not only because of the possible fine but also because you can literally get stuck in its narrow streets.

The rental car option deserves a special mention, available at offices located in major cities and tourist destinations. The main multinationals in the sector have a presence in the country, with service conditions comparable to those of other countries. And if you want to bring in a car rented from another European country, you will probably find that the contract conditions do not allow this option.

How to get around by cab

Cabs are a very popular means of transport among the Moroccan population, and are not only used regularly to move between two points in the same city, but also to travel between several cities relatively far apart.

There are two types of cabs:

  • Grand Taxis: they are usually of large displacement and greater capacity, so they are used for intercity trips. They may admit passengers who do not know each other for the purpose of sharing the fare, which must be agreed upon in advance.
  • Petits Taxis: they are smaller in size and can rarely accept more than 3 passengers. They are usually decorated with bright colors, which change according to the city. Your price should be reflected through your taximeter, but many of them are ‘broken’, so you will have to agree on a price in advance.

How to move around in a chauffeur-driven vehicle

After reviewing all the ways to move around Morocco by road, we leave for the last the most recommended way for tourists: the private vehicle with driver. It is the most comfortable and safest way to move around the city and the different regions within a circuit, ideal for optimizing time and worrying only about enjoying what is before your eyes. And in many cases, the road trip is an experience in itself, especially in the valleys of the southern Atlas and on the desert tracks.

Chic Morocco can provide this service throughout your tour in Morocco, in vehicles of maximum comfort, air-conditioned and perfectly equipped if it is necessary to go into the desert. And our drivers know every road, every detour and every shortcut, as well as the possible dangers to avoid.

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