With ever-increasing numbers of Brits holidaying in Morocco, we will answer the first question that is asked: How do I travel to Morocco from the UK?
The British have had a long history of visiting Morocco, and even governed Tangier for a while, but it was the province of the rich and famous until the hippy movement of the 1960s and 70s and the so-called Marrakech Express. In the last three decades, ordinary folk have taken advantage of low-cost airlines and the ease of crossing from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco.
So, let’s take a closer look at what you need before you go and how to travel to Morocco from the UK by air, sea and land.
Entry requirements for UK Visitors.
You must have a current UK passport that is valid for at least three months from your date of entry to Morocco. Make sure your passport is in good condition. Recently, some travellers have been refused admission to the country because their passport was damaged.
You don’t need a visa to enter Morocco as a tourist as your passport automatically covers you for 90 days. To study or work in Morocco, you will need a visa.
Eight weeks before you go, check to see which vaccinations and certificates you need when travelling to Morocco from the UK. Make sure your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccinations are up to date. Hepatitis A and typhoid jabs are recommended.
A Covid-19 vaccination or test is no longer necessary to enter Morocco.
Ensure you have adequate travel health insurance as many Moroccan doctors and hospitals will ask for money upfront and it can be quite expensive.
Money. Credit cards are accepted in major towns and bigger shops, but many places only accept cash. There are plenty of bureau de change about, and hotels often offer an exchange service, but the charges can be high. Cash is King in Morocco. Traveller’s cheques are not recommended. You can only take up to 2.000 Moroccan Dirhams out of the country.
Travelling to Morocco from the UK By Plane.
The easiest way to travel from the UK to Morocco is to fly direct. Alternatively, some tourists take a plane to Spain, France, or Gibraltar and then on to Morocco by ferry.
Flying with budget airlines can be really cheap and even the national carriers offer some good deals, Be careful, as prices rise during the peak times of July and August, Christmas and New Year, and weekends compared to weekdays. Seats are usually harder to come by at these times, so it is best to book well in advance.
Charter flights may be cheaper on occasion than scheduled flights but they have fixed departure and return dates and there are severe penalties for cancellation.
Booking through a discount agency or online can sometimes save you money.
Package deals that include accommodation are often the cheapest option overall.
With indirect flights, bear in mind that changeover times can be tight and there is a higher risk of your baggage being lost. If you do lose your baggage it cannot be delivered to your accommodation in Morocco, you must collect it from the airport yourself.
Flying from London to Morocco is the simplest and usually the cheapest option. Royal Air Maroc (RAM) flies daily from London Heathrow to Casablanca. A return flight will cost between £180-270. RAM also offers a twice-weekly service to Tangier from Heathrow. British Airways has flights from Heathrow to Marrakech, Casablanca and Agadir.
EasyJet flies to Marrakech from Gatwick and Manchester and Agadir from Gatwick. Another no-frills airline, Ryanair also flies to Marrakech but from Stansted and Luton. They also offer a service from Stansted to Fes. ThomsonFly departs from Gatwick and Manchester to Marrakech and Agadir. These budget airlines charge anything between £60-400 for a return trip, normally, the earlier you book, the cheaper the flight!
First Choice provides charter flights from Gatwick, Manchester or Dublin in Ireland, as well as other cities on occasion. They can be cheaper, but not often, don’t provide all-year services and may limit your return flight to a stay in Morocco of not more than a fortnight.
The duration of the flights is usually about three and a half hours from London.
Indirect flights are available from any British international airport, either via London or European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam or Madrid and Malaga in Spain. Connecting flights can take you to most Moroccan airports. Iberia Airlines from Malaga and Madrid also supply connecting flights to the Spanish enclave of Melilla which is minutes from Morocco. Indirect flights can cost anything from €350-900.
I prefer taking a cheap flight to Malaga or Gibraltar and then getting a coach to Algeciras or Tarifa and crossing into Morocco by ferry. Ryanair and EasyJet provide a host of flights to Malaga from many British cities. From Gibraltar, you can also go directly by ferry to Morocco or walk over the border into Spain and catch a coach in La Linea.
From Malaga, there are also occasional ferries, but these take quite a few hours, so it is better to catch a bus to Algeciras, either direct or via Marbella. I would then take the free coach service to Tarifa for the cheap and fast ferry rather than the longer and pricier ferry crossing from Algeciras that takes you to Tangier Med which is nowhere near Tangier and will cost you time, money and patience to escape from.
Travelling to Morocco from the UK by Rail.
Not necessarily the cheapest, quickest or best way of travel, but some people like trains or are afraid of flying. To get to Morocco by train you depart from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel on Eurostar and then change to a Rail Europe train from Paris to Madrid. You change in Madrid to a Spanish RENFE train to take you to Algeciras for the ferry. In Tangier, you can catch another train if that’s how you like to travel. It is obligatory to book your seats on these trains in advance. The train journey from London to Morocco will take at least days, maybe three and will cost a minimum of £125 from London to Algeciras, one way.
Travelling to Morocco from the UK by Bus.
Contact Victoria Bus Station in London for details of Eurolines’ operation from London to Algeciras. If you must. It’s not the best option, in our opinion, as it will take two to three days, involves changing in Paris and Madrid and needs two separate tickets, one for London to Paris and the other for Paris to Algeciras. Costs about £155 one way and you’re not in Morocco yet. You must book both tickets separately, preferably well in advance.
Other cities will offer coach services to Morocco too, but these obviously take much longer and often include lengthy stopovers in London waiting for your connection.
Travelling to Morocco from the UK By Car.
This will likely take about four days from southeast England. The easiest routes London-Paris( via the Chunnel)-Tours-Bordeaux-Bayonne-San Sebastian-Madrid-Grenada-Malaga-Algeciras. As well as the fuel costs, there are heavy tolls for use of the main routes in France and Spain, you can choose to travel by the back roads but this will take considerably longer.
Brittany Ferries can take you and your vehicle to northern Spain or you can drive to Sète in France and catch a ferry to Morocco from there.
Get Green Card Insurance for your vehicle before you leave. Try to get it printed in French as this makes life a lot easier in Morocco. Alternatively, you can purchase insurance from Assurance Frontière at the entry port or border. You must also have your vehicle registration certificate in your name or with a signed letter from the owner. A trailer caravan needs a separate document but this is free and easily obtained at the border or on the ferry.
Obviously, you also need a valid driving license.
Travelling to Morocco from the UK By Ferry or Private Boat:
Whether you are catching your ferry to Morocco from Spain, Gibraltar, France or Italy, you will need to go through passport control at your port of exit. On the ferry, be sure to pick up and fill in a disembarkation form from the Moroccan Customs officers onboard, the purser’s office, or sometimes the restaurant/ cafe! After you have completed this, take it and your passport to customs control to have your passport stamped by immigration.
There will be announcements made to remind you, but these are often in a series of languages, usually including English, but are easy to miss and difficult to hear sometimes. If you don’t get your passport stamped you will have to wait until everyone else has exited the boat before the Immigration officers will grumpily assist you. As you leave the boat and enter Morocco, you will be required to show your passport and entry stamp to another Moroccan official.
The majority of ferries to Morocco dock at Tangier Med, a massive port that is actually 40km away from Tangier Ville. This can be inconvenient if you don’t have your own vehicle as it’s in the middle of nowhere, taxis to Tangier are expensive, the free shuttle buses are few and far between and don’t run in the evening and there is only one train a day.
For the return journey, you need to fill in the disembarkation form and get it stamped by passport control before getting on the ferry. You can get a form at any ticket office or from helpful wandering Moroccans who will sell you a form that should be free and help you fill it in for a few extra dirhams!
If you travel to Morocco from the UK on a private yacht or another vessel, you must enter via a recognized port of entry. Entering through any other port, harbour, or beach is illegal.
FAQs about Traveling to Morocco from the UK
Can I Travel to the UK from Morocco Right Now?
For sure, as long as you have a current UK passport valid for at least three months from your date of arrival in Morocco, just hop on a plane or contact a travel agent and arrange flights or a package deal. You could be in Morocco tomorrow!
Do You Need a Visa for Morocco from the UK?
No, not if you are travelling as a tourist, your British passport includes an automatic visa which will allow you to stay in Morocco for up to ninety days.
You will need a visa if you are coming to Morocco as a student or for business, or if you are planning to stay for more than ninety days.