If you’re like many, you start by finding out where the country’s major international airports are and search for flights from your nearest airport to those destinations to begin your trip research.
However, a round-trip flight between your airport and the Mohammed V International Airport near Casablanca is only one of a handful of ways to get to and from the country. Depending on how much time you have and the places you intend to visit, you might find that other options better fit your interests and budget.
What about a ferry?
Taking a ferry to Morocco from one of the surrounding Mediterranean cities offers visitors the chance to take in interesting scenery while enjoying a relaxing ride (not to mention a convenient excuse to check out another nearby destination for a day or two). Spain offers the most ferry routes to Morocco, though you can also catch a ferry from France, Italy or Gilbraltar.
Summer is the high season for ferries to Morocco. With frequent departures in June, July and August, travelers can purchase ferry tickets from most ports without advance reservations. Many ports have limited schedules during the rest of the year, so purchasing tickets in advance is best if traveling during the off-season. If you’re taking a vehicle on the ferry with you, advance reservations are recommended regardless of the season.
Land border crossings are limited.
Morocco borders two countries by land: Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. The border with Algeria is completely closed. Those entering Morocco from the less-frequented Mauritania will find themselves traveling through the Sahara Desert on a tour and are required to cross the border in a vehicle (crossing by foot is not allowed). Rides across the border can usually be arranged at nearby hotels.
Mauritania may appeal to adventurous travelers who like to journey off the beaten path, especially for those who enjoy dramatic desert landscapes or bird watching in Morocco. Travel warnings have been issued for the area in recent years due to terrorist activity, so be sure to review the latest travel safety advice for the country and make an informed decision on whether to travel there.
Flight options are abundant.
The country’s main international airport is Mohammed V near Casablanca, with flights arriving from all over the world. If you’re flying in from Europe, you can opt to land in one of Morocco’s other international airports, which are located in popular destinations such as Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat, Tangier or Agadir.
If your starting point is outside of Europe, you might find that flying to Western Europe and then taking a budget carrier to Morocco is an economical option. If you opt for this route, keep in mind that carry-on size requirements are often more restricted with budget airlines, so you may want to pack with their guidelines in mind so you can avoid having to frantically reorganize your belongings shortly before your connecting flight.
As with ferries, taking advantage of this option gives you an opportunity to explore an additional destination for a day or so.
Written by Shelley A. Gable, instructional designer and freelance writer.
Photo by Omer Simkha.