Can you Drive to Morocco?

You can drive to Morocco from the neighboring countries of Spain and Mauritania, but not Algeria, despite a nearly 2000 km long border between the two countries. Travel between Morocco and any of its neighbors comes with its fair share of challenges. At first glance, you could be mistaken for thinking driving to Morroco would be relatively straightforward. Sadly, traveling to Morocco by land is nearly as complex as the country’s history, which plays a significant part in the trials and tribulations of driving there. 

Over the course of this guide, we’ll delve into the issues of driving to Morocco. We’ll also take a look at the possible routes between Morocco and each of its neighbors, as well as the challenges each route presents. 

Where is Morocco Located?

Morocco is a country located in the northwest corner of Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and it shares its borders with Algeria to the east and southeast and Mauritania to the south (assuming the disputed region of Western Sahara is part of Morocco).  Spain is also very close to Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar. Even closer are the tiny Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan mainland, meaning there is technically a formal land border between Spain and Morocco. 

How to Get to Morocco

The neighboring countries of Spain, Algeria, and Mauritania all have a complex and, at times, troubled past with Morocco. These historic troubles feed into the present-day practicalities of travel between Morocco and these other nations.

On any trip, it’s important to check visa and border crossing requirements ahead of time, but this is particularly relevant for Morocco. Things can and do change rapidly, so make sure you’re up to date with the latest news. 

Traveling from Spain to Morocco

One of the quirks of travel between Spain and Morocco is the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which are situated on the Moroccan mainland. These Spanish territories trace their history back to the 15th century, and their existence remains a significant bone of contention between the two countries. For travelers, it technically provides a road route between Spain and Morocco, although you will still need a ferry ride to reach either of the enclaves from the Spanish mainland.

Travel by Air

There are numerous direct flights between major Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Malaga to Moroccan cities such as Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, and Tangier. Airlines such as Royal Air Maroc, Iberia, and Air Arabia operate these routes, providing regular and often cheap flights between the two countries.

Travel by Land

The Straits of Gibraltar separates the Spanish mainland from the Moroccan mainland. This means any vehicular journey between the two countries has to incorporate a ferry crossing unless you’re traveling from the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. There are no bridges or tunnels between mainland Spain and Morocco, so ferry travel is your only option.

The only land border crossings between Spain and Morocco are at Ceuta and Melilla. These crossings allow both pedestrians and vehicles to pass when open and operational. The Fnideq – Ceuta border for Ceuta has been open intermittently over the past few years, and access is often limited. Check the latest updates before traveling. Likewise, the crossing for Melilla at Beni Ansar – Melilla has been subject to closures. Most notably in 2022 when violence erupted at the border.  

Travel by Sea

One of the most popular ways to travel between Spain and Morocco is by ferry. Numerous ferries operate between ports in Spain, like Algeciras and Tarifa, and ports on the Moroccan mainland, such as Tangier and the enclave of Ceuta. These ferries accommodate both passengers and vehicles, offering multiple daily crossings and different travel class options.

The crossing duration varies slightly by port, but most ferries take around 1.5 hours to complete the journey. My experience of traveling between Tarifa and Tangier was positive, and the crossing was aboard a fast, modern ship. 

Less frequent and longer haul ferries run between Malaga and Almeria to the enclave at Melilla. There’s typically a sailing most days, and the journey takes anywhere between 6 to 8 hours. 

View of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
Driving through the Atlas Mountains is an amazing but sometimes dangerous endeavour.

Travelling from Mauritania to Morocco

Whether Morocco and Mauritania even share a border is open to debate. The area in the south of Morocco where Mauritania and Morocco meet is a disputed territory known as Western Sahara. Formerly a Spanish colony, it was relinquished by Spain in 1975. A war between Morocco and Mauritania for ownership ensued, with Morocco ending the war with defacto ownership status.  Present-day Western Sahara is 80% controlled by Morocco and 20% rebel-controlled, making travel through the area difficult but not impossible. 

Travel by Air

There are limited direct flights between Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, and Moroccan cities like Casablanca and Rabat. These flights are typically operated by national carriers such as Royal Air Maroc. The relatively low demand for flights means infrequent schedules and relatively high prices. 

Travel by Land

Traveling overland between Morocco and Mauritania is possible, but there’s just a solitary border crossing at Guerguerat. It’s on the main road between Dakhla in Western Sahara / Morocco and Nouadhibou in Mauritania. Formalities are done on either side of the border, and a poor road through the 3 km of no man’s land which separates the two countries. This area is heavily mined, so don’t exit from your vehicle or leave the main road when passing through. 

Ad hoc buses or mini-bus services operate on either side of the border and link onto Dakhla and Nouadhibou. If you plan to travel by public transportation, it’s best to ask locally for the latest information. 

To reach the border, you’ll need to drive through the disputed Western Sahara region to get there. In the past, permits and military conveys were required for travel through the region. However, relatively benign conditions in the area mean you can currently travel without a permit or military escort. Expect to see plenty of military and police checkpoints along the way, so ensure you have all your paperwork to hand. 

Travel by Sea

Mauritania and Morocco have no direct ferry services along their Atlantic coast. If you don’t want to fly, the easiest and only other way to travel is by land across the border at Guergerat. 

Aerial view of the city of Fez
The city of Fez is a popular destination for overland travellers from Spain.

Traveling from Algeria to Morocco

Despite Morocco and Algeria sharing an extensive 1,982 km border, there’s not a single crossing between the two countries. Instead, the border is highly militarized, particularly close to the disputed Western Sahara region, where Algeria provides support for the pro-independence Sahrawi people. It’s best to avoid the border region between the two countries entirely. 

The border dispute is part of a wider feud between the two countries. The border closure dates back to 1994, and there seems little prospect of resolution in the coming years. Diplomatic relations were broken off in 2021, further exacerbating the issues between the two countries. 

Travel by Air

There are no direct commercial flights between Algeria and Morocco due to the political tensions and the absence of diplomatic relations. If you need to fly from Morocco to Algeria, your best bet is to first fly to Spain and then to Algeria. Vueling, Ryanair, and a number of other European budget airlines offer flights to both destinations from Spain. While it’s possible to fly between the two countries via other third countries, travel via Spain is both the cheapest and quickest option. 

Traveling by Land

The land borders between Morocco and Algeria have remained firmly closed since 1994. The breaking of diplomatic relations in 2021 doesn’t bode well for any thaw in the icy relationship between the two countries. If you’re trying to circumnavigate Africa overland, you’re going to find there’s no legal or viable way to travel between Morocco and Algeria. 

Travel by Sea

There are no direct ferry services between Morocco and Algeria. There is the option of taking a ferry from the Spanish enclave of Melilla to Almeria and then sailing on to Oran in Algeria. Another option is the prohibitively expensive and long sailing between Morocco and France, from where you can then travel on to Algeria. Traveling via Almeria is the best option for both cost and speed. 

Jemaa el-Fnaa square in marrakesh
Marrkakesh in the centre of the country is an important crossroads city and excellent layover destination.

Is it Safe to Drive in Morocco?

Generally speaking, it is safe to drive in Morocco. Significant investment in infrastructure over the past couple of decades has upgraded the road network and made travel by road easier and safer. However, there are still some safety issues specific to Morroco that you need to consider:

  • Driving in the Atlas Mountains – driving in the Atlas Mountains can be a very different experience from the rest of Morocco. Roads can often be unpaved, steep and narrow, and sometimes, a combination of all three. 
  • Driving in cities – driving in cities such as Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakesh presents a very different challenge to rural driving. While the roads are of excellent quality, they can often be incredibly busy with cyclists, trams, motorbikes, trucks, and cars all vying for space. 
  • Local driving customs – Moroccans are not renowned for cautious driving, so it’s always best to drive defensively. In rural areas, be extra cautious, as locals who are familiar with the roads will often drive faster than is safe.
  • Driving in Western Sahara – The area remains largely safe and accessible, but bear in mind it’s a disputed territory with armed conflict. This means the situation can escalate quickly so always stay abreast of any developments and exercise caution.


Best Time to Visit Morocco

The best time to visit Morocco largely depends on where you’re visiting and your preferences for weather and activities. The climate varies quite dramatically across the country, but generally, there are two main periods when it is best to visit:

  • Spring (March to May): This season is considered one of the best times to visit Morocco. The weather is mild and pleasant, with blooming landscapes and comfortable temperatures. It’s ideal for exploring cities like Marrakech, Fes, and Casablanca or trekking in the Atlas Mountains.
  • Fall (September to November): Similar to spring, fall offers comfortable temperatures, making it another great time to visit. It’s perfect for exploring the outdoors without extreme heat, including desert regions, mountains, and coastal areas.


Temperatures are generally moderate in spring and fall, making hiking, desert activities, and exploring cities more enjoyable. However, remember that coastal regions might experience cooler temperatures and a slightly higher chance of rain.

Summers (June to August) can often be scorching, especially in inland areas like Marrakech and the desert regions, with temperatures often exceeding 100°F (38°C). Conversely, temperatures can plummet in winter, particularly at night and in the Atlas Mountains. Therefore we’d suggest avoiding either of these seasons. 

Related Content

Cairo to Cape Town

Can you Drive to South Africa?

Africa Continent Guide

Highlights of Namibia

Alexandria to Aswan Guide

Latest Blog Posts

Can you Drive to Morocco?

You can drive to Morocco from the neighboring countries of Spain and Mauritania, but not Algeria, despite a nearly 2000 km long border between the two countries. Travel between Morocco and any of its neighbors comes with its fair share of challenges. At first glance, you could be mistaken for

10 Best National Parks in Western Australia

If you love solitude, amazing landscapes, and vast open spaces, you’re going to love Western Australia. This amazing land, and the northwest in particular, is often referred to as the ‘Last Frontier’. It’s a land of endless remote possibilities and nowhere showcases this better than the amazing array of national

17 Best Things to do in Vlore

The Albanian port city of Vlore is one of Albania’s spectacular coastal highlights. Situated at the northern end of the Albanian Riviera and overlooking the beautiful Bay of Vlore, the city is blessed with a wealth of attractions. The home of Albanian independence and the gateway to the Riviera, the

Can you Drive to Tuktoyaktuk?

You can drive to remote Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean using the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, also known as the “Mackenzie Highway” or “Tuk Highway.” The road provides access to Tuktoyaktuk from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Inuvik is accessible from mainland Canada by using the Dempster Highway, which runs all the

Can you Drive to Gasparilla Island?

It’s possible to drive to beautiful Gasparilla Island from the nearby Florida mainland using a bridge known as the Boca Grande Causeway. The causeway connects the unincorporated community of Placida on the mainland to the northern tip of Gasparilla Island, allowing vehicles to access the island. There’s a $6 round

Can you Drive to Guyana?

You can drive to Guyana but only from one of the three South American countries with a common land border. The border crossing with neighboring Brazil in the southwest of Guyana is currently the only open crossing. However, it is located in a very remote region. There are currently no