8 Awesome Things to Do on a Tangier, Morocco Day Trip
As you make your way from the ferry terminal into town, the city of Tangier reveals itself through your car window, beautiful colored homes lining the stunning coastline of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Continuing on, you see more homes and buildings perched along the red dirt with each turn. Flowers are in full bloom.
You’re officially on the edge of the African continent, and it is beautiful.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to take a day trip to Tangier, Morocco from Spain, keep reading.
Here are 8 awesome things to do on a Tangier, Morocco day trip from Spain!
Getting to Tangier from Spain
First things first - how are you going to get there?!
With the Strait of Gibraltar separating Spain from Morocco, it’s not like you can simply stroll across the border.
You will need to either fly, or get to the coast and take a ferry.
There are many forms of transportation you can take to get from Spain to Tangier, depending where in Spain you are coming from.
One of the most hassle-free options is to do private transfer, which is what I did by joining Not Just a Tourist’s day trip from Seville!
I outline all the details about how we got from Seville to Tangier and back, plus more specific tips and advice on this blog post here.
Now that you’ve determined how you’ll get to Tangier, what should you do for the day?!
8 Awesome Things to Do on a Tangier, Morocco Day Trip
1. Cape Spartel Lighthouse
The most northern lighthouse of all of Africa happens to be located at Cape Spartel in Tangier!
It was a rare cloudy morning when we arrived, however, on a clear day supposedly the view of the water is even more beautiful.
2. Caves of Hercules
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I noticed a cave was on our list of activities for the day, and it did not disappoint!
Below the lighthouse lie the Caves of Hercules, famous for having a cave opening shaped like the continent of Africa. Seriously. How cool is that?!
Ships that come in facing the cave will see the outline of Africa, welcoming them to the continent. From the inside, it looks like a person’s face!
It is believed that the Phoenicians created the opening to be shaped like Africa. The name of the caves comes from the myth/legend that says Hercules stayed there.
Near the Caves of Hercules is the summer palace for the King of Morocco.
3. Ride a Camel on the Beach
If you’ve ever dreamt of riding a camel by sand dunes in the desert, then, well, you can get pretty close to that in Tangier!
Instead of going out to the desert, there are camel rides you can take on the beach for fun.
I did some research on whether or not riding a camel for tourism purposes is ethical, and was pleasantly surprised that it seems to be okay. Supposedly camels get aggressive if they are not treated properly and will not let people ride them. I felt better knowing this and confirmed the ones we encountered were treated well with our guide before we got on them.
I’m no camel expert (haha), but the camels we rode appeared happy, healthy, and seemed like they were treated well!
The camel ride was an optional add-on with our tour (18 euros), so if it doesn’t interest you, you can skip it. We had fun though!
4. Walk Through the Kasbah
The kasbah is the area of buildings inside the ancient fortress that would protect the city.
You can find a map inside the kasbah that gives you some route options to take along the perimeter, or go inside and through to the medina, which is what our tour guide Hassan did.
And yes, the term kasbah is what the song “Rock the Kasbah” by The Clash refers to!
5. Go shopping in the Medina
Color-drenched buildings with dazzling patterned doors line the narrow pathways as you make your way through the medina.
As you walk along, shop owners are perched on a stool waving you to come inside while children run past.
Some of the shop owners urgently invite you into their store for a look at their items, whether they be rugs, housewares, clothing, jewelry, or other keepsakes. Others couldn’t be less interested!
Different than some other popular markets around the world (like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, for example), the medina shops are all tucked into the buildings versus being stalls all contained in one huge room.
This adds to the local flavor of each shop, and you must use your intuition to decide which direction to go in lieu of your shopping list.
Separately you will find more of a traditional-looking food and fish market!
6. Eat delicious food
Before visiting Morocco I anticipated one thing about the food: flavor.
The flavor did not disappoint! With our tour, our lunch stop was part of the day and included multiple courses of Moroccan cuisine. I wrote more about our lunch in Tangier on this post.
7. Museums & Other Points of Interest
With plenty of history and culture in Tangier, there are quite a few museums to choose from.
The Kasbah Museum has a large collection of art, pottery, silks, and more. There are many museums, including the Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures (yes, Forbes as in Forbes Magazine)!
Hassan also explained to us that the first American public property outside the USA is in Tangier, which is something I did not know beforehand! It was built in 1821 to celebrate diplomatic relations between Morocco and the US, and was used by the US during World War II.
8. Watch the sun Go Down over Africa from Europe
Another benefit of joining our tour was that it was a small group - just five of us! - and our driver, Enrique, asked if we wanted to stop and watch the sunset at a lookout point on our way back. Of course we did!
The view was breathtaking. Just across the water, we saw the hills of Tangier, the lights from buildings sparkling in the twilight.
Enrique pointed out the “new” side of Tangier, where wealthy people from the Middle East and other parts of the world are developing additional infrastructure, which will change Tangier over time.
Watching the sun go down from Tarifa, Spain was the perfect ending to the day.
It seemed as if the nightly color show matched our contentment, producing light pink and orange tones that slowly faded as our time in Tangier turned from present experience to past memory.
We waved goodbye to Africa, got back in the car, and made our way back to Seville for the night.
We were tired - in a good way - and full of memories that will last a lifetime.
Plan Your Day Trip to Tangier
Everything I outlined here was made possible by our trip with Not Just a Tourist!
From the drive down to our drop-off back in Seville that evening, everything flowed and was very smooth. Definitely recommend them if you are planning a Morocco day trip from Seville!
You can see the details and pricing for this tour here.
Huge thank you to Not Just a Tourist for helping me make my Morocco dreams come true! This tour was part of a collaboration; opinions are my own.