How to get from Lisbon, Portugal to Morocco

It’s been a long time between drinks, but I’m still alive! Having just finished 5 weeks on the Camino de Santiago (more on that later), I nicked down into Portugal for some R&R. Porto and Lisbon to be exact. Both of those places were charming, the people delightful and the food refreshing. Cheap too! But after that we wanted to get into Morocco and we just couldn’t figure out the best way to get from Lisbon, Portugal to Morocco. Well now we know.

Stairs of Lisbon
Stairs of Lisbon

Of course, the best way is to fly. But flying is REALLY expensive at last minute, so we decided to try out the buses instead. We booked our ticket directly at the bus station in Lisbon, but it’s also possible to get online to this bus website and book your trip. You want to book through from Lisbon to Algeciras if you’re heading to Morocco because Algeciras is where most ferries depart from. For us, it was a 9:30pm departure from Lisbon with a change of buses in Seville. From Seville a bus goes to Algeciras port directly. But to get from Lisbon to Algeciras, just book the one ticket right through. Cost was 59 euro each.

Gibraltar from the ferry to Ceuta
Gibraltar from the ferry to Ceuta

Once in Algeciras the next morning, things start getting interesting. The first thing to do is to buy a ticket. You can buy a ticket to a number of different places, but if you’re going to head to Chefchaouen like we did as your first stop (do this!), then you need to catch the ferry to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in north Africa. It cost us 36 euro each. If you’re heading down the west coast first, catch the boat to Tangier.

How to get from Ceuta to Chefchaouen

Once in Ceuta, you need to get to the Morocco border. It’s quite easy! Walk out of the ferry port in Ceuta and hit the road out the front. Turn left down this road and walk about 500m where you will pass a gas station on your left and some supermarkets on your right. Keep walking until the road makes a sharp 90 degree turn to the right. Turn right here and up a slight hill for 100m up to a roundabout and then turn right again. From here it is 150m to the bus stop. You need to get on bus 7 and get off at the last stop. You will know it’s the last stop because the bus will empty out and the border is right there in your face. Cost is 0.80 euro.

Morocco Ceuta border
Morocco Ceuta border

Border control is a bit disorganised from the Moroccan end. Random guys without uniforms pointing you back and forth to different booths, across the road to the vehicle entry, back to the pedestrian entry… basically all around the place as if they’ve never checked in a foreigner before. Once you’re past this and in Morocco there is a cash machine and a bunch of taxis. From here you are probably best off having local currency although Euros are accepted, it makes things slightly more complicated with getting change.

Taxis at the Moroccan border
Taxis at the Moroccan border

You need to catch a collective taxi (one with other passengers) to the town of Tetouan for 2 euro. You might need to wait 15 minutes for other passengers and then you will be on your way. 45 minutes later you arrive in Tetouan. If you are dropped off at the proper spot, you will be just outside of a park and across the road from the CTM bus terminal. CTM is the good bus service through Morocco and costs slightly more than the beat up buses from other companies at the other bus station.

Book a ticket from Tetouan to Chefchaouen or Fes or anywhere else in Morocco for that matter (25dh). The trip to Chefchaouen is only about 3 or 4 hours and is a great first step in Morocco. More to come on this fantastic journey into Morocco, so check back soon.

8 thoughts on “How to get from Lisbon, Portugal to Morocco

  1. This is a fab. story & just what I need to do a similar adventure. So, would like to hear the rest of your story. Cheers.

    1. Hi Dawn. As always, it takes time I don’t have to write these stories. Needless to say, there’s much to love and much to dislike about Morocco. A truly unique and inspiring country that challenges daily.

      1. Adam.

        I am surprised & thrilled that you got back to me…………………………surprised because I actually got a response (lotsa times I hear nothing on enquiries) & thrilled that another human ‘spoke’ to me!

        Live alone & even tho’have lotsa friends, to speak with someone OS is exciting.

        So, are you still in Morocco? What would be your best advice to a couple of young 65yr olds, re travelling overland from Milan to Morocco? We are quite capable of completing such a trip……………….physically, but may not be well-enough prepared mentally.

        All the best, stay safe & cheers,
        Dawn from Down Under

        1. No I’m not still in Morocco. Travelling to Morocco from somewhere like Italy is no problem at all. The problems I faced were mainly in Morocco itself where you get lots of hassle. A totally different kind of hassle compared to Asia. I found that in Morocco people were constantly after your money and if you had no interest in giving it to them, they can sometimes become aggressive, particularly in Fez.

          That said, Morocco was also a unique country that is worth a visit at least once.

          1. Thank you for this valuable info. Adam.
            Gives us a more positive outlook on travelling to Morocco.
            Thank you for your time and patience. Thank you.
            Happy travels.
            Cheers from Dawn Down Under

  2. Thanks so mich for your posting!! I was in Lisbon and looking for the way to go to Chefchaouen. And I did it just like as you wrote! Haha.(mine was a bit more tough bcuz I missed a bus from Seville because the first bus took my printed ticket)
    May I ask about your traveling route afterwards?:) I’m considering Fes, Merzouka and….have no idea haha; I prefer small town but going to fly out from Casablanca anyway.
    And….1 question, as a girl traveling by myself, is Fes really threatening? 🙁

    1. Hi Jeesun. We went to Fez next and I regret that. I really don’t like Fez and I do think that it’s a bit over the top — you will be hassled. Doesn’t matter if you’re alone or not.

      I really love Tinehir. Stay there a night or 2. Also really loved Mhamid right on the edge of the desert. Not too hard to get there.

  3. Come October 2016 I will be travelling from Lisbon to Tangier and further into Morocco. It seems the bus is the best alternative. I would disagree with Adam (respectfully) as I have already visited Fez three times and can’t wait to return. Likewise I was advised NOT to enter Morocco via Tangier because it is a ‘den of thieves, murderers and robbers’! That is wrong. I was instantly well looked after by locals with respect to food, lodging and advice. Can’t wait to return. Always show respect and you will be respected.

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