Tangier (one night was plenty)
September 9, 2019
– The ferry from Tarifa, Spain goes straight to Tangier centre as opposed to others which require a taxi to get to town. I had read to show up anywhere from 30-90 minutes prior to departure. I opted for a safe 60 minutes and had plenty of time to get my boarding pass, go through security and passport control (yes, it is very similar to an airport as you are crossing an international border) I had bought my ticket in advance online (37 euros) and saw others turned away trying to buy tickets last minute so I suspect this ferry does sellout.
– We had booked a hostel with good reviews on booking.com but when we arrived they had mixed up our reservation and they were smoking inside the hostel. We checked out of hostel and into 5 star hotel instead for $120 Cad./night. This was a good choice as we had a pool to spend the afternoon by after we exhausted the things to do in Tangier. *despite Hotwire promising the total included taxes and fees, we were charged 80 MAD upon departure by the hotel for a “tourist tax”. Hotwire did refund us this amount but it was an unnecessary hassle.
– Tangier has the old medina with most touristy spots but a short 10 minute walk away is a more modern area with plenty of restaurants, stores, etc. if you need to buy anything.
– The old Medina was significantly livelier night time than during the day. My first impression of Tangier was to turn around and go back to Spain but once we had some good meals and saw the medina come to life at night time, we enjoyed this city. That being said, one day is plenty.- Besides the historical stuff and mosques, the Cafe de France for mint tea (9 MAD) and people watching is a must.
– We opted to skip the recommended CTM tourist bus to Chefchaouen as we didn’t have advance tickets and the terminal was quite far away to chance not getting on as we had read could happen. We headed to the Gare Routiere (bus station) to check out the other buses and grand taxis which all depart from here.
– A taxi from old medina to the gare routiere bus station was 50 MAD for three of us. We were unable to bargain this down despite attempts with different taxis. You can also walk there from the old medina in about 20 minutes.
– A grand taxi to Chefchaouen from Tangier was 480 MAD for the whole taxi. Five of us opted to each pay 96 MAD each instead of waiting for a sixth person to share the ride with and pay 80. It was a modern mini van (but no A/C) and they didn’t stop and cram a ton of people in like collectivos in other countries. The grand taxi drove us right up the hill into the medina, saving us the 15 minute straight uphill walk with our bags or an additional taxi fare. The taxi ride from Tangier to Chefchaouen was 2 hours direct.