A Guide for Entry into Morocco with a Motorhome
We spent just over 6 weeks in Morocco with our good friends Catherine and Chris from The World Is Our Lobster. We’d highly recommend that you go and attempt it yourselves! We’ve had a couple of e-mails asking us for more information on the crossing, so here is our long awaited guide to getting in (and out!) of Morocco.



Choose where to sail from
We sailed from Algeciras to Ceuta. The crossing is shorter than the route to Tangier and once you disembark the ferry you are still in Spanish sovereignty so you then have an opportunity to park in the rest area before the border crossing.

Rest Area before the Border Crossing

However, en route home we passed the brand new Tangier Med port and were impressed by what looks like an incredibly modern port set outside of the city. The port appeared to have none of the hustle and bustle that can be seen at the Ceuta-Morocco border. This would be our preference for our future visit and we’ll report back once we’ve done it for ourselves.


Get your tickets
We would recommend that you follow the French example and purchase your tickets from Carlos in Algeciras. These tickets are NOT as some people would lead you to believe cancelled tickets, tickets with other people’s names on or other such scaremongering. Carlos is a licensed ticket seller and his reputation precedes him when dealing with motorhomers. The tickets are printed with your information on and he is able to give you lots of helpful advice and directions to the port although a little Spanish is advantageous!

When you arrive, park next to the Lidl in Algercias (GPS: 36.18136, -5.43977 and if you don't believe us just check all the motorhomes on Google Maps HERE!). They are very tolerant of motorhomes parking and overnighting here since the majority of people do a large shop before departing. There is even a butcher selling largely pork products which are unavailable in the Muslim country.  Don’t forget to stock up on Wine / Beer – this is expensive in Morocco and better than hard currency when trading with native Moroccans!

Carlos is located here, just a two minute walk from the car park. Take with you a copy of your vehicles V5 certificate and your passport and tell him when you wish to sail to Morocco and that you would like an open return.

The Border Crossing
As with most non-EU borders, there are three stages to the process:

1. Immigration
2. Vehicle import
3. Customs

Ignore the apparent chaos at the border and focus on achieving these three steps in that order.
As you approach, men will wave bits of paper at you. If you have been to Carlos for your ticket, you don't need any further paperwork, so you can safely ignore the paper-wavers.

If there are two of you, one can stay in the vehicle. Once you enter the fray, “helpers” will offer to assist. Look for ones with an official badge. You can either be firm and say “No thanks, I'm fine”, or graciously accept and tip them €5, which may be the more pleasant experience for the sake of a few quid, especially if it's your first crossing.

The first office you need clearly says “Police”. Complete your entry form and hand it over together with your passport. You will get a stamp, plus an official Moroccan immigration number. That's it. Move on to any of the offices saying “Enregistrement des Vehicules”.

Queues here are often slow, so be patient but firm; stand your ground or people will push in. Here you hand over the first copy (out of three) of the Vehicle Import Form, plus your V5 and Green Card. If you have bought your ticket from Carlos, he will have already completed the Import Form for you; just hand it in. If not, fill in the details from your V5. You will get the form back with the appropriate stamp.

Now comes the fun part as you attempt to drive past all the other queueing vehicles to the Customs Officer, squeezing past stationary cars, buses and motorhomes! The Customs Officer may well look in the van but customs is quite relaxed. Then take the Vehicle Import Form to the customs office, and you're done.
Finally don't forget to tip your helper if you used one!

You do not require a Visa to enter Morocco for a maximum of 90 days. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your entry date. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days the only way you can do this is by becoming a resident.


Vehicle Insurance 
If you are planning on visiting Morocco it is worthwhile considering this when you renew or take out your motorhome policy. Saga, Comfort and Sageguard all cover Morocco at no extra charge and are able to provide you with a 90 day ‘Green Card’ which covers you fully comprehensively while in the country. If you have a vehicle of any value don’t consider buying insurance at the border.

The Paperwork

                           Immigration Forms - Entry and Exit                                        Ferry Tickets

                                    Vehicle Import and Export Form                                   Tickets and Timetable

     Moroccan Insurance Green Card 
our insurers Safe Guard from home. Valid 90 days (with start date)                                                             

Money in Morocco
‘Western’ cash points are available throughout the country and have an English language option. We stopped a couple of miles after the border crossing for our first batch of Dirhams. It is worthwhile taking a couple of hundred euros as a backup which can easily be changed for Dirham at many bureau-de-change across the country. Exercise the same amount of caution when using these as you would in any other country.

Our preference for foreign travel is the Halifax Clarity Credit Card. The card provides you with interest free transactions and a low 1.1% interest fee on cash withdrawls offset by a £5 per month reward if you spend over £300.

If you use the Caxton Euro Card be aware that you will be paying two lots of interest rates Sterling > Euro > Dirham. Consider the Global card where the balance is held in Sterling and converted to the local currency on use.

Cards are rarely accepted. Marjane and some large fuel stations are the only exceptions.

Getting Out
On exiting, the process is simpler. Complete your exit form and hand it in to the Police Office with your passport. Then go to Customs and hand in the second copy of your Vehicle Import Form. The third copy is for you to keep.

Drive through Customs, stopping if asked. That's it.


Fuel
Diesel is roughly 55p a litre in Morocco and is available throughout the country. It is worthwhile filling up from the more modern looking fuel stations (Afrqua, Shell etc). Be aware that if you intend to stop overnight in the high atlas temperatures could reach as low as -10 (experienced by us in 2012) and there is unlikely to be any winter additives added to the mix.

For more information see:

Maroc Telecom Dongle
View All Our Posts on Morocco

Post a comment

  1. Great artical. Thanks.

    What exactly do the "helpers" do? Why are there official ones and others that work for tips?

    Kevin

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kevin, the "helpers" basically check your paperwork is correct, talk to the officials for you (often jumping the queue) and walk with you through the process. They official ones with (some form of, probably home made!) ID still work for tips, nothing is free in Morocco!

      We actually found they added to the banter / experience and were really good humoured but perhaps we just had a good one. In our case we passed about 20 vehicles stationary in front of us waiting doing their own paperwork so it was worth it.

      If it is your first time and you don't want to use them, just tell them that you have been before lots of times and don't need any help. We took this approach on the way back and they disappeared straight away.

      I would imagine, however, if you was to sail to Tangier Med (which looks fantastic vs Ceuta) then there would be none of this hustle and bustle.

      Everyone has their own opinions of the "best way" so it's upto you to decide for yourself! :)

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    2. thanks for all the good info, do you know if its ok to take sterling and would we get it changed easy enough

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  2. Replies
    1. Sounds like you get all over the place yourself Sam?

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  3. Thank you for this update on entering Morocco, we will be doing this trip in July, so the advice is timely. We plan to try the Tangier route and will let you know how we get on... many thanks! http://riadrenovationproject.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. You've got to tell us more about the Raid Renovation!

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  4. Riad Renovation eh? Where to start! Such a crazy adventure. We fell in love with Morocco, Marrakech and Riads a few years ago. Riad Romm'an (arabic for pomegranate) should be habitable by the time we arrive in our van in early July (we are driving from our home in Scotland). More blog updates and photos to follow! Love your blog, its been informative and inspiration for our own trip! x

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  5. If bringing a dog into Morocco (with PET passport) at what stage should I let the border officials know that we are doing so? Immigration or customs?

    Also I was planning to spend two months in Morocco over winter, then a break down to Senegal followed by another three months in Morocco in spring. Would that work with the 90day tourist visa? i.e. two visas - no problems?

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  6. If bringing a dog into Morocco (with PET passport) at what stage should I let the border officials know that we are doing so? Immigration or customs?

    Also I was planning to spend two months in Morocco over winter, then a break down to Senegal followed by another three months in Morocco in spring. Would that work with the 90day tourist visa? i.e. two visas - no problems?

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    Replies
    1. Interesting question, I'm afraid we've neither a pet nor have we been to Senegal so perhaps look towards one of the forums (motorhomefacts.com has a good Morocco section) for advice :)

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  7. As a fellow blogger I want to thank you for sharing this information. All these details are a pain to document, but this will provide so many followers with the plans they need for a successful crossing. Many Thanks!

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  8. Hi there, just stumbled across your blog now! We (the other half and me) are planning on entering Morocco in early October this year! The information above is invaluable! Could I trouble you with a query, we are traveling in a friends camper and V5 is therefore not in our name...could that cause a problem?
    Thanks Justine

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  9. i don't think that should be a problem provided you have a letter authorising you to be in possession of a nd to be using the vehilce in FRENCH which is the second language in Morocco,but to be on the safe side i would check with the Moroccan tourist board, i beleive they are still in Regent st,London.and are quite helpful with visitors to their country,hope this helps,better safe than sorry.

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  10. I hope this piece of info will help any one that is heading for Tan Tan and beyond. We are currently just north of Dakhla and would like to make all nationalities aware of the Tan Tan Trap. As you exit Tan Tan through the archway heading for El Ouatia (Tan Tan plage) you will come to a strange junction - part roundabout- part T junction. THERE IS A STOP SIGN IN ARABIC no french or english. NO ROAD MARKINGS where you give way to traffic from the right (There is'nt any and you are turning left towards El Ouatia. The police are waiting 100 yards up the road and it seems that it does not matter what you do they will stop you and fine you a hefty 700dh about £50 for not stopping at the sign. They are taking thousands a day here from all nationalities and are particularly unpleasant. We stopped at the sign with a local car in front. We now understand why he lingered so long at this 'junction'! After he had turned left we rolled forward at snails place (four yards)- no traffic coming - turned left into the 700dh fine. Having talked to many nationalities subsequently, it is not so much the fine as the synical way in which it is being done. They are also quick to their guns if you do protest too much. Refuse to sign and you don't get your documents back. Try to take photos of the offending sign etc and its Midnight Express. This encounter has marred a thoroughly enjoyable trip so far - wonderful help and assistance from all other police and officials. It would be more honest if they just charged a tourist tax on entry rather than do this. Hope it helps someone

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    Replies
    1. Bit disappointing that this is happening on this bit of road - we had similar experiences at Guelmin and Agadir over the past couple of years. Guelmin guys were particularly hard-line. We rolled very slowly past a 'halt'sign some 30 metres in front of them, without stopping dead to wait for them to signal us forward. We learnt our lesson - when in doubt, STOP, and wait for instructions! At Agadir we came across the 'do you want a receipt' routine from the policeman - in other words, do you want a smaller fine for no receipt (which he pockets) or make the policeman complete the official penalty form - which costs more. We chose the official option and paid up. Got away with it in Guelmin - lots of humble apologies and respectful attitude to the police. Once when we were stopped ( god knows why) the policeman actually gave us the 'fine' back after we offered some cash - he was a bit embarrassed.

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  11. Hi Sophie & Adam,

    How much did you pay your open return ticket for 2 pax + the van?
    We are doing the same trip next month and I am currently comparing prices.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Kind regards,

    Estelle & Olivier.

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  12. Carlos charges 200 Euros cash, no cards to either port.

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  13. just read your blog,great,thank you.Can you tell us what the best time of year to travel to Morrocco? Also can you recommend a route as we know nothing about it.Only just decided to give it a whirl thanks jackie

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  14. Morocco is often referred to as a cold country with a hot sun. Its summers are exceptionally hot and winters can be chill to the bone. Morocco’s ranges of climates greatly fluctuate due to the country’s geographic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Morocco’s unique weather patterns make it possible to find an ideal area to take a Morocco Tour year round, however, recommended months to experience Morocco fall between October and May. Traveling during Ramadan can a little tricky because many shops and tourist sites close early or permanently to observe the month long holiday.

    Spring (April and May) and Fall (September and October) are perhaps the best overall time to take a Moroccco Tour. With a summer climate in the south and in the mountains, as well as on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Winter can be perfect by day in the south, though desert nights can get very cold. If you’re planning to hike in the mountains, it’s best to keep to the months from April to October unless you have some experience in snow conditions.

    Seasons and weather in Morocco take on a whole new meaning as the country is divided into two climatic zones by the High Atlas Mountains. To the north of the High Atlas, the western winds from the Atlantic contribute to the cooler temperatures of the north. Contrastingly, south of the High Atlas, the weather is influenced by the Sahara desert.

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  15. Pork products are sold at all Marjane Hypermarkets and at the Deli in Marche Central in Agadir. Alcohol is only more expensive as there are few "Own Brands". If you always shop at Lidl, then of course it is dearer. A bottle of Vodka in Marjane is 75 dirhams (£5.76) Come On ! I pay twice that in UK . Anthony Keaveny.

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  16. Replying to your 1st comment Europe by camper.
    You said the helpers often jump the queue and that you passed 20 vehicles.
    Did this not bother you that you jumped the queue and that perhaps elderly and young people was also waiting to get through the border. This is really what you are paying the helpers for.

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  17. Since, I was busy working day and night to complete an important assignment, I fulfilled my desire to spend a fun-filled vacation with my friends at the famous places in Lisbon during the festive time, and relish various sea-food recipes to satisfy the taste buds.

    ReplyDelete

 
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