Our 2 week trip to Spain included a quick day trip to Tangier. This day trip was one of the things we were looking forward to the most. This was going to be our first time in Morocco and even better it was going to be our first time in Africa. We had heard so many different things about Morocco from good experiences to bad ones. At the end of the day we wanted to make our own opinion about this country. We decided to get a tour guide. Before leaving we did hear that Tangier is very busy and having a tour guide would help us have a better experience.
We had arrived to Tarifa late the night before heading to Tangier. Tarifa is located on the southern tip of Spain.I highly recommended booking at least a full day in Tarifa. It is a cute surf town, with cute unique stores and lots of restaurants and cafes.
We decided to take one of the earlier ferries to Tangier. We wanted to take advantage of our day and get there early. You can book your ferry tickets ahead of time, it was about 60 euros for round trip. Get there early and once you get on the ferry get in line to get your passport stamped. This is very important, they will send you back on the ferry to get it stamped. Our tour guide had suggested to us to do that as soon as we got on the ferry. We clearly weren’t the only was that knew to do that. Once we got in line there was a good amount of people. We waited in line about 30 minutes.
The ferry itself is decently comfortable, nice chairs, bathrooms and stores to pick up snacks. Once we arrived at the port our tour guide Abdel was waiting for us. He walked us over to his car, a comfortable van and introduced us to Omar, his driver. He has different tours we decided to book “Exploring Tangier”. It was supposed to be a 5 hour tour but ended up being almost 7 hours.
Be aware that Spain is an hour ahead of Tarifa. We weren’t aware so we were a bit confused.
We started by heading down the main street going by kings palaces and many other important sites. One of the interesting things he told us was about the houses. He explained that houses look very modest on the outside but when you walk in you can notice the wealth. Abdul explained that people invest in the decor inside their houses but they don’t like to show the wealth on the outside.
Abdul was very accomodating, we stopped along the way to take pictures and for him to give us some history on each area. Our first main stop was Cape Spartel.
Cape Spartel located west of Tangier. This is where the mediterranean and Atlantic meet. It is also located 1000 feet above sea level. We arrived to Cape Spartel around 11am and it was pretty empty. No tourists around, great place to take pictures with a wonderful view. Our tour guide then told us about the restaurant that’s located there called “Cafe Restaurant Cap Spartel”. He said it was a great place to have traditional Moroccan breakfast, he even said he would order for us. He left us to enjoy some time together. We also enjoyed the view while sipping on some delicious moroccan mint tea. When our food came out we were so excited it all looked delicious. Abdul had ordered for us.
They brought us moroccan pancakes with amlou, mint tea, freshly squeezed orange juice and water. The food was AMAZING, so much flavour and for a reasonable price.
Belly fulls we then headed to the Caves of Hercules. It is a cave part natural and part man made, a very big cave with a beautiful view of the ocean, definitely worth the visit. It is one of the tourist spots in Tangier.
Before heading to the medina and kasbah we stopped for a camel ride. The camel ride was near the beach. We each payed 5 euros for a 20 min ride. It was pretty cool, one of those things that you have to do for the experience.
Our next stop, the kasbah and medina. Abdul was great, before walking around the medina he gave us a few tips. He said don’t look at the sellers or make eye contact because you will be surrounded by many of them. Also, be respectful and do not take pictures of people (which we knew). We walked around and he gave us some history on the different areas.
After walking around for about an hour it was time for lunch. He knew where to take us. We walked to “Restaurant Kasbah”. Abdul told the restaurant owner that we were pescetarians and the owner came and spoke to me. He went over everything he was going to bring to us, all traditional moroccan dishes.
Once the plates started coming we realized it was a 5 course meal. The food was absolutely delicious. We had steamed veggies and couscous, fish and a vegetarian pattie. For dessert they brought us mint tea, baklava and watermelon. When the bill came we were so shock we had a full 5 course meal for 12 euros each.
We headed to continue exploring around the area. Couldn’t miss buying argan oil and Abdul gifted mint tea for us to bring home.
We arrived at the port about an hour before departing. We were the first ones in line, the moment the tour busses started arriving it got crazy. The ferry leaving at 5 hadn’t left yet and people were still coming in and it became a mess. Adbul was great and stayed with us the entire time. People tried to skip the line and to get ahead of us. It was so overwhelming and kind of scary but again Abdul was there with us helping us along the way. After lots of pushing around and trying to get through he managed to get us passed security.
We can’t say enough about Abdul, if you are heading to Tangier he is the tour guide to hire. We are planning on going back with our family and will be contacting him again. He has so much knowledge about history, politics and much more. He was a big reason why we loved so much our trip to Tangier – making it the highlight of our 2 week trip!
We highly highly recommend Tangier at least for the day. So much to learn from this country and culture!
Contact information for tour guide: https://www.toursbylocals.com/tangier-private-tour-guide