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Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier: Sail to the Modern Metropolis in Morocco

Antonio Valbuena (Director at Alcaidesa Marina)

Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Nautical Route: Sail to the Modern Metropolis in Morocco

In today’s nautical route, we’ll be taking you on a two-day cruise to the North coast of Morocco from Alcaidesa Marina, where you can taste extraordinary cuisine and enjoy the culture. The route will take you across the Strait of Gibraltar from North to South; then cruising along the Moroccan coast from East to West.

We’re going to explore the North coast of Africa to Morocco’s most significant Northern city. The gateway between Europe and Africa; Tangier. It is the second largest economic hub in the Kingdom after Casablanca.

Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Morocco

It is also a modern, vibrant metropolis undergoing major modernisation at breakneck speed.

Set off early, thirty Nautical miles lie ahead of you, so expect a journey of around 5 hours if you’re voyaging in a typical mono hull or average sized cruising yacht. It would, of course, be potentially much quicker in a motorboat.

We advise that you make the crossing using the light winds from either the East or West, although it’s always better with the Easterly winds which will help us cross the Strait against the prevailing current. Ideally, we should head to Tangier with Easterly winds and return with Westerlies.

From Alcaidesa Marina, make your way towards Punta Carnero, at the western tip of the Bay of Algeciras, and then take a direct course to Tangier. However, the ideal route is southwards towards Africa, as the direct route will take us through the traffic separation zone for many miles, which is something we should avoid if possible, but if you do cross the traffic separation zone then this should be done perpendicular to the traffic until you have left the separation zone.

In short, try to cross as perpendicularly as possible. During the crossing, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the biodiversity of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Morocco

Once off the Moroccan coast, we should raise the courtesy flag of the country. It’s a good idea not to sail too close to the coast; remaining at a distance of at least three nautical miles, because there tend to be hard-to-see fishing boats around.
Five nautical miles before arriving in Tangier, you’ll see how it’s welcoming bay opens out before you. Take care in this area as there is a shipwreck that, naturally, you’ll need to avoid, however the wreck is well indicated on the charts as well as on warning signs.

There is a myriad of things to do in Tangier, such as exploring its ultra-modern marina, relaxing on the beach, strolling around the historic areas and exploring the must see Kasbah, a walled fortress atop a hill that leads to the maze like medina; a true shopper’s paradise. Another must is tasting fresh fish at a restaurant, at prices that are much cheaper than in Europe.

Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Morocco
Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Nautical Route: Sail to the Modern Metropolis in Morocco

For longer stays in Tangier, other stunning attractions include Cap Spartel, the Caves of Hercules and the breathtaking Medina of Asilah, which lies some thirty kilometres south from the city on the Atlantic coastline. Meanwhile, a camel ride is always a fun option.

Weather and time permitting, another possibility is a circular route through the Strait of Gibraltar, which if well planned will be blessed by prevailing winds, setting sail from Alcaidesa Marina over to Ceuta, where you can spend a night and enjoy the bustle of the city and then head to Tangier aided by the Easterly wind.

Once in Tangier, you can explore its medina and relax on its beaches until the Westerly wind comes up, then cross the Strait again and drop anchor off Bolonia beach near Tarifa. That said, the anchorage here is only suitable in really good weather, so plan your trip well. From here, you’ll be able to sail with the wind behind you to our home port.

·Type of navigation: Coastal

·Distance in Miles: 30 Nautical Miles

·Duration: 2 day/s

·Degree of difficulty: Medium

·Terminates in base port: Yes

·Towns: Ceuta

·GPS: N 35° 47’ 32”N 5° 47’ 44”W

·Coast: Bay of Algeciras, Strait of Gibraltar and Northern Morocco

Alcaidesa Marina to Tangier Nautical Route: Sail to the Modern Metropolis in Morocco

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