The cruise ship dock and passenger terminal is only 800 meters from the city center of Tanger (Tangier or Tangiers). Even so, there is a shuttle service into town and there are plenty of taxis. Money-changing facilities are also available but credit cards are widely accepted throughout the city.
Sometimes you will be tendered to port.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
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Monthly Climate Averages for Tanger Morocco
Tanger is a Cruise Port in it's own right, rather than a gateway to other cities.
Tangier, known as the "gateway to Africa", is one of the most vibrant, mysterious and intriguing cities in Morocco. Located 60 kilometers from Gibraltar and just 14 kilometers from Spain, it's not entirely Moroccan, European or African; it's a dynamic mix of all three... It has a strong international flavor along with a reputation for inspiring shady deals and attracting foreign misfits. Over the years,Tangier has been home to various international playboys, along with many artists, writers and all kinds of adventurers. Truman Capote described Tangier as the "Ragamuffin city".
Tanger's medina (near the harbor) is fascinating, and is still in very good condition. The narrow winding streets are lined with houses of all kinds of styles, indicating that people from with various financial backgrounds both lived and worked here. In Tangier, the Medina itself is quite big. There are many commercial centers too, mostly aimed at tourists. It can be quite difficult to find areas where real handicraft is performed.
The Kasbah: it was built on the highest point in Tangier and has excellent views out over the Straits of Gibraltar and neighboring Spain. There aren't many places where you can see two continents at once.
The Grand Socco really is the heart of Tangier and a good place to start a tour since it is also the point where the modern city's streets are forced to continue into the narrow streets of the old city.
Dar el Makhzen: A collection of art from all over Morocco is housed in the imposing Dar el Makhzen, the former Sultan's palace dating from the 17th century, which dominates the Tangier kasbah.
The Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM), a thriving cultural center, museum, conference center and library in the heart of the old medina in Tangier, is housed in the only historic landmark of the United States located abroad.
No commercial excursion companies operate near de port.
Walking to the Medina and exploring the city from there is your best bet, it is difficult to get lost as you will see the harbor almost from any point.
Note: the streets and alleys are pretty steep and paved with cobble stones.
A good way yo get to know the city is to take the hop on hop off bus. Take the shuttle bus from your ship to the town drop off. Walk back towards the ship, cross the multi-lane road to find a roadside red kiosk where the HOHO tickets are on sale.
A suggestion for visiting the Kasbah and Medina without a strenuous long uphill climb: take the blue route HOHO bus to Stop 2 (Plaza 9 April) and then stroll downhill through the old town and Medina. There is an unmissable large covered market just off Plaza 9 April.
Taxis are a good and not expensive way to take a tour, about 15 Euro an hour.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
The Caves of Hercules, located just 14kms west of Tangier, are a place of stunning natural beauty and great archaeological significance.
Apparently, this is where the mythical figure, Hercules, used to rest after finishing his 12 labors. The mouths of the caves open up onto the Atlantic and are flooded at high tide. When the tide comes in, water gushes up through these massive holes in the ground and hillside. It's very impressive.
The Kasbah, on the highest point of the medina, is a hive of activities with local craftsmen practicing the traditional arts of carpet weaving, leather working and pottery making and you can buy the products over a glass of mint tea.
For a drink or lunch go to the Hotel Continental: a vast, white 19th century building, overlooking the harbor.
Traditional foods in Tangier consist of couscous, Tajines, Pastilla, Brouchettes and Harira amongst others. You'll find these dishes in most restaurants.
Couscous - Morocco is synonymous with couscous and Tangier is no exception. It's considered a specialty. If you are in a restaurant you will have to order it a bit in advance, in order for it to be prepared properly. It comes with a variety of vegetable and meat toppings, normally chicken, mutton and roast vegetables.
Mint tea: Moroccan tea is popular with locals, it contains tea leaves, lots of sugar and stuffed with local mint, really tasty and surprisingly refreshing.
Moroccan Dirham (MAD). This currency is divided into 100 centimes.
It is forbidden to export Moroccan money and it is not possible to exchange it; therefore you should try and spend all your local money before you leave.
There are no restrictions on the amounts of foreign currencies imported. There are banknotes of 10, 50, 100 and 200 DH. In the cities banks have cash points and they are open between 8 and 11,30 a.m. and between 2 and 4,30 p.m. In the summer they sometimes don't close at lunchtime.
Most hotels, restaurants and antique shops accept credit cards.
The languages are Arabic and Berber, however most people also speak French.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers are open late and are numerous and charge very reasonable fees. The keyboards look international but are not! You will have to ask for assistance.
emergency phone numbers: Police: 19; Fire Service: 15.
The biggest event on the Moroccan calendar is the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast during the daytime and feast at night. Most restaurants are closed for lunch (with the exception of those catering specifically to tourists) and things generally slow down. Traveling during this time is entirely possible, and the restrictions don't apply to non-Muslims, but it's respectful to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public during the fast.
Holidays in Morocco
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