Update 13-03-2020: The Government of Morocco has suspended all passenger ferries and flights between Spain and Morocco as a measure against the coronavirus. The passenger ferries across the Strait of Gibraltar operated by FRS and Intershipping were stopped immediately affecting the departures from the port of Algeciras and Tarifa to Tánger Med and Tánger. The measures don't affect freight. The suspension will also affect cruise liners. The ferry from Spain to Spanish enclaves in North Africa of Ceuta and Melilla continues, hower the border to Morocco is closed.
by Chris Chaplow
The port and breakwaters were constructed in the 1930s and 40s – the government official responsible for the project, General Vives (Sub-Secretary of Development), was made an hijo adoptivo (adopted son) of Tarifa and had a street named after him. The port was finished in 1944.
Of note is the fine statue to ‘Sagrado Corazon de Jesus’ at the end of the outer breakwater. More recently the Port of Algeciras authority took over management of Tarifa Port and carried out improvements in the 2000s, so that the ferry terminal could receive non-EU passengers. The recreational marina was improved with new access and moorings, and there are ongoing improvements to the fishing port area.
The colourful air-propelled torpedo on display at the port entrance came from the old Spanish Navy station that occupied the spot where the commercial port is now.
Tarifa port is divided into three separate areas.
The third area is the ferry port to Tangier which is only open to passengers. Although comfortably small in size, this port carries the third-most passengers in Spain after the (much larger) ports of Barcelona and Algeciras.
The port area is open to walk around and take photographs. The modern ferry terminal building has café and toilet facilities as well as ticket offices. Foot passengers for Tangier pass through passport control and customs inside the terminal building. Car drivers should first park in the car park and check in at their ferry company desk in the terminal with all car passengers’ passports, then return to the car and drive though passport and customs control into a quayside waiting area.
You will find a number of cafés on Calle Alcalde Juan Nuñez, just outside the port gates, or on the Alameda opposite the entrance.
Ferry Port Car Park
The fenced short stay car park inside the ferry port only for ferry port users is convenient, but it’s often full. The fees are as follows: free for the first half-hour, then 0.55€ for minute 31, then 0.06€/minute up to an hour, afterwards 0.03€/m up to 10hrs; 17,34€ is the maximum, for up to 24hrs. There is a discount for ferry passengers who pay at the kiosk and show their ferry tickets. If you want to avoid paying these parking fees arrive early to allow time to park your car elsewhere – for example, it’s free to park in the street if you can find a space.
|Fishing boats in the port of Tarifa.|
The fishing port, with a separate entrance to the west, is used by Tarifa’s small fishing fleet.
The marina for sailing and motorboats to moor - all the whale watching excursions and dive boats depart from here. Some operators have offices just outside the port.
It is a 1.2km uphill walk to Tarifa Bus Station. If you have luggage take a taxi.