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Can I visit Morocco and return to Spain

Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#1
My husband and I are walking from Porto to Santiago at the end of April. Coming from the USA I wanted to see as much as possible before we walk so we are stopping in Lisbon and Seville for a week and then on to Porto. I have found an ad for a day trip from Seville to Tangier and back to Seville. Great! I can ad Morocco to my list of "been there" or not? I have a friend that says I can be in Schengen countries for 90 days consecutively but if I leave at any time in those 90 days, I can not get back into Schengen countries for 90 days. She also said I cannot go to Gibraltar due to this rule. This doesn't sound right to me. Why would they offer a day trip if you can't get back in and doesn't seem like anyone outside of Europe would ever go to Gibraltar if you couldn't go back to your main airport for flight home! Please anyone that knows the rules I would be grateful for advice.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#2
You are getting some really bad advice.

The basic rule of the Schengen visa waiver is that you can only be in the Schengen area for 90 days out of 180 days. Thus....you can only actually be physically in the area for a total of 90 days. Days you leave do not count.
As an example, if you were in Spain for 45 days and then went to Morocco for 10 days...you would still have 45 days in the Schengen within the original 180 days.
Just be sure that you get your passport stamped.

There was a point of time in which the interpretation was that if you left and came back it would restart the 90 days. This was replaced with the 180 day calculation.

Someone else may be able to explain that a bit more clearly. ;)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#3
I agree with the above but stress that the time limits, although often stated as three and six months, are really 90 and 180 days.

There is contention between Spain and the UK about Gibraltar so special rules may apply about passage between Spain and Gibraltar.

Also, the rules above may not apply if coming from the US but with a non-US passport.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (2013), Caminho Costa (2013), Frances (2014, 18) Mozarabe (2017)
#4
Hi Lyndale,

I would add unless you are on some sort of "no-fly/entry" or "watch" list, you won't have any problems getting in/out of Gibraltar and Morocco. Though I'm wondering when Brexit finally happens, if any thing will change with travel to Gibraltar. Lastly, please consider spending at least a night and most certainly having a guide in Tangier. Tangier is definitely a different place in the evening and early morning, and without a guide, we would've missed on seeing a lot of interesting stuff that we would not have even thought of checking out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#5
Thank you so much! This does sound correct to me! Might just have to throw in Morocco and Gibraltar but I understand Seville is absolutely gorgeous.
Lynda
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#6

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#7
There are day trips by ferry from both Algeciras (Spain) and Tarifa (Spain) to Morocco.
Tarifa is much less touristy and noisy and the last time I visited there was only one ferry a day. The trip is about one hour to Tangier.
Tarifa is about 3 hours by bus from Sevilla and about 1 hour from Gibraltar.
Be sure you have a safe guide of some type in Tangier. You would not want to be on your own at the the ferry dock or the walk into town. :(
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#9
Thank you all. Very good news. Wish I did have 90 days or a lifetime. Will definitely get Morocco in and hope to figure a way for Gibraltar as I love monkeys and another stamp in my passport I assume. Thanks again to all.
Lynda
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#10
This is an answer to a question that you didn't ask, so my apologies if it's not appropriate to comment, but the one time I went to Tangier, I found it awful (though I loved the rest of Morocco). Tangier is being offered as a day trip from Spain because it's the closest city to Spain and not because it has charm or special sights, which it doesn't (IMO). If you simply want to understand what Morocco feels like for a day, then go by all means, but you'll get a lot of hassle and won't at all get the best of Morocco, which is to be found (city-wise) in the four imperial capitals (Fez, Marrakesh, Rabat and Meknes) and (nature-wise) in the Sahara, the gorges (e.g. Todra Gorge), the Atlas mountains and the Atlantic coast.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#11
@Lyndale......you may find that Tangier is definitely not Tacoma.
But then...Seattle is not Tacoma either ;)

Tangier is among the least attractive places I know of....but from a prospective of seeing something completely different from your norm, it is eye opening. You will appreciate the tour group as interference from the constant hassle from street vendors and hustlers.

I agree with Nick above that there are other much better places in Morocco to visit. My favorite is Marrakesh.
Again, Tangier is the best choice if you only have the limited time available in connection with a Camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Fisterra and Muxia May-June 2017
#12
A couple notes that are tangential to your question, but may be interesting for you and/or future readers. When I went to Gibraltar in 2006, we literally just walked across the border holding up our passports to prove that we had them--no stamp unfortunately, and some people asked. Maybe it was just that particular moment, though.

Regarding a day trip to Tangier, I understand the desire to see as much as possible, but I don't think a day trip to Tangier would be worth it because it seems to me that you would spend tons of that time in transit, especially if you're leaving from and returning to Sevilla. Will you be there for more than a few hours? I also agree with the other posters that said that Tangier is pretty meh. I lived in Morocco for a year and it's a fascinating, vibrant, dynamic country, so I would recommend taking the time to see it properly.

Enjoy your travels!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
#13
Tangiers is great but if you could ever get to Chefchaouen (blue mountain village), Essaouira (seaport village where Game of Thrones was filmed), Fez and Marrakesh, that would be something quite special! Happy travels.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#14
Thank you so much! This does sound correct to me! Might just have to throw in Morocco and Gibraltar but I understand Seville is absolutely gorgeous.
Lynda
just spent a week in Seville and area and its stunning, although its get's pretty hot in the summer. Enjoy
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#15
Lots of good replies.

Always do your own home work. Listening to friends is great to a point...

Check the official web page for Schengen Group policies.

As told above, it is 90 in 180.

Bottom line, go on the trip. Enjoy. Have passport.

Save air line tickets.

I, of course, will tell you to spend your 90 days in SEVILLE.

I was in Portugal last May (??). Pope was visiting Fatima.
Police stopped bus at Spain-Portugal border. While checking passports a American woman was told she had exceeded the 90 in 180 days.

She was not stamped out (physically on passport or electronically). So system showed she had stayed in Schengen Group for over 7 months.

She dug out her plane tickets. Proving her departure from Spain. And her recent return.

Good to go.

I am sure customs knows that people depart Schengen Group countries and do not get stamped out of Schengen Group country.

Having some sort of proof helps get you out of a jam.

Sure your friends had good intention. But don't rely on friends advice for such things.

If I understood him correctly, a Spanish custom officer told me a good way to figure out your "used" 90 days is to count 180 days BACK WARDS from your arrival date. Count the days you were in Schengen Group countries in that 180. Then subtract those days from 90. That will tell you how many more days you have left of your 90 in 180.

Your one day trip (overnight?), depending how long you are out of Spain, will be one less day of the 90.

Better way to put it, it is your 90 days in a 180 day period. How you "spend" your 90 days does not matter. You could leave a day, come back a day, leave a day, come back a day.... each "in" day is one count off the 90. Absence days don't count.
 
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martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#16
Rick Steves has many good European travel books.
One is, I believe title is, SPAIN-MOROCCO.

Has great info in it.

Could use it paper copy. Then before your walk give it away. To cut weight.
Or down load the E version. i.e from iBooks.

I, and so does Rick, recommend NOT spending the night on Gibraltar. Stay in La Línea de la Concepción. Walk through Spanish-UK border check. Brits will glance at your PP. Coming back to Spain, normally the Spanish Customs will just wave you through.

So many places to see and things to do in Spain...hard to begin to mention them.

Enjoy
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#17
Martyseville and all others
I don't want to argue with my friend but I agree with you all that it is 90 days cumulative not continuous days in 180 but nowhere in anything I've read from Embassies and Consulates does it really explain that it is cumulative or one has the ability to go to Spain for 30 days exit with a trip to Morocco for 10 days come back to Portugal for 10 and exit to Bali for 10 and return again. I have found that US citizens don't need a Visa and you get 90 days out of 180 just on a passport but again it doesn't say if it is a single entry or multiple that is allowed. I see also that there are single and multiple Visas available for some countries.
Any one know of an official site where this is explained in easy to understand English. Most particularly the single entry/multiple entry idea or cumulative vs continuous? Thanks in advance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#19
Any one know of an official site where this is explained in easy to understand English. Most particularly the single entry/multiple entry idea or cumulative vs continuous? Thanks in advance.
I have a link to this on a previous post on another thread. Since there is some other useful information there I will direct you to my post: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/one-way-ticket-to-barcelona.52620/#post-581203

A day-trip or an overnight trip out of the Schengen area will still count as a day or two in the area because partial days in are counted as a full day in. You leave Spain on Friday morning for Morocco you are still in Spain on Friday. You come back Saturday evening you are in Spain on Saturday. You now have two days less that you can stay in the Schengen area.
 
Camino(s) past & future
----
#20
Martyseville and all others
I don't want to argue with my friend but ...
I think I understand your question. I've just been on the European Commission's website and I agree with you, it's hard to find an answer to your specific question. There are two things not to be confused about non-EU nationals travelling in and out of Schengen:
  1. Some nationals need a Schengen visum. They can be single entry or multiple entry. No matter what, Schengen visa always concern short-term stay.
  2. Some nationals, like US passport holders, benefit from a visa waiver program. They do not need a visum for a short-term stay. That's why you will never read anything about single or multiple entry on websites aimed at your situation.
When you as a US national leave the Schengen zone, it does not matter to the Schengen countries officials whether you return to the US or to another country such as Morocco or Bali. You get an entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen zone and you get a slightly different exit stamp when you leave the Schengen zone - no matter what your next destination is. The days between those two dates (start and end day included) are all that matters to Schengen authorities to calculate the duration of your stay within Schengen.

You understand the 90 / 180 rule, so it's not necessary to expand on it.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
----
#21
@Lyndale , you don't have to worry about a day trip from Spain to Gibraltar at all. Spain and the UK have an issue about Gibraltar and as a result, Spain does not regard the border at La Linea as a normal international border and does not stamp passports as a rule. Just remember that the days spent in Schengen are the days counted from the date of the entry stamp to the date of the exit stamp as shown in your passport.:)
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#22
@Lyndale , you don't have to worry about a day trip from Spain to Gibraltar at all. Spain and the UK have an issue about Gibraltar and as a result, Spain does not regard the border at La Linea as a normal international border and does not stamp passports as a rule. Just remember that the days spent in Schengen are the days counted from the date of the entry stamp to the date of the exit stamp as shown in your passport.:)
Ahhhh,,,, but....

Sometimes there is no "date of the exit as shown in your passport"

Sometimes folks are not stamped out of Spain. Most likely stamped in.

Spain and Italy are the biggest ones to NOT stamp a person out. So if that person comes back it is on him/her to prove they did depart and are now returning.

I have not been stamped out, or checked, when departing Spain a few times.
So, that is not a absolute -- if not stamped out then departure date is unknown.

This happened to the American woman on the bus from Seville to Portugal.

Her passport was not stamped out of Spain. Thus at the check point the police assumed she had not departed and had exceeded her visit over the 90 days.

I know many people who this happens to.

My recommendation is if you are a frequent traveler to - from Schengen Group countries...save your last trip's ticket. That way if confronted that you did not depart you can show the ticket and prove you did leave.

Living in Seville I know many who exceed their 90 days. "Normally" they can get away with it. Behaving, not drawing attention to themselves etc.

But, big BUT there, if have a issue with police i.e. DUI, drugs, fighting etc then their exceeding 90 day is in the spot light and = bad news for them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
----
#23
Sometimes there is no "date of the exit as shown in your passport"
Yes, we've discussed it in previous threads, I remember someone who left on a cruise from Barcelona back to the US and failed to get a Schengen exit stamp and we've also talked about irregular/illegal overstay. I have no idea how often leisure or business travellers fail to get a Schengen exit stamp. For obvious reasons, the rules at the external borders are getting more strict or more strictly applied and there are plans for new transfrontier database systems to register entry and exit data but I don't know how far that has progressed.

Below is a Schengen entry stamp and exit stamp. I'd love to have them in my passport but alas no chance. Perhaps the UK introduces something similar for us from next year ;).

Entry Madrid.jpeg Exit Paris.jpeg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#24
The EU rules state that short-stay entry into the countries that are part of the Schengen zone shall allow a stay of "a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period". To clarify that and help you verify it I've collected some links from the EU website.

I want to mention a few things first before getting to the links.
  • For information on the Schengen zone see
  • To enter the Schengen area, among other limitations, you will need a passport that was issued within the previous 10 years and is valid for at least three months after the date of intended __departure__ from the zone.
  • You may find that airlines may refuse to seat you unless those conditions are met.
  • You must check the entry regulations for your nationality (passport.) You may perhaps be a national of one country (e.g. an African country) where a visa is required for entry into Schengen but also a legal resident of another country that Schengen allows in without a visa (e.g., a North American country.) You will not be allowed entry into the Schengen zone without a visa.
  • A partial day inside the Schengen zone counts as a full day.
  • There are countries that are not in the EU, such as Switzerland, that are in the Schengen zone. This means that if you visit Switzerland for a week before spending 90 days in France you will find on departure that you have overstayed your visit.
  • There are countries in the EU, such as Ireland, that are not in the Schengen zone. This means that full days spent in those countries do not count against your 90 day limit.
  • Under special conditions there are ways to stay longer in the Schengen zone without a long-stay visa but I'm not getting into that here.
Here are links from the EU website.
I have not yet found any policy document that clarifies that the 90 days in any 180 day period need not be contiguous however the EU does provide a calculator and a user manual for it with examples that show that you can enter for multiple short stays as long as the total number of days inside the zone does not exceed 90 days within a 180 day period.
 
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martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#25
Good post Rick and Peg. Long time no see. Hope all is well.

Hey, I would be more concerned with the proper amount of time remaining on your passport (from date of entry into Schengen Group country) and having the proper amount of BLANK visa pages in your passport.

Than worrying about a simple, no worries, day trip to Morocco.

Double check the expiration date of your passport from date of entry.

Go to appropriate official web page for Schengen Group visits and/or Spain visits
Read how much time ((believe it is 3 months needed to have before expiration when entering. Preferred is 6 months. Also, read how many BLANK visa pages are required to be in your passport. ((Believe it is 4))

But, best for you to get the official word on the requirements.
Your friend was helping..but gave wrong incorrect information to you.

Again, dont worry about a day trip to Morocco or Gib.

Go and enjoy.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#26
Yes, we've discussed it in previous threads, I remember someone who left on a cruise from Barcelona back to the US and failed to get a Schengen exit stamp and we've also talked about irregular/illegal overstay. I have no idea how often leisure or business travellers fail to get a Schengen exit stamp. For obvious reasons, the rules at the external borders are getting more strict or more strictly applied and there are plans for new transfrontier database systems to register entry and exit data but I don't know how far that has progressed.

Below is a Schengen entry stamp and exit stamp. I'd love to have them in my passport but alas no chance. Perhaps the UK introduces something similar for us from next year ;).

View attachment 39512 View attachment 39513
Many, many, people exit Spain and do not get stamped out. Physical stamp.
Or even get a electronic scan of their passport for leaving.

Cant say it enough: if you are a frequent traveler to/from Schengen Group counties and know you did not get stamped out....SAVE your ticket for future proof that you did leave.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#27
Rick and Peg....

Hey if not doing anything in April... come along and ride bike with us on the VDLP.
Cadiz > Seville. Then Seville > Gijon (beautiful Basque area).
Following N 630 route. Will be on and off of the VDLP route.

Recommend not bringing that huge tent you have. LOL. Teasing you.

interested?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#28
The EU rules state that short-stay entry into the countries that are part of the Schengen zone shall allow a stay of "a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period". To clarify that and help you verify it I've collected some links from the EU website.

I want to mention a few things first before getting to the links.
  • For information on the Schengen zone see
  • To enter the Schengen area, among other limitations, you will need a passport that was issued within the previous 10 years and is valid for at least three months after the date of intended __departure__ from the zone.
  • You may find that airlines may refuse to seat you unless those conditions are met.
  • You must check the entry regulations for your nationality (passport.) You may perhaps be a national of one country (e.g. an African country) where a visa is required for entry into Schengen but also a legal resident of another country that Schengen allows in without a visa (e.g., a North American country.) You will not be allowed entry into the Schengen zone without a visa.
  • A partial day inside the Schengen zone counts as a full day.
  • There are countries that are not in the EU, such as Switzerland, that are in the Schengen zone. This means that if you visit Switzerland for a week before spending 90 days in France you will find on departure that you have overstayed your visit.
  • There are countries in the EU, such as Ireland, that are not in the Schengen zone. This means that full days spent in those countries do not count against your 90 day limit.
  • Under special conditions there are ways to stay longer in the Schengen zone without a long-stay visa but I'm not getting into that here.
Here are links from the EU website.
I have not yet found any policy document that clarifies that the 90 days in any 180 day period need not be contiguous however the EU does provide a calculator and a user manual for it with examples that show that you can enter for multiple short stays as long as the total number of days inside the zone does not exceed 90 days within a 180 day period.
Rick
You are a wealth of info. Thank you for taking the time to do this and having the knowledge of where to look. Tickets to and from already purchased but would now like to figure out how to go w/o sleep so I can see and do more in that week before the Camino.! Ha! Thank you so much.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Aug(2013), Finisterre, Sept (2013)
#29
Thank you all for all the great info. Looks as though the consensus is that Morocco and Gibraltar can be visited and re-entry to Spain permitted. Don't think I can fit in both so I guess my choice is going to be monkeys or camels!!!
Thank you all
Lynda
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#30
Lynda, how many days do you think you can have in S Spain?
Since there, I would make effort to see Seville, and other places if possible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#31
Thank you all. Very good news. Wish I did have 90 days or a lifetime. Will definitely get Morocco in and hope to figure a way for Gibraltar as I love monkeys and another stamp in my passport I assume. Thanks again to all.
Lynda
They're apes not monkeys by the way, Barbary Apes. They get a bit miffed if you call them monkeys.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#33
Ha! Ha! Wouldn't want to upset them. Did that in India and nearly lost an arm!
The Barbary Macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population in the European continent. Although most populations in Africaare facing declining populations due to hunting and deforestation, the population of Barbary monkeys in Gibraltar is growing. At present, some 300 animals in five troops occupy the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, though occasional forays into the town may result in damage to personal property.[1] As they are a tailless species, they are also known locally as Barbary apes or rock apes, despite being monkeys (Macaca sylvanus). The local people simply refer to them as monos (English: monkeys) when conversing in Spanish or Llanito (the local vernacular).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#34
Rick and Peg....

Hey if not doing anything in April... come along and ride bike with us on the VDLP.
Cadiz > Seville. Then Seville > Gijon (beautiful Basque area).
Following N 630 route. Will be on and off of the VDLP route.

Recommend not bringing that huge tent you have. LOL. Teasing you.

interested?
Thanks for the invitation Marty but foreign travel is not doable this year. Peg is thinking of another Camino though so 2019 may see us somewhere in Iberia.

Have a wonderful trip.

P.S. That tent is just half the weight of our older one.
 

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