Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar

Sometimes it’s not always about the destination but the journey itself. That’s what it was like when I crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, an experience I’ve been longing to check off my list since I first read about it when I was eleven. The Strait of Gibraltar is bordered by Spain, Morocco and the British Colony, Gibraltar.

The journey was no joke though. My friends and I were in Málaga and we signed up for a day trip to Tangier, which included a private bus, a ferry and a guided tour in Tangier. Since Málaga was a two-hour bus ride from Tarifa (the port for the ferry to Tangier) we had to be up at dawn for the bus. That meant no partying the night before if you don’t want to get a nasty hangover for a long journey. The Port of Tarifa was pretty empty in the morning and border control was seamless, especially when our guide mostly took care of our group’s process.


The ferry we were on was one of the faster boats to Tangier. It only took 35 minutes to get to the Port of Tangier. It was fast and bumpy. I don’t really get seasick but a few people did, including my friends. But if the ride had gone longer, I probably would have! The waves were definitely in a mood that day and the ferry was fast and furious, I think. I think the journey back was worse because the day was winding down and we have been up since five in the morning and endured the strenuous Tangier tour, fending of aggressive vendors.

I remember we were all pretty much asleep in the ferry and the bus ride back. The ferry ride was even bumpier on the way back. We were all trying to relax and not get sick from the rough waters of the strait. Not gonna lie, I think we were all relieved to see land!

I didn’t think I was going to cross off this experience anytime soon but I’m glad I made it possible! It was just a matter of planning it relentlessly. Crossing the historical Strait of Gibraltar was one for the books.

Fun Facts:

  • The Strait of Gibraltar is an international waterway.
  • Known in the ancient world as “Pillars of Heracles”.
  • Waters flow in both eastward and westward direction.
  • Connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Gibraltar is a British overseas territory. It uses pounds but accepts euros as well.


Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.