Located west of Tangier, Cape Spartel is the northwesternmost point of Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. Rising 1,000 feet (305 meters) above sea level, Cape Spartel is known for its stunning views and dramatic coastal roads, and includes a lighthouse dating from 1864.
Known in antiquity as the Cape of Vines, this scenic promontory is famous for its breathtaking views over the Strait of Gibraltar. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the coast of Spain, from the Rock of Gibraltar to Cape Trafalgar. With numerous walking and hiking trails and sandy beaches nearby, visitors can easily spend a few hours here. Highlights include the Hercules Cave, located near the cape, and the Spartel Lighthouse. Bird watching is also a popular activity here.
Many guided tours stop at Cape Spartel and typically include nearby Hercules Cave and other top Tangier attractions, such as the Kasbah. It’s also possible to visit as part of a shore excursion from Tangier, or even on a day trip from southern Spain.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cape Spartel is a must-see for first-time visitors to Tangier.
- Bring a light jacket as it can get very windy here.
- The beaches between Cape Spartel and Hercules Cave are the best for sunbathing and swimming.
- Full-day tours from southern Spain can last upwards of 10 hours.
How to Get There
The easiest way to visit Cape Spartel is as part of a guided tour. To visit on your own from Tangier, it’s best to take a taxi. There is also one sightseeing bus from Tangier that stops near the cape.
When to Get There
Cape Spartel is a popular attraction. July and August are peak season and see the most visitors. During this time, arrive in the early morning on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Visit just before sunset for spectacular sunset views.
The north coast of Africa, and Cape Spartel in particular, was dangerous for ships to navigate. In 1864, the Sultan of Morocco built a lighthouse here, with international support. And in 1865, the governments of Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United States signed an agreement with Morocco to contribute funds toward the upkeep of the lighthouse, and received assurances that the lighthouse would remain neutral in times of war.