The Plazas de soberanía (Sovereignty lands) are islands and coastal settlements administered by Spain.
- 1 Islas Alhucemas
- 2 Islas Chafarinas
- 3 Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera – a peninsula only populated by Spanish military
The Spanish Empire avoided claiming land in Africa for most of its history, as the Treaty of Tordesillas that was intended to divide the world outside Europe between the Spanish and Portuguese Empires gave Portugal the exclusive right to colonize the Old World.
In the 19th century, Spain annexed some territories on the Moroccan coast to battle Barbary pirates.
The Spanish territories are de facto part of Spain and the European Union, though Morocco claims them. During the 21st century, African migrants have been entering Ceuta and Melilla as a gateway to Europe.
Ceuta and Melilla are the most accessible territories of Spanish North Africa.
While Ceuta and Melilla are easy to get around, there is no regular public transportation between the exclaves.
There does not seem to be any public transportation along the coast, so unless you have a car or go by taxi (long distance travel by taxi isn't unheard of in Morocco) you're in for a long detour. From Ceuta, you can take the ferry to Algeciras on the Spanish mainland, bus to Malaga and plane or ferry down to Melilla. Going via Spain you don't need to cross national borders which would entail waiting, and depending on your nationality getting a Moroccan visa and/or a double entry visa to the Schengen area.
Public transportation through Morocco probably takes more time (in addition to the border crossings); from Ceuta, travel by bus to Tetouan and onwards to Tangier. From there, fly or take the train (via Fez, where you possibly need to stay overnight) to Nador 10 km south of Melilla, and take the taxi for the final stretch.
Exchange rates for euros
As of January 2023:
Exchange rates fluctuate. Current rates for these and other currencies are available from XE.com
As this is a part of Spain, the currency is the euro.