Ceuta is a Spanish exclave in northern Africa and is completely surrounded by Morocco. There is no airport in the city. Most tourists cover the short distance across the Strait of Gibraltar by ferry. So it is hardly surprising that we, at Travel-Dealz, have never reported a good deal to Ceuta.
In addition to the harbor, Ceuta also has a heliport with regularly scheduled flights to Algeciras and Malaga on the Spanish mainland. In order to boost tourism, the government is now supporting these helicopter flights with €600,000 (source).
Thanks to these subsidies, tourists can book a return flight from Algeciras to Ceuta starting at only €40 instead of the regular €100. From Malaga, you have to pay at least €130 (instead of €300) for the round trip, but the flight is three times as long and the city is easier to reach from most parts of Europe. The subsidies are settled directly online, so passengers don’t have to worry about anything else. Just follow the instructions in Search & Book.
The flights can be rebooked up to 72 hours before departure, in which case only the fare difference applies. Cancellation is not possible.
The helicopter connection is operated by Hélity, based in Ceuta. The airline has three AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters with space for up to 12 passengers. Depending on the day of the week, there are up to 8 daily flights from / to Algeciras and 5 from Malaga.
You can reach the airports / heliports as follows:
- Malaga: The helicopters take off directly from Malaga International Airport. Ideal for international travelers
- Algeciras: You can walk to the Algeciras Heliport in around 15 minutes from the Algeciras train station. From the train station, there are, among other things, direct intercity trains to Madrid. If you want to combine the whole thing with a tour to Gibraltar, walk from Gibraltar Airport across the border to La Línea de la Concepción and from there take the bus (30 minutes) to Algeciras.
- Ceuta: You’ll merely have to walk 200 meters from the heliport to the next bus stop. From there, a bus runs regularly to the city center. Otherwise, you can just walk the kilometer to the city center.
Search & Book
State support is only granted if the stay on Ceuta does not exceed 7 days. The program runs for one year (i.e. until June 2022) or until the support payments are used up. All official information is available on Procesa.es (translation).
To book the flights, first, go to the Hélity website. It is also available in English. You will find a search mask there, as known from other airlines. It is important that you look for a return flight straight away. One-way flights are not reduced, so unfortunately an open jaw flight also falls flat.
You will then receive a list of all available connections. Initially, however, neither the airport charges nor the discount are taken into account. After choosing a return flight, you have to provide your personal details and an email address.
The discount can only be applied in the last step. We didn’t find it ourselves at first because it looks like the typical small print when finalizing a booking. As soon as you check the box next to the bold text, the €60 or €170 will be deducted:
Depending on the day and time, the price on the Algeciras – Ceuta route varies between €50 and €70 per segment. The €60 subsidy is then deducted from this, so that ideally you end up with a €40 roundtrip. You can find an overview of all connections, including prices, here.
By the way, the amount of luggage including hand luggage must not exceed 15 kg. All luggage is stowed away during the flight. You should therefore leave larger pieces of luggage on the mainland if necessary.
If you do not receive a confirmation email for your booking, this is not an isolated case, according to Tripadvisor reviews and our reader’s experience. The booking was successful anyway! You can have it displayed if you create a Helity account with the same data (e.g. via the Android app or possibly also in the browser).
Reader Florian made the trip to Ceuta himself in July 2021. His short report:
Ceuta has an interesting mix of Spanish and Moroccan (logically given the location), but not too much to offer in terms of tourism. I was there for 2 days myself and that was more than enough. There is a good bus network and some architecture to look at. The deal from Algeciras is interesting because, if Covid-19 allows it again, you can combine it with a flight to Gibraltar. A local bus on the Spanish side to the heliport runs every 30-60 minutes within walking distance of Gibraltar Airport.
Hotels in Ceuta
Accommodation in Ceuta is relatively affordable. For a 3 or 4-star hotel, you’d pay around €60 to €80. The selection is not too big, which is not surprising as the urban area is also small. As it only covers just under 20 km², the typical length of stay for tourists should not exceed one or two days. You may be able to save a little with the following vouchers: