Getting to the Costa del Sol
Getting to the Costa del Sol by air
If you’re flying into the Costa del Sol, chances are you’ll be landing in Malaga International Airport (AGP).
The airport is made up of three terminals. It handled over 14million passengers in 2015.
You’ll find plenty of places to load up on shopping or feed and water yourself.
Malaga International Airport has plenty of transport link options when you get there. You can hire a car, get a bus, catch a train, arrange for a private transfer or get a taxi (cab) from the rank.
Getting to the Costa del Sol by sea
It’s difficult to get a ferry directly to the Costa del Sol. You’re far more likely to be able to find a crossing to Bilbao or Santander and then you can make the journey down by car or train.
Getting to the Costa del Sol by train
You can hope on an AVE high speed train in Madrid or Barcelona and be in Malaga in two-and-a-half hours and five-and-a-half hours respectively.
You can also get trains into Malaga from Valencia or, closer to home, Seville or Ronda.
Getting around the Costa del Sol
Travelling by car in the Costa del Sol
The roads in the Costa del Sol are generally in good condition and easy to travel on. However, watch out for heavy traffic in the summer months – you can end up crawling along for hours on highways chock-full of tourists. See our Guide to Driving in the Costa del Sol for more details.
There are plenty of car rental companies in the Costa del Sol; from your bog-standard firms to those that offer limos. Many people choose to travel by motor scooter – remember that it is a legal requirement to wear a helmet!
Your biggest problem if you choose to travel by car will be finding parking. It can be a nightmare (even by Spanish standards), especially in the summer.
Getting a taxi (cab) in the Costa del Sol
Taxis are reasonably cheap and usually easy to find. You can call a company, find a taxi rank or try and spot and hail a vacant one driving around. Book one in advance during peak times (late afternoon in the summer).
Until fairly recently, most taxis operated under fixed-rate prices, but now you’ll almost always find a meter in a Costa del Sol cab.
Trains in the Costa del Sol
The local train service in the Costa del Sol is a little sparse, but it’s cheap and there are a good few towns serviced by the Cercanías Málaga line, including Malaga, Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Álora. You can see a timetable here. Trains usually come every 20 minutes.
There are plans to extend the line to Nerja in the east and Estepona in the west but these have not yet come to fruition.
Buses in the Costa del Sol
You can get to almost in the Costa del Sol by bus. They’re cheap and come frequently. Prepaid cards are available, chopping even more off the price for frequent travellers.
Get on at the front and get off at the middle of the bus (or get trampled by hoardes of more savvy public transport users). Orderly queues are not a noted feature of Spanish bus travel. Try not to get frustrated, there’s almost always room for everyone.
You can almost always buy your ticket off the bus driver, but please note that this is not the case if you’re getting a bus from Marbella to Malaga airport! Get it from the ticket office.
Plan your routes in advance (and learn to pronounce the names of places you want to go) and you’ll rarely have a problem getting around the Costa del Sol. Depending on your budget you can travel in style or rub shoulders with the locals and tourists
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