Friday, 18 July 2008

Marbella Bus Station

I took my son-in-law Chris looking fit and tanned up to the Marbella bus station this morning to catch the special Marbella to Malaga airport bus service. He was flying back to London. We got his ticket and as we put his bag onto the bus I was delighted to bump into Raquel, seen in the middle of the picture. She was also bussing to Malaga airport and then flying on to Barcelona. Raquel is an former travel agent student of mine.

Quite a lot is written in the local press about the Marbella bus station and the CTSE Portillo bus company that operates it. One recent article mentioned that at night the lights above the taxi rank in front of the building weren't working. Another mentioned the state of the toilets. My impression was that first thing in the morning the bus station looked clean. There was however no paper in the gent's toilets and I am sure there would have been none in the ladies' so if you think you might need a pit stop at the Marbella bus station before your onward journey best to bring your own loo paper.

Another article in the La Tribuna newspaper 4 July 2008 mentioned that the CTSE Portillo company was trying to introduce online booking but something had "blocked the systems" That meant that even travellers who had plane tickets booked would have to queue in the morning to make sure of their seats on the bus up to Malaga airport. (I have never seen the bus full although it must happen one day)

Twenty nine ago when I travelled by bus up to Málaga periodically to renew my registration with the British Consulate to get a certificate which was essential in those days, I would have to wait until the bus I was going to catch had left Estepona. The Estepona bus station would then phone Marbella to say how many empty seats there were on the bus. The travellers in Marbella could then buy their tickets to Fuengirola or beyond. Once the bus had left Marbella, the number of empty seats would be phoned through to Fuengirola and so on all the way to Málaga. Any moment now this will be a thing of history....

I have had a good week replying to visitors to the Costa del Sol. Rulette from Holland wrote in to the "Spain Now and Then" blog to ask about the Santa Marta bus stop near Bena Vista, so I popped down there to check it out and put up a page for her. Then you will see my correspondence in the comments section with Vivian, who is coming to visit her sister in Torrenueva and who asked about the nearest bus stop and through helping her I found out that the Unicasa bus stop is actually called Torrenueva on the ground.

Sarah is somewhere in Europe right now backpacking her way down to the Grangefield Oasis Club 2 km inland from Riviera del Sol and asked if she would need a hire car or if she could get to Oasis Club from the Riviera del Sol bus stop on foot. (Yes and no.) Last summer Mike Dusswaldt wrote in from the USA to say his daughter Melissa would be staying at Riviera del Sol and I have been meaning to put up this information ever since about the Riviera del Sol bus stop. Check out my impressions of how things are at the Miraflores bus stop!

I never thought there would be such interest in the list of bus stops between Estepona and Marbella, followed by the list of bus stops between Marbella and Fuengirola and then finally the list of bus stops between Fuengirola and Torremolinos.

The bus page to watch which is climbing in Google's rankings is my Bus and Train Questions section. It is starting to overtake the Costa del Sol bus schedules page little by little.

Shortly I will be bringing my bus travellers recommendations for car hire. Quite a few visitors to the Costa del Sol, take the bus from the airport to their destinations and then hire a car for a few days in a row. I'll be adding my recommendations for day excursions too!

Please contact me for any information through the ¨Spain Now and Then¨comments box at the bottom of the page. The system works very well. I don't get to see your email address and neither do the spammers. Other readers can share our interchanges. My reply to you will be emailed automatically through the system. I like to have a name to write to if possible even if you make it up!

PS: You can now do online bus ticket reservations through the gomarbella reservation system.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there

I'm going to La Linea around 4th/5th Aug.I understand from your site that I can catch the bus from Malaga Airport to Marbella and from there another bus to La Linea.My worry is that I might miss the Marbella to La Linea bus. Do you know the timetable for that period which I'm going which I understand is peak summer,in which case,I'm worried I might not get a seat. IF I do miss the bus or not get a seat,is there another bus company other then Portillo that operates the same route and if not I might have to catch a taxi and do you know how much that might set me back? What if I just catch a taxi from Malaga Airport to La Linea. How much would that cost me? I'm also trying to figure how much time I would need if my flight lands at Madrid T1 to connect to a domestic flight to Malaga from T2. If the flight lands at 0800hrs, do you tink I would make it for the domestic flight to Malaga at 0940hrs at T2? Thank you for your kind help.


19 July 2008 17:29  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hello Gisela

Thanks for writing in to gomarbella. About your connection in Madrid, is your luggage booked through to Malaga from where you are flying from or are you changing airlines in Madrid? If you are changing airlines for the Madrid to Malaga route you will have to retrieve your luggage when you land and then check it in again before you fly on to Malaga which will take up precious time. If you are with the same company all the way to Malaga and don't have to handle your luggage, you should have enough time for your transfer between the two terminals. I suggest you check that part of your journey with your travel agent.

If you are with two different airlines flying into and out of Madrid, let me know the details and I will check my friendly travel agent because it is a good distance between T1 and T2

If you take off from Madrid at 9.40am you will be on the ground in Malaga by 10.30am and you'll have 45 minutes to get your luggage and be outside for the 11.15am a airport bus to Marbella. If you miss that the next one is at 12.00 midday and will get you into Marbella bus station at 12.45pm.

The next bus to La Linea from Marbella leaves at 15.30 and the one after that is 18.30 and the journey takes 1 hour 30 minutes. As soon as you get to the Marbella bus station, book your ticket for La Linea. You could then check your luggage into the the luggage lockers at the bus station and walk down into Marbella to have a look around for a couple of hours to pass time. There is a possibility that by the time you travel, the Portillo bus company's online bookings system will be working so you will be able to book ahead before you leave home. Write to me again a week before you leave and I will check this for you.

If there is a problem with catching an onwards bus to La Linea, (which I doubt very much) a taxi from Marbella bus station on a week day to La Linea will cost 76 euros, so you have a backup there. I am guessing but I would say a taxi from Malaga airport to La Linea is going to cost at least 120 euros.

In summary the connections at Marbella bus station look good both price and timewise. The only bit of your journey which looks a little tricky at this stage is the T1 to T2 change. I would need a couple more details to check or you could ask your travel agent if you are using one.

I hope this helps Gisela and that everything goes off well. Feel free to write again at any time if I can help you. Best wishes from Marbella for your trip.


20 July 2008 16:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mike

Thank you for your reply. At present, I'm not able to confirm if I'd be flying on different airlines or not. I'm trying my level best to fly with the same airline coz I know that will save me a lot of hassle but that will also cost me a fair deal. I'm still shopping around for the best deal.

I'm flying in from Singapore. Yep, a long way off :) I'm basically flying there just to be with my boyfriend who will be there on a company project for the whole month of August. I have a few options in terms of airlines namely Thai Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways. Due to cost and timing factors, it's a bit of a challenge in picking the best deal but I know I'd have to decide on one at the end of the day.

I will only have one carry-on. No checked-in luggage. Am used to travelling light. Currently, am looking at flying with Lufthansa, the most costly of all my choices, all the way from SIN-AGP transiting at DUS provided I depart SIN on 4th Aug. If I depart SIN 3rd Aug, that option is not available and I might choose to do SIN-FRA-MAD and catch a flight from MAD to AGP. The flight would land at MAD 1005hrs. In this case I think I'd catch an Iberia flight at 1155hrs to AGP. That would be T4 wouldn't it and that's much further than the rest of the other terminals?

Another option would be to fly on Air France all the way to AGP which cost also or stopping at MAD which gives me a choice of airlines to connect to AGP like Spanair, Air Europa or Iberia. The 0940hrs timing I mentioned was either the Spanair or Air Europa timing. Thai Airways' timing to MAD is good and it's one of the cheapest but it's not a daily flight unfortunately. It would have been my 1st choice if it were a daily flight. British Airways / Qantas is reasonable in price but the connection to AGP at LGW doesn't give me much allowance time from the time I land at LHR to get to LGW. If my flight out of SIN is delayed, that would mean I can kiss goodbye to my LGW-AGP connection. BA is famous for delays out of SIN. I should know coz I used to fly with them for 14 years !!! :)

Now you see why I'm in a kinda fix. Cost and timing is a challenge so I'd have to find the best deal. Besides, I won't know the exact date, either 3rd or 4th Aug, I'd be departing SIN till my boyfriend can confirm it on his end which would most probably be like late this month. He's flying in from the States. If I depart SIN on the 4th, I'd have more choices. My plan is to depart SIN the same date my boyfriend is departing the States and try and meet him at AGP on the same arrival date.

Thank you once again for all your help. I will write to you again once I have concrete news. I hope it's soon. Take care.


21 July 2008 06:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
I'm travelling to Marbella with a group of people arriving at Malaga airport at different times. It looks like the easiest way for us to get to our accomodation is to catch the special malaga airport to marbella bus service, however our accomodation is in the Albarizas/Lomas de Pozuelo region, which is a fair distance (approx 5km) east of the Marbella bus station.
Q: Is there a bus service from Malaga airport that stops closer to this part of Marbella (East)?
Or is our best option to get to Marbella bus station and then walk, catch another bus, or taxi to our destination?
Thanks in advance,

30 July 2008 15:22  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hi Josh

Thank very much for checking into gomarbella. Yes, you are absolutely right about taking the bus from Malaga airport to the Marbella bus station for the first part of the journey.

I live in the Las Albarizas area, which is just up from the fishing port and a taxi to my place from the bus station is 5.50 euros during the day on weekdays. You can walk it in 20 minutes (I have done it also with walk on sized cabin baggage) or you can take a bus. It's about 2 kms from the bus station. So all that to say if it's Las Albarizas, it's very accessible.

I think your accommodation though is probably going to be in the Las Lomas del Pozuelo urbanisation which is about 3kms further away from where I live. There is a bus stop on the main road just next to the entrance arch to Marbella which is where the road to Las Lomas takes off and goes inland. Las Lomas is about 2.5kms along this road, uphill, downhill on the way back and without a bus you would need to walk this distance. A taxi from the bus station to Las Lomas would probably be about 10 euros and would take four passengers maximum. The first time you arrive, I would suggest a taxi. With what you save on the airport bus, you can well treat yourself to it.

I have just checked on the local bus services to see if the Las Lomas area is served but I can't find a bus for that area. I'm in London right now but I will be back in Marbella on Friday and I will check it out then. Is there anyway you can let me have the approximate address of where you will all be? Las Lomas is a good place to stay, villas around a swimming pool and very attractive.

Let me know and I will check it out this weekend and let you know the name of the bus stop.

Best wishes Josh and let me know


30 July 2008 23:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mike

gisela here again. how have you been? i have narrowed my search down to this : i'll be flying thai airways via bkk to madrid and from madrid i'll connect on spanair to malaga. i'll arrive madrid 0800hrs. i'm intending to book the connecting flight that departs madrid at 0940hrs to malaga.

would i have enough time to transfer from madrid t1 to t2 to catch my spanair flight? and do i have to clear immigration and do the transfer landside or can i do the transfer airside say by walking or by travellators or bus? i'll be having only hand carry. no checked-in luggage. and i intend to check-in online on spanair's website for both sectors, if it's possible, to save time.

on my return leg, from malaga to madrid, i have a little concern. the flight departs malaga 0730hrs. that would mean i'll have to leave la linea kinda early like say 0500hrs? i'd have checked-in online for that, so i'll save some time. i guess the only way to get to malaga from la linea at that time of the morning would be by taxi right? any other way coz i doubt the bus commences that early. how much would that cost me? how long would the taxi ride take?

i'm departing sin on 4th aug monday. yup, 3 days from now. very rushed i know. i wished it weren't but i had no choice as i had to await confirmation on my boyfriend's end and it sure has been frustrating and frankly, right now, i don't even know for sure when he'd be departing la linea himself. it's either 26th or 27th aug but i had no choice but to book my departure 26th as thai airways don't fly on 27th aug. i hope to hear from you soon. very sorry to rush you like that. thank you mike.


1 August 2008 09:58  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Oh hi Gisela, nice to hear from you and to know that love has conquered all logistical problems.

I have just got back from London this morning myself but I´ll print your email and take it down to our friendly local travel agent just now and run it by them regarding the transfer in Madrid. I'll post a comment tonight so you can have the answer on that right away.

For your return, I fear it will have be a taxi. I´ll check the cost of a taxi from La Linea and let you know. At 5.00 in the morning I would allow one hour fifteen minutes from La Linea to the drop off at Malaga airport but make it an hour and a half to have a little margin.

The weather's great, warmish but I guess you are used to that! I'd better get off on my rounds, talk later Gisela.


1 August 2008 17:24  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Gisela hi, I have just got back from our local travel contact.

Yes, you will have enough time to make the change between T1 and T2 which are adjacent. The only problem might arise if your incoming flight is late landing in Madrid.

She said that the fact that you are booking both sectors with Spanair is positive though because if you do miss your flight to Malaga, they will automatically put you onto the next one.

About the immigration, yes, you will have to go out through passport control, landside, then come through security and passpor control once more in T2.

I'll check on the taxi cost tomorrow and get that off to you.

My wife and I stopped off in Singapore in September 2006 and really enjoyed it. Clean, great architecture, friendly people and the airport, wow! So quiet, clean and state of the art. We were really impressed by it. I think you will find that Malaga is a lot noisier but hey, welcome to Spain.

I hope all your connections go off just fine Gisela and best wishes for your trip. It sounds like the break will do you a lot of good.


1 August 2008 20:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mike

am travelling to sabinillas. To get there from Malaga airport without hiring a car, is getting bus from airport to marbella, then bus from marbella to estepona, then taxi from estepona to sabinillas possible and practical

25 August 2008 19:17  
Anonymous AussieJustin said...

Hi Mike,

What is the easiest way to get from Fuengirola to Mijas Pueblo? Is there a good bus service that runs between the two towns or should I take a taxi? Do you have a rough idea of the price differences?
Thanks for your help.

5 November 2008 14:40  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hello Justin, thanks for writing in.

I phoned the taxi company in Fuengirola just now and the girl said that from the centre of Fuengirola to the centre of Mijas, the fare would be 14 euros by day and 16 euros at night.

I checked on the Portillo bus fare and it is 1.15 euros for the same journey. Have a look at the Fuengirola bus schedules on to give you an idea of the frequency of the buses.

You asked about a good bus service. If you are on holiday and timings are not critical, then the Portillo bus service is a good, economical and social way of getting around on the coast. If you need to commute to work or get to a specific event or function, you should take an earlier bus to make quite sure!

I hope that helps you Justin, let me know if I can help you further.

Best wishes


5 November 2008 19:09  

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