While Gibraltar does have its own airport, the destinations you can travel to from there are limited. If you want to travel to destinations aside from some UK and Moroccan airports (Gibraltar airport flies to and from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Tangier and Casablanca, as well as a recently launched route to Edinburgh) then the easiest airport to fly to or from is Malaga Airport, located on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
Getting from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar is relatively simple, although there are a few different ways to go about it. We have rounded up the different ways of doing the journey, including by car as well as by public transport. If you only need to know how to travel from Gibraltar to Malaga Airport then scroll down to that section as the options are slightly different, especially by public transport.
Getting from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar
Malaga Airport to Gibraltar by car
Renting a car at Malaga Airport is a great way to get around the Costa del Sol and Andalucia. Malaga Airport has more than 20 car hire companies, including major international brands such as Sixt, Hertz, Avis and Europcar as well as smaller local firms such as MalagaCar and Marbesol. Avis, Europcar, Goldcar, Hertz, Record Go and Sixt have offices located inside the airport whereas the others provide a free shuttle service that takes you to their offices, mostly located on Avenida Garcia Morato.
If you are hiring a car in Malaga, make sure to check whether the car rental firm has a surcharge for taking the car out of Spain. Since Gibraltar is a British territory, some rental companies will charge a daily fee for ‘cross border’ usage. However, since Gibraltar is very small and easily walkable, you can always park in La Línea at the Alcaidesa Marina car park (prices from €9 per 24 hours).
The drive from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, although if you are driving across the border into Gibraltar you may encounter a waiting period depending on what time of year and time of day you are crossing. Queues during the summer months can mean a waiting period of an hour or more but in the quieter winter months, there can be no wait whatsoever.
Driving from Malaga airport to Gibraltar will take you past the beautiful coastal towns of Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona and eventually past the historically interesting town of San Roque, the modern-day settlement of which was by former Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar after the Anglo-Dutch takeover of the territory during the War of the Spanish Succession.
When you get to the Gibraltar-Spain border, have your passport ready for inspection. If you are driving a rental car, you may be required to show other documentation to prove that you have permission to take the car across a border. This will all have been provided by the car hire company on the collection of the rental car.
Travelling by bus from Gibraltar to Malaga Airport
La Línea to Malaga Airport (direct)
A quick and easy way to travel from Gibraltar to Malaga Airport is by bus. Avanza Bus operates a route from La Línea to Malaga Airport as well as from La Línea to Malaga city, Marbella, Fuengirola and Torremolinos.
There is no public transport option that goes from Gibraltar proper, but it’s a very short walk from the border (Frontera) to the bus station in La Línea de la Concepción. The bus station is located at Plaza de Europa, only 300m from the border.
To travel by bus from Gibraltar to Malaga Airport, there is an express bus service that goes from La Línea to Malaga Airport and it takes only 1 hour 55 minutes. When using the Avanza website to book a ticket, the airport is listed as ‘AEROPUERTO MA’ and confusingly isn’t shown when you just search for ‘Malaga’ (don’t ask).
The bus from La Línea to Malaga airport usually runs twice a day at 12pm (midday) and 6pm, arriving at 1:55pm and 7:55pm respectively. Fares usually start at €15,89 for a one-way journey. Only the 6pm bus operates on Saturdays and Sundays.
Malaga Airport to La Línea (direct)
You can also travel from Gibraltar to Malaga airport by bus, although both weekday departures are in the mornings and again there is only one bus at weekends.
The bus from Malaga airport to La Línea runs at 09:05 and 15:20, arriving at 11:00 and 17:15 respectively. The journey from La Línea to the airport takes 1 hour and 55 minutes and fares start at €15,89. The Avanza Bus website adds a €2.50 booking fee so the fare works out at €18,39 total.
On Saturdays and Sundays, only the 09:05 bus runs.
Getting the bus to Malaga Airport via Malaga
As you have probably noticed, the buses that go directly between La Línea and Malaga Airport don’t run very often. Due to this fact, many flight times don’t match up with the bus arrival and departure times. However, more buses leave from the main bus station in Malaga for La Línea with up to four departures a day.
To get to Malaga bus station from the airport, you can either travel by bus or by train. The bus takes you directly to the bus station but takes longer whereas the train requires a short 10-minute walk and takes less time overall. Buses run every 30 minutes and trains run every 20 minutes.
From the bus station in La Línea, buses run to Malaga bus station at the following times:
- 9am (3h journey time)
- 10:30am (3h 15m journey time)
- 4:30pm (2h 55m journey time)
- 7:30pm (2h 30m journey time)
You will also find a 12pm and 6pm departure listed, but both of these buses are the express airport buses. All of the buses listed above run on Saturdays and Sundays. Sundays also have an extra service which departs La Línea at 8:45pm and arrives in Malaga at 11:59pm.
In the opposite direction, buses run from Malaga to La Línea at:
- 6:45am (3h 5m journey time)
- 11:30am (2h 45m journey time)
- 2pm (3h 5m journey time)
- 4:15pm (3h 5m journey time)
Remember to budget yourself enough time to get from the airport to the bus station to catch your bus – it takes at least 30 minutes by train or bus and 10 minutes by taxi.
Getting the bus to Malaga Airport via Fuengirola
Another option for getting to Gibraltar from Malaga airport by bus is to take the train as far as Fuengirola and to catch the bus from there. We have actually done this option recently, albeit combined with an overnight stay in Fuengirola as well.
Staying in Fuengirola or Torremolinos can be a great option to break up your journey when you fly to or from Malaga airport as they are usually cheaper than staying in Malaga and are easily accessible from the airport by Renfe train.
If you do decide to stay in Fuengirola, we highly recommend the wonderful Boutique X hotel! It’s only a short walk from the station and is affordable but wonderfully comfortable with great amenities. The automated check-in makes arrivals super simple and means that you can check in late if your flight arrives in the evening or at night. Check their latest prices here!
The train from Malaga Airport to Fuengirola takes 35 minutes and costs around €3.50 per person. The trains run every 20 minutes and are generally on time.
From Fuengirola, the trains to La Línea run at the following times:
- 7:45am (2h 5m journey time) arriving 9:50am
- 12:20pm (1h 55m journey time) arriving 2:15pm
- 3pm (2h 5m journey time) arriving 5:05pm
- 5:15pm (2h 5m journey time) arriving 7:20pm
On Sundays, you can also book a late departure that leaves Fuengirola at 8:15pm and arrives in La Línea at 10:15pm.
From La Línea to Fuengirola, the trains run at the following times:
- 9am (2h 5m journey time) arriving 11:05am
- 10:20pm (2h 20m journey time) arriving 12:40pm
- 4:30pm (2h journey time) arriving 6:30pm
- 7:30pm (2h journey time) arriving 9:30pm
On Sundays, there is another departure from La Línea to Fuengirola that departs at 8:45pm and arrives at 11:05pm in Fuengirola.
Fares start at €10,24 for a one-way journey and the online booking fee adds an extra €2,50.
Malaga Airport to Gibraltar using car sharing
Another option that can be handy is to travel using a car-sharing service like BlaBlaCar. Trips are offered on there by people with spare seats in their car. Searching for rides leaving from Malaga airport to La Línea will show you a variety of options and some of the options that came up when I searched for later this week included:
- Malaga Airport to Gibraltar Airport
- Malaga city centre to Algeciras
- Malaga city centre to La Línea
- Malaga (Maria Zambrano) to San Roque
Many of these journeys will cost you only £8.50 and some even as cheap as £5, although they will only take you as far as San Roque or Algeciras.
Price comparison for getting from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar
By car: fuel costs will cost around £11-17 depending on your car’s fuel consumption. This cost will obviously rise if you are also paying for car hire! The journey time is approximately 1.5 hours.
By bus (direct La Línea – Malaga Airport): the bus fare from La Línea to Malaga airport and vice versa starts at €18,39 including your online booking fee on the Avanza Bus website. Total cost from £15.40. The journey time takes 1 hour 55 minutes.
By bus (Malaga – La Línea) and train or bus (airport – Malaga city): the bus fare starts at €13,39 and a total of €15,89 with the online booking fee. The train from the airport to Malaga Centro Alameda will cost around €2 and the bus is around €3. Total cost from £15. The journey takes at least 3 hours.
By bus (Fuengirola – La Línea) and train (airport – Fuengirola): the bus fare starts at €12,74 including the online booking fee. The train from the airport to Fuengirola costs around €3,50. Total cost from £13.60. The journey time is a minimum of 2 hours 40 minutes.
Carsharing: for journeys from Malaga or Malaga airport to La Línea, prices are usually around £7.50 – £10. For journeys that have a pick-up from Malaga city, add on the price of the train or bus (€2-3) to get into the city centre. If the drop-off points are Algeciras or San Roque, add on £3-4 for a bus from Algeciras and £1-2 for a bus from San Roque.
As you can see, there are lots of options for getting from Malaga airport to Gibraltar and vice versa! We would recommend checking your flight’s departure or arrival time against the bus/carsharing times to see what works best for your journey. If you’re heading to Gibraltar on a holiday then it’s always a good idea to add a night or so in Malaga or Fuengirola to your trip if you have the time!
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