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How to travel around the Costa del Sol this summer

How to travel around the Costa del Sol this summer

Are you planning your holiday to the Costa del Sol? How exciting! It’s brilliant to look forward to a week or two in the Spanish sunshine, but we know there’s lots of things to think about.

At HolidayRentalontheWeb we have been helping tourists have the best holiday for 15 years, by providing stunning holiday rental properties and offering insider advice on where to go, what to do and how to really enjoy this great destination to the full.

One of the things we are often asked is how to get around, so we wanted to focus on this for today’s post. We’ve spoken to Denise Wright, our Client Services Supervisor, and asked her to answer the most commonly asked questions about getting around the Costa del Sol to help you to plan.

How do I get from the airport to my holiday rental?

If you’re staying in the towns of Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Fuengirola, the airport is connected by the train and there are also frequent buses.

If you are staying in Marbella, there is an excellent airport bus which takes around 45 minutes and goes to Marbella bus station. Once there, you’ll need to take a cab to your holiday rental.

Outside the main towns, public transport is limited, so you’d need to get a cab or a transfer if you don’t want to hire a car. We find that transfers are better value if you are a group of four or more, otherwise it’s quite similar pricewise.

Can I use public transport to get around?

It really depends what you want to do and where you are staying. Within the main towns there are decent bus routes and you’ll find you can walk most places. However if you’re staying outside of these areas, or on urbanisations out of town then you won’t find it practical to rely on public transport.

Should I hire a car?

Hiring a car gives you most flexibility, especially if you’re not staying in a centrally located holiday rental. It is good for people who want to explore several towns during their stay and visit the attractions. If you are visiting in peak time, make sure you book your hire car in advance, as they can be hard to find.

Are there any other ways of getting around that you’d recommend?

There are miles of wonderful seafront promenades running along the Costa del Sol. So if you’re staying by the beach, then walking or cycling can be a very good way of getting around and enjoying the view.

We’ve mentioned hiring a car, but another option is to hire mopeds. These are great fun and very easy to use if you don’t want to travel big distances. They are affordable, you can hire them with a normal car licence and parking is very easy, so they are a good option in the summer.

Taxis are available, although can be difficult to get in peak months. Uber has just recently been launched here and covers the area from Malaga to Marbella. Tourists are finding this easier to use, as they can do everything on the app and can see the prices too.

Finally, there are some private transfer companies which will take you to your holiday rental from the airport and can also do day trips and restaurant transfers too.

 

If you have any other questions which aren’t included here, please feel free to comment below and we’ll get them answered for you. Alternatively, you can send an email to info@holidayrentalontheweb.com and we’ll get right back to you.

You can read lots of useful advice on our blog, or download our free holiday guide to find out more about this great area. If you haven’t got your accommodation sorted yet, search for holiday rental properties on our website, or contact us for last minute bookings and we’ll let you know what properties we have available that match your criteria.

Travelling to the Costa del Sol after Monarch

Travelling to the Costa del Sol after Monarch

It’s been a tricky few months for the airline industry with Ryanair’s cancellations, Norwegian cutting routes and Monarch going bust and some of our visitors who are considering travelling over here to sunny Spain are expressing concern about how they can get here now that Monarch is no longer around.

Please don’t worry, there are so many airlines flying into Malaga airport, with regular flights and excellent value tickets and so your sunshine holiday is still as easy to reach! In fact there are predictions that airline seats will actually increase this winter compared to last year, despite airline closures.

According to CAPA Centre for Aviation “Growth in airline seats from Europe will accelerate to 7.2% in winter 2017/2018, versus 5.7% last winter” which represents the highest winter growth for 10 years. They expect that capacity from Monarch and Airberlin will be reallocated to other providers who are vying for the business.

Malaga in particular is still a very important hub and has seen increasing passenger numbers throughout the year. Malaga airport offers flights to over 100 destinations in 25 countries! It is served by a large number of airlines which connect travellers in the UK, Northern Ireland, Europe and Scandinavia to the amazing destinations on the Costa del Sol with regular low-cost flights. The airlines flying direct from the UK include British Airways, EasyJet, TUI, Ryanair, Vueling, Flybe, Norwegian and Jet2. BA is one of the airlines negotiating to take over Monarch’s routes, and we expect news of this soon.

From outside the UK there are flights with KLM, TAP Air Portugal, Smart Wings, Air France, Aer Lingus, Iberia, eurowings, Lufthansa and many more. Routes have been increasing over the last few years, with more flights going into Gibraltar due to demand, and EasyJet and Jet2 increasing their routes and seats from the UK to Spain, so there is growth in this sector. For example, SAS Airlines have just announced that they will be flying from Malmo in Sweden direct into Malaga once a week in the winter and three times a week in the summer months. We expect more airlines to make similar announcements to take advantage of Monarch’s absence.

If you are still concerned, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the effects of any further airline bankruptcy.

  • Book flights which are ATOL protected
  • Use a credit card to make your purchase
  • Look into travel insurance which would cover you in the event of the airline going bust. Make sure you read the Ts & Cs, as not all travel insurance does this.

With these safeguards in place, book your holiday and look forward to coming to see us on the Costa del Sol. Check out our stunning Costa del Sol holiday rentals and start dreaming of your next holiday!

Now it’s even easier to get to the Costa del Sol!

Costa del Sol Airports

The Costa del Sol has always been popular with people travelling from the UK and Northern Europe due to the weather, beaches, food and the speed and ease with which you can travel. In just two hours you can travel from London to Malaga, from the rain to the sunshine and the hustle and bustle to the laid back life and settle yourself into a beautiful holiday rental property and just relax.

Malaga airport offers flights to over 100 destinations in 25 countries, including a large number of UK airports with direct and low cost flights and an increasing number of off peak flights. Its new terminal is a joy to use, with plenty of space and light and good shopping and dining options.

After an amazing summer and two great years for tourism, the airlines are adding more seats and new routes to Malaga, so it’s easier than ever to get here for a short break. EasyJet are increasing the number of seats on flights from the UK to their Andalucian airports this winter and Jet2.com are launching a new route connecting London Stansted Airport with Malaga, from March 2017.

Also, don’t forget Gibraltar! It has a shiny new terminal and because it’s small it’s a breeze to get through. Monarch and easyJet opened new routes into Gibraltar this year, perfect for anyone staying on the western Costa del Sol, so check out flights into Gib if you’re staying in Sotogrande, Duquesa, Manilva or Estepona.

But it’s not just the UK that is well served by flights from Malaga, there are lots of Spanish and International destinations including New York, Marrakesh and Istanbul. Eurowings have just announced flights from Malaga to Vienna will be running twice a week this winter, and you will also be able to travel to Brussels with Brussels Airlines. New kid on the block Volotea will be adding flights to Venice and Palermo from July 2017, to their popular routes to Asturias and Toulouse. So no matter where you’re based, Malaga can be reached easily, and makes an amazing holiday destination all year round.

Remember that it’s not just flights that can whisk you to the Costa del Sol, there are great high speed rail links and budget coaches travelling down here, so choose your method and come on down to a beautiful holiday rental! Hope to see you soon!

Finding Parking on the Costa del Sol in Summer

Parking-Sign

Summer is definitely hotting up here on the Costa del Sol and tourists are pouring in from all over the world to enjoy our famous beaches, lifestyle and food. We love summer here, but one thing which causes us and our guests issues in the peak summer months is parking, so we wanted to give you some advice on how to deal with traffic and parking during the busiest times of year.

  1. Try to find accommodation with parking – If you’re planning to hire a car, or will be driving down, the best thing is to book accommodation with parking so you don’t have to worry. Also look for accommodation which has something within walking distance, such as a local shop, bar, or café, just to give the designated driver a break and to limit the need to hunt for parking.
  2. Look out for short stay blue zones – If you’re popping into town for a short time, then the blue marked bays are a good option. These entitle you to up to 2 hours of parking and are very inexpensive and because they aren’t available all day they tend to be easier to find than free or longer stay parking. Also, they are usually free over lunch (2-4pm) and after 9pm. Over the weekends there’s only a charge in the mornings on Saturday from 9-2 and after that and on Sundays it’s free. Check the nearest meter to the bay for the hours and charges.
  3. Enjoy the walk – One of the nicest things to do during the summer on the Costa del Sol is to stroll along the promenade and with that in mind, you can park further out from the centre to minimise stress and expense and take a lovely walk at the same time. Park where you can and then head to the sea and you’ll find yourself on one of the coastal paths – easy!
  4. Use the underground car parks – There are lots of very central underground car parks in the main towns and although these can be expensive, they keep the car cool, are always well located and are the most convenient option. Ask them if they have any deals for a weekly pass if you find a car park you want to use a lot, as this can be a good option.
  5. Use technology to save money – Fuengirola has recently adopted a clever way to only pay for the time you use in their blue zones. Using the app Telpark, you can say when you leave your parking space and be credited with the money that’s left over to use another time. Malaga is expected to follow suit and if successful other towns on the Costa del Sol will be sure to be quick to adopt it which will be good news for everyone.

If this all sounds like hard work on your holiday, other options are to choose a town which has everything you want in easy reach and has good public transport, such as Fuengirola. It has great shopping, restaurants and miles of blue flag beaches and it has a central train station and bus station so you can avoid needing a car. You can also cycle for miles along the seaside promenade, so hiring a bike is a great option.

We have a wide range of Fuengirola holiday rentals, with some last minute availability for this summer. But if you are hoping to travel to the Costa del Sol this summer, please contact us as soon as possible, as there’s a very high demand for quality self-catering accommodation this year

Malaga Airport Developments

facial_recognitionMalaga airport underwent huge changes up until 2014, changing from a very basic airport where you could hardly get a coffee to one with a new striking design, great shopping, Starbucks and other good options for food, a shiny new terminal, railway station and new second runway. These changes have made travelling through the airport so much more pleasant and even in the summer months there’s spare space and capacity.

The latest development is the introduction of facial recognition software at passport control, which has removed the people checking passports and replaced them with computers. The hope is that it will speed up the checking procedure, which has always been slow and hopefully improve the customer experience for the huge numbers of people passing through the airport each year.

For more information about Malaga Airport check out http://www.malagaairport.eu

Malaga Airport Update

In March the gorgeous new terminal at Malaga Airport was opened by the King of Spain and local and regional dignitaries. Since then, visitors and residents have been enjoying the facilities (volcanic ash allowing) which are a revelation after the restrictions of the old terminal! Now it’s almost worth getting to the airport a bit early to enjoy the shopping, eating and drinking options, rather than cutting it as fine as possible as you would in the old terminal.

Here are a few facts for you:

A new runway is still being completed, which will double the number of flights and passengers the airport can handle to 30 million per year

There is a new seven story car-park and improved access by road and public transport to the surrounding areas

The terminals now cover 385,000 square meters, with 180 check-in desks, 48 gates and 26 luggage belts – so you’ll need to leave a bit more time to move through the airport than before

T3 has 10,800 square meters of commercial area and now the airport as a whole has 21 restaurants and 29 shops including some you can’t find elsewhere such as Starbucks and the World’s first National Geographic store

Malaga is the 4th busiest airport in Spain and 11,622,443 passengers came through in 2009 a number expected to increase with the new terminal facilities

I travelled through the airport at the end of March and was very impressed by the space, light and excellent service we received from all the staff on security, duty-free and in the restaurant. One thing I would say though, is most things are in the area just passed the security. Don’t rush to the gates, as there’s very little past passport control!

Let us know your experience of the new Malaga airport, if you have any comments or tips of how to make the most of this great resource.  Please check out our website for self-catering accommodation Costa del Sol if you’re flying into Malaga this year.

Getting around on the Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol busesComing on holiday to the Costa del Sol is a great idea as there’s so much to see and do in a relatively small area. However, it can be hard to know how to get around as all the information is in Spanish and there’s not much of it available!

The main towns are linked by the N340 road and this is the easiest way to move around, either in a hire car or on the bus. If you are looking to go to the large towns the buses work well and are inexpensive. Here are a few good routes:

220 – Fuengirola to Marbella (buses go approximately twice an hour)

Marbella to Puerto Banus – L1 takes you into the very centre of Banus and goes twice an hour, this bus also takes you to La Canada shopping centre in the other direction.

San Pedro to Puerto Banus – L4

Marbella to Estepona – 27 This is a good bus which also take you within easy walking distance of Puerto Banus and into San Pedro from Marbella

For more information on buses visit the Portillo website which has all the timetables. These timetables can change in winter and summer and they aren’t always the most reliable. Unfortunately it they also don’t tell you the number of the bus that you need, so check out the information on the bus stop, or call the customer service line 902 450 550. Tourist offices are also a great source of information for travel and they are very helpful so don’t be afraid to ask.

There is a trial being done in Benalmadena and Mijas which is testing a mobile service where passengers can find out via their mobile phones when the next bus will arrive or where the nearest stop is. I think this sounds like a great idea, so let’s keep our fingers crossed!

There are also trains connecting Fuengirola and Malaga. The new airport terminal has made it even easier to take the train from the airport to either Malaga city or to Fuengirola, this is inexpensive and there are two trains an hour until around midnight to Malaga and 22.30 to Fuengirola. Website AngloInfo has a good section on public transport on the Costa del Sol with lots of useful numbers click here for more.

You can even take the new AVE train to Madrid from Malaga and be there in around two and a half hours – this is a great option if you want to have both a city break and a beach holiday in one! 

If you want to have the flexibility to move around and explore inland or on routes which are less well served by public transport then hiring a car is the best idea. Check out our website for great Costa del Sol car hire

Malaga Airport expansion

Malaga airport expansionHoliday makers coming to the Costa del Sol next year will be able to benefit from a shiny new terminal building, runway and improved transport links to make travelling to Spain easier than ever.

It has been announced that the new terminal building will be ready to take visitors at the beginning of the key tourist season in Easter 2010, an improvement which will triple the airport’s capacity. This is great news for the Costa del Sol and will help holiday makers enjoy their trip to the full.

If you are planning to visit the Costa del Sol next year, take a look at our fantastic range of Costa del Sol Holiday Rentals. There are plenty of low-cost airlines which fly to Malaga, to find the cheapest flight visit www.skyscanner.net

Find the best value flights to Spain

SkyscannerWe wanted to share with you the fantastic website Skyscanner.net which enables you to view the cheapest flight over a full month on an easy to use graph. This is a great way to save money if you are flexible on dates and you can pick and choose from all the low-cost flight companies. Continue reading “Find the best value flights to Spain”

Check out these special Spanish rail travel deals

For all those planning a visit the Costa del Sol in the next few months, who might fancy a checking out other cities in the region – such as Cordoba, Ronda, and Cadiz – Spanish rail network operators RENFE have put together an interesting package of special offers called “100 Escapadas”, or “100 Escapes”, which includes a return train ticket to one of the 100 most popular tourist destinations in Spain, plus a night in a hotel for between 57 and 99 euros…

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See Andalucias most cultural cities via special Spanish train deals
See Andalucia's most cultural cities via special Spanish train deals

For all those of you planning to visit the Costa del Sol in the next few months, who might fancy a checking out other cities in the region – see our posts listed on your right under ‘Day trips from the Costa del Sol’ – Spanish rail network operators RENFE have put together an interesting package of special offers called “100 Escapadas”, or “100 Escapes”, which includes a return train ticket to one of the 100 most popular tourist destinations in Spain, plus a night in a hotel for between 57 and 99 euros. Continue reading “Check out these special Spanish rail travel deals”