"What time's the next bus back to Marbella?" I was phoning my wife as I went through the passport control right next to the airport concourse this morning. Back home on her computer she had already consulted the Malaga airport to Marbella bus station schedule linked to the day's airport arrivals and departures page so she knew exactly where I was. "It's at 1.00pm!" I had 5 minutes. With only hand luggage I made a break for the airport bus stop which is now straight out from the Arrivals exit.
I had intended to stop and look over the Malaga airport car rental floor downstairs from the ground floor arrivals level but the airport bus to Marbella bus station waits for no one so I left this for my next visit to the airport and raced through the baggage reclaim area, turned right and then right again and emerged in the 32º heat and noise of the covered taxi and bus pickup zone. Update: At the new Malaga airport, the bus stop is now is straight out from the Arrivals area in the open air next to the train station. The picture above shows where the bus used to leave from in the tunnel where the courtesy car hire vehicles or car parking companies still pick up their clients.
The Avanza bus company operates the route to Marbella bus station and travellers can now reserve and buy tickets online by visiting the Gomarbella Costa del Sol buses page and use the Avanza link at the very top.
My bag was about the last one on board and even though I am always telling travellers who ask "Where do I buy tickets for the Malaga airport bus?" not to be polite when it comes to getting on the bus, I found myself the last one on board. Apart from about five empty seats covered in bags or newspapers with their owners in the adjoining seat averting their eyes from mine (We all do this don't we?), the bus was full.
I took the picture from where I stood at the back of the queue because it shows the airport bus on the left and the L19 bus service just in front, about to pull out from the bus stop. A twice hourly bus takes travellers right into Malaga city centre and also to the main Malaga bus station which is right next to the train station.
When I got off the bus in Marbella I asked the pleasant young driver if the airport bus was ever full and if he had to leave passengers behind. He said it had only happened around midday in the summer and not every day. I wondered if Gomarbella was responsible for the increasing use of this service, I guess so. I am sorry about that and the only thing I can suggest if you find the bus is full, is wait for the next one, which won't take long in the summer or hire a car!
PPS: When the new airport opened earlier this year, (2010) the Avanza bus bus company put a double length bus onto the Marbella Bus Station to Malaga Airport service so you can now be sure of a seat.