Book your hire car with Gomarbella & Spain now and Then

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Faro Bus Station

Sher wrote to me to say that was travelling from Albufeira on the Algarve in Portugal to Marbella on the Costa del Sol in Spain, staying for 2 weeks and then travelling back to Faro to leave for Canada. How could she do it by bus?

I phoned the Alsa bus company office in Spain: 902422242 and found out that there weren't any buses from Albufeira to Malaga but there was a bus that went from Faro to Malaga every day from Monday to Sunday at 1:45 a.m.

The way to check the schedule of buses from the Algarve to the Costa del Sol is as follows:

Go to the Alsa bus company site:

Choose a return journey and enter details of your trip in reverse order like this:

1) Spain 2) Malaga for your departure
3) Portugal 4) Faro for your arrival

Put in any travel dates so that you can go through to the next page to get the schedule for the bus service.

I don't know yet if the bus comes through Marbella on its way to Malaga. I haven't been able to find out, at least not from the local Marbella bus station. The Portillo bus company hardly keeps or gives out any information about other bus companies, even those using the Marbella bus station. Let me know if you need that bit of information.

On the way to Spain it will travel through the Estacion de Autobuses Plaza de Armas in Seville.

The Faro bus station in the picture is right next to the Faro train station and in the same building as the Eva Hotel which is very convenient for midnight arrivals or departures. Just along the Algarve coast, the Lagos bus station is right next to the Hotel Marina

For any other travel information use the search box on the blog, just put in your keywords. If you can't find what you are looking for use the contact box below or write to me on the gomarbella contact page.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Fuengirola to Seville by car or bus?

Finlay found me over on Gomarbella and wrote in to ask: "Hi Mike, we are staying in Fuengirola and would like to visit Seville. We'll have one of your hire cars from Malaga airport and would it be simpler to drive to Seville and park there or would it be best to go by bus?"

I wrote back: "Hi Finlay, I love the drive to Seville, my wife and I do the trip at least twice a year, either going to the city or on our way from
Marbella to Lagos on the Algarve.

By car you have three routes to get there, through Malaga, through Ronda or down past Gibraltar and then turning inland past Los Barrios. All are easy are very drives and take about the same time.
In your hire car you will be free to stop along the way which is what I really enjoy doing. Of course the driver has to concentrate so doesn't get to see quite as much of the really beautiful Andalusian countryside as the passengers. Regarding signposting on the outskirts of Seville, You only get one sign and one chance and you have to act on it. If you dither, that's it, you've missed the turning. Inside Seville driving is quite easy, you will need to have a street map and have an idea of where you want to go of course.

Parking in the city is not difficult and you can easily spend a whole day in the old town on foot without needing to get back into the car. An open bus tour, a trip on the Guadalquivier river, a visit to the cathedral and exploration of the shopping areas in the old town and that's a very enjoyable day away. Allow about the same time as the bus, four hours there and four hours back which includes stops.
You might prefer to take the bus from the Fuengirola bus station all the way to Sevilla. You'll get a twenty minute coffee and loo stop at Ronda bus station and you'll get off at the Prado de San Sebastian bus station which is within easy walking distance of the old town in Seville. You can book comfortably from home on  the Gomarbella online bus reservations page.

Think about both options Finlay and let me know if I can help you with any questions.

wishes from Marbella you will enjoy your trip either way! Mike"

Friday, 6 March 2009

Malaga airport to Malaga train station

This morning I was pleased to help Marilyn who wanted to know how far Malaga train station was from Malaga airport because she wanted to travel to Granada by train.

I replied; "Hi Marilyn, thank you very much for checking in.   Basically you can get from Malaga airport to the train station in Malaga by bus or by train.

1) The Linea A bus to the main Malaga bus station leaves every thirty minutes from just outside the airport arrivals area and stops at  both the main Malaga bus station and also the 
Malaga train station which are side by side.
2) You can also take the train from  Malaga Airport train station to the Maria Zambrano train station in Malaga, which is the second last stop on the C1 line coming from Fuengirola. There are three trains every hour.

You can buy your onward train ticket to Granada using the ticket office at the entrance to Malaga airport train station or from the bank of ticket machines on your left as you walk onto the station.

If you look at the picture above you'll see how close the train station is to Malaga bus station which is just across the road from the side entrance exit from Malaga Maria Zambrano rail station.

If you would like to take the bus on from Malaga bus station, book your ticket in advance using the Gomarbella online bus reservations system.
Have a great trip to Granada Marilyn and best wishes from Marbella, Mike"

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Car Hire Return Malaga Airport

A Gomarbella car hire client wrote in to ask about returning a car to Marbesol Car Hire at Malaga airport and the cost of refilling the tank.

On Sunday evening I was at Malaga airport collecting my wife from the airport and so I popped into the Marbesol office and asked them about their fuel return policy.

Basically the car renter must return the car with as least as much fuel as was in the tank at the time of collection. So when a car is returned with a half full tank, that's how it will be passed to the next client. The fuel gauge is checked when the car is collected and again on return.

If there is more fuel in the tank on return, there is no refund and if it is short, then there is a charge for topping it up to the original level. It seems a fair system to me. I always wonder how much fuel gets "lost" up the fuel tank neck when I have to return a hire car with the tank full. There is a filling station 100m from the Marbesol offices at Malaga airport which makes it very easy to top up when returning a car.

I checked fuel prices last night 1/9/09 at the BP station next door to Marbesol:

Diesel Plus 0.838 € litre
Ultimate diesel 0.898 € litre
Euro Super petrol 9.887 € litre
Ultimate petrol 1.00 € litre

The upside of the slowdown here in Spain is that fuel prices have nearly all dropped below the €1 for 1 litre mark. I went to the Algarve the weekend before and filling the tank with fuel was a lot cheaper than in the summer of 2008.

With the filling station and lots of self service fuel pumps right next door to Marbelsol it makes it very easy to do a quick top up, check the fuel gauge and put a drop more in if necessary.

Check across on a later blog if you need information about where to collect the Marbesol rental car at Malaga airport

Regarding the question as to whether it is always Marbesol that is selected, the car hire engine selects the company that offers the most
competitive price based on the client's selection of car, length of hire and point of pickup and return. Very often it is Marbesol. When I asked the staff why this was they said "Because we are the best!"

Let me know if I can do anything more for you regarding destinations, parking or driving experiences.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

La Colina Train Stop

Laura asked if the La Colina train stop just along the line from Malaga airport was the best one to get off at when travelling to the Hotel Sol Don Pablo down on the Paseo Maritimo in Torremolinos.

I had never been there before so I checked it out. It was an overcast day when I took the photo but if you look carefully you will see the 19.12 train from Malaga to Fuengirola train station rounding the bend. You can set your time by the this train line. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see the station clock reads exactly 5.12pm.

Watch the video of the Malaga to Fuengirola train pulling into and out of La Colina train station.

The trains travelling from Malaga airport train station on their way to Fuengirola train station arrive and leave from the La Colina train stop three times every hour with the timetable that has been in operation since early September 2011.

From La Colina to Malaga airport the journey time is 9 minutes.

Laura asked if there were any taxis at this stop. There is nothing but a big car park and a public telephone at the end of the car park. If you need a taxi from La Colina you can phone Radio Taxis Torremolinos on 952 38 06 00. Given its isolated position, you would probably not want to arrive late at night on your own at La Colina. It would be a good place to leave your car at if you didn't want to drive into Malaga, another 32 minutes down the line.

June 2009, Paul wrote to me from Dublin to ask about taking a taxi or transfer from Malaga airport to La Colina as his party were going to miss the last train out of the airport at night so I checked for him and gave him some information about the cost of a taxi to La Colina from Malaga airport.

Hotel Sol Don Pablo in Torremolinos

Laura contacted me on the Los Boliches Train Stop blog to say that she had booked accommodation in the Hotel Sol Don Pablo in Torremolinos and was going to take the train from the airport. She asked if the best train stop was the La Colina stop which is the fourth stop from Malaga airport train station. Would she find a taxi outside?

I hadn't ever been to the La Colina train stop so on my way to Malaga airport to pick up my wife last Sunday afternoon, I set off a little early with my TomTom and camera to check it all out.

There is nothing at La Colina stop except a big car park, empty on a Sunday afternoon and definitely no taxis in sight. This would be a good place to leave the car during the day and commute into Malaga from. At one end of the car park there is a public telephone. One wouldn't want to get off the train here late at night alone.

Still sitting in the car outside the train stop I pointed my TomTom at the Hotel Sol Don Pablo in Torremolinos. It showed it as 3.8kms away and 8.4 minutes driving time just off the Torremolinos Paseo Marítimo.
Calle Rio Guadazaón which leads off the Paseo Marítimo is a little one way street and gives car access to the Hotel Son Don Marco and the adjoining Hotel Sol Don Pedro as well as foot access to the Hotel Sol Don Pablo situated behind.

I chatted to a taxi driver parked outside the Hotel Sol Don Marco at the end of Calle Rio Guadazaón and he told me that there are no taxis permanently stationed outside La Colina train stop and anyone arriving there and needing a taxi would need to phone the Radio Taxis Torremolinos company on 952 38 06 00 and they would send the nearest taxi.

Although I could see the signposted gate to the footpath leading into the Hotel Sol Don Pablo I needed road access so I went into the reception of the Don Pablo Hotel and a smartly suited waiter gathering up coffee cups stopped what he was doing to attend to me. I liked that. Remember I do contract teaching in a hotel training school so I am always on the lookout for attitudes on the part of hotel staff and I like to test out their English at the same time! He told me how to get to the Hotel Sol Don Pablo and I drove around the block into Calle Bajondillo to get there.

There is very spacious underground parking right underneath the hotel which was very convenient so leaving the car there I made for the Don Pablo reception. I was well looked after by Juan the receptionist who advised me that clients arriving from the airport should get off at the train stop in the centre of Torremolinos. From there, it is a minimum taxi fare of around seven euros. Most importantly for Laura who asked the question in the first place, there would be taxis outside the Torromolinos train stop at all hours.

As I was searching for coins for the parking meter, the security guard materialized from nowhere to see that everything was in order and watched me as I drove out. I was impressed by the treatment I was given by the employees I had come into contact with and the three complexes making up the Torremolinos Don Hotels look like a really great place to holiday.

Let me add on some information that might be useful:

Sol Don Marco 952 05 53 00

Sol Don Pablo 952 38 38 88

Sol Don Pedro 952 38 68 44

The address of the three hotels, Don Marco, Don Pablo and Don Pedro is:

Paseo Maritimo s/n, Playa del Bajondillo, 29620 Torremolinos, Malaga.